"Mister Circus" Buried in Hugo

Wednesday, November 17th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Hugo-AP) -- Anywhere else it would seem odd to close the schools on the day of a man's funeral. But in Hugo, known as Circus City U-S-A, the death of "Mister Circus," is an historic event.

Circus lovers and performers from all over will pay tribute today to Doris Richard Miller, owner of the Carson and Barnes, in what some have called "the greatest funeral ever."

Betty Jean Cannon, owner of Betty Jean's Flowers, shut down for the morning. Her flower shop needed to make six trips to deliver
flowers ordered for the service. Some of the arrangements were done in the shapes of elephants, circus wheels and clowns.

The circus had been part of Miller's life since he was age seven. Miller died September eighth on a circus lot in McCook, Nebraska, after complaining of chest pains. It was the same small town were he saw his first circus 75 years earlier.

In recent years, Miller spent more time at the show's winter stop in Hugo, one of the reasons why the southeastern Oklahoma town
got its circus nickname.