Everyone I’ve ever asked about Sedona, Ariz., has told me it’s an absolutely gorgeous place. Roberta Hagood, the noted Hannibal historian, once told me she and her late husband had dreamed of retiring there before family circumstances brought them back to Northeast Missouri.
Did you know the town was founded by a man from none other than the small Northeast Missouri town of Gorin?
In a recent travel story about Sedona in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jim Winnerman writes that in 1901, T.C. Schnebly and his wife set forth from Gorin, in southeastern Scotland County, to build a life somewhere in the desert as an attempt at curing his health problems. They ended up among the beautiful red rock formations in Sedona, a couple of hours north of Phoenix, and bought land under the federal Homestead Act. The town was established in the back of the Schnebly home and named after Mrs. Schnebly.
History buffs will note that Gorin is best known as the home of the world’s tallest woman, Ella K. Ewing, the more than 8-foot-tall woman who spent most of her 40 years on a farm just southeast of Gorin. (I’ll also note that the world’s tallest man, “Alton Giant” Robert Wadlow, grew up less than 200 miles away.)
Ella Ewing is still Gorin’s biggest claim to fame, but the Sedona connection is another interesting one, to be sure.