The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

Categories: Celebrities | History | North America

Josephine Myrtle Corbin was incredibly popular during her lifetime, and after her death her grave had to be filled with concrete. So the deceased was protected from those to whom she did not give rest even after death. The excitement around this woman was associated with her unique feature. Corbin was born with four legs and became a real star even before she began to realize the world around her.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The birth of Josephine Myrtle Corbin was a real sensation. The amazing child was born on May 12, 1868 and immediately became the center of attention. The girl was born with a doubled pelvis and four lower limbs! Scientists poured into the house of her parents, 25-year-old William Corbin and 34-year-old Nancy Corbin in droves. This is not surprising, because no one in the United States has even heard of such an anomaly.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

Both Myrtle herself and her family were thoroughly studied. It turned out that her mother's pregnancy passed without complications. In total, the family had four sons and four daughters, including a daughter from Nancy's first unsuccessful marriage. All the children, except Myrtle, were very ordinary. Doctors who studied the Corbin family were alerted only by the fact that the girl's father and mother were like two drops of water. White-skinned, short and red-haired, they looked like brother and sister.

At that time, cases of incest were not uncommon among ordinary people. Having lived for generations in small, isolated communities, they might not even know about their family ties. But in the 19th century, DNA analysis was not done and it was not possible to find out whether Myrtle's parents were relatives.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The girl grew up like a very ordinary child, gained weight well and showed good health. Her four legs in infancy were of the same length and moved well. But over time, those located inside began to lag behind in development. When Myrtle grew up and started walking, it looked like a doll hidden under a dress with dangling legs.

The doctors found that each inner leg was a pair of outer legs, although it did not look like that at all. By the age of seven, the girl had lost the ability to use poorly developed limbs and only moved them a little. She also had a problem with her right "working" leg. The foot on it was bent inwards and Myrtle was limping badly because of this.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The parents treated the unusual daughter well, but they were not going to miss the benefit. Therefore, Myrtle's father from the age of 4 showed her in fairground booths for money. At the age of 13, young Corbin signed her first real contract with the most famous Barnum and Bailey Circus in the States. In the troupe, in addition to predator trainers, clowns and acrobats, there were people with physical disabilities from all over the world.

Myrtle's company consisted of Siamese twins, a man with a dog's head, a bearded woman, a giant and other unfortunate people. However, at that time, people with such deviations could not count on more and were unspeakably pleased with their work in the circus of freaks. Judge for yourself — a girl with four legs received $450 a week! For the end of the 19th century, this was a fantastic amount for an ordinary person.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

At the same time, Myrtle did not overwork much. She just went out into the arena, performed a primitive dance, and then just sat on a chair, swinging all her legs. This simple activity of a disabled child fed her large family and also allowed her to make savings. Myrtle's parents, even after her coming of age, were calm — her daughter would continue to support them, because no one would take her anyway.

But William and Nancy were wrong. Their daughter, despite the disadvantage, enjoyed success with men. At the same time, not everyone was attracted only by the girl's huge earnings. "Gentle as the summer sun, happy as long as the day can be" — that's how the circus posters described Myrtle. She was like that in life — cheerful, pleasant in communication and very kind. And the girl was also very well-read and could support a serious conversation.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

Myrtle's appearance was also very pleasant. The girl had gorgeous red hair, bright blue eyes and a dazzling smile. A lot of gentlemen, including the rich, hung around the girl. But Corbin chose to follow her heart and married for love at the age of 19. Her chosen one was a poor but very good man — Dr. James Clinton Bicknell.

After getting married, Myrtle met her husband's wishes and left the circus. She became a housewife, while simultaneously receiving a liberal arts education. A year after the wedding, Miss Bicknell felt pain in her side and nausea. The assumptions of her medical spouse were confirmed - the woman was expecting a child. The doctors who examined the pregnant woman were once again surprised. She had two full-fledged vaginas and two uterus.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The embryo was in the left, which surprised the patient. She had sex using her right vagina. Myrtle told the doctors:

The first pregnancy was a serious test for the woman, which she did not pass. After a couple of months, Myrtle's condition deteriorated so much that the doctors insisted on an abortion. But later it turned out that Corbin is absolutely healthy and able to give birth to children. During her life, she gave birth to five absolutely healthy children — four girls and one boy.

At the age of 41, the woman decided to return to the circus and start performing again under the name Myrtle Corbin. The husband was not against it, since it was impossible to put five children on their feet on his salary as a doctor. Despite the fact that years have passed since the peak of the circus's popularity, Myrtle managed to quickly regain the attention of the public.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The four-legged woman performed until her death at the age of 60. Myrtle Corbin was killed not by the peculiarities of her anatomy, but by an ordinary streptococcal infection. The grief of the spouse and children is difficult to describe, but for someone the death of an unusual artist was just a sensation. The inconsolable family was attacked by journalists, scientists and just suspicious individuals. They all wanted to see the body, and some even wanted to buy it.

Fearing that the body of his beloved would be stolen from the grave, James Clinton Bicknell ordered to fill the coffin with a thick layer of concrete. So ended the amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin — a four- legged woman from Texas. But the public's interest in her anomaly has not ended. Even during the woman's lifetime, several impostors toured the United States. They were normal ladies, and their extra limbs were fake.

The Amazing story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, a four—legged woman from Texas

The most successful hoax is considered to be the story of a fictional woman named Ashley. In 1994, 66 years after Corbin's death, a marriage announcement appeared in the Weekly World News newspaper. A woman who claimed to have four legs was looking for a life partner. For almost 7 years, the publication "covered" the milestones of the heroine's life. She got married, divorced, had children, changed jobs, disappeared in the mountains, and eventually settled with her husband in Houston.

In the end, a couple of years ago it turned out that there was no Ashley and the story of modern Corbin was invented by journalists from beginning to end. Nevertheless, four-legged children are born all over the world. Scientifically, this ailment is now called caudal duplication and it is successfully treated surgically.

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