Al Bossard of St. Paul began making cigars by hand in about 1903. At his peak, he rolled 400 to 500 cigars a day, and his clientele included "fine people … doctors, lawyers, businessmen." He had reached his 88th year when he was featured in this Minneapolis Star photo. "I’ve had to slow up some now," he said, "because there are days when I can’t feel the tenderness of the cigars right." He didn’t spend his entire life hunched over tobacco leaves. At 15, he ran away from home and joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as a performer, playing "800 or 900 state fairs around this part of the country."
Al Bossard's photo accompanied a story previewing a Victorian craft festival in St. Paul that featured "calligraphy, crewel work, hair work, lacemaking, macrame, needlework and other Victorian crafts."
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Graceville, Minn. – Baby Boy Schmitz, weight at birth 15 pounds, 15.2 ounces, height 24½ inches, head 16 inches, chest 17 inches, across shoulders 8 inches, July 16, 1936, Western Minnesota hospital. In such laconic scientific terms, without a word about Mrs. Veronica Schmitz, the mother, medicine records the birth of the largest baby ever born alive in Minnesota – as far as a day's check of doctors and records shows.