John Russeau Part 3

A 1951 Rice Lake Chronotype article about john Russeau stated that he had been at Carlisle Indian School from 1906 to 1910. The Carlisle Arrow article about him coaching the Painters football team in 1909 seems to support that he was involved in the football program and that he was at Carlisle in the 1909-10 school year. Further research is needed to learn more about his time there. The 1951 article also included some of Russeau’s observations of Pop Warner that, to my knowledge, haven’t been reported elsewhere but are consistent with what is known about “The Old Fox” including what he has written about himself.

Russeau described Warner as “a strict disciplinarian who would take no excuses for ‘holding back’ by his players and who enforce rigorous training by the whole team. His favorite penalty for rule infractions, according to John, was a long cross-country run, with the player in full football uniform. ‘Pop’ made sure the delinquent did not lag in his run—from one to five or ten miles—by following along on horseback.”

While this might seem far-fetched, it is quite possible because horses could still be found in the stables on Carlisle Barracks. The Model T Ford was not put into production until 1908 and few could afford automobiles before that. Cavalry officer Major William A. Mercer was superintendent of Carlisle Indian School part of the time Russeau was there and kept his horse on campus. Mercer’s successor, Moses Friedman, also had horses—or at least his wife did. The Carlisle Arrow of May 28, 1909 reported that Mrs. Friedman’s horse fell on her and broke her thigh bone. Also, horse were used on the school’s farms and were likely readily available for Warner’s use. It is quite possible that Mercer or Friedman welcomed Warner’s riding as exercise for their horses.

To be continued…

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