Guyon’s Groupie

Groupies are not a new phenomenon. Today I came across a 1903 article in the Lincoln Daily News with a Denver dateline with a sensational headline. FLED HER HAPPY HOME FOR INDIAN HALFBACK was followed by Beautiful Young Pueblo Girl Shows Her Infatuation for Guyan[sic], the Chippewa on Haskell Team. The article began, “In love with handsome Charles Guyan[sic], the full-blooded Chippewa halfback on the Haskell Indian football team, pretty Bertha Hodkinson of Pueblo, ran away from home and the team and Guyan were shadowed by relatives, with the result that the girl was caught today.”

The football hero in question is Charles Guyon (aka Wahoo) who enrolled at Carlisle in 1905. A detective was assigned to him the entire time he was in The Mile-High City for the game with Denver University. The reporter thought that the girl, “who is but 17 years old…had evidently been warned, for she did not join him then, nor attempted to do so until noon today.”

Guyon told Detective Emrich that he hadn’t seen Bertha since August when she wrote him to ask for his autograph. “He became acquainted with her in a casual way while travelling with the team last year, and her sixteen years were greatly impressed with his manly charms. ‘But I don’t want to be mixed up in any trouble,’ said Guyan. ‘I know these young girls, and if she comes here I’ll point her out to you. I don’t want trouble.’” When she appeared at the Metropole Hotel and asked for him, Guyon telephoned the detective who rushed to the hotel and arrested her.

Bertha told a different story, “No, I wasn’t stuck on the Indian. I only came to Denver to see the game and visit my friend, Mrs. Eisenhart of 1011 Thirteenth Street.” She claimed that it was always her intention to return home after the game. Mrs. Eisenhart said that she had no previous acquaintance with Miss Hodkinson, that the girl merely rented a room in her house while she was in town. The girl said that she was 18 years old and free to travel if she wishes. She had also bought a round-trip ticket.

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