A movie about The Beautiful Jim Key goes into production in 2015! Morgan Freeman is starring as Dr. William Key.
Dr. Key was born in 1833, a slave. By 1880ish he was worth $100,000. I’m guessing that is millions in today’s money. The initial money-maker was Dr. William Key’s Kyestone Liniment which he peddled in sideshows and at carnivals. The liniment actually worked on humans and horses. Dr. Key took his horse, Jim Key, with him and the horse always drew a crowd. Invariably someone in the audience would shout out, “I want to buy that horse! How much does he cost?” The horse immediately started limping and culminated his “illness” by dropping to the ground and groaning. Once the proposed buyer backed off…who wants a lame, almost dead horse…Jim Key would be on his feet, prancing around Dr. William Key.
You’ll find the incredible story about Dr. William Key in Mim Eichler Rivas’s book: “Beautiful Jim Key, The lost History of A Horse and A Man who changed the World” written in 2005. Over 100 years ago Dr. William Key (1833-1909) and the Beautiful Jim Key (1889-1912) performed in front of huge crowds. During one Friday, Saturday, Sunday stopover over 60,000 people paid to see the duo. Amazingly some people today remember this man and his horse. Congressman Jim Cooper (Tennessee) comments, “Truth is stranger than fiction in the case of Jim Key. My father, a former governor of Tennessee, actually saw the horse perform and always said that Jim and Dr. Key were miraculous.” The book by Mim Eichler Rivas “…is a well-told story of the untapped potential of both horses and humans.”