From their website:
"On February 19, 1913 a small group of dedicated ‘out-of-doors showmen' met at the Saratoga Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Those present agreed that the time had come for an international organization that would cater to the needs and wishes of carnival people everywhere, through good times and bad.
Thus, the Showmen's League of America was born.
Colonel William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, famed “Wild West” figure and showmen in his own right, was elected the group's first president.
The Elephant was selected as their symbol because “… the elephant in rampant with uplifted trunk, exemplifies in every particular the characteristics of the showmen, alter, sagacious, victorious.”
There is still a Toronto Chapter located on Beverly Street just south of College..
Advertisement for Buffalo Bill's Wild West show from the Toronto Globe 1885.