Obit of the Day (Historical): Anna Haining Bates (1888)
People knew Anna Haining was different from the moment she was born; a bouncing baby girl weighing 18 pounds. She started big and would only get bigger. When she turned 6 she stood at 5’ 2”. She surpassed six feet at the age of 11.
When she finally stopped growing she was measured at 7 feet, 5 1/2 inches tall - her feet were 13 inches long.
In the late 19th century men and women of Ms. Haining’s stature had few career options and she ended up working for P.T. Barnum in both his American Museum as well as touring the United States and Canada.
It was while on tour that Miss Haining met Martin Van Buren Bates* in Halifax. Mr. Bates stood 7 feet, 9 inches. They would begin touring together and marry in 1871.
Random note: They toured England as a couple and Queen Victoria presented diamond-studded watches to both of them.f
The extra-tall couple would try to start a family. Mrs. Bates would give birth to a daughter on May 19, 1872. The baby, who was stillborn, weighed 18 pounds - the same weight as Mrs. Bates at her birth. Seven years later they had a boy who weighed 23 pounds^. He would only live for a day.
Anna Haining Bates would died on August 5, 1888 from tuberculosis - one day before her 42nd birthday.
(Image of Anna Haining Bates, 7’ 5”, and Martin Van Buren Bates, 7’ 9”, on their wedding day, June 17, 1871, with the reverend who oversaw the ceremony - he was 6’ 3”. The image is courtesy of www.thetallestman.com)
* Mr. Bates, against type, enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private during the U.S. Civil War. He rose to the rank of captain in the CSA. Union soldiers described him as a “Confederate giant who’s as big as five men and fights like fifty.” After Anna died he would marry again - to a woman of normal height. He died in 1919 at the age of 81.
^ Still the largest baby ever born, the largest baby born and which survived was an Italian boy born in 1955 who weighed 22 1/2 pounds. - wiki.answers.com