The Heart Wrenching Story Of Ella Harper: The Camel Girl

Human oddities have intrigued people throughout the millennia. These seldom-odd looks of people may be seen anywhere from medical museums to carnival acts. Have you heard of half-humans? Ella Harper is on that list!

Do you wonder why she was given the unusual nickname of “The Camel Girl”? Did she have humps or any other resemblance to a desert animal? This post will expose the mystery surrounding Ella, a unique young lady.

What Do We Know About Ella Harper?

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

Ella Harper would stand around like a champion who won “The Camel Girl” at her circus. As one of the 19th century’s most renowned circus artists, it seems necessary to know her story.

Her fate was written in stone from the moment she was born. She was, after all, diagnosed with a horrible and, sadly, incurable illness.

The Camel Girl, Ella Harper, was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on January 5 of 1870. She was a circus actor born with an unusual ailment termed a genuine, congenital recurvatum. This condition forced her knees to bend backward like a camel. She then preferred to walk on fours.

The Family Of Ella Harper

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

When Ella was born, there were four children in the family. Her parents were William Harper and Minerva Childress Jackson (pictured).

Her father, a farmer, died a few years later, in 1890. That was when she decided to make changes in her life.

She had one brother and three sisters. They had no abnormalities in their physical structure, unlike Ella Harper. Her parents noted unusualness, nearly from the day she was born.

Ella Harper In The Circus

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

Ella started her career as a sideshow performer in October of 1884, primarily in St Louis and New Orleans regions. She didn’t seem to begin touring performances until her final year of playing.

In 1886, Harper grabbed the attention of showman W.H. Harris, who promptly persuaded her to enter his “Nickel Plate Circus.”

In Harris’s performance, she was dubbed “The Camel Girl,” and tabloids frequently referred to her as the most amazing quirk of existence since the universe’s beginning. She was called the half-human and half-camel girl.

The Outcome Of Her Circus Career

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

A camel would also join Ella throughout her appearances to illustrate their leg similarities. She was then making a lot of bucks that helped her pay off for her education. She went from $200 a week to $5000 a week in the blink of an eye.

The Camel Girl then decided it was time to leave the circus for a better life. She was supposed to return after leaving the chaos and then go to school and live a more private life. For many years after 1886, there was no more information regarding Ella’s life. She seemed to have vanished completely.

What Happened To Ella After She Left The Circus?

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

Ella Harper went on to live a life of normality that was more private and smooth sailing. According to city documents, she married Robert Savely, a schoolteacher, and treasurer for a photographic studio, in 1905.

Ella gave birth to a girl called Mabel Savely one year later. But disaster followed shortly after, with Mabel dying within a half-year period of unknown causes.

She and her spouse relocated to Davidson County, which borders Sumner County, in the 1900s. Ella, her partner, and her mom shared a home at 1012 Joseph Avenue in Nashville. In 1918, the parents adopted a second child, Jewel. However, she died after only three months.

Did Ella Harper Live On To Have More Children?

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

Sadly, the Camel Girl left her glamorous circus life behind only to have a poor fate. Ella died three years after her kids, on December 19, 1921, from colon cancer. She was laid to rest close to her children in a cemetery.

Ella, while having camel-like characteristics, was completely human. She, like everybody else, lived, married, and lost. She was going through a complete human experience that proved to be bad luck.

Ella was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery immediately across the street from the Nashville National Cemetery on Gallatin Pike. To date, the lady is termed nature’s most lovely freak and has learned to determine her fate and experience a complete life.

Other Amazing Facts About Ella Harper

The Heartrending Story Of Ella Harper Dubbed The Camel Girl

Her birth date was January 5, 1870, the same day as her brother Everett, who died as a newborn. So, in reality, she did have a twin. Her husband was still a regular employee for a photo supply firm, and her mother had moved out.

Ella’s tomb lies in Portion B of the cemetery’s old historical part. It’s a family plot with a huge stone with her parents’ initials and information.

Ella Harper In Pictures

Ella Harper’s photographs are widely available on the internet, even though there aren’t many images to understand her life better. We gathered all of them, but we certainly cannot explain what it felt to be in Ella’s shoes.

The truth is that Ella took part in a photo session only once, back in 1886. These are images of Ella captured at the young age of 16, which are adorable.

These photographs were shot by a New York photojournalist who became well-known across the world. That is because of his work with persons with various physical impairments.

The Right To Live: Ella Harper

Ella Harper, a camel girl, may appear to be a freak condemned to a terrible and meaningless existence at first look.

However, when you take a closer examination of the girl’s life, it reveals a strong and purposeful personality. She was always proudly defying her fate and her sickness to live life to the fullest.

She enjoyed a life of glamour, with a great struggle, yet decided to remain humble.

Ella Harper, then again, did not just give up. She was able to embrace herself even though she looked different from the normal human physique. Harper even built a successful profession out of her rejection which teaches us; success is all in mind.

The life of Ella Harper is a terrible yet uplifting story that has captured many hearts and teaches a valuable lesson.