Archive for the ‘Albert Exendine’ Category

Fielding Yost Offered Carlisle Job

September 8, 2009

As always, when I search for information on one topic, I find unrelated, but interesting information on something else. This time I came across an article in the January 14, 1907 edition of The Lake County Times about the state of Michigan athletics—the University of Michigan, that is. The article, dateline Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 13, discussed the University’s dissatisfaction with conference rule changes. The changes apparently dealt with eligibility and would hurt its track team. “Michigan appears to be hit the hardest by this rule for she will lose five of last year’s conference point winners. These five men took no less than forty-two points In the last meet, and now that they are out It looks as though Michigan will not shine very brightly in the conference this spring”

 “The blow has been dealt and if Michigan remains in the conference to be dictated to by such colleges as Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota and Indiana, with whom she has, absolutely no athletic relations except during the one-day general conference track meet, there will be the sorest bunch of collegians in Ann Arbor that ever was collected together.” As the reporter expected, Michigan dropped out of the conference and stayed out for about a decade. However, the article included a tidbit of more interest to me.

“Yost, Fitzpatrick and Baird have ambitions. Fielding Yost draws $3,500. He had an offer of $5,000 to go as coach for the Carlisle Indian School and turned it down because things were agreeable here.” The last statement may or may not have been true. Had Carlisle offered Yost the job, the offer had to have been tendered much earlier. Articles were printed in late December, 1906 announcing that Warner was leaving Cornell and returning to Carlisle. Also, Albert Exendine wrote that he had been informed late in the 1906 season that Warner would be returning. This was before Fielding Yost officiated the Carlisle-Vanderbilt game. I wouldn’t say that Yost and Warner feuded but it is clear that Yost did not like Warner. Whether this incident factored into that any way is not known.

The Start of Jim Thorpe’s Athletic Career

August 25, 2009

In a 1966 interview by reporter Virgil Gaither of The Lawton Constitution-Morning Press, Paul LaRoque (pronounced La Rock) shared some stories about his time at the Carlisle Indian School. At the time of the interview, the 72-year-old former star was living in Minneapolis but was in Oklahoma to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. One of his favorite stories was about Jim Thorpe:

 “I’ll never forget the first day we noticed him on the campus. It was in the spring and we were working out for track. Several athletes had been high jumping and the bar was at an even five feet. No one had cleared that height and we were taking a breather when Thorpe strolled by.

 “He was picking up paper around the field as part of his job to pay his way through school. Jim looked at the cross-bar, backed off about three steps and sailed over the bar without much effort.

 “Warner was standing several yards away talking with one of the athletes and didn’t see Thorpe’s jump. We all saw it, but kept quiet because we didn’t want him to take our place on the squad.

 “However, the trainer saw Jim’s leap and raced over to tell Pop. The coach went over and measured the bar, then hollered at Thorpe, who had already walked over to the other side of the field.

 “He asked Jim if he could jump that high again and Thorpe walked over and cleared the bar again with plenty of room to spare.

 “Pop told Thorpe to forget about picking up paper and report for track the next day. That’s the way he started his athletic career at Carlisle.”

Problems with Proofs

July 4, 2009

Proofs for the text and cover of Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals arrived Thursday. The purpose of the proof is to determine that everything is perfect before printing the batch of books. The cover looks great to me. The colors are vibrant and Bob Carroll’s drawings of the players’ faces provides an attractive background for the text on the back cover. There is a problem with the text, however.

Rather than taking up space in the narrative with dry demographic about the players, I put this information in boxes, one for each player. The boxes were shaded in light gray for visual interest. Herein lies the problem. Five of the fifteen demographic data boxes appear to have no shading. The boxes looked perfect in the advance reading copies (ARCs), but those were produced by a different printer. Panic set in immediately. The PDFs sent to the printer look perfect. The printer’s technician informed us that the shading was done at 9% and they accept nothing below 15%. That doesn’t answer the question as to why two-thirds of the boxes were shaded correctly.

As it turns out, the boxes that printed correctly have graphics with transparency on the same page but the bad ones don’t. It appears that the printer’s software or equipment does something different in these cases. Be that as it may, I have to submit new PDFs with 15% gray shading. That means that I will probably have to pay the graphic designer for his time and the printer fees for resubmitting a new PDF and for a new proof. I also have to wait several days to see if this solves the problem.


What If Jim Thorpe Didn’t Return to Carlisle?

June 16, 2009

Ever consider what would have happened to Jim Thorpe had he not returned to Carlisle in 1911? Pop Warner and Moses Friedman have received a lot of criticism, much of it earned, for their handling of the Jim Thorpe scandal. But what if they hadn’t let him return? It appears that Friedman didn’t really want him back anyway. How differently would things have turned out if, after Albert Exendine bumped into Thorpe, in Anadarko, Oklahoma in the summer of 1911, Warner didn’t want him back?

It is curious that that Jim Thorpe, a 3rd string All American in 1908, sat out the 1909 and 1910 seasons without being recruited by a major football power or even a small Oklahoma college. My sense is that he had had all the schooling he wanted and wasn’t prepared academically for college. Other Carlislians who went on to play football at major colleges generally attended the Dickinson College Preparatory School prior to enrolling in college. Thorpe hadn’t done that. In the early 1920s, he mentioned that numerous colleges had approached him about enrolling in their institutions when he was playing college football. However, that likely happened after he returned to Carlisle in 1911.

It is highly unlikely that Jim Thorpe would have played in a high enough profile program to be named 1st string All America in football in 1911 if he didn’t return to Warner and Carlisle. Perhaps he would have made the Olympic team if found a trainer and a club of the caliber necessary to prepare him to make the team. It’s possible but seems unlikely, especially since he hadn’t taken steps to find a trainer or club before returning to Carlisle less than a year before the Olympic Games.

So, my conclusion is that Jim Thorpe profited from returning to Carlisle. Losing the medals was a price he paid for that decision, but he still made out better in the long run than he would have if he had stayed in Oklahoma. Conflicting opinions are welcomed.

Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals

May 7, 2009

Galleys for Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals, the first book in my upcoming series on Native American Sports Heroes, have arrived. At about 160,000 words, Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is too long for most middle school and many high school students to read. So, I am splitting it up into a series by state, the first of which is Oklahoma because it has the largest Indian population of any state. It also was home to many of the Carlisle stars. Splitting up the book into smaller volumes has another advantage; it makes room for some more players. Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs got to be so long that I had to stop adding players, but now I have places to tell their stories. For example, Henry Roberts and Mike Balenti  are in Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals but aren’t in Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs.

The new book will be in hardback so that it is attractive to libraries and is under 200 pages long, including the index and appendices. My hope is that school and public libraries across Oklahoma, and elsewhere, add this book to their collections. A book reviewer suggested that grandparents may be interested in giving this book to their grandchildren as gifts. I would like that because my readers to date tend to be over 40. Young people should know about the lives and achievements of Carlisle Indian School students.

Like my other books, Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals is heavily illustrated with rarely seen period photos and cartoons. Bob Carroll of the Professional Football Researchers Association even drew portraits of all the players for the book. This book will be released in September.


Pete Hauser’s Demise Clarified

April 8, 2009

Today I received a fax of the front page of the July 22, 1935 edition of the Pawhuska Daily Journal Capital from the Oklahoma Historical Society. The combination news article/obituary clears up the questions regarding Pete Hauser’s untimely demise.

Pete spent the evening of Saturday, July 20, 1935 at a baseball game in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with two friends. Pete, Chauncey Archiquette and George Frass were about 4 miles out of Pawhuska on the Bartlesville Road when their car had a flat tire. For reasons unstated, they parked Archiquette’s car in the middle of the road. A good guess might be that at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning in rural Oklahoma in 1935, they didn’t expect any traffic. As Pete was tightening the lug nuts, Archiquette stood in front of the car and waved at an oncoming vehicle to pass it on the left because there was more room. Miss Violet Stuart of Bartlesville was driving the oncoming car which was owned by her passenger, A. C. Applegate of Dewey. She attempted to pass the stopped car on its right and clipped its left front fender and killed Hauser by breaking his neck.

Pete and Chauncey were long-time friends as both had attended and played football at Haskell Institute and Carlisle Indian School. Pete was living with Chauncey at the time of the accident and was employed by a Depression-era government program, the Indian Emergency Conservation Work, a division of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Pete was active in the American Legion after serving at Fort McArthur, Texas during WWI. His Legion Funeral Rites were held at Johnson Chapel. A Legion quartet sang at his funeral and a rifle squad fired a salute at graveside. Honorary pallbearers included old football chums Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe, Albert Exendine, Walter Mathews and Archiquette.

Carolyn Williams was essentially correct in her understanding of the accident.

Snookered by Wauseka

February 26, 2009

I just found out that, like almost everyone else interested in the Carlisle Indian School, I had been snookered. The trickster is a major figure in American Indian lore and another one has been brought to my attention. I bought the idea that Wauseka was Emil Hauser’s Cheyenne name. Now I learn that he made it up as a joke.

Pete and Emil Hauser were friends of Mike Balenti as was Albert Exendine and they visited him in his home in Oklahoma after all left Carlisle. It was during one of these visits that the joke was shared and Balenti’s son heard it. It turns out that Emil Hauser made up the name on a lark and it stuck. Knowing this raises a lot of questions, the answers for which can only be speculated.

When and where he coined his name is not known, but something is known about a similar action taken by his old teammate Charles Guyon. When Guyon and Hauser were both attending, and playing football for, Haskell Institute, Guyon would play summer baseball in the Midwest. When interviewed by one-too-many a newspaper reporter who couldn’t pronounce his Chippewa name, Charlie gave him the name of the town in which he was playing at the time, Wahoo, Nebraska. When he played at Carlisle he went by both Wahoo and Charles Guyon. In later years he was often referred to as Charlie Wahoo or Chief Wahoo.

Emil Hauser may have taken a page from his old teammate’s book and appropriated a geographic name as his own. A quick search identified towns in Illinois and Wisconsin named Wauseka and a county in Minnesota named Waseca. The truth probably won’t ever be known but this is a plausible explanation, particularly because a friend of his had previously done something similar.

Pistol Pete

January 29, 2009


It is well known that Albert Exendine’s father, Jasper, was a marshal for Hanging Judge Parker. Less well known is that Jasper adopted Frank Eaton Jr. after he was orphaned by six Regulators, former Quantrill Raiders, who murdered his father in cold blood when Frank Jr. was eight years old. The year was 1868 and Mose Beaman, his father’s friend, said to Frank, “My boy, may an old man’s curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father.” Eaton learned to mold bullets and to shoot accurately. When he was 12 or 15, stories vary, he went to Ft. Gibson, OK to learn more about handling a gun from the cavalry men stationed there. He entered a shooting competition with the best marksmen at the fort and won. The post commander, Colonel Copinger, dubbed him “Pistol Pete,” a moniker he would carry for the rest of his life. He became a deputy marshal for Judge Parker and went after his father’s killers. He shot five of them but someone beat him to the sixth, apparently after catching him cheating at cards.

Pistol Pete was reputed to pack the fastest guns in Indian Territory and to have 15 notches on his gun by the end of his career as a lawman that covered most of his life. Part of his eccentric attire was a cross he hung around his neck that he claimed was given to him by a girlfriend and was given credit for saving his life by deflecting a bullet. Of it he said, “I’d rather have the prayers of a good woman in a fight than half a dozen hot guns: she’s talking to Headquarters.”

In 1923 Oklahoma A&M (today’s Oklahoma State) students wanted a new mascot to replace the tiger that had been borrowed from Princeton. When asked if he would model, he agreed. The Pistol Pete mascot has been associated with Oklahoma State ever since. Pistol Pete himself attended many functions over a 30-year period signing autographs, posing for photographs, and telling tales about the Old West as long as people would listen. He was in and out of Stillwater when his adopted brother, Albert Exendine, coached the football team from 1930-35. One can imagine what their relationship must have been like.

Frank Eaton Jr.

Frank Eaton Jr.

Common Misconceptions About Carlisle Indian School

January 26, 2009

Google Alerts inform me of “news” on the internet regarding Lone Star Dietz, most of which I ignore. Although the most recent alert was a message largely concerned with Moses Friedman, that blog contains some misconceptions that are probably widely held. Matt is understandably confused by some of the entries on Friedman’s draft card (below) but those inconsistencies aren’t the worst problems. The misconceptions I consider serious are discussed in the paragraphs that follow.

  1. He could pass off the Moses as a given name perhaps, but not Friedman, especially considering that students kept an anglicized version of their Native name.

While it is true that some students were assigned anglicized versions of their original names, my experience researching Carlisle Indian School football players has been that the Anglicized names were generally assigned to an elder in the family, often at the agency in which the family was recorded. By the time Carlisle started fielding a football team in the 1890s, there had been so much intermarriage between Indians and whites that the majority of players I researched carried the family name of a white ancestor. For a small example, I seriously doubt if any of the six Carlisle Indians who were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame carried Anglicized names, bastardized perhaps, as in the case of Guyon. Those names are:

a.     Albert Exendine (may have originally been Oxendine)

b.    Joe Guyon (probably Guion originally)

c.     James Johnson

d.    Ed Rogers

e.    Jim Thorpe

f.      Gus Welch

Had Friedman’s father married an Indian woman, he could easily been named Moses Friedman, although I am unaware of any evidence that indicates that he has Indian heritage. The point is that his name said nothing, one way or the other, about whether he had Indian heritage or not. Another point is that the Anglicized versions that are known for these men, Bright Path (Jim Thorpe) for one, are nothing like the names they were known by at Carlisle.

  1. My initial thoughts were of Lone Star Dietz, but why would he attempt to pass himself off as Indian with such a German sounding name?

As shown by the sample of European names above, by the 1890s a mixed-blood Indian could carry almost any European surname. Germans may have intermarried less than the French, English and Irish, but surely some did. Having the last name of Dietz (or Deitz as his father spelled it), is probably the weakest argument against him.

  1. However, Native-Americans were not exempt from the draft, …

Non-citizen Indians were exempt from the draft, but citizens weren’t. Indians as a group weren’t granted citizenship until after WWI, so most were not required to serve. However, the fact that so many volunteered and served with distinction speaks well for their bravery and patriotism. A significant number even went to Canada to enlist before the U. S. entered the war.

  1. As an aside, even though I have his date of birth I cannot find any Moses Friedman born in America, let alone Cincinatti [sic], on that date or even in 1874!

It was not unusual at all for births not to be recorded at that time. My own paternal grandmother had no birth certificate and she was born over a decade later.

Friedman’s draft registration is surely confusing, most likely because he was confused. As to why he would check the white box for race and also check the citizen box for Indian: my guess is that, knowing people of any race could be citizens or non-citizens, he ignored the Indian heading when he checked the citizen box. I am unaware of any attempt by Friedman to claim Indian heritage.

A look at his then current employment might shed some light as to why he put Carlisle as his permanent address. He was then doing “special work as stockman for NY Supreme Court” in Taos, NM. After resigning from his position as Superintendent of Carlisle Indian School and being acquitted in Federal Court, Friedman was probably taking any work he could get. His work in Taos sounds like it was temporary and Friedman may have had as yet established a permanent location after leaving Carlisle.


Cherokee Wins Heisman

December 15, 2008

Recently a question was raised on this blog about American Indian leadership in athletics. Saturday’s action by the Downtown Athletic Club to award the Heisman Trophy to Sam Bradford may spread this discussion to a broader audience. The Oklahoma University quarterback, being 1/16th Cherokee, is enrolled in the tribe. Last year an ESPN announcer was unintentionally humorous when he stated that Bradford was “certified Cherokee.” The announcer was cut some slack because the enrollment process is very complicated.

Sam’s great-great-grandmother, Susie Walkingstick, was full-blood Cherokee. His father, former OU lineman Kent Bradford, is 1/8th blood Cherokee. It is appropriate that this Heisman winner plays for Oklahoma University because Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population of any state. Fellow Oklahoman Sac & Fox Jim Thorpe did not win the Heisman because that award wasn’t initiated until 1935 when the University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of the trophy with the famous pose. Jim Plunkett, being Mexican-American, was probably the first person with significant quantities of Indian blood to win the Heisman when he was named in 1970. Since then, it hasn’t been close. Not even fellow Cherokee Sonny Sixkiller who played quarterback for the Washington Huskies two decades later contended seriously.

A USA Today cover story discusses the impact Bradford’s candidacy has already had on Indian children. Like Sixkiller, Bradford did not live on a reservation and grew up with little exposure to his Cherokee heritage. Anadarko, OK was home for College Football Hall of Famer Albert Exendine, star end at Carlisle. Anadarko is also the town in which Exendine, in the summer of 1911, encouraged Jim Thorpe to return to Carlisle. Alongside this history exists Riverside Indian School, a place where one would expect football to thrive. But that hasn’t been the case. Riverside dropped football a few years ago but, due to Bradford’s inspiration, fielded a team this year. Forty boys came out for the team – not bad for a school that has only 400 students who range in age from 4th grade to high school. The Braves only won one game but this was their inaugural season. The important question is: Are they running the single-wing?

USA Today photo of Sam Bradford with his Heisman Trophy

USA Today photo of Sam Bradford with his Heisman Trophy