Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 22nd, 2007
Johnson County, Kansas, People Chasing a Hairy Man.
Kansas City, Mo., June 21. – The people living along Cedar Creek, in Johnson county, Kan., near Olathe, about thirty miles from this city, are greatly excited over the antics of some strange animal that roams through the woods in that part of the country.
Robert Sanders, [an African-American] man, ran into Olathe and said he had been chased over a mile by a hideous monster that appeared to be half man and half devil.
The next morning a man employed on the farm of Edward Lane, living half a mile north of Olathe, reported having seen the man. Since then several others have described the animal as it appeared to them.
All agree upon the description and say that it appears to be fully seven feet tall with a heavy covering of brown hair, and perfectly naked. It stands in a half stooping posture, with long arms crossed over its breast, but when startled or in pursuit, it gets over the ground rapidly with a swinging gait.
Robert Wilson, who owns a dairy farm two and a half miles northwest of Olathe, reports that the monster had killed two cows and a calf belonging to him. He came into Olathe for assistance, and a heavily armed party of men are scouring the woods in search of the strange beast. Two of the party have returned, and say while they found no signs of the animal’s tracks, they found the cows and calf, and say that the carcasses were so torn and mangled that they must have been killed by a most powerful animal.
It is thought by many to be an African gorilla that has escaped from some traveling menagerie, and the people fear it will kill human beings before it can be captured or shot.“A Strange Monster,” Sioux Valley News, Correctionville, Iowa, June 22, 1893
Please see Chapter Four, “Wildmen, Gorillas, and Ape Canyon,” for a discussion on the early use of the term “Wildmen” and “Wild people” to describe Bigfoot-like encounters, in Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Paraview Pocket – Simon and Schuster, 2003).
Thanks for this historical item from Jerome Clark.