William F. Duggan

I’ve always been a sucker for roadside attractions. So how could I resist stopping by the grave of William F. Duggan? Don’t worry, I’d never heard of him either; but his memorial is a lovely sight.

Duggan was born in Moultrie, GA in 1889. Around age 12, he ran away to join the circus (for real) and was assigned various tasks. His favorite was feeding the elephants. He fell in love with the animals, and with the lifestyle in general, and bought himself a circus in 1950. Included in the transaction was a baby elephant, named Nancy.

When Duggan passed away later that year, he had yet to see his circus perform, but he’d formed a strong bond with Nancy. His son commissioned this white marble sculpture of her to be placed at Duggan’s grave.

Amazingly, Nancy is thought to be the only cemetery memorial featuring a life-size elephant in the world. I got lost more than once on my way there, but seeing Nancy’s happy face made it worth the effort.

Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery – Moultrie, GA

 

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