For six years Big Jim traveled all over the country. The banner said “See Big Jim the largest hog in the World. Guess his weight and win a prize.”
Big Jim belonged to Henry C. Gibbs of Dana, Henderson County, NC. As Big Jim continued to grow, Gibbs fixed up his pickup truck with side boards and covered sides and a comfortable bed for Big Jim. Spectators had to pay 10 cents to see Big Jim and guess his weight. He began to exhibit him at main crossroads, then carnivals and fairs for six years. Gibbs refused all offers to sell his spectacular pig.
The Hart County News, Munfordville. “Jim,” 2,415 pounds of pork, official weight, is, according to H. C. Gibbs, owmer, “the largest pile of pork living.” Jim, a purebred Poland China hog, stands 4 feet 10 inches high and is 9 feet and 2 inches long.
The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky Sunday, June 29, 1941
Big Jim grew larger and larger his whole live. His official measurements from the Kentucky Department of Weights and Measurements has him at 2,415 pounds. At that time he was 8’ 10” around, 10’ 8” long, plus his tail and stood 4’ 8” tall at shoulder. Big Jim’s tusks were 14” across.
Big Jim fathered hundreds of offspring.
Big Jim and Henry Gibbs retired from the carnival circuit in 1942. He was still growing when he died two years later at 15 years old.
I read his story in Volume I of the From The Banks Of The Oklawaha by Frank L. FitzSimons. There is more information in books about hogs. (He was a Poland China Large Boned Hog.)
Since, I have found a blog post by Dan Gibbs, great grandson of Henry Gibbs. danswnchistoryblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-legend-of-big-jim.html
In 2015, the Henderson County Heritage Museum hauled a replica of Big Jim in the Fourth of July Parade.
The pig that was hauled was borrowed from Todd Thompson, and local business Piggy’s, and repainted to more closely resemble ‘Big Jim’. Big Jim was a 2415 pound pig, owned by H. C. Gibbs of Hendersonvile in the 1930s.
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