Posts Tagged ‘Linda Witmer’

Players’ First Names Aren’t Easy to Find

August 28, 2008

One of the most difficult and time-consuming things my editor has me do is to provide players’ full names. Now James G. Sweeney, a lawyer from Goshen, New York and a 50-year West Point supporter, has requested that I help him identify a number of players. Sweeney is writing an article about the 1905 Carlisle-Army game that was approved by the War Department but can’t find players’ first names in newspaper reports. Apparently because I write about Carlisle Indian School football, he thought I’d know all the players’ names. I wish it were so.

 

Finding the biggest stars’ first names isn’t too difficult and, by now, I can give most of them off the top of my head, assuming that I don’t have a senior moment. Even identifying them wasn’t a piece of cake. One of the reasons for that was that some of them played under multiple names. For example, Emil Hauser was better known as Wauseka and his brother, Pete, was also a star player; Charles Guyon went by Wahoo and, to confuse things further, his younger brother, Joe, came along a few years later and made an even bigger name for himself; and William H. Dietz played as Lone Star. Linda Witmer’s The Indian Industrial School: Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1879-1918 includes a list of students that attended Carlisle. Although incomplete, it nonetheless is a useful tool. One of the problems in identifying players is that many siblings and cousins attended the school. Determining which one is the correct person is a challenge.

 

Carlisle Indian School publications are invaluable resources. In 1905 the school newspaper went by The Arrow. The school had no literary magazine at that time. Most of the big games were covered by The Arrow. Often articles from big-city papers were reprinted in it. From them we get our cast of characters, if only by their last names. Varsity football players were often active in the literary and debating societies because they were among the oldest on campus. Write ups of these societies’ activities often included full names. Football stars often got press for more mundane activities because they were famous. These pieces often included their first names. Players other than stars received less coverage.

 

Graduation coverage included full names for the graduating class and much coverage of the individuals in that class. Because most students had little proper schooling before coming to Carlisle and often at advanced ages, they were unwilling or unable to commit to lengthy courses of study that would lead to graduation.

 

My ace in the hole is the athletic or football (it varied) banquet. This time I hit pay dirt because the coverage of the 1905 football banquet (held in early 1906) included not only the menu for the banquet and the toasts given, but a complete roster of the players on the team with those who lettered identified with Xs. Well not exactly complete. Chauncey Archiquette’s name was omitted. Perhaps Jeffrey Powers-Beck has the reason for his omission from the list in Chief: The American Indian Integration of Baseball, 1897-1945 when he states that Archiquette, then 28, was an 1898 Carlisle grad who had played football and other sports during his days at the school and returned as staff in 1905 but played again. This was the same Archiquette a 1953 Los Angeles Mirror article claimed was Jim Thorpe’s boyhood idol.

1905 Carlisle vs. Army

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