Under the Big Top

Identifying the starters and frequent substitutes went like a breeze. The reserves didn’t go nearly as well. They are always harder to determine because they get so much less press than the varsity regulars. Their names were misspelled worse than the regulars and their names appeared in the school newspaper less frequently.

 The first game the Reserves played was against Mercersburg Academy. The September 27 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer listed some unfamiliar players’ names or names similar to those of students who had already left. Achambault, Matlock, Crow, Wynaco, Knox, Kettle, and Leo required some research. Quarterback Knox was the most interesting. He seems to be Augustine Knocks-Off-Two. Crow turned out to be Boyd Crowe.  

Dickinson College’s prep school, Conway Hall, was next. The October 5 Philadelphia Inquirer had Robbin playing quarterback. The closest name I could find to that was Robinson, of which several attended Carlisle. George Robinson appeared to be the most likely one, although he was only seventeen.

The Lebanon Daily News of October 13 listed Quick Bear at left end, Crow at quarterback, and Knox at right halfback against Albright College. Ernest Quick Bear had played for the Indians but was gone by then but younger brother Levi was there. Their father Reuben Quick Bear was among the first bunch of Sioux students to come from the Rosebud Reservation in 1879.

Robbin again substituted for Crow against Bloomsburg as reported in the October 26 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

No new names were introduced in the coverage of the Hillman Academy game.

The Philadelphia Inquirer introduced several new names in its coverage of the November 13 game with Muhlenberg. Eastman, and Gibson were resolved fairly quickly. Oneida and Pigtop weren’t. The Allentown Democrat added some confusion by spelling the latter two as O’Neida and F. Bigtop. It also sent in Indian for White instead of Eastman. Indian Jack was the closest I got and he left in the late 1880s. No student was named Oneida, by either spelling, but numerous Oneidas had played on the football team.

Finally, The Philadelphia Inquirer added Moy and Deerfoot and continued Bigtop for the Holmesburg contest. Moy couldn’t be George May because he hadn’t arrived at the school yet. Perhaps it was Thomas Montoya. Pigtop was Fred Big Top.  His signature gives a hint as to his name’s meaning.

New Information!!!

While browsing the October 23, 1914 edition of The Carlisle Arrow, I came across the following:

Grant White, better known as “Indian,” is the first Carlisle Indian ever to cross the goal line at Albright College, but despite that fact, the second team was defeated.

Note that the varsity generally played Albright College in Carlisle. Now we know that Grant White was the player listed in the 1913 and 1914 line-ups and that he was the person The Philadelphia Inquirer had referred to as “Indian.”

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