LOCAL HISTORY: Who was sideshow giant Big Jim Patterson?

September 26, 2021 00:26:28
LOCAL HISTORY: Who was sideshow giant Big Jim Patterson?
On the Line
LOCAL HISTORY: Who was sideshow giant Big Jim Patterson?

Show Notes

When Houston-area technology professional Benny Prince began researching his Ark-La-Tex roots, he had no idea he would meet a character literally larger than life.

James Wesley “Big Jim” Patterson, Prince’s great uncle, stood out in the family story as much as his reported 8 foot, 4 inch height stood out among residents of Bloomburg, Texas, where he died on Halloween 1920.

A trove of heirloom documents, including rare vintage photos, told Prince the tale of Patterson’s life as a circus sideshow performer, businessman and member of a family that played an important role in the history of Cass County.

Now Prince is working on a book about Big Jim and hopes someone out there can tell him even more about the giant billed by Sells Brothers Circus as “The World’s Tallest Man.”

(Note: This episode is being published a few days earlier than usual, in conjunction with a story in the Texarkana Gazette. "On the Line" will return to its regular Tuesday schedule next week.)


Kickstarter: "Out of the Borderlands into the Big Top," by Benny E. Prince

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