Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State’

Warner Didn’t Do It

November 18, 2010

I was recently sent an article on a particular topic on the history of football—it doesn’t matter which article because this is a common error—that attributed or blamed, depending on one’s perspective on Pop Warner that he did not do. That Warner had a split tenure at Carlisle Indian School is either not widely known or is forgotten by many when they write about Carlisle football. In this instance, the matter has to do with the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game and the mass transfer of football talent from Haskell to Carlisle that happened after that game.

For a little background, President Theodore Roosevelt was to spend a few days around Thanksgiving at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Promoters saw an opportunity to attract greater attendance by staging a football game for Teddy to attend. Their first choice was to host the Army-Navy game that year. That idea was turned down immediately. The next thing that came to mind was to have the two prominent government Indian boarding school teams play each other as both were running roughshod over the competition in their respective parts of the country. Carlisle was already scheduled to play Ohio State on Thanksgiving, so the game with Haskell Institute of Lawrence, Kansas, was set for the Saturday following the holiday.

Why did Warner have nothing to do with this game, one asks? Well, Pop Warner left Carlisle after the 1903 season to return to coaching his alma mater, Cornell. The reason for that move, according to his critics, was that he was paid more money. They are probably correct. Warner coached Cornell through the 1904, 1905 and 1906 seasons and, other than teaching his new formations to Carlisle’s Indian coaches in 1906, probably had little to do with the operation of that program. He had no reason to recruit Haskell players for Carlisle. He might have tried to entice the best ones to enroll at Cornell, but that seems improbable.

Superintendent Richard Henry Pratt had been relieved of command of Carlisle Indian School in the summer of 1904 and replaced by then Captain William A. Mercer. With no athletic director in place and the coaches hired just for the season, Mercer filled the void left by Warner’s departure and became involved with the football program. The next year, he arranged the first Carlisle-Army game but that is a separate story.

Carlisle Indian School Scrubs Beat Ohio State

February 19, 2009

Frank Loney, a collector of Carlisle memorabilia, called to ask about a football player named T. A. Engleman. He had a letter written by a Carlisle Indian School football player who was visiting the St. Louis World’s Fair. The letter was written the morning of the big game against Haskell Institute on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 1904. The letter was written to Mr. Ziegler in the harness shop at the Indian school.

Frank could find no student named Engleman listed in Linda Witmer’s book, so further research was necessary. Steckbeck listed an Eagleman. The author of the letter wrote, “The second team played the Ohio State University on the 24th, Thanksgiving-day. I played out the whole game, and felt as though of being eighty years old after the game. My man was more than two hundred pounder and so you can imagine I had something to buck up against.” I knew that the first team sat out the Ohio State to be rested for the big game with Haskell that President Roosevelt was expected to attend. Finding a newspaper write-up of the game that included line-ups, I noticed that a player named Eagleman played left tackle across from either Gill or Marker. Because Marker was ejected from the game along with Fremont for engaging in a hair-pulling contest, Gill must have been the 200-hundred pounder and Eagleman was Engleman or vice-versa. Ticket prices for the Carlisle-Ohio State contest, a deluxe game, ranged from 25 cents to a dollar. Ohio State’s only other deluxe game was with the University of Michigan.

Witmer’s book listed an Eagle Man but no Eagleman. However, various censuses listed Thomas A. Eagleman, Sioux. He married a white woman, Grace More, in 1909 and they had 3 sons and 5 daughters. They farmed near Crow Creek in South Dakota, probably on an allotment.

Mystery solved.