Telegram from 1913 says Big Louie, a UP legend, was very big

Posted at 1:54 PM, Oct 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-13 13:55:14-04

HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) — Big Louie was, indeed, a big man.

The archive at Finlandia University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been given a document that appears to settle the height of a legendary man, Louis Moilanen.

Moilanen, known as “Big Louie,” died in 1913. The grandson of the founder of Crawford Funeral Home discovered a telegram that says Moilanen’s casket was 8 feet 3 inches long.

Don Crawford tells The Mining Gazette it was the measurement of the inside of the casket. He says it means that Moilanen was 8 feet 3 inches tall. Moilanen’s height led to a job with a circus.

Dana Richter says some people reported Big Louie to be as tall as 8 feet 8 inches. Richter led the campaign to create the Big Louie monument at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.