Cawker City's ball of twine was started in 1953 by a man named Frank Stoeber. There was a bit of a competition in the early days between this ball of twine and the one in Minnesota. The Minnesota twine ball was in the lead for a while, but the competition shifted after the respective deaths of the men who started each ball. The people of Darwin, Minnesota decided to let the ball stay as it was so it would remain the largest ball of twine rolled by one man, whereas the people of Cawker City decided to carry on Mr. Stoeber's work and continue rolling the twine. As a result, the Cawker City ball is still growing. Every August, in fact, the city holds a twine-a-thon, where residents and visitors alike are allowed to continue rolling twine around the ball.
Today the only danger to its title as Largest Ball of Twine is the threat that it may some day no longer be classified as a "ball." It has long since become too heavy to lift, even with a forklift, so it is no longer possible to wind more twine around the bottom. That means, as more twine is wound, that the ball is growing wider faster than it is growing taller. You can even see how some of the twine has sloughed down and is now bulging along the bottom.