More Proof That Warner Wasn’t First Carlislian To Own A Car

While browsing through Two Hundred Years in Cumberland County for something unrelated to Carlisle Indian School, I stumbled across a short article that, although moderately interesting in itself, brought an entirely different article to mind. In 2008, I wrote about an article written by a James C. McGowan that is loaded with falsehoods. Honest errors are one thing but some of these seem to be made up from whole cloth. To make matters worse, this false information has been disseminated from, a paid “educational” web site that flogs subscriptions for schools, districts and individuals, since 2007.

The article that caught my attention today was titled, “Autoists Arrested.” In July, 1906, G. Wilson Swartz, Esq. and Albert E. Caufman were brought before Burgess Brindle for breaking Carlisle Borough’s five-mile-per-hour speed limit. None of the police officers who observed the drivers would testify that Swartz “goes faster than some of the drivers of the big machines….” This is further evidence to show that McGowan’s claims about Warner being the “first man in town to own an automobile” is patently false. One wonders about McGowan’s motives for promulgating such unfounded claims. Accuracy is something about which McGowan and, by extension, have little concern.

McGowan wrote the following in a section of the article that attacked Pop Warner:

As the Redmen beat one top team after another, including Pitt, Navy, Yale, Syracuse, and Rutgers, the Athletic Fund swelled with cash. Pop Warner took to wearing diamond jewelry, and he became the first man in town to own an automobile.

Anyone the least bit familiar with Carlisle Indian School football knows that the Indians never beat Yale. Even those who are familiar would be hard pressed to name a year in which Carlisle beat Rutgers because there is no record of the two teams playing each other. Warner wasn’t living in Carlisle in 1906 and didn’t return to live there until 1907, at which time he had an automobile. Little is known about that car but Warner was known for buying inexpensive old clunkers and tinkering with them until he got them running. Regardless, this piece further demonstrates that other Carlislians had autos well before Pop Warner.

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