Ella Ewing – Over 8′ Tall
Ewing initially disliked being gawked at, but decided that as it was unavoidable, she might as well make some advantage to it, so agreed to make appearances and tours. Her Baptist faith, however, meant she would not make appearances on Sundays. For a time, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus introduced her as the Earth’s tallest woman. Her professional career began at age twenty when Lewis Epstein, a museum owner and impresario from Chicago offered $1,000 for the twenty-seven-day appearance at his establishment. As part of her contract Ella’s parents were allowed to accompany her and the family considered it something of a paid vacation, touring the sights of the Windy City when she was not on display at Epstein’s museum. Not long after returning home to Gorin Lewis Epstein made an even bigger offer, a five-month engagement for the then-astounding sum of $5,000. Convincing her hesitant father that was more money than he could earn in five years of hardscrabble farming, Ella accepted and thus embarked permanently on a career as a museum and circus sideshow attraction. She died of tuberculosis and is buried at Harmony Grove Church near her hometown of Gorin.