One of the Tallest Men Who Ever Lived Was From Iowa
Anthon, Iowa is a small town that sits on the western border of Iowa, not far from Sioux City. It is home to only a few hundred people, but it boasts two big reasons for being a little bit different from most small towns.
The first interesting fact about Anthon, Iowa dates back to July 27, 1897. That's the day Bernard Coyne was born. According to Wikipedia, Bernard was one of the tallest people who ever lived. At his peak, he stood 8 feet 2 inches (although some report he was actually 8'4" at one time). Robert Wadlow holds the Guinness record for tallest man, at an amazing 8'11"!
Bernard reportedly wore a size 24 shoe and was described as an eunuchoidal infantile giant. He towered over everybody and the Guinness Book of World Records says the US Army refused to enlist him in 1918 due to his extreme height.
According to author H.P. Wood, Coyne was an avid baseball player, but strangely no one recalls him being much interested in basketball. For a brief period of time his parents put him into a sideshow at a local fair, but soon thought better of that idea and put an end to it.
His freaky size came at a price, as he had trouble finding clothes to fit, so he learned to make his own to wear.
His tall stature also negatively affected his health and he died at an early age. Bernard the Giant was only 24 years old when he passed away. They had to extend the funeral hearse and leave the back door open on his way to his final resting place.
Bernard the Giant is one reason why Anthon is such a famous small town in Iowa.
So what is the second reason? Find out in our next story, coming soon.