© 2022 WNMU-FM
Upper Great Lakes News, Music, and Arts & Culture
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

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

Graham Jaehnig
Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK, MI (AP)--   Big Louie was, indeed, a big man.

The archive at Finlandia University in Hancock 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.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.