Looking back to 1946

Mad Marshall’s Fiancée Takes Over on Flagpole

Herald-Journal: June 27, 1946 - COSHOCTON, Ohio (June 26, 1946) – Mad Marshall Jacobs was out of the running for the flagpole sitting championship today, but his girlfriend, Lonnie Cosmar, the cause of his grounding after 27 days aloft, was up there doing his sitting for him and hoping he would be back Sunday to marry her.

Lonnie, according to spectators, is doing a pretty job of sitting – although she could not quite make it to the top of the 176-foot pole.

Marshall put himself out of the running late last night. Lonnie a flush with the prospects of a marriage at the pole’s top Sunday with the country listening in on the radio, had just told him she was going to Cleveland to arrange for a bridal suite.

Mad Marshall said she was not – that once they were married and he had broken the record by staying on a flagpole until July 4, he wanted privacy.

They both refused to give an inch. So the human fly clambered down his pole and departed in a huff. Lonnie, possibly his ex-sweetheart now, assayed the situation hurriedly and talked the ground crew into hoisting her up almost to the top in a bosun’s chair where they left her dangling.


‘Quiet’ Wedding

to be held for flagpole sitter today

St. Petersburg Times: June 30, 1946 - COSHOCTON, Ohio – Latest reports from the most reliable source indicated yesterday that June Bride Lonnie Cosmar would not be left waiting at the flagpole after all.

Mad Marshall Jacobs called the United Press and said earlier rumors he would not wed Lonnie today atop his 176-foot pole at Coshocton fairgrounds were false.

The wedding will be a quiet affair with nobody there but the preacher, four bridesmaids, several newsreel companies, a national radio network, a national magazine, a blimp and probably several thousand spectators.

Plans have been made for the bride to be hoisted to the high-altitude altar clad in a white satin gown and a flowering veil, with the traditional bride’s bouquet of roses.

Mayor Stuart Hays of Warsaw, Ohio, a veteran showman, will read the ceremony from the ground with the aid of a public address system. The bridesmaids will remain on the ground at the base of the pole.

Jacobs came down from his 16-inch-square perch on top of the pole Tuesday night although he had planned to stay up until July 4. He changed his plans because his managers arranged for “a public honeymoon,” he said. While Marshall wandered over the state as far as Toledo, Lonnie climbed the pole and waited for his return.

The flagpole sitter said he did not object to a public wedding but he did want privacy on his honeymoon.

“I was on exhibition on that pole for 26 days. That was enough,” he said.



Pole Sitter’s Wedding

Helicopter views rehearsal atop 176-foot mast

LIFE Magazine: July 15, 1946 - Last week in Coshocton, Ohio, the U.S. turned another corner in its return to peacetime normalcy. A lovesick flagpole sitter, named “Mad Marshall” Jacobs, 37, who had been sitting on his 176-foot roost for 26 days to revive interest in his art, decided to get married. He came down to earth, proposed to his fiancée, Yolanda (“Lonnie”) Cosmar, 21, a waitress from nearby Clowville, Ohio, that they get married on the flagpole. She said yes and set June 30 as the date. On the afternoon of their wedding, they were hoisted up to the 40-inch diameter perch for a rehearsal. While the justice of the peace stood on the ground, talking through a loudspeaker, LIFE’s cameraman hovered nearby in a helicopter, the only vantage point from which to photograph the big event properly. That night they were really married before 1,700 paying spectators. Mad’s perch, which cost him $3,000 of his war-plant earnings, had all the comforts of home, including a telephone, an electric hot plate, and a chemical outhouse, but the newlyweds decided to come down that evening and spend their honeymoon on the ground.

Posted on February 2, 2018 .