Robert Wadlow - Portrait

It is good to see the page on Robert Wadlow. He was my friend. I had the priviledge of traveling with his group to small towns as Mtn. Home and Harrsion in Arkansas and Hollister and Branson in Missouri. 

I met Robert the first time he came to Batesville to visit my dad's shoe store in the mid thirities. Dad advertised with circulars delivered town to town by car with boys riding the car's running boards , jumping off to put the circulars porch to porch. Without radio stations in the small towns advertising was by newspapers,circulars and mouth to ear. Robert's visit was advertised in this manner Months before his visit's Thousands of people came to see the Gentle Gaint from Alton, Illinois.

They walked , rode a horse or mule, came by wagons and a few by cars. The street was roped of from corner to corner for the people. They treated him with respect even though a few thought he was not really that tall, perhaps he was on stilts ?

D.  Heuer, AR

Almost all highways between the small towns in Arkansas were joined by dusty,washboard, loose gravel roads.For Robert and his dad to travel these roads as much as they did leads me to believe they enjoyed the people in Arkansas.

One hot summer day such a dusty road took them to the place the White River and Sylamore Creek meet just west of Mt. View, Arkansas. There they met my dad's brother and his family for an afternoon of swimming and to take rides in a Jon boat dad rented for the occasion.

Dad offered boat rides to everyone except Robert. He was told that if he fell out of the boat there would be no way to get him back in the boat. The rides continued with fun and visiting taking place until someone noticed that Robert was missing from the group.

They found him, on the dusty road, trying to thumb a ride back to Batesville. If he could not ride in the boat,he would go back to the hotel. ( I've always wondered about the people that didn't stop to pick him up)

He was told to come back, he would get his ride. I have a picture of Robert,on all fours, in the Jon boat going up White River .

D.  Heuer, AR

My dad and his brother and nephew along with a Mr.James from Peter's Shoe Company with Robert and his dad went to Hot prings,Arkansas which was at that time a "mini Las Vegas."

The group went to a night club to see a show. It was required that people attending the show wear a coat or jacket. Robert had neither as it was very hot.

My dad told them we have a young man with us that did not have a coat or jacket and the fact that he was a Big boy. He was told, "no problem,we have loaners." Dad said he is a Big boy, "no problem" they said we have big jackets and coats too .

When they seen Robert, they said" he is a BIG BOY is'nt he ? Coatless, Robert was able to see the show.

D.  Heuer, AR

Robert liked to come to our house for dinner. Our living room had a high arched ceiling he could stand up in. After dinner we played Chinese Checkers. Robert could read a book,play checkers and beat us most of the time. His dad watched his eating closely. "Ah dad,one more piece of pie" he would say.

When he stayed overnight in Batesville the hotel put three double beds side by side so Robert could sleep cross-ways but not without problems.  I have started a collection of posters, pictures and audio tapes of people that knew Robert and visited with him. Somehow I have been given a pair of his shoes, size 37 AAA . One shoe and the collection will be given to the museum being built here in Batesville.

Robert needs to be remembered. He was the worlds tallest man on record and a Very Easy Going Guy.

D.  Heuer, AR

As for a remembered story about Robert, besides being in high school with him at Alton high School, to share with you I have to go back to the time when I was an usher at the Temple Theater which was owned and operated by Mr. Albert Critchlow. of Alton.

Robert and his father attended the movies at the Temple about 4 times a year. Mr Critchlow had issued them free passes. When they decided to come to the theater they always called in advance, so we could reserve a certain section of the seating area for them that provided comfort for Robert. He required 5 seats in the front row of the circle just behind the center orchestra section. He would sit in the center seat of the first three seats on the aisle. His left arm would occupy the seat to the left of him and his right arm the next seat to his right. He would place his legs over the two seats directly in front of him. This seemed to be very comfortable for him. I do not know if he ever attended any of the other theaters in Alton. At that time there was the Grand, the Princess, the Uptown, the Gem and the Norside theaters in Alton. 

L. Miller - Englewood, FL