Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lawrence "Larry" Hightower Wheel Barrow Pusher

Does anyone still living remember Larry Hightower the famous Wheel Barrow Pusher around the world in 4 July 1946 to about 1950? He was my great grandfather. I have been researching him for a year now. He donated his wheel barrow and his log books and flags and photos to the VFW Post 8326 in Flint, Michigan in the 1970's. I have found his wheel barrow, but his log books of his journey and photos and flags are missing. A past historian's family may have them or know what happened to them. My family would like to recover them to be put in a museum along with his wheel barrow. Please email me if you know what happened to his wheel barrow memorabilla, or know where it might be located. Please email if you have a story to share about him and his journey, or remember him personally. I would love to hear from the world what they knew about my great grandfather Larry Hightower the famous wheel barrow pusher from Ellensburg, Washington, originally born in Coal Creek, Tennessee to Jessie Evelyn Kesterson and Barstow William Hightower of Tennessee. He also lived sometime in Montana as a cowpuncher. His mom Jessie AKA Bessie Bolton Everson, whom married Byron Everson in Montana, they had a ranch apparently in Montana and Larry also worked here and lived in Butte, Montana with his first wife Corrine Honnef Hightower. They had 3 children Eugene, Margaret, and Lorraine Hightower. Margaret was my grandmother. I am doing this research for my late grandmother and my family. I hope to hear from the world and gather letters, photos, videos and stories about Larry and his wheelbarrow adventures around the world.


  1. We use to go over to Ellensburg every year with my parents, John & Ella Scheuerman. That's when Larry was at the Lazy F Ranch. Still have some old film with my parents, Larry and the wheel barrow. I was just commenting on him yesterday to a customer that was from Ellensburg.Her husband also knew him.

  2. I have some memorabilia from Larry's time here in Flint,MI. My aunt knew him and saved newspaper clippings and I believe I have a photo signed by him. I remeber my parents, aunts, and uncles telling us about Larry years ago.

  3. Hello Anonymous from Michigan. I would love to talk to you about Larry and have an memorabilia you may have or copy it and send it back. I would love to hear about your stories. Our family never new him only through newspaper articles. Please email me at hollyhub@frontier.com to exchange contact info if you don't mind. I am so excited. I hope to hear from you.

  4. If anyone is monitoring this site, I just came into the possession of a photo of Larry Hightower taken in Yreka, CA around 1946 to 1948. (I'm guessing from the ages of the boys in the photo) I'm trying to locate someone who knows the exact date. The two boys that I knew (in the picture) are both dead. One just passed away last week that's how I got this picture. Googling the name got me here, so if you'd like a copy of this picture (with the wheelbarrow, let me know, email kvshriver@ hotmail.com

  5. Please email Holly Hubbard personally at hollyhub@frontier.com with your personal stories, memories and photos.

    Thank you for helping my family learn about Larry Hightowers adventures around the world.

    Holly Hubbard :)

  6. Iwas a young girl in Aldie Va. when Larry Hightower came by our home pushing his wheel barrow through our little town of Aldie (Route 50) Nest to our house was a grain mill where my Father worked, Larry stopped and asked if he could spend the night in our barn, My Dad who was the kindest man said it is no barn, but a operating grain mill, if you give me your matches and cigarettes you can sleep in the mill. Larry did so and the next morning he had breakfast at our house and Mother made him sandwiches and sent him happily on his way, this had to be previous to Dec 1949 as my Dad died in 1949...I have often thought of this man and the stories he and my Dad discussed together,Mother also made supper for him, we 4 children were so
    fasinated by him..

  7. I just found out about him today while transcribing my great grandfather's journal. I've maintained the spacing, spelling, and puncuation from the original.

    "March 28 - 1948 We had a very
    interesting experience at
    our home. Larry Hightower
    the man making a tour
    around the world pushing
    a wheelbarrow came to
    our home. he is an ex
    Legionare and when he gets
    in a town where there is a
    post he gets in touch with
    the commander, and as
    Victor is commander of
    the Post in Gibsonburg* he
    came to our home to see
    Vic, He gave us a very
    interesting talk about
    his trip, showing us
    flags and papers, and
    Banners from different
    parts of the U.S.
    He was on the road 20
    months and traveled
    over 6000 miles, it was a
    wonderful visit."

    *Gibsonburg, Ohio.

  8. Thank you so much for this journal entry. I would love a copy of the original please. Email to hollyhub@frontier.com or mail a copy to:
    P.O. Box 2531
    Coeur d' Alene, ID 83816

  9. This story is was written by my mother probably around 1949 or 50. I was a young girl but I remember it well. We lived on a ranch 18 miles north of Kremmling, CO along US Hwy. 40.
    One evening, early spring, when the days were really noticeably longer, the kids came running down the lane from
    the school bus all exited. "we will have company for supper and to stay all night!" were some of their first words.
    "Well who? Please tell me!" The kids had talked to him at Walters' filling station across the street from the present junior high (now the senior apartments in Kremmling).
    "A man pushing a wheelbarrow! He was at school today and talked to us, and he is on the way now." Herb and Jim both immediately went to the tree house tree and climbed as high as they could in the big old cottonwood near the corral.
    "He isn't in sight yet, but he's coming, 'cause I asked him, and he said he could make it here for the night," Herb affirmed. The boys decided to climb down and get their chores done, really fast. I think they had some rabbits to fee, cows to bring in and some 4-H steers to take care of. The girls also had chores to do, so everyone flew around, and I read a pamphlet they had brought home from school about the man that was pushing the wheelbarrow across the country on US 40.
    As I remember, he had several sponsors that he would collect money from if he completed his journey to Ellensburg, Washington, which was his home. I believe some shoe company, the V.F.W. and a few others were involved in this adventure. Good-will also and good relationships with people living on this cross section of America were involved.
    In a few minutes, someone was climbing the tree again to see if he was in sight. "Not yet," would come a sigh, "but he'll come!" Evening shadows were falling across the corrals and yard and the sun had gone behind the hills west of the house.
    A shout from the tree: "Here he comes! He's coming down the hill!" So Larry Hightower arrived, wheelbarrow and all! He carried a few things in it and asked us if he could wash his feet and put on clean socks before we sat down to eat. He explained that taking care of his feet came first as he completed each day. Hightower was a good name for h im, but Ted named him High Pockets, as he was very tall and slim. He was one of many stoppers we had at our house, and I do wish I had kept a guest book and had everybody sign in or out and my stories could be more in detail.

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  11. I just finished listening to a recorded book about a man walking from Seattle to Key West and thought about Larry Hightower. I Googled him and found this fascinating website. When I was in first or second grade our family went to the Lazy F Dude Ranch where I remember riding horses, including Old Daisy, visiting a beaver dam, sleeping in a cabin, eating meals in the lodge, and especially sitting around the campfire listening to Mr. Hightower tell of his travels. He made quite an impression for me to have remembered his name about 60 years later.

  12. I am one of the two teenagers who "stole" Larry's wheelbarrow in Moses Lake, just 70 miles from Ellensburg, which distance was to be the final leg of Larry's round-the-world journey. We took it and hid it, as a stupid prank, not thinking of the anguish we were causing Larry.

    Recently I read a clipping about the sleepless night Larry had looking for his wheelbarrow. I felt terrible, and wanted to contact Larry and apologize from the bottom of my heart.

    I googled him and found out that he had passed. I am so sorry. If there is anything I can do to help you in your search for memories of your beloved grandfather, let me know.

    Kay Lybbert