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The Story of Josephine Myrtle Corbin, Bizzare Lady With Four Legs!

Mother nature’s mysteries are tough to comprehend. It bestows blessings and punishments based on its own whims and inclinations, and humans have no voice in the matter.

It is neither fair nor just when one individual is born into a wealthy family with perfect genetic makeup, while another is born into a poor family with many hereditary disorders. But that is life, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Here’s a rather odd story you might have not heard of.

Picture: Alchetron

Josephine Myrtle Corbin was born in the year 1868 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Except for one issue, she appeared to be a regular child. Josephine was born with two pelvises, one on each side of her body. She has four legs as a result of this. She couldn’t walk on the two inner legs since they were smaller and weaker.

Her condition was dubbed “posterior dichotomy” by some, while she was dubbed “dipygus dibrachius tetrapus” by others. A doctor went on to describe her as a “female, belonging to the monocephalic, ileadelphic class of monsters by fusion,” using the word “monster.” Despite her abnormalities, Myrtle Corbin was well-known for her natural beauty and good health. Lewis Whaley depicts her as a five-foot-tall girl with light skin, curly hair, and blue eyes in the 1889 British Medical Journal.

Her Fame

Picture: Celebrities

The world became her runway when she was thirteen years old. When she worked with P.T. Barnum, Ringling Bros., and Coney Island, her popularity skyrocketed. She was dubbed “The Four-Legged Woman,” and she was described as “as gentle as summer sunshine and as cheerful as the day is long.”

Corbin used to appear strange, often clothing the extra limbs in socks and hers in shoes. Her rising fame earned her a hefty deal of $450 per week at the time.

Family Life

She married James Clinton Bicknell at the age of 19, who insisted on her leaving the sideshow to start a new life in farming – a sincere love that proved he wasn’t into her for the money. a year after her marriage, and she began to grow severely ill as a result. She got fevers all the time and couldn’t stop vomiting.

Unfortunately, the pregnancy caused her a lot of pain, so she had an abortion in the fourth month. But she quickly healed and gave birth to eight children, just four of them lived. Medical books state that she gave birth from both sides of her womb, according to medical texts. Nancy Estelle, Francis Clinton, Ruby, and Lillian J. were the names of four surviving children according to the 1910 census.

Josephine’s Death

Her family had to enclose her casket in a concrete box to protect her from grave robbers when she died on May 6th, 1928. Collectors and experts even offered her family a large sum of money for her remains. They turned down the money because they believed Josephine should be allowed to die in peace like any other person.

Josephine Myrtle Corbin’s tale is inspiring because she never let her circumstances control her life. Myrtle soared ambitiously high and lived every happiness with pride, despite the deformity obstructing her life view. Despite being labeled a freak and a monster by many, she was an intellectual woman who lived her best life. She is a source of inspiration for everyone. Her story serves as a reminder that with the right attitude, anyone can overcome any flaw.

Sources: Medium, History Collection,

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