John Russeau Part 2

The school newspaper items establish that John Russeau (Russian) was indeed at Carlisle Indian School in 1909. Perusing the index of Carlisle Indian School student records uncovered a file for John Roussian, Chippewa from Wisconsin. This could be our man. However, it will be necessary to go to the National Archives in Washington, DC to see it or wait for the Archives to make a copy of the file and send it to me. Contents of student files vary widely, so exactly what I will find is unclear. Frequently, one finds student cards for each three or five-year enrollment (students often re-enrolled for further schooling), that include information such as arrival and departure dates, a parent’s name, whether parents are alive or dead, and the places the student went on outings. Such information would be helpful in this case.

Louie Foss of Rice Lake sent me copies of old Rice Lake Chronotype articles about John Russeau that were accompanied by photographs. I showed the articles to Richard Tritt, photoarchivist at Cumberland County Historical Society. He had recently looked at a couple of team photos from The Philadelphia Press, one of which was of the entire team not just the starters and most-often-used substitutes. On the left end of the front row was a person named Russian. One of the photos in a Chronotype article was the same person cropped from the team photo and blown up a bit. This shows that John Russian of Carlisle and John Russeau were one and the same person.

Richard noticed that the lettermen generally wore different jerseys than did the players who didn’t usually get into varsity games. The new jerseys worn by the starters that year did not have the quilted padding on the shoulders as did the older ones. Russian’s jersey had the padded shoulders which implied that he didn’t get much playing time with the varsity. He may have played a lot in the second team’s games but records for them are sketchy.

To be continued…

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