Archive for April, 2011

Carlisle-Utah Game May Be Rescheduled

April 28, 2011

The article went on to say, “It is the intention of Carlisle to play in Los Angeles on New Year’s Day, or one week after the Salt Lake game. Denver, and it is understood San Francisco, tried to land the game with the Indians for Christmas day, but Utah drew the lucky prize.” The rest of the article dealt with Carlisle’s perceived strength that year and how Utah would field an all-star team rather than the varsity’s regular starters. Even with that, the reporter expected Carlisle to win easily.

The December 4 issue of The Red Man & Helper remained silent regarding post season play but wasn’t a bit quiet about the recent victory over Northwestern. Although that game was played on a Thursday, the celebration of it was held on Saturday, after the team returned home and after The Red Man & Helper had gone to press for the week. So, reports on the night-shirt parade, fireworks, giant bonfire, drumming and dancing to celebrate the Indians’ best season to date were published almost a week after the fact. Also reported on was a performance that night by the Dunbar Male Quarter and Hand Bell Ringers, a favorite on the Chautauqua circuit. In addition to playing songs, they recited “There Once Was a Young Lady Named Hannah” (clean version, most likely) with a special verse added as an encore:

There were some men from Carlisle

Who went out west for a tour in style.

   They played some football

   In Chicago this fall,

And they beat the Northwestern a mile.

That brought down the house.

On December 10 the Deseret News announced that the date of the Carlisle-Utah game might be changed: “Game With Carlisle Indians Likely to be Played Soon.” According to the article, Utah’s varsity players wanted to be home for Christmas rather than in Salt Lake City playing football and that Carlisle was willing to play the Saturday before Christmas. Anticipating that the date shift would happen, the Utah team began practicing in earnest. The next day’s edition of The Red Man & Helper said nothing about the upcoming trip west.

To be continued….

Carlisle to Play Utah on Christmas

April 26, 2011

The next day’s issue of Deseret News out of Salt Lake City announced the upcoming Carlisle-Utah game with more vigor but no new facts; “The University football players had better get their scalps in pretty good shape between now and Christmas, otherwise they may lose them. Word has reached the city that the Carlisle Indians are due to swoop down on the Varsity bunch that day, and if possible ‘lift their scalps.’ …Nothing definite has been decided upon but the probabilities are that a sufficient sum of money will soon be forthcoming to induce the Indians to come here. The [Christmas Day] game would be the biggest gridiron event of the season and would undoubtedly pay well.”

The November 27 issue of The Red Man & Helper included game scores for the entire regular season, including the victory the previous day, Thanksgiving Day, over Northwestern but made no mention of post season games, either possible or scheduled. The next day’s “Notes of the Gridiron” column, probably circulated via a wire service gossiped about possible post season games: “Notre Dame and Indians are talking of a post season game. Carlisle and Haskell may play Dec. 5 for the Indian championship.”

That Sunday’s Salt Lake Herald blared “Big Game for Christmas Day” and “Varsity Signs Contracts to Play Indians Here.” In part, the article stated, “This game will be none other than one in which the famous Carlisle Indians will play the principal part and the other team will be made up from the present eleven representing the state university, with the pick of the players on several of the other teams to fill in the weak spots on the varsity. The date of the game is Christmas and it will be played on Cummings field. The contracts for the game were signed several days ago by the members of the varsity athletic committee, but the facts were not given out until yesterday, The signing of the contracts by Coach Warner, for the Carlisle Indians, would indicate that there can be no hitch now and that the game will be a sure go.”

To be continued….

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game – Part 3

April 21, 2011

Now that we have a hint that Carlisle intended to make a post-season trip to the West Coast in 1903, we need to dig further to find out more. More detail about this game appeared in the November 13 edition of Reno Evening Gazette with a dateline of Salt Lake City:

“The Carlisle Indians have agreed to meet the University of Utah football eleven here on Christmas Day, providing a suitable guarantee will be put up by the local management. This will be done. The Indians are coming west for the purpose of playing in California on New Years’ Day and en route will meet a number of teams.”

This article supports the November 2nd article about Coach Holmes wanting such a contest. Whoever released this story, possibly the University of Utah Athletic Department or a booster, was very confident that both attendance at the game would be good and that someone or someones would be willing to put up the guarantee money in case ticket sales didn’t meet expectations. That someone was probably already known to the writer.

The same day’s issue of The Red Man and Helper included a little piece that ties back to an announcement made the previous month:

“One of the football players of Sherman Institute, Calif., writes the following: ‘We play with Stanford University sometime soon, and also expect to play with the Carlisle Indians. We will show them some western tricks. It will take some pretty good players to defeat us.’”

That player’s boast implied that Bemus Pierce had a pretty good squad at Sherman. The next day Sherman Institute beat Southern Cal but lost to Stanford University in a big Thanksgiving Day game played at Prager Park in Los Angeles. Scholder was out at tackle but Bemis Pierce suited up and filled in at fullback.

To be continued….

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game Part 2

April 19, 2011

Since writing the first installment on this topic, I came across some more relevant information that may play into it. The October 9, 1903 issue of The Red Man and Helper included a paragraph that, on first look, seemed to have nothing to do with Carlisle’s post-season. Assistant Coach Bemus Pierce left Carlisle on October 7 to accept a “flattering offer from Riverside, California to coach the Sherman Institute football team….” The first hint of Carlisle’s post-season trip appeared came in a “Gridiron Gossip” column published in very late October in which claimed, “The team will play at the Northwestern University, Chicago, on Thanksgiving Day, and then go farther west and will play at Pasadena, Cal., on New Year’s Day.” The Northwestern game had been the last game on the schedule for months, so the trip west was new, though not surprising, information because the Indians previously played in California after the 1899 season.

On the 2nd of November, a story came out of Salt Lake City, Utah that stated, “Coach Holmes said last night that there is some probability of his securing a game with the Carlisle Indians when the football team makes its trip to the coast. He is now in correspondence with the manager of the Indian eleven and hopes to consummate a deal whereby it will be arranged for Utah State University to play Carlisle a football game in this city in the near future.” As usual, the reporter got some details wrong. In 1903 Harvey R. Holmes was head coach of the University of Utah team, not Utah State. Also, Utah State University is located in Logan, Utah not Salt Lake City. Besides that, Utah State was called Agricultural College of Utah or, colloquially as Utah Agricultural College (UAC). The gist of the article was correct, though.

To be continued….

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game

April 16, 2011

Not too long ago, I was asked why Carlisle chose to play Utah on its post-season trip to California. After all, the teams had no history of playing each other and the University of Utah didn’t have the reputation of being a big-time football power. So, why did Pop Warner arrange to play its only game ever with Utah on December 19, 1903?

The first hint that Carlisle was planning post-season play that year was a piece in the November 13 edition of The Red Man and Helper ironically titled “Haskell’s Well Wishes” in which Haskell Superintendent H. B. Peairs was quoted as saying, “We hope now to see Northwestern [Carlisle’s last regular season opponent] beat Carlisle, as Carlisle has refused for three years to give us a game, saying that we were not in their class. If Northwestern beats them, they may come down a peg or two.”

Carlisle’s unattributed response probably came from Warner: “Haskell has never asked Carlisle for a game of football until after our schedule has been completed. We have never asserted that Haskell was not in Carlisle’s class. A comparison of the records of the two teams makes that unnecessary. We congratulate Haskell upon her good showing in the game against Chicago.” This response implies that, if Carlisle was considering post-season games, the schedule had been set already and Haskell had asked too late to get on the schedule. These words could be interpreted two different ways:

1) The comments were meant to be complimentary to Haskell as their win-loss records were comparable to Carlisle’s at that time.

2) It was a bit of a shot because, even though Haskell had a good record, its competition wasn’t at the same level as Carlisle’s. Also, Haskell had just lost to Chicago 17-11 where Carlisle had a winning record against contenders for being the Champions of the West.

Carlisle and Haskell would finally meet the next year, in 1904, but that is another story.

To be continued…

Hampton University Forges New Field — Again

April 11, 2011

When most people think of Hampton University, they consider it to be a historically black educational institution, which it is, of course. However, It is more than that. In 1878, Lt. Richard Henry Pratt convinced 17 of the younger of his former prisoners at Fort Marion, Florida to enroll in an educational program he established at what was then called Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Pratt soon disagreed with Hampton’s policy of cloistering students from the community at large and proceeded to found Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Hampton did not stop educating Indians; it continued enrolling them for decades. Their records are a source of information for people researching Carlisle students as sometimes some family members attended Hampton while others attended Carlisle. Very few appear to have attended both schools. One person, and probably more, Angel deCora, the famous Winnebago artist, was first educated at Hampton and later taught at Carlisle.

Hampton University recently became the home of something else of interest to people living in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, the eighth such installation in the U. S. and the largest in the world, completed treatment of it first group of patients in November. These men were treated for Prostate Cancer but Proton Therapy is not limited to that application as it is also used to treat a variety of other types of cancer. Their web site states that Hampton Roads leads the country in Prostate Cancer deaths. That fact might be one of the reasons the $220M facility was located where it is. That the Department of Defense ponied up $7.9M toward its costs may be because so many military personnel are stationed in the Hampton Roads area or retire there. Large numbers of Viet Nam veterans are afflicted with Prostate and other cancers due to exposure to Agent Orange. Apparently, Agent Orange affected more than just the people who handled it in their daily work or those who trudged through the terrain that had been sprayed with the defoliant.

Proton Therapy appears to be the Prostate Cancer treatment modality with the fewest side effects of the available treatment options. Next time back to football, I think.

The Lonestar Family

April 7, 2011

Frank Lonestar was listed as playing for the Columbus Panhandles, an early NFL team, in 1920. Because he died in 1915, it seems likely that someone else played under his name. Not knowing much about him prompted me to look into his background a bit. His Carlisle Indian School student file contained a lot about what he did while there and after he left, but contained little about his heritage. It stated that his parents and only sister had all died of consumption. His only brother, John, was in good health and served as Frank’s guardian. A note in his file indicated that his brother had also been a Carlisle student.

John Lonestar’s Carlisle student file listed his parents as living at the time of his 1891 enrollment and that his father’s name was also John Lonestar. His Chippewa name was listed as Ke-wa-ge-zi-qne-ba. John left Carlisle in April 1895 to escort his sister. One assumes that she was ill and was taken home at that time. Unfortunately, I don’t know what her name was.

Bonnie Brandt of Spooner, Wisconsin has found some information on the Lonestars. In 1917, John inherited property from Ge bit we gi jig due to his being the son of this person. But who was this person? Bonnie located his marriage record to Rebecca Hart in February 1899. That record listed his father as John Star (perhaps just abbreviated his name) and his mother as Sarah Shinneway, a name that is often spelled a number of different ways. Frank’s death records indicated that his father, John, was born in Wisconsin and that his mother was Sarah Shiniwa, also born in Wisconsin.

John Lonestar the younger first appeared on the censuses in 1905. The elder John Lonestar doesn’t seem to appear on any of them. That may be due from them being members of the Lost Tribe of the Chippewas. Any information on the Lonestar family would be most appreciated.

1903 Season Ender Against Sherman Institute

April 5, 2011

A while back, I was asked about the scheduling of the Carlisle-Utah game on December 19, 1903. Based on what I had read at the time, I concluded that the reason for the trip to California trip that year was to play Reliance Athletic Association on Christmas Day in San Francisco and that the game with Sherman Institute on New Year’s Day in Riverside was a side trip. Well, that may actually be the opposite of what was the case.

In 1902, Carlisle alum Bemus Pierce took the job of coaching the Sherman Institute team in Riverside, California and, apparently, took it pretty seriously. lists their record as 8-1-0 with the Stanford & Santa Ana All-Stars being the team that scored the 6 points total scored against them that season. Victories included a 34-0 thumping of Occidental College and a 28-0 thrashing of Southern California, which many call USC.

The 1903 season didn’t turn out as well. Sherman Institute lost its season opener to Pomona-Pitzer in a more lopsided score than they had defeated them the previous year. They also lost to Stanford 18-0 but beat USC 12-0. With a 4-3 record, they were called West Coast Champions—surely a dubious title that year. Regardless, they suited up to play the eastern powerhouse in a New Year’s game.

Game reports indicate that this was one of the hardest fought games of football ever played in Southern California. Carlisle scored a touchdown just three and a half minutes into the game and would have been held with that score had it not been for a disputed play. Wilson Charles broke through the Sherman left tackle for a 45-yard touchdown run that the captain of the Sherman Institute team claimed was blown dead by Umpire Hauberman. Referee Tappan allowed the play. Sherman scored six points and lost 12-6 (Correct this score on page 47 of Steckbeck). Carlisle lost quarterback James Johnson and fullback Charles Williams early in the game to injuries. Sherman’s stars were Captain Neafus, for his fast playing, and Pierce for his defense work. So, it appears that Bemus Pierce suited up to play his old comrades. His playing days weren’t completely over. 

It wouldn’t be until 1916 that USC would beat Sherman Institute in the first game in which they scored on the Indians.

More on the 1899 Carlisle-Hamilton College Game

April 1, 2011

As an alumnus of Hamilton College, John Pitaressi, a reporter for The Observer-Dispatch, is familiar with the game and posted a comment to initial message about the 1899 Carlisle-Hamilton College game although he wasn’t present at it. He has two possible reasons for why the game was scheduled:

1. Melancton Woolsey Stryker, President of Hamilton College, was very much an admirer of the Carlisle team and a big believer in football as a maker of men.

2. Hamilton Coach Edwin Sweetland, a former Cornell player, had a relationship with Pop Warner that lasted for years.

These reasons sound plausible. The financial deal that was struck surely played a part but we don’t know (as yet) what that was.

The game received considerable build up in the Syracuse newspapers (Utica is east of Syracuse, between it and Albany) because their readers could easily catch a train to attend the game and Syracusans hadn’t seen the Indians play their local college team. That didn’t happen until 1906. According to the November 5 edition of The Sunday Herald, the Indians rarely played outside of New York City and Chicago. Omitting their homes games or games played across town at Dickinson College, the previous season, in 1898, the Indians played at Ithaca and Albany in New York; New Haven, Connecticut; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Chicago, Illinois. Carlisle obviously played in many cities, including two smaller cities in New York State. In 1899, they did play two games in New York City but none, other than the Hamilton game, in smaller New York cities.

The Herald went on to say that playing the game in Utica happened because of the efforts of Congressman James S. Sherman of Utica, chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs. I suspect that Pitaressi is closer to the truth that was The Herald because Carlisle was playing most any team they felt like except Army and the War Department approved that in 1905. That 5,000 bought tickets to see the game probably made it worthwhile for both schools. Playing the Indians probably helped Hamilton improve its level of play, because the next year, 1900, they went 8-1-0 with wins over Williams and Colgate.