World’s Largest Steer and Giant Sycamore Stump

A tornado swept through Kokomo, Indiana, just days before our visit. Sadly, the tornado destroyed homes. It leveled a Starbucks. It uprooted towering trees in Highland Park. Fortunately, it didn’t touch Old Ben’s home. Old Ben, the World’s largest steer, as well as a giant sycamore stump, are on display behind glass in the Highland Park visitor’s center.

Riverside Park, home to the world's largest steer

Old Ben, World’s Largest Steer

When I first heard that Kokomo was home to the world’s largest steer, I expected a ginormous fiberglass steer likeness. Not so. Ben was once an actual living steer, born in 1902. He weighed 125 pounds at birth and gained about 100 pounds a month. At age 8, when he died, he weighed over 4700 pounds, stood over six feet tall, and measured 16.25 feet long from his nose to the tip of his tail.

Don’t miss a Midwest Wanderer post.  For a FREE subscription, enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe2 box to the right and click Subscribe.

Old Ben met his demise when he fell and broke his leg. His owners, Mike and John Murphy, called the vet, who shot Old Ben. The beef from the world’s largest steer was made into frankfurters. The Murphys had his body stuffed, and they showed it at their farm for several years. It’s debatable whether they donated Old Ben to Kokomo or whether the city bought him for $300.

Old Ben, Worlds Largest Steer
Old Ben

Giant Sycamore Stump

Partitioned off from Old Ben in the same Highland Park building sits the giant sycamore stump. A storm toppled the tree, which measured over 50 feet in circumference, leaving just the hollow stump. One newspaper report estimated the tree at 800 years old. Another report stated the tree was as old as 1500 years. The stump was moved from its original place near New London, Indiana, to Highland Park. Although the stump isn’t listed as the world’s largest sycamore stump, it certainly must be one of the largest.

Vermont Covered Bridge

Being covered bridge fans, we couldn’t help but notice the Vermont Covered Bridge in Highland Park. The final remaining Smith Type #3 Trusses in Indiana was moved to the park from its original location about five miles east of Kokomo. The bridge opens to foot traffic in the summer months.

 

covered bridge in Highland Park

If you visit Highland Park

Besides the attractions listed in this article, Highland Park, located at 900 W Deffenbaugh Street in Kokomo, Indiana, offers hiking trails, fishing, disc golf, and other amenities. Learn more about all of Kokomo’s parks at the City of Kokomo website.

Kokomo accomodations

We stayed at Courtyard Kokomo during our stay in Kokomo.  Check rates here.

Pin It!

Worlds Largest Steer

**********

Disclosures: The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau hosted our visit to Kokomo. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book a hotel room through this link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe. We will notify you whenever we publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.   – Connie


 

Weekend Wanderlust

7 thoughts on “World’s Largest Steer and Giant Sycamore Stump

  • July 23, 2017 at 10:01 pm
    Permalink

    My stepkids live in Kokomo and I never knew about any of these things! Next time I go home I will have to check them out.

    Reply
    • July 24, 2017 at 7:41 am
      Permalink

      Absolutely! I understand that on the day after Thanksgiving every year they actually open the door to Old Ben’s room so you can take pictures of him without having to take them through glass.

      Reply
    • July 25, 2017 at 10:20 am
      Permalink

      It’s a well-kept secret. Definitely worth a stop as you’re driving through town.

      Reply
  • July 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm
    Permalink

    So you know this is on my bucket list of things to see, right? World’s Largest Steer? How could I miss?

    Reply
    • July 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm
      Permalink

      I figured Old Ben would go on your list if you hadn’t already seen him, Tonya.

      Reply
    • July 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm
      Permalink

      I figured Old Ben would go on your list if you hadn’t already seen him, Tonya.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *