Archive for the ‘Henry Roberts’ Category

Rush Roberts’ Heritage

August 22, 2011

It is always gratifying when descendants and relatives of Carlisle Indian School football players comment on this blog. Even more gratifying is when they provide information not known and is not easily found. Most gratifying of all is when relatives use this blog as a way to get in touch with each other. All of these things happened last week.

Henry Roberts, left end on the great 1911 team, was the son of Rush Roberts, a legendary figure in Pawnee history. I blogged about Rush Roberts a couple of times in March and April 2010 after discovering things about him I didn’t previously know. Since that time, descendants of Rush have posted comments regarding family genealogy on those blogs, with last week having the greatest concentration of new information.

Unfortunately, comments on older posts don’t show up on the first page of the blog. Readers must search to find them. The easiest way is to search for Rush Roberts and open the comments on the posts relating to him. You should find these to be interesting reading.

More About Rush Roberts

March 3, 2010

The commenter who raised the issue about Rush Roberts’s heritage found his obituary and forwarded it. The March 11, 1958 issue of The Lawton Constitution included the following extract:

 Roberts on Sept. 3, 1876 was the youngest of 100 Pawnees chosen as scouts for soldiers assigned the job of avenging Gen. George A. Custer’s death In the battle of Little Bighorn. He enlisted under his boyhood name of Ahrekahrard.

 Roberts was born in Nebraska and came to Oklahoma on a long trek with his tribe in 1874-75 when the government established a Pawnee reservation.

 Roberts was first married in 1882 to an Indian girl whose name translated into English as Captive Princess. She died a year later. Polygamy was then customary in the tribe and he next married three daughters of Kaheeka, principal chief of the Skedee band of Shawnees.

 On Sept. 18, 1876 Roberts and his fellow recruits were formally mustered into the army at Sidney, Neb. In a little over a month after his enlistment, Roberts, then 17, was in battle….

 Roberts won high praise from white troop leaders he served, one officer recalling: “Ahrekahrard, the youngest Pawnee scout in Gen. Crook’s fall and winter campaign of 1876-77, was with us on every occasion, he was quiet, but brave as any man could be and be charged with us into the villages as fearlessly as a warrior should.”

 Roberts subsequently traveled with the William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody’s Wild West Show in 1884-85….

 The commenter wrote, “shortly after his return took Lou Howell as his wife. She shows up in 1888-1896 annual Indian censuses as his wife. These same censuses have Lou’s younger sister Rose listed as ‘Living by Herself’ next after Rush & Lou[Howell]. Rose then shows up in the annual census’ as Rush’s wife from 1888 until her death in 1928.”

Was Rose his sister by blood? Was she really his wife, or just living in his house? Perhaps future research will find the answers to these questions.

Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals Now Available

July 21, 2009

I received some great news over the weekend– Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals have shipped and should be available for sale and immediate shipment by mid-week at www.Tuxedo-Press.com and next week from other booksellers. This book is not recommended for people who already have Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs because most of the material in the new book can be found in it. This may not sound like it makes sense, so I’ll explain.

Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs, in my opinion, contains a lot of information that is of interest to young people. However, at 160,000 words, it is inaccessible to youngsters. As an aside, adults tell me they don’t necessarily read it in sequence because its organization allows readers to skip around, reading sections or chapters they find interesting at a particular time and others at other times. Still others use it as a reference book because most of these men’s life stories have been told nowhere else. By splitting this book into a series by state, each volume is short enough that children can read it. A benefit to me is that I was able to include two people who weren’t in Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs: Mike Balenti and Henry Roberts. Perhaps when I finish the series I will make a second edition of Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs that includes all the new people that were added in the series.

Also, Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals is in hardback with a glossy cover, something that should make it an attractive Christmas gift, particularly for children with roots in Oklahoma. If it sounds like I am on a soapbox, it is because I am. Our children and grandchildren should know about these people and much of what has been written about Carlisle Indian School is distorted at best.

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.

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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.

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Carlisle Players Play Each Other

January 19, 2009

While researching the lives of Henry Roberts and Mike Balenti, I became aware that they, and some other Carlislians played against each other when enrolled in other schools. In response to criticism that Carlisle Indian School had been playing some of the same people for too many years, Pop Warner instituted a policy that limited players to four years on the varsity squad. Mike Balenti had used up his eligibility at Carlisle and Victor Kelley had one year of eligibility remaining at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. While there were no national eligibility standards, many colleges limited students to four years of eligibility, one for each of their four years of college – assuming that they finished on time. However, colleges often conveniently ignored the time former Carlisle players now at their institutions had played at the Indian school because it wasn’t a college academically. In fact, it wasn’t even a prep school. Putting these vaguaries of eligibility aside, Mike Balenti and Victor Kelley enrolled at A&M (reenrolled in Kelley’s case) to play under new head coach Charlie Moran. Moran, coincidentally, had assisted Pop Warner at Carlisle the previous year before embarking on a career as football coach. Previously, he had been a star player and a baseball coach, but hadn’t coached football. The Aggies, with Kelley at quarterback and Balenti at left halfback, had a powerhouse team. One of the obstacles in their path to the unofficial Southwestern Championship was Haskell Institute. The teams met on October 23 at College Station. Captain and left end of the Haskell squad was Henry Roberts who would later star of Carlisle’s great 1911 team. Not on the field that day for Haskell, but on the squad, were center Nikifer Schouchuk and quarterback Louis Island. It was like old home week at the game which the Aggies won 15-0. Aggie students celebrated wildly after the game because beating the team that had beaten the University of Texas meant a lot to them. At the end of the season Charlie Moran, as coach of the Southwestern Championship team, was given the honor of selecting an All Southwest team. He named Kelley for quarterback, Balenti for left halfback, and Roberts for punter. Carlisle was well represented on that team by alums both past and future.