A Giant in the Ozarks

This story comes courtesy of the Oregon County (Missouri) Genealogy Facebook group.

The September 10, 1885 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried the story of a discovery of the skeletal remains of what can only be described as a giant, in a cave located nine miles from Thayer, Missouri.

The paper describes the giant as follows:

“The explorers found the skeleton of a man 9 feet one 1 inch in height , which was well proportioned. In removing the skeleton some of the joints dropped loose. The finger nails were found to be petrified. There was also found a considerable quantity of ancient furniture.”

This however, was not the only discovery of giants in Missouri the following was published in:

PROVIDENCE EVENING PRESS, SEPTEMBER 3, 1883
A GIANT’S SKELETON
MUST HAVE BEEN GOLIATH.

“Hon J. H. Hainly, a well known and reliable citizen of Barnard, Mo., writes to the Gazette the particulars of the discovery of a giant skeleton four miles southwest of that place. A farmer named John W. Haunon found the bones protruding from the bank of a ravine that had been cut by the action of the rains during the past years. Mr. Hannon worked several days in unearthing the skeletons, which proved to be that of a human being whose height was twelve feet. The head through the temples was twelve inches;  from the lower part of the skull at the back to the top was fifteen inches, and the circumference forty inches. The ribs were nearly four feet long and one and three-quarter inches wide. The thigh bones were thirty inches long and large in proportion. When the earth was removed the ribs stood up high enough to enable a man to crawl in and explore the interior of the skeleton, turn around and come out with ease. The first joint of the great toe, above the nail, was three inches long, and the entire foot eighteen inches in length. The skeleton lay on its face, twenty feet feet below the surface of the ground, and the toes embedded in the earth, indicating that the body either fell or was placed there when the ground was soft. The left arm was passed around backward, the head resting on the spinal column, while the right was stretched out to the front and right.  Some of the bones crumbled upon exposure to the air, but many good specimens were preserved and are now on exhibition at Barnard. Medical men are much interested. The skeleton is generally pronounced a valuable relic of the prehistoric race.”

The discovery of skeletal remains of Giants is not limited to the Ozarks, or Missouri for that matter. Author Jason Colavito has put together an impressive archive of newspaper accounts of giants throughout the years. He has documented accounts from across the United States and the world and if this subject is of interest, you can read these fascinating stories at his website: http://www.jasoncolavito.com/newspaper-accounts-of-giants.html