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Beaupré, Édouard (1881–1904)

Édouard Beaupré’s headstone, Willow Bunch.
David McLennan

On January 9, 1881, Willow Bunch’s most famous resident was born. Édouard Beaupré, the Willow Bunch Giant, would grow to a height of 2.5 m (8’3”) and a weight of 170 kg (375 lbs.), and would be touted as the world’s tallest man before his untimely death at age 23 at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. His family was unable to afford to have his body returned home, and for years it was put on exhibit, before ending up at McGill University in Montreal to be studied for research purposes. The family fought unsuccessfully for years to recover his body; finally, in 1989, the university conceded. Beaupré’s remains were cremated, and on July 7, 1990, 86 years after Édouard Beaupré’s death, his ashes were interred in front of a life-sized statue dedicated to him at the Willow Bunch Museum. Four hundred people attended the memorial mass.

David McLennan

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