“Bunyan was a powerful giant, seven feet tall and with a stride of seven feet. He was famous throughout the lumbering districts for his great physical strength. So great was his lung capacity that he called his men to dinner by blowing through a hollow tree. When he spoke limbs sometimes fell from trees. To keep his pipe filled required the entire time of a swamper with a scoop shovel.” He could not write and ordered the supplies for his camp by drawing pictures of what he wanted. Once he ordered grindstones and got cheeses. He forgot to draw the holes. He kept the time of his men by cutting notches in a piece of wood. No undertaking was too great for Paul. Lumberjacks say that he is the man who logged the timber off North Dakota. He also scooped out the hole for Lake Superior. This he used for a reservoir as he was needing water to ice his logging roads. The Mississippi river was caused by the overturning of a water tank when his ox slipped.
HIS LOGGING CREW
His logging crew on the Big Onion river, "the winter of the blue snow", in about 1862 or 1865, was so large that the men were divided into three gangs. One of these was always going to work, a second was at work and a third was always returning to camp from work. This kept the cooks busy, for when they had finished preparing breakfast for one crew they had to prepare dinner for another and supper for a third. To sharpen their axes the men sometimes rolled boulders down steep hillsides and running after them ground the blades against the revolving stones. Jim Liverpool was a great jumper. Planting his feet on the bank of a river he could jump across it in three jumps. Black Dan McDonald, Tom McCann, Dutch Jake, Red Murphy, Curley Charley, Yellow-head and Patsy Ward were other well known members of his daredevil crew. One of the men had two sets of teeth which could saw through anything. One night, while walking in his sleep, he encountered a grindstone and before he awoke chewed it up.