From the book, TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS by Tom Ogden....Hiram Orton, a sailor on the Great Lakes, opened his first wagon show in 1854, becoming the patriarch of a clan of circus owners and performers including W.W. "Chilly Billy" Cole. When Hiram retired in 1862, his son Miles continued to operate the Orton Bros. Circus alone until 1895.That year Miles's brother, R.Z. Orton, joined on as a full partner; together they ran the show for three more years. In 1898 they split the show into two units, one or both toured until Miles's death in 1903.R.Z. Orton continued to run a small circus, experimenting as a rail operation in 1916.The change was not lucrative, and the Orton Bros. Circus switched back to wagons the following years. In the 1920s the show became motorized and traveled by truck from then until the early 1930s, establishing itself as one of the major small shows in the U.S.After the close of the Orton Bros. Circus several family members continued in the business, moving on to other shows.