Seville's most famous residents, Captain Martin Van Buren Bates (1845-1919) and Anna Swan Bates (1848-1889) settled here in 1873. Their notoriety stemmed from their dramatic stature: Martin, a former Confederate soldier from Kentucky, stood 7 feet 8 inches tall; Anna, a would-be teacher from Nova Scotia, stood 7 feet 11 1/2 inches tall. They met on the carnival circuit in New Jersey in 1871 and wedded in England the same year in a ceremony orchestrated by Queen Victoria.
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Returning to America, Captain and Mrs. Bates bought a farm at the edge of Seville, built and furnished a house (razed in 1948) proportioned for their comfort, and retired to small-town agricultural life. Martin raised blooded stock and draft horses; Anna entertained and taught Sunday school. In 1879, Anna gave birth to a child who weighed a record 23 3/4 pounds, but lived only 11 hours. The Bateses and their child are interred in nearby Mound Hill Cemetery. Seville continues to celebrate their symbolic larger-than-life neighbors.