Alice Doherty poses with her family in a Victorian photograph, 1900s. (She suffered from hypertrichosis)

Kane Khanh | History
May 19, 2024

Alice Elizabeth Doherty (the Minnesota Woolly Girl) is a person born with a rare condition known as hypertrichosis. She was born in Minneapolis on March 14, 1887, to normal parents who had a son and another daughter who were also normal. At birth, Alice was covered all over in two-inch long, silky blonde hair.

Alice Elizabeth Doherty began her exhibition career at the age of two. “Alice, as she is called, is only two years of age, but is as bright as a silver dollar and shows intelligence far beyond her years,” commented a writer in Waukesha, Wisconsin. “She has pretty blue eyes, and is as frolicsome as a kitten.” She also, at the time, had no teeth, and no signs that she would ever grow any.
By the age of 5, she was touring the Midwest with her mother, playing storefront engagements with Professor Weller’s One-Man Band.

Alice’s family relocated to Dallas, Texas, sometime between 1900 and 1910, and it was here that Alice retired in 1915. She passed away on June 13, 1933, of unknown causes, at the age of just 46.