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Buckles & Snaps Shoes
Buckles & Snaps Shoes

These bulky-looking shoes were worn by Samuel Thomas, a farmer who was a resident of Cushing township during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Together with a pair of “underpants”, these shoes weigh a hefty eighteen pounds.  Samuel Thomas, who was also known locally as “Buckles & Snaps”, “The Randall Hermit” and “Gigantic Man”, was born in Canada in 1850 but had moved to the United States by 1879.  The Minnesota State Census of 1910 lists him as the owner of sixty acres of land located approximately two and a half miles southeast of Cushing between State Road No. 4 (now Highway 10) and the Little Elk River.  According to Carl Nelson, in an article written for The Long Prairie Leader in 1928, “Buckles and Snaps” also reinforced his farm equipment. He apparently had a wagon that was so big his oxen could not pull it and he ended up having to cut it in half.

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