Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Miller’

Carlisle Players in WWI — 1918

January 27, 2012

War years, at least those for WWI and WWII, affected college football greatly, so much, in fact, that Spalding’s guides for those years had to adapt to the changed environment.  The 1919 guide, for example, includes a large section, titled Part II Spalding’s Official Foot Ball Guide: Army and Navy Foot Ball.  A July 24, 1919 letter from President Woodrow Wilson to Hugh Miller extolling the virtues of football in training troops for combat served as a frontispiece for this section of the book.  Ironically, or not, Miller wrote publicity pieces for Pop Warner when Warner coached the Carlisle Indians.  Apparently, Hugh Miller was more than just a hack writer who did Warner’s bidding.

This focus on military teams was necessary because the 1917 and 1918 football seasons were disrupted, to put it mildly, by the large number of college football players who were inducted into the service during WWI.  Many colleges stopped fielding teams where others played with lesser talent than usual.  Most college teams included military teams on their schedules.  It’s fair to assume that the military academies were not impacted nearly as much as their civilian counterparts.  Carlisle Indian School canceled its 1918 season because the school was closed to allow Carlisle Barracks to be used as an army hospital.  However, many of the former students continued to play football—even after they enlisted.

Perusing the pages of the Army-Navy section revealed the names of several Carlisle students with whom I was not familiar. Follows is a list of those names and the teams on which they played:

Name                                    Unit

Sgt. Mickel                          Air Service Department, Garden City, NJ

Buffalohead                       Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

M. Le Claire                        Camp Travis, Fort Sam Houston, TX

Ojibway                               Wissahickon Barracks, Cape May, NJ

Webster                              3rd Army Troops, Europe

Kalama*                               35th Division, Europe

*Selected as center for All-American Expeditionary Forces Eleven

If you know anything about any of these men, please get in touch with me.


Treasure Trove of New Carlisle Indian School Photos

July 22, 2010

The current edition of the Cumberland County Historical Society’s newsletter arrived earlier this week. When I got around to reading it, something in Richard Tritt’s column jumped off the page at me. William Winneshiek’s granddaughter recently donated her father’s photo album. Even though it is time to get Wisconsin’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals to the printer, I couldn’t resist running in to see if there was a photo of Winneshiek I’d like to add to the book. To put it mildly, I was overwhelmed. I wasn’t prepared for the number of photos in that album or the scope of them.

William Winneshiek arrived at Carlisle on June 5, 1911 and withdrew on October 19, 1915. His relatively short time at Carlisle and having never played on the varsity football team inclines one to expect mostly personal photo to be in his album and few that are directly related to Carlisle Indian School. Boy, was I surprised. Not only were there many photos in the album of school activities and of other students, several were photos that neither Richard Tritt nor I had seen before. For example, I had not previously seen any documentation of Little Twig having been at Carlisle. He is thought to have been here but no documents or photos had been seen to place him here before. The album includes several photos of Joel Wheelock’s All-Indian Band from 1929 and a number of photos of the Oorang Indians, including a group photo of the players in street clothes with two of the players’ wives. Good stuff.

After seeing what he had, and knowing what I do about Winneshiek, it all makes sense. When he left Carlisle in 1915, he remained in the area, attending Lebanon Valley College for a bit, working for the railroad in Altoona, playing with various bands, and moving permanently to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, all the while playing in bands and keeping in touch with old friends. His 1936 letter to Hugh Miller recorded a then-recent visit to Carlisle and thanked Miller for letting him have some photos from some unspecified baskets. It all makes sense now.

Winneshiek’s Return to Carlisle

November 3, 2009

William Phineas Winneshiek, Winnebago from Hatfield, Wisconsin, wasn’t a star football player at Carlisle but surely had friends that were. He probably played on a shop team or for the band, because he was a musician. After leaving Carlisle in 1915, he played semi-pro football for the Altoona Indians and, in 1916, assisted fellow Altoona Indian and musician, Joel Wheelock, coach the Lebanon Valley College team. In 1922 he played in the NFL for the Oorang Indians. However, music was where he made his living. A website maintained by his grandson includes photos of Winneshiek:

On December 11, 1936, Bill Winneshiek, who was then known as Chief Winneshiek (probably because he was descended from a hereditary chief) wrote Hugh Miller to thank him for giving him some photographs of the Indian School. He also expressed his feelings about what he saw on his recent visit to the old school:

Mr. Miller, I know that you are one of the few White men living that will realize fully the great injustice that was brought upon the Indian Race when Our Great Democratic Government decided to: “Take Away From The Redman The Last Remaining Treasure (Carlisle Indian School) He Had in U. S. A.

Buildings had been burned down; complete destruction of the tall smokestack, which once answered the purpose of a monument; The Campus , which was once the pride of all who saw it for it was kept always in its natural beauty by the Indian students had faded into an unkept meadow; Our school mates who had been called by the Great Spirit and laid at rest near the Athletic Field, had been disturbed and moved to a more lonelier spot by the soldiers who now inhabit the Grounds where the American Indian made his last stand. No Government, no Race of People could have been more Cruel, No Christians, whether they be White, Yellow, Brown, Black or Red, could forget Providence long enough to commit that one last barbarous act as when Carlisle Indian School was taken from the Red Man. The saddest thing that has yet befallen the Indian.