S. G. Brinkley, a farmer-teacher of Magnetic City, NC, couldn't grow a beard till he was 23 years old.  Then, as if making up for lost time, his beard began to grow at an extremely rapid rate. Growing tired of constantly cutting and shaving it, he decided to leave it alone to see just how long it would grow.  Before the year was over, his beard was down to his feet and measured 5 feet 4 inches! He claimed that, at its longest, his whiskers measured 6 feet 2 inches but that he cut it a bit so that it was more manageable.
   When not displaying his hirsute appendage, Mr. Brinkley was in the habit of concealing his beard in a sort of bag that he placed beneath his shirt.

It is believed the photo below was taken in 1912.
1850 - 1929
This photo is from a gravestone found in Buladean, NC