Title: Circus Performer
Death Date: December 5, 1902
Plot Location: Section 1, Lot 93
Born in Italy in 1820, Luigi Germani became a member of the Royal Italian Circus when he was 18 years old. The horseback rider, performer and juggler came to the United States in 1846 where he joined the circus of Col. Rufus Welch. Welch had become a leading circus organizer with multiple circuses performing throughout the year. His main circus was The National in Philadelphia which was named for the National Theatre which he leased for twelve years. This was the circus Luigi first joined as a riding juggler and it was here he made his home.
Life in the circus has always been transient, so Luigi performed with various troupes throughout America and Europe during his career. He became especially well-known and respected for his equestrian skills and was personally decorated by Queen Victoria. After leaving circus life, Luigi ventured into real estate in St. Louis, Missouri and became a wealthy man. Training horses was always one of his pastimes. It is reported that he trained a great horse named Black Eagle. Billed as “the horse of beauty,” it appeared in London with the Howes and Cushing Circus and could waltz, polka and stand upright on his hind legs.
Signor Luigi Germani left an estate of $33,000 after he died and the figure of a horse was appropriately carved on his gravestone. A lengthy newspaper story of his life was published, part of which is shown here:
Support the Friends of Mount Moriah
Help us in our mission to restore and maintain the beautiful Mount Moriah Cemetery by donating to our cause or volunteering at one of our clean-up events.