The Adam Forepaugh and Sells Bros. Circus could safely be considered as one of the biggest shows in America behind the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows and behind Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth. When the show went up for sale, the owners were James A. Bailey, W.W. Cole, Lewis Sells, & Peter Sells.
The day came for the auction, and the auctioneer asked if anyone wanted to buy the entire circus first before the auction started. Sure enough, James A. Bailey joined forces with the Ringling Bros. and bought the show. No item was offered for sale leaving many a person talking about the auction that never was. William P. Hall met Walter L. Main there. Mr. Hall complained about being let down as he had come to buy Circus equipment and animals and got nothing. Mr. Main then informed him his complete show was for sale. Mr. Hall and Mr. Main both went to the Geneva, Ohio winter quarters of the Walter L. Main show where by an agreement was reached and Wm. Hall had bought the Main Circus. This would eventually become the Great Wm. P. Hall Shows in 1905.
This ad was found in Billboard on September 17, 1904 on page 32.