Captain & Mrs. Martin Van Buren Bates
The Giants of Seville
In 1873, a couple moved to Seville, Ohio, who would be responsible for more reams of newspaper footage than anyone who set foot there before or since.
The Captain & Mrs. Bates toured Europe and the United States giving lectures and having "teas". They were presented at the Court of England on at least two occasions. Many of their friends included the royal families of Europe.
The Captain received his rank during the Civil War, while serving with Virginia State Line Troops. He was born in Kentucky in November, 1845. Growing until he was 28 years-old, he reached a height of seven feet, eight inches and a weight of 470 pounds.
Mrs. Bates was born in Nova Scotia in 1848. By 1870, she had established herself in a career, working for P.T. Barnum. It was Mrs. Bates who began giving "teas". She was not interested in Barnum's "traveling" shows. Rather, she had receptions at the Barnum Museum or in "notables" homes. By her twenty-second birthday, Mrs. Bates was seven feet, eleven inches and weighed 413 pounds.
The Village of Seville along with The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Seville Kiwanis and Lions Clubs, The Guilford Grange, The Seville Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society, erected a sign at the Stanhope Park. Visit the park to read their amazing story; it's worth the trip!