Archive for November, 2020

Delos Lone Wolf, the model

November 15, 2020

While researching the early Carlisle Indian School football teams, I came across a piece about Delos Lone Wolf, Kiowa name Gooě-pah-gah, that had nothing to do with football. He arrived at Carlisle on July 4, 1892 for a 5-year enrollment. That October, he went out on an unusual outing to Newburgh, New York but not to a farm or ordinary business. He was to be a model for Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, a sculptor known for historically accurate realist sculptures illustrating American history. He is perhaps best known for his bronze equestrian statues of George Meade, John F. Reynolds, and John Sedgwick. The latter statue incorporated fine details such as dents in the General’s scabbard and tiny stitching on the horse blanket. Also at Gettysburg is his bust of Abraham Lincoln commemorating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

In 1892, Bush-Brown was working on a statue to exhibit at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to be held in Chicago. The subject he had in mind was an Indian bison hunt. To make his statue as realistic as possible, he brought a bison and an Indian pony east to study. How he came to know Lone Wolf is unknown. At 22, Delos was a perfect physical specimen, exactly what Bush-Brown wanted for his scene. He left Carlisle for Newburgh on October 10 and returned on November 24, his work presumably done. A year later, Capt. Pratt rescinded his order against playing interscholastic football, giving Lone Wolf the opportunity to excel at that sport.

More on Joe LittleTwig

November 2, 2020

When I last wrote about Joe Little Twig, in 2016, I could say nothing about his life before playing professional football in Ohio with any certainty. He reputedly went to Carlisle Indian School but I could find no documentation of his having ever been there. This is not that unusual because the records of a large number of students were lost when the school closed unexpectedly and Carlisle Barracks was transitioned back to the army in a rushed fashion.

Today that changed when I found a photo of him in a football uniform. The photo is in the Winnishiek collection held by Cumberland County Historical Society. William Winnishiek and Joe Little Twig both played for the Oorang Indians and may have been friends at Carlisle. Little Twig is wearing a Carlisle Indian School uniform in the photo, so he must have played football on some level at Carlisle.

His obituary and Ohio Soldier Grave Registration give conflicting dates of birth: 1893 and 1897 and dates of service in the U.S. Army: 1916 to 1922 and 1917 to 1921. His obituary lists Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Little Twig of Hogansburg, New York as his parents. Since he would have been no more than 46 years old when he died in 1939, it was quite possible for his parents to still be alive. The obit also said that he first played football at Cattaraugus Indian School near Buffalo before attending Carlisle.

We now have a couple more pieces to the Joe Little Twig puzzle.