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Circus Ring of Fame Wheel Plaque

Hubert Castle

Inducted into the Ring of Fame: 1994

Circus Profession: Low Wire Artist

Born: 1912

Died: 1989

Hubert Castle was born Hal Silvers or Hal Smith in Enid Oklahoma around 1912. Not
much is known about his early life from current records on hand. He appeared
early on in his circus career as as tight wire artist Hal Silvers on the
Zellmar Bros. and Schell Bros. Circus owned by George Engesser. His
performance routine was that of an inebriated man in a top hat and tales
fumbling his initial tricks only to do a quick change and then continue as a
master of the low wire. Silvers did several challenging tricks on the wire
including the handspring, front and back somersaults and a swaying motion
where he released the tension and made the wire wobble as he walked across
it. He continued to perfect his craft and later appeared as Hubert Castle on
the Cole Bros. Circus in 1947 in a featured role. Castle also was booked on
the 1951 season of The Greatest Show on Earth and purportedly refused to
appear in the Cecil B. Demille movie because he demanded extra pay. After his
wire walking days were over and later in his career he started a Shrine
sponsored circus that was headquartered in Seagoville, Texas. The show, under
Castle’s management prospered for many years. He was known to have a short
temper on occasion and is rumored to use his fists to solve differences.
Other times he was a gentleman exhibiting an urbane personality to sponsors
and business partners. Hubert Castle and his wife Mary lived in Dallas not
far from his winter quarters. He continued to manage the circus growing its
route until retirement when he sold the show to Donny Johnson (an aerialist
turned producer). Castle passed away in 1989.