Martin Bates and his wife Anna, also known as the Seville Giants, moved to Seville, Ohio in 1873 around the time of the revolt of the common man. Mr. Bates was born a normal sized baby, but around the age of six or seven he was over six foot and 300 pounds. He continued to grow until he reached 7 feet 9 inches tall and his wife was 7 foot 11 inches tall. Martin was born in Kentucky, while Anna was born in Nova Scotia. Martin Bates received his title of “captain” during the Civil War fighting with the Virginia State line troops. The couple traveled the United States as well as Europe giving lectures and on several occasions presented at the Courts of England. In 1874 the couple purchased a 160 acre piece of land in Seville. In May of 1872, Anna gave birth to a twenty-five pound stillborn baby. She had her second child in February of 1879, who was a twenty-two pound boy who unfortunately only lived a few days. Mrs.Bates became ill and died in 1888. Her husband died in their Seville home in 1919 at the age of 81.
Ulysses S. Grant was the president when the giants moved to Seville. He was a member of the Republican Party that disagreed with president Andrew Johnson’s conservative approach during reconstruction. Martin Bates did not like the violence between the Union and the Confederate armies so he left Kentucky and joined the circus, where he would meet his future wife Anna Haining Swan. Anna Bates established a career for herself by working with P.T. Barnum. Martin joined a circus that toured all over Europe. The couple’s main source of income came from traveling around Europe giving lectures, however they were not tied down to this job that is why the decided to quit and known by the royals in England at the time. When the giant couple decided to get married, their wedding was given a lot of publicity. Queen settle in Seville. There was much talk about the “biggest couple in the world”. They were very well known, in fact, Queen Victoria herself gave them two diamond-studded gold watches as their wedding presents.