One-Legged Poughkeepsie Man Walked to Florida in 91 Days
Walking 25 miles per day, a Poughkeepsie man made it all the way to Florida... and back.
Ralph D. Tompkins is the incredible Hudson Valley man who made headlines about his incredible journey. Those headlines, however, were from the year 1912.
According to the archives of Charlottesville's Daily Progress, the man was on his return journey through Virginia on October 5, 1912 when he stopped to perform at a local vaudeville stage. His performances along his route, according to the article, are how Tompkins funded his walk up and down the east coast.
This wasn't the one-legged man's first long trip. The year before he reportedly walked from Poughkeepsie to Chicago and back again. That trip took him 99 days.
Of course, there were no GPS devices around in 1912 to prove Tompkins' claims. Skeptics may assume that the Poughkeepsie man simply hitched rides and told his tall tale about walking to help promote his vaudeville act at each stop along the way. But Tompkins put his money where his one leg was, challenging anyone to beat his record of walking three quarters of a mile in just five and a half minutes. As far as we know, no one defeated him.
So here's to the long forgotten one-legged Poughkeepsie man who walked his way all the way to Florida and back. You have to admit that it was quite a feat (or foot if we're being more accurate).