There were some unusually tall people in both JANIE�S and JOHN�S families. Ironically the largest was in the family of JANIE�S mother, VIRGINIA DARDEN PEACHER STEGER [1856-1951]. JENNIE was a very petite woman. It was sort of a family tradition for the great granddaughters to have their picture taken in her wedding dress when they were 8 or 9 years of age to show how small she was.
JENNIE entertained her great granddaughter, LOUISE, with stories, pictures, and clippings of MILES DARDEN, calling him the family giant. He was a cousin of her mother. MILES DARDEN was born in Northampton Co., North Carolina 7 Oct 1799, and weighed slightly over 1000 pounds at the time of his death in Henderson Co., Tennessee, in 23 or 27 Jan 1857. He was 7� feet tall. His waist measured 6'4". In 1839 his coat buttoned around 3 men, each weighing over 200 pounds. In 1850 it required 12� yards of cloth 1 yard wide to make him a coat. No longer able to work after 1853, he was hauled around in a 2 horse wagon. He was a staunch Baptist, and after breaking several benches he got the idea of spreading a blanket before the pulpit and lying down with a prayer book in hand. His coffin 8 feet long, 35 inches deep, 32 inches across the chest, 18 inches across the head and 14 inches across the feet required 24 yards of black velvet to cover the sides and lids. His hat was put on display in Nashville in the State Museum. He had children by each of his 2 wives, but none grew as large.

EDWIN EUGENE STEGER, SR. [1859-1939], JANIE�S father was tall for his time. He also had a STEGER relative who was over 7 feet tall. He was also named EDWIN and was the grandson of his uncle EDWIN STEGER.

The closest tall relative was JOHN WILLIAM�S uncle, DURELL B WILES [1839-1908], labeled in a newspaper article as �a giant in stature, being nearly 7 feet tall.� Uncle DURELL obtained notoriety when in 1892 he killed his neighbor, WALTER WEAVER, with buckshot. Called a �brutal assassination� in the press, DURELL claimed that WEAVER was trying to run him down with his horse. The jury acquitted him. A member of the jury, WILLIAM H. SERGEANT, later married his daughter, KATIE. JOHN, as a young man, lived for awhile with WILLIE and KATIE. JOHN himself was tall for his generation, being at least 6 feet tall.
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Jennie & Eddie Steger
Louise in Jennie's dress
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