Contributed by Gigimo
Description: In a Bad Way. John Richard DAVIS, the Father of Twenty-Three Children.Date: September 15 1887
Newspaper published in: St. Louis, MO
John Richard DAVIS passed through the Union Depot this morning on his way from Lawrenceburg, Mo., to Winfield, Kan. He has growing out of the right side of his neck an immense tumor. It has been growing for the past thirty-eight years, and now weighs thirty four pounds. It resembles a huge bag and he carries it on his right shoulder, having it incased in a cloth bag. The strange formation is separated from the neck by two or three inches, being connected only the skin, which forms its covering, and some arteries. It is a solid, heavy substance, and can be moved all around. Mr. DAVIS says hundreds of physicians have viewed the tumor, but with few exceptions they have pronounced it incurable. As it never pains him he has been unwilling to endanger his life by having it operated upon. Although quite a weight and a little inconvenient to carry about with him, he has always managed to work. By trade he is a painter, and he says he can work at that business without much annoyance, as he is nearly always in a standing posture and can carry the weight on his shoulder. He has hardly ever been sick in his life and is now 76 years of age. At the present time, he says, he feels just as active as he ever did, although he knows he could not run so long, nor jump on high, nor as far when a boy. He comes of a long-lived family, his grandfather on his father's side living to be 110 years of age and his grandfather on his mother's side 115 years of age. His grandmother on his father's side was killed at the age of 28 years by falling down stairs, and was in excellent health and quite active at the time she met with the mishap. His grandmother on his mother's side died in her 96th year. Mr. DAVIS is married, and his wife has given birth to no less than twenty three children, only three of whom are alive.