Archive for the ‘Elmer Busch’ Category

Important Info About Eagle Feather, Maybe

June 3, 2016

Eagle Feather Carlisle fullback 19221011

When my Eagle Feather research returned me to 1922, the Oorang Indians’ first year of operation, I took a second (or third) look at some newspaper articles I had previously collected. I was forced to search for an early article I for which had neglected to capture the date of and publication name. Mercifully, the easily recognizable article popped up early with the graphic at the top of the page. Rereading “Former Bulldogs Now Important Cogs In Jim Thorpe’s All-Indian Football Machine” brought me back to “Thorpe has unearthed a brilliant fullback in Eagle Feather, from Carlisle.” No new information there, I thought, “At least I know where this came from now.” My eye wandered to a piece immediately below the one I had sought, finding something I’d previously overlooked.

“Most Of Jim’s Indians Are Carlisle And Haskell Men” grabbed my attention. Perusing the piece unveiled “Eagle Feather, fullback who weighs 230 stripped, is a cousin to Bemus Pearce [sic], famous as a tackle in the old Carlisle days. This could lead us to who Eagle Feather really was or it could have been wrong as are so many things in newspapers.

Since we have so little else to go on, let’s assume it is correct. Let’s accept that Eagle Feather was a cousin of Bemus Pierce and that he attended Carlisle. To make our lives as easy as possible, let’s assume (for now) that his last name was Pierce and research Carlisle and tribal records for a person from that family who would have been between 18 and 25 in 1922, based on his youthful appearance in the Oorang photo. I’d also scan Carlisle football files and photographs for a player weighing over 200 pounds (he might have put on a few after Carlisle closed in 1918).

If we come up dry, we’ll have to do some genealogy work to identify Bemus Pierce’s cousins who might fit the criteria. This research will likely require considerable assistance from the tribal librarian. It’s not exactly looking for a needle in a haystack but only by an order of magnitude or two.

Eagle Feather Bemus Pierce cousin 19221011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pop Warner’s Last Game as Carlisle Coach

June 10, 2010

A person interested in writing a biography of Pop Warner contacted me last night with some questions that got me thinking about what is not commonly known about Warner. One thing I uncovered is his last game as head coach of the Carlisle Indians. Steckbeck didn’t cover it, most likely because the school paper didn’t say anything about it.

Warner considered the 1914 season to be a disaster and made it his last. Up through the end of November, Carlisle’s season was to end with the annual Thanksgiving game with Brown University. When writing about the Brown game in the December 4, 1915 issue of The Carlisle Arrow, Assistant Coach John McGillis announced three postseason games: 1. Former Harvard All Stars in Boston, 2. University of Georgia at Atlanta, and 3. University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Boston game, in which Carlisle lost 13-6, had already been played by that time. Then the Indians beat Alabama 20-3. It should be noted that Bama still plays some of its big games in Birmingham rather than on-campus in Tuscaloosa.

The Georgia game was never played or had been confused with Auburn because the Indians played the unscored-up Auburn team four days later. However, nothing was written about it in the Carlisle school newspaper, even after it was played. That was probably because Pop Warner had decided to take the Pitt job and leave. Later, Warner wrote that he had been approached by Pitt officials after the Carlisle-Pitt game on October 17 about the head coaching job and he decided to take it.

After the joint congressional investigation earlier in 1914, Warner’s publicity machine appears to have been shutdown, leaving the writing of articles to the coaches. Already mentally in Pittsburgh, Warner didn’t bother to write up anything about the Auburn game. More on that game next time.

Pretty Boy – part 3

October 5, 2009

A May 4, 1915 letter from Superintendent Campbell of the Cheyenne River Agency to Oscar Lipps, Superintendent of Carlisle Indian School, stated, “…you are advised that Pretty Boy and Thomas Hawk Eagle represent one and the same person.” Carlisle officials continued to call him Thomas Hawkeagle as they had always done.

Sports reporters followed suit. Thomas Hawkeagle made the varsity squad in 1914. He didn’t start the first game of the season against Albright College, but got some playing time at right guard in place of Captain Elmer Busch. That pattern continued pretty much through the season. On December 6, in a game played in Atlanta against Auburn, he apparently became part of a football legend. The Auburn website cites a possible origin of the War Eagle cheer:

The 1914 contest with the Carlisle Indians provides another story. The toughest player on the Indians’ team was a tackle named Bald Eagle. Trying to tire the big man, Auburn began to run play after play at his position. Without even huddling, the Auburn quarterback would yell “Bald Eagle,” letting the rest of the team know that the play would be run at the imposing defensive man. Spectators, however, thought the quarterback was saying “War Eagle,” and in unison, they began to chant the resounding cry.

The problem with this explanation is that Carlisle had no player named Baldeagle or War Eagle. However, as we know, Hawkeagle was on the team. The Washington Post coverage of the game reported that Hawkeagle substituted for Hill at left guard in this game. Hawkeagle could have been misunderstood as War Eagle. Thomas Hawkeagle may live today if this attribution of the legend is true.

Next time – Part four of Pretty Boy’s tale.

Galleys Received

May 27, 2008

The advance reading copies (called ARCs in the trade) arrived for my new book and are being sent out to reviewers. This is a big moment in a writer’s life: seeing thousands of hours of hard work turned into something tangible. In the old days (pre-computer), ARCs were called galleys, bound galleys or galley proofs. Authors, editors and publishers go over these babies with a fine-tooth comb looking for errors, typos or things that have changed since writing was complete. It is an impossible task because, after all this scrutiny, some typos escape and find their way into the final book. But we try.

Another important use of ARCs is to see how the photos and artwork come out in print. Overall they came out very well, better than expected. But a cartoon about the Oorang Indians from a 1922 Baltimore newspaper is too dim. The challenge now is to figure out how to darken it without losing the detail.

This weekend I received some additional information and a correction regarding Louis Island from a family member who happened to see a previous blog. That was fortuitous because I want the book to be as accurate as possible. This blog is already proving to be of some value. That encourages me to continue with it.

Having these ARCs provides local booksellers the opportunity to provide their customers something extra. People can look at an ARC and pre-order the book if they choose. The bonus, besides being sure of getting a copy of the book as soon as it comes out, is to receive an inscription of his or her choice signed by the author. On-line booksellers also take pre-orders but personalized inscriptions are impractical.