Posts Tagged ‘Sherman Institute’

Important Info About Eagle Feather, Maybe

June 3, 2016

Eagle Feather Carlisle fullback 19221011

When my Eagle Feather research returned me to 1922, the Oorang Indians’ first year of operation, I took a second (or third) look at some newspaper articles I had previously collected. I was forced to search for an early article I for which had neglected to capture the date of and publication name. Mercifully, the easily recognizable article popped up early with the graphic at the top of the page. Rereading “Former Bulldogs Now Important Cogs In Jim Thorpe’s All-Indian Football Machine” brought me back to “Thorpe has unearthed a brilliant fullback in Eagle Feather, from Carlisle.” No new information there, I thought, “At least I know where this came from now.” My eye wandered to a piece immediately below the one I had sought, finding something I’d previously overlooked.

“Most Of Jim’s Indians Are Carlisle And Haskell Men” grabbed my attention. Perusing the piece unveiled “Eagle Feather, fullback who weighs 230 stripped, is a cousin to Bemus Pearce [sic], famous as a tackle in the old Carlisle days. This could lead us to who Eagle Feather really was or it could have been wrong as are so many things in newspapers.

Since we have so little else to go on, let’s assume it is correct. Let’s accept that Eagle Feather was a cousin of Bemus Pierce and that he attended Carlisle. To make our lives as easy as possible, let’s assume (for now) that his last name was Pierce and research Carlisle and tribal records for a person from that family who would have been between 18 and 25 in 1922, based on his youthful appearance in the Oorang photo. I’d also scan Carlisle football files and photographs for a player weighing over 200 pounds (he might have put on a few after Carlisle closed in 1918).

If we come up dry, we’ll have to do some genealogy work to identify Bemus Pierce’s cousins who might fit the criteria. This research will likely require considerable assistance from the tribal librarian. It’s not exactly looking for a needle in a haystack but only by an order of magnitude or two.

Eagle Feather Bemus Pierce cousin 19221011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Did Bill Warner Go

July 13, 2012

I received a question today about Pop Warner’s brother Bill. The questioner wanted to know what Bill Warner did in 1904 after Pop replaced him as head coach of Cornell. I was vaguely aware of all this before but hadn’t thought about it much. I even recalled reading an announcement of Bill’s new job, so I was able to confirm what I thought I knew. A little background is required.

That Pop Warner coached Carlisle from 1899 to 1903 and returned to Cornell in 1904 is well known. The details of the transaction are less clear but will be made clearer in Jeff Miller’s upcoming biography of Pop Warner. It’s fairly well known that Warner and star quarterback James Johnson had a confrontation in the late-season road trip to the West Coast. You’ll have to read Jeff’s book to learn the details of what happened. Ironically, all three, Warner, Pratt and Johnson, each for his own reason, were gone from Carlisle before the start of the 1904 season.

Now let’s get back to the original question. Pop Warner replaced Bill as head coach of Cornell after Bill who went 6-3-1 in 1903 with ugly losses to Princeton and Penn, 44-0 and 42-0, respectively. Pop understandably had misgivings about taking his brother’s job and, likely, made up for it a bit by helping Bill get another job. By virtue of coaching at Carlisle for five years, Pop surely had contacts within the Indian school system and at Sherman Institute in Riverside, California in particular because Bemus Pierce coached there in 1902 and 1903. Bill Warner took the reins at Sherman Institute in 1904 while Bemus Pierce returned to Carlisle to assist Ed Rogers. Bemus and his wife might have wanted to return east to be nearer to family in New York State.

Bill Warner led the Sherman Institute Braves to a more-than-respectable 6-1 season with wins over USC and Stanford and a loss to Cal. That record likely led to him being hired by North Carolina for 1905.

Even More 1903 Carlisle Stars

February 13, 2012

Ed Rogers and James Phillips weren’t the only Carlisle Indians to play for a future Big Ten team in 1903.  Player #4 (players on team photos in Spalding’s guides are conveniently numbered for the ease of the reader) on the University of Wisconsin team photo on page 20 is William Baine. He played for the Indians  from 1899 to 1900, then returned to Haskell Institute to play before enrolling at Wisconsin in 1903. Prior to coming to Carlisle, Baine had played for Haskell and its cross-town rival, the University of Kansas. While at Carlisle, William was enrolled in Dickinson College Preparatory School.

The photo of the 1903 Macalester College team on page 68 includes Lone Star Dietz as player #11. Dietz played for Friends University part of the 1904 season but a Friends team photo is not to be found in the 1905 Spalding’s Guide. Dietz enrolled at Carlisle in 1907. It isn’t clear what he did during the 1905 and 1906 seasons.

On page 123, Archie Rice, Sporting Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, named Weller of Stanford as fullback of his 1903 All-Pacific eleven but mitigated that with his next sentence: “There is a possibility that Bemis [sic] Pierce of the Sherman Indians, but formerly of Carlisle, might be more valuable for the team than big Weller….” When Pierce left Carlisle for Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, the Carlisle school newspaper reported that he was to coach that Indian School team, but it appears that he also donned the moleskins to get into the action as a player.

That the 1903 season results and team photos for both Haskell Institute and Sherman Institute were omitted from the 1904 Spalding’s Guide is unfortunate. According the David DeLasses’ www.cfbdatawarehouse.com, Sherman Institute went 4-4 in 1903 with a win over Southern Cal and losses to Stanford and Carlisle. That site has Haskell Institute going 7-4 with wins over Texas, Kansas and Missouri and losses to Nebraska, Chicago and Kansas State. The 1905 Spalding’s Guide has a lot more about Haskell.

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game – Part 3

April 21, 2011

Now that we have a hint that Carlisle intended to make a post-season trip to the West Coast in 1903, we need to dig further to find out more. More detail about this game appeared in the November 13 edition of Reno Evening Gazette with a dateline of Salt Lake City:

“The Carlisle Indians have agreed to meet the University of Utah football eleven here on Christmas Day, providing a suitable guarantee will be put up by the local management. This will be done. The Indians are coming west for the purpose of playing in California on New Years’ Day and en route will meet a number of teams.”

This article supports the November 2nd article about Coach Holmes wanting such a contest. Whoever released this story, possibly the University of Utah Athletic Department or a booster, was very confident that both attendance at the game would be good and that someone or someones would be willing to put up the guarantee money in case ticket sales didn’t meet expectations. That someone was probably already known to the writer.

The same day’s issue of The Red Man and Helper included a little piece that ties back to an announcement made the previous month:

“One of the football players of Sherman Institute, Calif., writes the following: ‘We play with Stanford University sometime soon, and also expect to play with the Carlisle Indians. We will show them some western tricks. It will take some pretty good players to defeat us.’”

That player’s boast implied that Bemus Pierce had a pretty good squad at Sherman. The next day Sherman Institute beat Southern Cal but lost to Stanford University in a big Thanksgiving Day game played at Prager Park in Los Angeles. Scholder was out at tackle but Bemis Pierce suited up and filled in at fullback.

To be continued….

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game Part 2

April 19, 2011

Since writing the first installment on this topic, I came across some more relevant information that may play into it. The October 9, 1903 issue of The Red Man and Helper included a paragraph that, on first look, seemed to have nothing to do with Carlisle’s post-season. Assistant Coach Bemus Pierce left Carlisle on October 7 to accept a “flattering offer from Riverside, California to coach the Sherman Institute football team….” The first hint of Carlisle’s post-season trip appeared came in a “Gridiron Gossip” column published in very late October in which claimed, “The team will play at the Northwestern University, Chicago, on Thanksgiving Day, and then go farther west and will play at Pasadena, Cal., on New Year’s Day.” The Northwestern game had been the last game on the schedule for months, so the trip west was new, though not surprising, information because the Indians previously played in California after the 1899 season.

On the 2nd of November, a story came out of Salt Lake City, Utah that stated, “Coach Holmes said last night that there is some probability of his securing a game with the Carlisle Indians when the football team makes its trip to the coast. He is now in correspondence with the manager of the Indian eleven and hopes to consummate a deal whereby it will be arranged for Utah State University to play Carlisle a football game in this city in the near future.” As usual, the reporter got some details wrong. In 1903 Harvey R. Holmes was head coach of the University of Utah team, not Utah State. Also, Utah State University is located in Logan, Utah not Salt Lake City. Besides that, Utah State was called Agricultural College of Utah or, colloquially as Utah Agricultural College (UAC). The gist of the article was correct, though.

To be continued….

1903 Season Ender Against Sherman Institute

April 5, 2011

A while back, I was asked about the scheduling of the Carlisle-Utah game on December 19, 1903. Based on what I had read at the time, I concluded that the reason for the trip to California trip that year was to play Reliance Athletic Association on Christmas Day in San Francisco and that the game with Sherman Institute on New Year’s Day in Riverside was a side trip. Well, that may actually be the opposite of what was the case.

In 1902, Carlisle alum Bemus Pierce took the job of coaching the Sherman Institute team in Riverside, California and, apparently, took it pretty seriously. CFBdatawarehouse.com lists their record as 8-1-0 with the Stanford & Santa Ana All-Stars being the team that scored the 6 points total scored against them that season. Victories included a 34-0 thumping of Occidental College and a 28-0 thrashing of Southern California, which many call USC.

The 1903 season didn’t turn out as well. Sherman Institute lost its season opener to Pomona-Pitzer in a more lopsided score than they had defeated them the previous year. They also lost to Stanford 18-0 but beat USC 12-0. With a 4-3 record, they were called West Coast Champions—surely a dubious title that year. Regardless, they suited up to play the eastern powerhouse in a New Year’s game.

Game reports indicate that this was one of the hardest fought games of football ever played in Southern California. Carlisle scored a touchdown just three and a half minutes into the game and would have been held with that score had it not been for a disputed play. Wilson Charles broke through the Sherman left tackle for a 45-yard touchdown run that the captain of the Sherman Institute team claimed was blown dead by Umpire Hauberman. Referee Tappan allowed the play. Sherman scored six points and lost 12-6 (Correct this score on page 47 of Steckbeck). Carlisle lost quarterback James Johnson and fullback Charles Williams early in the game to injuries. Sherman’s stars were Captain Neafus, for his fast playing, and Pierce for his defense work. So, it appears that Bemus Pierce suited up to play his old comrades. His playing days weren’t completely over. 

It wouldn’t be until 1916 that USC would beat Sherman Institute in the first game in which they scored on the Indians.