Archive for September, 2021

Who Was Long Horn?

September 19, 2021

After finishing what I hoped was the final draft of my complete history of the Carlisle Indian football team and waiting for my editor’s comments, I started working on the appendices. Perhaps most important is the listing of the young men who played on the varsity each year. Aware of the difficulties Steckbeck had in compiling rosters given the incomplete records that existed both then and now, I rolled up my sleeves and dug into the task. It’s been tedious to the extreme and I’m sure I’m missing people but records are sketchy, especially for the early years. When I found a complete listing of the 1905 squad in the school newspaper and a photo of the entire team with a legend identifying all the players, I thought I had it made. The school newspaper article even included the first names of the players, something rarely done on the sports pages. While crosschecking against game write-ups in newspapers from across the country, I came across a curious little item.

A piece about injuries in The Pittsburgh Press included a couple of seemingly innocuous sentences: “Hunt is taking the place of the injured Kennedy at center. Big Long Horn is a new sub-center and passes the ball well.” I had no idea who Long Horn was, big or otherwise, having not heard of him before and not seeing his name on any roster. Searches of the school records for Longhorn or Long Horn returned only a reference to an assistant carpenter at the Kiowa Reservation in 2010. Line-ups in newspaper coverage of games throughout the season included Longhorn either starting or backing-up a line position, mostly center, starting with the The Philadelphia Inquirer’s coverage of  the Indians’ first game against P. P. P. Y. M. C. A. of Columbia, PA and immediately followed by The New York Times’ coverage of the Villanova game. The next week, The Philadelphia Inquirer did a most unusual thing: it published a complete roster of Carlisle players at that time, all 54 of them by name, age, tribe, and home state. Long Horn was listed as a 24-year-old Seneca from New York.  The October 21 Boston Evening Transcript also mentioned him: “Long Horn, right guard on the second eleven, has lately developed as a good centre, and the coaches believe that he will make a sure hand at passing the ball.” A week later, he was getting playing time at center against Penn.

The Pittsburgh Press shed some light on the issue before the Harvard game: “Scott, whose Indian Name is Long Horn, is badly bruised as a result of the Dickinson game….” Thus, the mystery is solved. Long Horn was Frank Scott’s Indian Name. A quick look at The Philadelphia Inquirer’s coverage of the Villanova game had Scott at left guard and didn’t mention Long Horn. Pittsburgh Daily Post had Scott playing center against Dickinson College and also made no mention of Long Horn. That both names don’t appear together in any line-up is further evidence Scott and Long Horn are the same person. But other such mysteries may still exist.