Old Iron Legs John F. Stahl walks and walks and walks and walks and walks


"Old Iron Legs" John Stahl stops walking long enough for a portrait.   Stahl poses right in the middle of Stahl highway, the railroad tracks.  He used them, but he didn't ride the rails.  Old Iron Legs walked.  Epic walks. 

John Stahl was born in 1882 Ohio but spent most of his working days selling stamps in the San Francisco Post Office.  When he retired, worried about his health, he took to walking.  This was apparently in the 1940s, as the earliest mention of one of his walks was a massive hike from the Panama Canal to Austin Texas in 1940.  3,500 miles.  He took a boat down, but walked back.

In 1949 he was seen in El Paso, Texas.

In 1960 he was stopped briefly by a reporter in Alabama during a six-month stroll to say "when a man retires he should have a hobby of some sort - walking is a good hobby."

Two years later Mr. Stahl turn up at the Seattle World's Fair, having walked 900 miles from San Francisco.  That walk was sponsored by a beer company, and when he arrived he kissed a girl, danced a little jig,  picked up a thousand dollar check and presumably kept walking. 
 

Original Photograph of John F. Stahl, signed on reverse and dated April 23, 1949 Balboa, Arizona.  Collection Jim Linderman

Thanks to J.J. Cromer
 

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