Edward F. Boxwell of Hoisington, Kansas, better known to his friends as “Buddie,” was a man of 6’3” and 289 lbs and a wealthy retired butcher. More importantly Boxwell just plain didn’t like Republicans. He was a staunch William Jennings Bryan man, Buddie made a wager with a friend in 1896. If Bryan won, he’d receive a $1000, and if Bryan lost, Boxwell wouldn’t cut his hair until a Democrat once more sat in the chair in the oval office. Bryan lost to McKinley, and Boxwell was as good as his word. He didn’t cut his hair in 1900, when McKinley won a second term, or in 1904, when Roosevelt won, nor when Taft won in 1908.
In 1912, when Wilson won, Boxwell received an invitation to the inauguration. By then, his hair was 42 inches long, which he kept either tucked in a sombrero, or hidden behind the back of his coat. At his arrival in Washington, some 500 barbers expressed an interest in cutting his curly locks, and letters poured in from across the country from hair aficionados, wanting the remnants.
Well, Wilson was inaugurated, but Boxwell decided not to spend the two bits for the shave and a haircut. “I gave my word as a gentleman not to have my hair cut until a Democrat was in the White House,” Boxswell explained. “I have kept my word as a gentleman, that’s all. I’m free to get a hair cut, but I guess I’ll let it grow for a few years more, anyway.”