She was known as the Kentucky Wonder who had the longest beard in history

Anita Durairaj
The Bearded Lady of; Photo added by Ben G

Kentucky's bearded lady went by several names including Jane Devere, Madam Devere, and Madam Krepps. In some newspaper accounts, her name was spelled "Deveree."

Devere was born on 21 May 1858 in Brooksville, Bracken County, Kentucky. She was believed to be of Jewish and French heritage.

According to information from the Augusta Kentucky Historic District, Devere started sprouting a beard on her face as a child. It is not known if she suffered from some physical anomaly.

As a result of her beard, Devere ended up being part of the exhibition at the Dime Museum. She toured with different circus groups during her exhibition career.

In 1884, she toured with the Sells Brothers Circus. She toured with them again in 1891. She also toured with the Campbell Brother's Circus in 1906 and the Yankee Robinson Show in 1908.

During her tours, she was billed as the Kentucky Wonder.

It was in 1884 that Devere set a world record for growing a beard that measured 14 inches. That record still stands today. The Guinness World Records has listed her unique record as "The Longest Beard on a Person Ever (Female)."

Although Devere was a really unique woman with an unusual appearance, she did get married in 1883 to Captain J.W. (Bill) Devere. Her husband, Bill, would often pose with her as an example of Victorian domesticity.

Devere was also known as a devout Christian who never missed church services on Sundays.

She died in 1912 at the age of 54. She reportedly died of a heart attack in Oelwein, Iowa, while she was touring with the Patterson Shows.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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