Monday, May 8, 2023

Robert Wadlow Statue

I went back to find my Robert Wadlow post from Craves, Caves, and Graves, and it had been nearly 15 years since I last visited this statue! This was something Lilly wanted to see because she just recently learned about the Alton Giant. 

Robert Wadlow was 8'11.1" and 439 lbs when he died from a blood infection at age 22, and he was still growing! To this day he holds the record for World's Tallest Man, Worlds Largest Hands, and World's Largest Feet.  His condition was caused by an enlarged pituitary gland. Lilly was amazed that she was barely as tall as his leg, and his cane was even taller! 

One of my favorite stories we learned back in the day on the Haunted Alton tours was that Robert was taller than the transoms over doorways and when he walked down the hallways at hotels, people would call the front desk to report a peeping Tom!

Something I noticed on this trip that I hadn't noticed before is that this giant chair is actually a  replica of his seat at the Masonic lodge, where he was a Master Mason, and according to the plaque, and a 2008 St Louis public radio story, they still have the chair today.

Robert Wadlow was much beloved by the city of Alton, not just for being tall. He was known as an incredibly kind and good natured person and a voracious reader. He died in 1940, and the town closed down for his funeral. 40,000 people attended! and is buried in Alton's Oakwood Cemetery.

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