The Grave Of John King (Charlotte, NC)

Elmwood-Pinewood Cemetery is the largest in Mecklenberg County, but its most famous resident is probably John King, who was buried there i...



Elmwood-Pinewood Cemetery is the largest in Mecklenberg County, but its most famous resident is probably John King, who was buried there in 1880. King was the elephant tamer for the John Robinson Circus.



On September 27, 1880, the circus arrived in Charlotte. It was then that Chief, the circus's large male elephant, crushed King inside the cage. King died the next day and an obelisk, with Chief's name and an elephant both carved into it, was erected in his honor.


What To Know Before You Go

GPS Coordinates: (35.234146, -80.847343)
Location: 700 West 6th Street, Charlotte

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  1. Thanks so much for publishing this. It just popped into my head this morning. I grew up in Charlotte and my parents and grandparents are buried in Elmwood. When we would visit my grandparents' graves as kids, my dad would slow down near John King's gravestone and tell us the story of how he was killed by an elephant. I never got out of the car to get close enough to see what it read. All I knew was that it was grave of the elephant trainer and I've wondered at times if the story was legit or just an urban legend.

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