Haskell Visits Carlisle part 2

April 22, 2021

On December 2, when asked about taking the Temple job, Warner was reported as saying, “Every time I go back East, they have me signing a contract with some other school.” Three days later, newspapers reported on his resignation from Stanford. The day after that, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran articles on Temple’s new coach, Warner, who had been hired for $15,000 a year. The $2,500 pay raise may have been less enticing than avoiding Stanford alumni who Warner thought were “after his scalp.”

On December 9, Temple published its football schedule for the upcoming year. The game with Haskell was expected to be a highlight of the early season, especially so because the Indians were led by Warner protégé Lone Star Dietz, a coach who generated headlines wherever he went.  Warner’s last game with Stanford was a 7-0 loss to another protégé, Jock Sutherland of Pitt. Bittersweet as it might have been, that game was not to be. Shortly after Warner’s announcement, Dietz’s future became the subject of speculation. Now in The Great Depression, the government had cut Haskell’s funding and had reduced its status to that of a high school. Dietz surely thought Haskell would no longer be able to field competitive teams and the media assumed he would be making a change. Names of various schools such as Holy Cross and Fordham popped up in print as possible new homes for him. On March 8, 1933, The Boston Globe ran an article headlined: “Lone Star Dietz to Coach Braves: Boston Football Team Signs Carlisle Star.” Dietz would be coaching in the NFL and not against Temple but who would lead Haskell then?

Dietz didn’t resign immediately. Instead, he stayed at Haskell until after spring practice because his NFL contract didn’t call for him to report until May 1. Haskell officials didn’t seem to be in a hurry to replace him. They said that no plans had been made regarding a successor and they wouldn’t select a coach for some time. That time came on August 4 when Henry Roe Cloud was named superintendent of Haskell Institute. The same day, Roe Cloud announced Gus Welch as Haskell’s head football coach and athletic director. It would have been nice to have been flies on Welch’s and Warner’s walls the day they realized they were scheduled to play each other and that it was late to cancel the game.

Welch had been critical of Warner at Carlisle and had submitted a petition that led to a government investigation of the school and reducing athletics’ importance at the school. Although later accused of interfering with Warner’s successor at Carlisle, Victor Kelley, Welch remained on good terms with the administration. Visiting the old school wouldn’t seem problematic for him. A crowd of thousands turned out to watch the Haskell players practice for two hours on Indian Field, where Jim Thorpe, Lone Star Dietz, Gus Welch and numerous others had played decades earlier. It had to be especially important to Haskell end Kendall, nephew of Carlisle great Bemus Pierce. Afterward, the players were then given a tour of Carlisle Barracks before departing for Philadelphia.

The game was anticlimactic. The Old Fox had no trouble defeating his former pupil 31 – 0.

On December 2, when asked about taking the Temple job, Warner was reported as saying, “Every time I go back East, they have me signing a contract with some other school.” Three days later, newspapers reported on his resignation from Stanford. The day after that, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran articles on Temple’s new coach, Warner, who had been hired for $15,000 a year. The $2,500 pay raise may have been less enticing than avoiding Stanford alumni who Warner thought were “after his scalp.”

On December 9, Temple published its football schedule for the upcoming year. The game with Haskell was expected to be a highlight of the early season, especially so because the Indians were led by Warner protégé Lone Star Dietz, a coach who generated headlines wherever he went.  Warner’s last game with Stanford was a 7-0 loss to another protégé, Jock Sutherland of Pitt. Bittersweet as it might have been, that game was not to be. Shortly after Warner’s announcement, Dietz’s future became the subject of speculation. Now in The Great Depression, the government had cut Haskell’s funding and had reduced its status to that of a high school. Dietz surely thought Haskell would no longer be able to field competitive teams and the media assumed he would be making a change. Names of various schools such as Holy Cross and Fordham popped up in print as possible new homes for him. On March 8, 1933, The Boston Globe ran an article headlined: “Lone Star Dietz to Coach Braves: Boston Football Team Signs Carlisle Star.” Dietz would be coaching in the NFL and not against Temple but who would lead Haskell then?

Dietz didn’t resign immediately. Instead, he stayed at Haskell until after spring practice because his NFL contract didn’t call for him to report until May 1. Haskell officials didn’t seem to be in a hurry to replace him. They said that no plans had been made regarding a successor and they wouldn’t select a coach for some time. That time came on August 4 when Henry Roe Cloud was named superintendent of Haskell Institute. The same day, Roe Cloud announced Gus Welch as Haskell’s head football coach and athletic director. It would have been nice to have been flies on Welch’s and Warner’s walls the day they realized they were scheduled to play each other and that it was late to cancel the game.

Welch had been critical of Warner at Carlisle and had submitted a petition that led to a government investigation of the school and reducing athletics’ importance at the school. Although later accused of interfering with Warner’s successor at Carlisle, Victor Kelley, Welch remained on good terms with the administration. Visiting the old school wouldn’t seem problematic for him. A crowd of thousands turned out to watch the Haskell players practice for two hours on Indian Field, where Jim Thorpe, Lone Star Dietz, Gus Welch and numerous others had played decades earlier. It had to be especially important to Haskell end Kendall, nephew of Carlisle great Bemus Pierce. Afterward, the players were then given a tour of Carlisle Barracks before departing for Philadelphia.

The game was anticlimactic. The Old Fox had no trouble defeating his former pupil 31 – 0.

Haskell Visits Carlisle

April 19, 2021

A few days ago a friend who collects Carlisle memorabilia showed me a photo of the 1933 Haskell Institute football team that was said to have been taken at Carlisle Barracks. The team’s coach, Gus Welch, was easily recognizable and, from past research, I knew that 1933 was his first year at Haskell. The background was clearly identifiable as Indian Field. The goalposts, which appeared to have been made of galvanized pipe, were surely replaced over the years and I already knew that the wooden grandstand had been rebuilt using concrete long ago. So, the photo was very likely legitimate. But why was Haskell visiting Carlisle?

A quick search through old newspapers uncovered a few articles about their visit. A photo accompanying one of the pieces is included in this post. They were here sure enough but why? The Harrisburg Evening News reporter answered that question when he wrote “[T]he Haskell Institute football team, which will meet Temple University in a night game tomorrow evening. This game has been an annual meeting for the past five years.” It made perfect sense for Haskell to visit Carlisle on the way to Philadelphia. It’s a wonder Lone Star Dietz didn’t bring one of his Haskell teams to Carlisle when he was coaching them and playing Temple. The reporter had one thing wrong. 1933 was only the third time Haskell played Temple. This time Welch would be taking on his mentor, Pop Warner. Given their relationship, why would either of them agree to play each other?

Not only was 1933 Welch’s first year at Haskell, it was Warner’s first year at Temple. But that doesn’t completely answer the question. On November 29, 1932, U.P. circulated a story that Temple University had offered Pop Warner the job of coaching the Owls. Stanford officials called the rumors that Warner would step down as their head coach “utterly impossible.”

<end of part 1>

Mannie Jackson

February 17, 2021

While watching a basketball game on the Big 10 network—my wife went to Michigan and I went to Indiana for grad school—when a name crawled across the bottom of the screen that caught my eye: Mannie Jackson. The reason his name grabbed my attention is because he played in the first basketball game I ever saw. The game was the culmination of March Madness. Our high school, Edwardsville, was playing defending champion Rockford West in the Illinois state championship game and the game was broadcast on television. We lived in a village of 150 people and the elementary school we attended was one of several feeding the junior and senior high schools in the consolidated district. About all I remember from the game was a Rockford West player making free throws and our cheerleaders crying when our team lost the state championship 67-65. The first time I saw a game in person was in junior high when I played bass clarinet in the school’s pep band. I don’t remember much from it beside the noise we could make stomping our feet on the wooden floor and Betty Van Winkle poking me in the back with her trombone slide, saying, “Sit up straight. Don’t slump.”

I recall reading where Mannie Jackson and teammate Governor Vaughn played for the University of Illinois along with Don Ohl, who was two years ahead of them in high school. I had no idea that he and Vaughn were the first black players to play on the Illinois varsity. I vaguely recall reading that Mannie was playing for the Globetrotters some time after graduating from college but had no idea what he accomplished after that. Mannie Jackson’s life story is absolutely amazing and can easily be found on the internet.

Here is a link to the video from the 1956 championship game: 1956 IHSA Boys Basketball Championship Game: Rockford (West) vs. Edwardsville (H.S.) – Bing video

Jim Thorpe Speaks

January 3, 2021

Jeff Benjamin just sent me a link to a 1932 movie short in which Jim Thorpe demonstrates the dropkick, punts and speaks. This is a real treat for me because I hadn’t heard him speak before. Old movie buffs will recognize Eugene Pallette from 1930s and 1940s comedies. The director, James Gleason, is also familiar to old movie buffs as a policeman in Arsenic and Old Lace and teamed with Edna May Oliver in the Hildegarde Withers detective stories.

The scoreboard shots may have been taken at Southern Cal’s field because the SC logo is visible. However, this movie was released in 1932 and USC played its home games in the Los Angeles Coliseum at that time.  Unfortunately, imdb.com doesn’t list the shooting locations for this little film.  

Who Is the Mystery Player?

December 7, 2020

Researching the 1900 Carlisle Indian School football team again demonstrated how hard it is to identify people one doesn’t know by their photographs. The photograph in question is the 1900 Carlisle team photo that was published in the 1901 Spalding’s Guide. The person on the far left of the middle row was listed as being Charles Williams (Caddo from Oklahoma). However, he didn’t look like Charles Williams to me. He looked more like Nekifer Shouchuk (Aleut, Alaska) to me.

What do you think? Shouchuk is on the left of James Johnson (Stockbridge, Wisconsin) in the photo below. Charles Williams is to Johnson’s right in this extract from the 1902 team photo.

To determine which player was actually in the 1900 team photo, I perused game line-ups for 1900. Shouchuk wasn’t in any of them where Williams was in them all. Shouchuk’s Student Record indicated that he arrived at Carlisle in 1901. Elsewhere I learned that he couldn’t know English at that time and, in spite of his tremendous strength, it took him awhile to make the team. He needed to know English to understand the signals.

So, the person in this photo must be Charles Williams.

1895 Football Rules Chaos

December 1, 2020

While researching the 1895 Carlisle Indian School season, I stumbled across an advertisement for a game that seemed odd to me.

I was under the impression that Yale’s Walter Camp ruled the Intercollegiate Rules Committee as its Secretary, obstructing changes whenever possible. However, in 1894, he and Alex Moffat of Princeton as President of the Rules Committee, proposed a number of rule changes. The most contentious of which was the abolishment of momentum mass plays. No more than three men could be in motion when the ball is snapped. Critics objected, saying that mass plays be eliminated completely.

If things weren’t already bad enough, the Harvard-Yale game was particularly violent with four starters on each team seriously injured, some badly enough to be admitted to hospitals. Princeton and Penn’s game ended in a brawl, causing the schools to break football relations. Harvard and Yale severed relations. The military academies only played on their grounds after that Cornell’s faculty banned road games.  

The Rules Committee became inactive in 1895, leaving Yale and Princeton, in the form of Camp and Moffat in charge. They succeeded in getting the committee to meet but they achieved no compromise on mass plays. Princeton and Yale wanted to abolish them completely. Penn and Harvard insisted on keeping them. No compromise could be reached. Two, and in some places, more rule groups existed. Cornell joined Harvard and Penn produced a set of rules with no restrictions on mass momentum plays. The Princeton and Yale rules allowed only one man to be in motion when the ball is snapped and no more than three in a group behind the line of scrimmage. In the East, teams had to choose between these two options. Elsewhere, teams could also choose to follow the 1894 rules. Teams, such as Carlisle, that traveled could play games under three different sets of rules.

For the Penn game, mass momentum plays were permitted.

Who Is Hazlet?

November 29, 2020
William Hazlett is #3.

Halfback spots opened up on the 1898 Carlisle Indian School football team. A number of young men vied for these positions, including one newspapers referred to as Hazlet. He made long runs and scored two touchdowns against Bloomsburg Normal. He got another against Susquehanna University. He had another one against Dickinson College. After that, his name disappeared from game write-ups. He wasn’t on the team photo. No one with that name was found in the student files but several named Hazlett were. Newspapers often misspelled players’ names, so his name was probably Hazlett. But which Hazlett? George and Stuart Hazlett, both Piegan, graduated in March 1899. Willie Hazlett was mentioned in an article about a debate in the January 29, 1892 edition of The Indian Helper.

Searches of the Student Files located information on all three Hazletts but nothing in any of the files referred to athletics of any sort.  William Hazlett graduated in 1895. That students sometimes remained after graduation doesn’t eliminate him completely but does make it more likely that he isn’t the one. Since the Student Files save in the National Archives are incomplete, other Hazlett boys may have attended Carlisle. 

Perhaps families or other Piegans know of a Hazlett who played football at Carlisle. I would appreciate hearing about him.

 

Delos Lone Wolf, the model

November 15, 2020

While researching the early Carlisle Indian School football teams, I came across a piece about Delos Lone Wolf, Kiowa name Gooě-pah-gah, that had nothing to do with football. He arrived at Carlisle on July 4, 1892 for a 5-year enrollment. That October, he went out on an unusual outing to Newburgh, New York but not to a farm or ordinary business. He was to be a model for Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, a sculptor known for historically accurate realist sculptures illustrating American history. He is perhaps best known for his bronze equestrian statues of George Meade, John F. Reynolds, and John Sedgwick. The latter statue incorporated fine details such as dents in the General’s scabbard and tiny stitching on the horse blanket. Also at Gettysburg is his bust of Abraham Lincoln commemorating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

In 1892, Bush-Brown was working on a statue to exhibit at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to be held in Chicago. The subject he had in mind was an Indian bison hunt. To make his statue as realistic as possible, he brought a bison and an Indian pony east to study. How he came to know Lone Wolf is unknown. At 22, Delos was a perfect physical specimen, exactly what Bush-Brown wanted for his scene. He left Carlisle for Newburgh on October 10 and returned on November 24, his work presumably done. A year later, Capt. Pratt rescinded his order against playing interscholastic football, giving Lone Wolf the opportunity to excel at that sport.

More on Joe LittleTwig

November 2, 2020

When I last wrote about Joe Little Twig, in 2016, I could say nothing about his life before playing professional football in Ohio with any certainty. He reputedly went to Carlisle Indian School but I could find no documentation of his having ever been there. This is not that unusual because the records of a large number of students were lost when the school closed unexpectedly and Carlisle Barracks was transitioned back to the army in a rushed fashion.

Today that changed when I found a photo of him in a football uniform. The photo is in the Winnishiek collection held by Cumberland County Historical Society. William Winnishiek and Joe Little Twig both played for the Oorang Indians and may have been friends at Carlisle. Little Twig is wearing a Carlisle Indian School uniform in the photo, so he must have played football on some level at Carlisle.

His obituary and Ohio Soldier Grave Registration give conflicting dates of birth: 1893 and 1897 and dates of service in the U.S. Army: 1916 to 1922 and 1917 to 1921. His obituary lists Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Little Twig of Hogansburg, New York as his parents. Since he would have been no more than 46 years old when he died in 1939, it was quite possible for his parents to still be alive. The obit also said that he first played football at Cattaraugus Indian School near Buffalo before attending Carlisle.

We now have a couple more pieces to the Joe Little Twig puzzle.

Ina Probably Wasn’t there

October 18, 2020

In May and June of this year, 2020, I researched various sources trying to find out if America’s first sports editor, Ina Eloise Young, had covered the December 5, 1908 football game between the Carlisle Indians and the University of Denver in Denver. I came up dry.

Today, while researching Carlisle’s 1908 season, I came across something that might be conclusive evidence that she didn’t attend the game. The Rocky Mountain News December 5, 1908 edition included a photo not attached to an article. The photo was of Ina Eloise Young. The caption read, “Miss Ina Young of Trinidad, Who Has Returned to Her Home After a Visit With Denver Friends.” This caption suggests that she left for Trinidad prior to the game having started. This photo, coupled with an inability to find press coverage of the game, suggests strongly that she didn’t attend the game, wouldn’t have seen Jim Thorpe play and wouldn’t have met him.