The Richland County – Shelby Chapter
Of The Ohio Genealogical Society

- - - Shelby Football - Beginnings: 1894 - 1906 - - -

 
Part II

 
The 1899 - 1900 Shelby football teams
 
 

Photo courtesy of the Shelby Museum
 
 
The 1899 Shelby Tube Works football team would this year have an official coach and the team would re-elect Russell Johnson as their team captain. This 1899 team was a transition team, starting as another "Tube Works" team and concluded the season as the "Shelby Athletic Club" team.
 
The coach pictured above with the 1899 players is C. A. Gleason. The 1900-1901 Shelby directory records a C. A. Gleason living at 23 Marvin Avenue and lists his occupation as Government inspector, Tube Works. This must be the Tube Works team coach. (The 23 Marvin Avenue residence was occupied by the A. W. Gump family in 1900. The Gump family, after the closing of the Shelby Cycle Co., had moved back to Dayton, Ohio by the time the 1900 - 1901 directory was printed.) The Daily Globe newspaper edition of September 14, 1900 notes the approaching marriage of Mr. Charles A. Gleason of this city to Miss Florence Jeanette Ford of Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Gleason is employed as a chemist at the Tube Works. The marriage took place about two weeks later. The couple would have their first child Elizabeth c. 1902. Coach Gleason would remain the following two football seasons, in 1900 as a staff member and in 1901 again as coach. The Gleason family was living in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1910. Charles was an inspector of "Naval materials".
 
Bottom row left is Gus Mayer, born Augustus J. Mayer in 1875, a son of Joseph and Mary Cecilia Fisher Meyer. Joseph Meyer immigrated from Germany in 1862 and was living in Sandusky, Ohio when he married Mary Cecilia Fisher in 1868. Within five years Joseph and Mary were living in Shelby and Joseph had a saloon on Main Street. Joseph was to have many occupations during his lifetime, saloon keeper, shoemaker, baker and steel mill laborer. In 1900 the now Mayer family was living at 75 West Main Street. The 1900-1901 Shelby Directory shows them living at 75 West Main Street and Joseph employed as a baker.
 
Gus was the youngest of the Mayer sons who played on the early Shelby pro teams. He had played previously on the 1896 and 1898 Shelby Tube Works teams and would continue to play for several more seasons. One difficulty in determining just who was playing and when, is the problem of correct surname spelling. Newspapers were not too accurate in their reporting of names and for that reason, pictures (with names added later) and memorabilia are many times mislabeled with names misspelled and misplaced. Gus's surname is a prime example. He has been labeled: Meyer, Meyers, Myer, Myers, Mayers, as well as the correct Mayer. In the 1899 season, Gus played at the half back (HB) position.
 
Bert Gates was probably a son of Henry C. and Emma Eunice Bly Gates. In the censuses, she was sometimes known as Arris and was also referred to as Unice, probably named after Unice Hawkins, who was an earlier wife of Henry Gates. Unice, born c. 1856, was one of the youngest daughters of the Henry and Roanna Hannah Wolf Bly family who moved to the Shenandoah, Ohio area from Shenandoah County, Virginia in c.1852. Bert's father, Henry C. born c. 1854, was a son of Martin and Frances Ergnehart Gates, who were married in 1843 in Richland County, Ohio. Henry and Unice were married in 1874 in Richland County, Ohio and started their family with Walter born c. 1875 and then Bert born c. 1877 while living in the area of Rome, Ohio. The family would grow to at least five children with both parents dying at a young age - Henry at 33 and Unice at 38. Their youngest son Boyden, sometimes Boyd, sometimes Burt, is buried beside them in Oakland Cemetery. Burt was born four years after Bert our subject football player (the reason for the use of "probably" in the opening sentence). Bert started playing football in 1896 with the first Shelby Tube Works team and continued playing at least through the 1901 Shelby Athletic Association Team season. In 1900 he was living at 149 West Main Street with his sister Moleska and her husband Charles E. Miller. Charles was a clerk in the Tube Mill office and Bert was a tube straightener in the mill. The 1900 - 1901 Shelby directory shows Bert Gates living at 84 Walnut Street along with several others. Bert was still employed by the Tube Works. From here the story gets more interesting. The 1906 Shelby directory lists Albert Gates who works at Brightman Manf. living at 24 East Smiley Avenue as well as Bert R. Gates who works at Brightman Manf. and Grace I. Gates who works at Shelby Printing and Ina N. Gates who is employed at the "Hinge".(Shelby Spring Hinge). One may be our Bert, but Bert R. is probably Albert Ross Gates who is brother to Grace Iva Gates and Ina Naomi Gates who appear to be sharing the dwelling. The parents of this Gates family are Albert L. and Martha Adams Gates. Albert L. Gates was born in Paradise, Ashland Co., Ohio. This doesn't appear to be helpful information unless it's understood to eliminate several Alberts from our Bert Gates the football player mix. Maybe the 1908-1909 Shelby directory will help sort this out. Albert and Martha Gates are living at 22 East Smiley Avenue as well as daughters Grace and Ina and son now referred to as Ross. No mention of any other Bert Gates.
 
On-line records might be helpful at this time. One on-line family tree indicates that Bert C. Gates, bn c. 1877, is the son of Henry and Eunice Bly Gates and married Nettie Jane Orr in 1904 in Wooster, Ohio.
 
Another on-line service indicates that Bert C. Gates was the son of George and Frella Kapp Gates of Medina Co., Ohio, and married Maude A. Williams in Wellington, Ohio in early 1900. This is too early.
 
Another search finds Bert C. Gates bn March 1876 son of George and Ferlla Kapp Gates of Medina Co., Ohio, married Nettie J. Orr in 1904 in Wayne, County, Ohio. This must the marriage used in the above family tree, but it clearly states his parents are not Henry and Unice Gates.
 
Finally a search reveals Bert Gates bn 1878 in Rhome, Ohio, son of Henry and Eunice Bly Gates married Margaret McDonald in Mahoning Co., Ohio on May 3, 1905. This looks like the correct information. It explains the absence of Bert Gates in the 1906 Shelby directory and puts the search on the right track. Problems solved......
 
The 1910 census finds Bert and Margaret McDonald Gates, married five years, living in Ellwood City, Lawrence County, Pa. in Margaret's widowed mother Jennie McDonald's boarding house. Bert is employed as a tube straightener at a tube mill. In 1920, Margaret is still living with her mother in the boarding house, but Bert is not. Margaret lists herself as divorced. Another on-line document indicates Bert Gates married Ethel Cooper, 24 (born in England) in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania in 1915. The 1920 census finds Bert and Ethel Gates living in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania and Bert employed as a laborer in the steel mill. Living with them is Walter Gates, brother, also employed in the steel mill. This is strong proof of them being the two oldest sons of Henry and Unice Gates of Rome, Ohio. In 1930 Bert and Ethel were still living at Ellwood City and Bert was a foreman at the steel mill. It appears that Bert died there in 1939 evidently childless..
 
Next player in the bottom row is Smith Weiser, sometimes called Dubby, Dubbie or Dubie; the significance is unknown at this time. He was born Smith Francis Weiser in 1880, most likely in Shelby, Ohio. His parents were John William and Lucinda Kingsboro Weiser, both Shelby area natives. Smith began playing football in 1896 with the Tube Works team and continued through 1905 and in doing so, his career encompassed the Tube Works, Shelby Athletic Assoc., Shelby Athletic Club and Shelby Blues football team organizations. There is no record of his playing high school football but he was playing for the Tube Works at age 16. Smith often played quarterback (QB) and did so in 1899. In 1900 Smith was living at 26 S. Broadway in Shelby and was working as a laborer at the Tube Works. The 1900-1901 Shelby directory yields the same information. There is no record of his graduation from Shelby High School, however the class of 1900 included Helen Knabenshue who in 1902 would marry Smith Weiser. Helen was one of three daughters of Oscar D. and Katherine Sawyer Knabenshue. The family lived at 213 West Main Street and Oscar was a real estate agent. The 1906 Shelby directory shows the Weisers living at 76 N. Gamble Street in Shelby. By 1910 Smith and Helen were living in Dayton and Smith was employed as a toolmaker at National Cash Register Company. 1920 through 1940 censuses find them living in Detroit, Michigan with Smith employed as a toolmaker. Helen's father and sister Gertrude are living with them in 1940. There is no evidence that Smith and Helen had children.
 
Sitting next to Smith is Harry Blaine "Fat" Miller, who started playing on the 1896, 1897 Shelby High School teams (See Part I). Harry would play end (E) on this 1899 team.
 
On the right side of the bottom row is Frank Brown, a charter player from the 1894 Shelby High School football team. (See Part I). Frank started in 1894 playing half back (HB) and continued at that position on this 1899 Tube Team.
 
On the left in the top row is Bob Braden who was a son of Era William and Jane Jennie Lowrie Braden. The family was living on Broadway Street, Shelby when Robert Charles Braden was born in 1879. Ezra was working in a lumber yard (Brucker Lumber?) at the time. Jennie was born in Scotland and immigrated to this country with her family in 1853 when she was three. She married Ezra Braden in Richland County in 1873 and they started their family a year later with the birth of their only daughter Nellie. Bob Braden played football with the Shelby Tube team in 1899 as well as the Shelby High School football team. He played left end (LE) for the high school team but it's not known what position on the Tube team. It appears he only played football one season. In 1900 he was living at 18 East Whitney Avenue and employed as a horse shoer. By 1906 he was working as a barber and living at 16 East Whitney Avenue. He would keep this occupation until later in life he became employed by the City of Shelby. Robb Braden died in 1937, single, living with his brother Herbert and their family at 16 East Whitney Avenue. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery.
 
Third player from the left is Melville Victor Simon born in 1870 to Victor E. and Margaret Melville Simon. Victor E. Simon was a Civil War veteran who served in Co. I, 15th Regt. of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) and the oldest child of Theodore and Mary Ann Ursula Cattey Simon. Mel's mother died in 1881 when he was eleven and his father in 1889 in Williams County, Ohio. The children (10) moved to Shelby and the older boys got jobs at the Tube Works while the older sisters, Florence and Maude, looked after the younger siblings at their home at 20 Sharon Street. Melville married Catherine Ryan in 1906 in Wayne County, Ohio. The 1908-1909 Shelby Directory shows Mel and Catherine living at 17 Seltzer Avenue and he was blacksmithing. In 1910 the family was living at 23 Auburn Street and two children, Margaret 3, and William 2, have been added. Catherine died in 1913 leaving behind the two young children. One of Melville's younger brothers, Albert Charles Simon died in 1916 leaving a widow with four young children. Shortly thereafter, Melville married Anna Rachel Mackey Simon (Albert's widow) and they began to raise their combined families. The 1930 census finds Melville and Anna living in Florence, Burlington County, New Jersey. Melville is a wire worker in a steel mill. Their 1930 family consists of Ellen and Bill (children from Mel's first marriage), Walter, Charles, Mary and Doris (Albert and Anna's children) and Joseph, Robert and Raymond (Mel and Anna's children). Melville died in 1936 in a hunting accident leaving the family to Anna. By 1940 Anna was living at 70 1/2 West Main Street in Shelby, Ohio with two of her sons and a sister.
 
Mel Simon played tackle (T) for the 1899 Tube Works football team and continued playing for the Shelby Athletic Association teams in 1900 until his leg was broken in the first game against Wooster in 1901. It was such a bad break that it was determined that he would play no more football.
 
The next person to the right in the back row is labeled "Col. Meyer". This is Cornelius J. (sometimes "Dutch") Mayer, a brother of Gus Mayer (front row). He was born in 1881 in Shelby and this was perhaps his first year playing Shelby football. He would play for the various Shelby professional football teams for another ten years often at the full back (FB) position. Much will be heard from him in the future.
 
Russell Johnson was briefly introduced in part I. He was the oldest son of Daniel and Elizabeth Whitney Johnston, born in 1880 in New Washington, Ohio. By 1900 he and his parents were living at 54 North Broadway in Shelby and Russell was employed at the Tube Works. Russell started playing football with the 1896 and 1897 Shelby High School teams and in 1899 was a major contributor to the Shelby Tube Works team. He played the center (C) position and was many times elected team captain as was the case in 1899. Russell married Bessie Mabel Kern, a daughter of Thomas and Anna Palm Kern, late in 1905. They were living at 64 East Whitney Avenue in 1906 and in 1910 had moved to 82 Whitney Avenue and were the parents of Lowell K. Johnston, age 3. Russell, Bessie and Lowell moved to Ashland, Ohio by 1930 and Russell was a dealer in the ice business. He died at an early age in 1932, Bessie in 1971 and Lowell in 1973. All are buried at the Ashland Cemetery.
 
George Peter Koch was discussed in part I, which leaves the final person on the right of the top row - Patrick Joseph Gillen. Pat's ties to Shelby are only slight. He was born c 1879 in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio. His parents were James and Jane Dale Gillen, both born in Ireland and immigrating to the US in 1872. There has been no Shelby directory that records the presence of Patrick Gillen, however, Richland County Court records show that in April of 1900, Patrick Gillen married Catherine Elizabeth Hollenbaugh. "Lizzie" was born in 1880, a daughter of David and Elizabeth Hannah Rowe Hollenbaugh. There is also a record of a "baby" Gillen buried in the Oakland Cemetery that is noted as "the baby of P. F. Gillen". The baby is buried in the David and Elizabeth H. Hollenbaugh section. The 1900 census (taken June 2, 1900) indicates that Patrick and Lizzie Gillen are living in Warren, Ohio with James and Jane Gillen. Patrick is employed as an electrician. In 1910 the family is living in Warren, Ohio and they have an addition of A. Harold Gillen age 7 as well as William Hollenbaugh age 19 (nephew in law). Patrick is now a shipping clerk for a fire extinguisher company. Patrick had become a Warren County detective by the time of the 1920 census. Patrick died in Warren County, Ohio in 1925 and Lizzie in 1943. They as well as Harold Gillen are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Warren, Ohio.
 

 
The 1899 Tube Works team played only one official game in the fall of 1899. Their opponent was the Newark Athletic Club who had just previously beaten the Akron Athletic Club team by the score of 25 - 0 and was thought to be a difficult challenge for the Shelby Tube team. The game was played in Shelby at the (Williams Court area) fairgrounds. The Shelby team won this game by the score of 8 to 5. The game was attended by a rather large noisy crowd that indicated perhaps the game of football may have a growing interest in Shelby. This interest included a desire in the community to have their "own" football team.
 
In late 1899 the Shelby Athletic Association was developed to organize both football and baseball teams in Shelby. Baseball had been around many years and was quite popular, but the game of football was growing rapidly in favor and many people wanted a team that more officially represented "Shelby, Ohio". Enough funds were raised to purchase land and build a sports facility in Shelby. The land was previously owned by Judge John W. Jenner, who was a resident of Mansfield, Ohio. It was located between Mack and Park Avenues, south of what is now Simeon Avenue extending to where reservoir # 2 is located. The area was a portion of what was known as Jenner's Woods, which had been, and would continue to be, the location of many reunions of Shelby area Civil War veterans of the famed Sherman Brigade.
 
The funds were sufficient to construct a few sections of tiered seating and a wooden fence around the field which would limit access and allow charging an admission fee of 10 cents per person for events. Shelby football fans happily agreed with these new plans. The new facility was ready for use in time for the first home game of the 1900 football season.
 
 

 
The 1899 Shelby High School football team
 
The High School team played only a two game season in 1899. Harry Strouse who played full back (FB) was chosen both coach and captain of the team. Harry was probably Harry Smith Strouse, born 1882, the son of Philip and Christiana Smith Strouse of whom little is known at this time. The team's first game was at home against Greenwich, Ohio at the Fairgrounds / Sharon Park field (The Fairgrounds area was developed as the "Sharon Park Addition". At that time, football was played in the general vicinity of what is now Williams Court.). John Rice who played HB, was responsible for many of Shelby's points. The final score was Shelby 14, Greenwich 4. The second game was with Norwalk and the score was a dismal Shelby 0, Norwalk 12.
 
Harry Crouse continued on as a coach/ player of the team in 1900 before ending his Shelby High School football career. Harry married Rose Tuttle in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1916 and they both lived in Cleveland, Ohio until after the 1940s.
 
 
The 1900 Shelby High School football team
 
 
The Daily Globe, September 19, 1900 - SHELBY JUNIORS - The Name of Another Foot Ball Team Just Organized.
Last night, the old High School football team reorganized, with a few additional members, and will hereafter be known as the the Shelby Juniors. Following are the names of the members and the positions they will fill: c, Harry Cole; r.g., Jesse Morse; l.g., Clyde Connelly; r.t., Jim Shinnebrook; r.e., Irvin Hanna; l.e., Floyd Stoner; q.b., Arthur Ward; r.h.b., Will Burgess; l.h.b., Jonathan Rice;
f.b., Cap. Strouse; subs; Ellis Seydell, Elton Hiles, Clyde Lisle, Bert May, Frank Kubbs. The following officers were elected: Captain John Rice; Manager, Cap. Strouse; treasurer, Frank Seltzer. The club is trying to make a date with the Crestline High School team for a date in this city soon.
 
 
It was to be a frustrating year for the Shelby High School Football team. They were never able to schedule their rival the Crestline High School Football team. The new Shelby Athletic Association field facility would soon be completed and (maybe for that reason) many new teams were being formed in Shelby in addition to the official Shelby Athletic Association team and the newly named "Shelby Juniors" high school team. Names that no longer are remembered: The Shelby Tigers, The Shelby Second Team, The Shelby Thunderbolts, The Fairgrounds Team and others. There was a good bit of competition between these "new" local teams. They were trying to get themselves established in this fast growing sport. They could possibly accomplish this by challenging and winning against an established, better known team. Responding to these challenges added to the frustration of the High School team. There were few rules regarding eligibility. The high school players needed to be a minimum of 17 years of age, but they could be as old as early twenties and weren't required to be enrolled in high school.
 
 
The Daily Globe, November 19, 1900 - Manager Frank Seltzer of the High School foot ball team will not accept the challenge issued recently by Manager Morse of the Second Football team of this city. Morse stated that his team averaged 125 pounds, which statement Manager Seltzer has investigated and found to be incorrect, as they have not one man in the team weighing 125 pounds or less. The High School football team Manager Seltzer states, will play any team of equal average weight, no matter where they come from. High school teams however are preferable. The High School foot ball team, however, met the same men on the baseball diamond, where weight did not count, and the Second Team was defeated twice. That goes to show that if the high school boys were a little heavier they could do the same thing on the gridiron. In refusing to accept the challenge,then, the high school team does so because of the unequal weight, which every one knows counts for everything in football. Manager Seltzer is certain that his team is well-trained, having been coached by Prof. Turner, principal of the high school, who played half back on the Bethany University team and thoroughly understands the game, and if it were not for the light weight of this team he is certain that the high school team would be far superior to the Second Team. When the average weight of the Second Team is near that of the High School team, the challenge will be immediately accepted. Manager Seltzer states that his team will meet the Tigers of this city some day this week. The time and place will be announced later.
 
 
The challenge from the Shelby Second Team (above) was typical of the distractions that occured during the early part of the 1900 season. The high school "Juniors" really wanted a game with Crestline and it was not to be, but Manager Frank Seltzer, born 1882 and youngest son of Joseph A. (Uncle Joe) and Mary Elizabeth Strock Seltzer, did not want to accept a challenge from an older and much heavier football team. Coach Prof. Turner was confident that the team would do well against a relatively evenly matched opponent. Who was Prof. Turner who played (HB) on the Bethany University team? Richland County Courthouse records show William D. Turner married Ada Jane Morris on July 11, 1900. So in addition to being principal of the Shelby schools, Coach Turner is now previous Coach Jeff Morris' brother in law. 1910 finds William and Ida Jane Turner living in Cleveland and William a lawyer in a law office. Frank Seltzer finally accepted a game with the Shelby Tiger team when it was determined that the weight of the team players was similar. It was the first game that the Shelby High School football team played on the new Shelby Athletic Association Field.
 
 
The game with the Shelby Tigers
 

Shelby Daily Globe - November 23, 1900

 

Shelby Daily Globe - November 24, 1900

 
 
 
A little over a week after the Tigers game, the Shelby High School football team played their second and final game of the season. The game was with Galion High School played in Galion. The teams were well matched as the score would indicate. Note the team uniforms and absence of helmets in the photo below of the Shelby - Galion game.
 
Photo courtesy of the Shelby Museum

 
 

Shelby Daily Globe - December 03, 1900

 
 
This wrapped up the 1900 football season for the Shelby High School Team. 1901 would be a season with an increased and more regimented football schedule due to the formation of the Interscholastic Athletic League of Northeastern Ohio, a forerunner of the NOL.
 
 

 
 
The 1900 Shelby Athletic Association football team
 
Photo courtesy of the Shelby Museum

 
 
 
The 1900 Shelby Athletic Association football team (Shelby A. A.) consisted of the 1899 team with the addition of a few key players and staff. These additional players were almost exclusively employed at the Shelby Steel Tube Works and so this 1900 team was also composed almost entirely from Tube Works employees.
 
First person on the left in the back row is Wells, who was listed in the contemporary Globe newspapers as the new team manager. Ralph Pierce Wells, whose stated occupation was steel polisher in the 1900 census, was involved in the original organization of the Shelby Athletic Association. He does not appear in the 1900 - 1901 Shelby directory and is not mentioned in the football newspaper accounts in 1901, so his stay with the team was very short. He was living in Cleveland in 1910 along with his wife Sadie and family of five children.
 
Second from the left in the back, was Edgar Duane Austin, born 1876, son of Duane V. and Florence Austin. Edgar was living on Myers Avenue in Shelby in 1900 and working at the Tube Works. In 1906 he was living at the Elston Hotel in Shelby and was working in the Hot Mill at the Tuby.
 
Next in the back row is Mel Simon who can be recognized from the 1899 team photo.
 
William Harris, born George William Harris in 1879, in Knox County, Ohio, was one of a dozen children. He was boarding at 61 Second Street in Shelby and working at the Tube Works as a steel polisher during his first year of playing football on the Shelby A.A. team. A year later he was living at 24 Blackfork Street and working at the Tube Works. In 1906 William G. Harris was living with his brother Clarence at 52 E. Smiley Avenue and they were both working at the Tube. William married Ethel ? ? ? c. 1902 and by 1910 they were living west of Shelby on a farm.
 
Fred Tucker was born c. 1879 to Joseph and Eva Cecilia Lybarger Tucker, who in turn was a son of Simeon and Paulina Roberts Tucker. Tucker and Simeon Avenues were named for Fred's grandfather. At the time of Fred's birth his family was living on South Gamble Street and his father was working on the railroad. Fred was living with his parents at 64 South Gamble Street in 1901 and working at the Tube Works. In 1905 Cecilia Allie Fisher, a daughter of George and Mary Mott Fisher, married Fred C. Tucker. 1910 finds Fred and Allie with their family of Robert and Marie living in Cleveland, Ohio. Fred and Allie died in Cleveland and are buried at Oakland Cemetery.
 
Holly H. Morse, born in Plymouth Township, Richland Co., Ohio in 1880, was the oldest child of Otis and Orrissa T. Griffith Morse. By 1900 Holly's family was living at 200 West Main Street in Shelby and Otis was an agent for the McCormick Machine Company. In 1901 Holly was working at the Tube Works. He would only play football with the Shelby A. A. for two seasons; he died in 1902 at the age of twenty two, the result of a train accident at the railroad junction on North Broadway in Shelby. Holly was working as a fireman on the B&O railroad, with his headquarters at Chicago Junction (Willard), Ohio. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery.
 
Dr. M.W. Bland is Morton William Bland, born 1877 in Galion, Ohio, youngest son of William and Elizaberth Bland of that city. Morton Bland was lodging in Chicago, Illinois at the time of the 1900 census and reported his status as "student (medical)". Later that year he married Jean Davis of Galion, Ohio. The Shelby Daily Globe of September 14, 1900 states: " R. P. Wells was elected manager and Bud Johnson captain of the team. Dr. M. W. Bland, Dr. T. F. Stratford, and Chas. Gleason, of the Tube Works, all of whom are old college foot ball players of some renown, will coach the team to its utmost capabilities, and by the time the season is ended it is expected that Shelby will have as much of a reputation for foot ball excellency as she has for base ball." Dr. Morton W. Bland , wife Jean, and only child Florence, was living in Bellevue in 1910 and would state his occupation as "physician".
 
Dr. T. F. Stratford is probably Thomas Foster Stratford born in 1876 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. In 1900, he was attending Dental College. A guess would be that he attended Bethany University and played football at nearly the same time as Coach Morris and Prof. William Turner. More study is needed to prove this.
 
First person in the middle row on the left is Frank Morse Griffith, born 1878, the oldest son of Milton and Amanda Morse Griffith. Frank's father, Milton, was Holly Morse's mother Orrissa's oldest brother. Frank Morse Griffith and Holly Morse were first cousins. Frank was boarding at 53 Auburn Avenue in Shelby and working at the Tube Works in 1900. In 1906 he was living at 190 West Main Street.
 
Next to Frank is Arthur Jay Rice, born 1879 in Ada, Ohio, a son of Frank and Adelia Brannon Rice. Frank Rice listed his occupation (at the time of Arthur's birth) as "huckster". Twenty years later, living at 120 East Main Street in Shelby, Frank was a grocery merchant, which is a more sophisticated advanced version of huckster. Son Arthur in 1900 was living with his family in Shelby and he listed his occupation as "clerk", probably in his father's grocery. This makes Art one of the few members of the 1900 Shelby A.A. Football team that was not employed at the Tube Works. By 1901, Art would be the owner of Rice Brothers grocery (stores at 70 West Main Street and 14 - 16 North Broadway in Shelby) and elected manager of the Shelby A. A. Football team. Art married Blanche Gates, a daughter of Jacob and Alice Bly Gates, in 1903. Their first child Brock was born about a year later. The grocery stores were sold by 1908 and Art and father Frank, still living in Shelby, had become road contractors. At the time of WWI draft registration, Arthur and family were living at 109 East Main Street and Art was a theater owner. In 1920 the family (now five children) had moved to New Haven, Ohio and Art was a hotel keeper. 1930 finds Art (now divorced) and brother Chet Rice living in Florida and working at road building.
 
All the remaining players in the middle and first row have appeared previously and were discussed.
 
Please note the helmets pictured above. This is the first indication that the Shelby teams were using any head protection except the "long hair" and possibly a bandana wrapped around the hair. The sport had often been described in local newspaper accounts as one that had produced many injuries over the past several years, both here in Shelby as well as across the nation. This is the first proof that some steps, although almost insignificant, were being taken to protect the head. More on this later.
 
 
The 1900 Shelby Athletic Association football team schedule
 
 
The 1900 Shelby A.A. team had great talent and committed experienced, coaches / managers. How would this combination perform with a much larger and more difficult schedule: six games against formidable teams. The first test was against the Ashland Athletic Club at Ashland. The Shelby team played well and came off the victor with a score of 11 to 0.
 
The second test would be a more difficult and experienced Ohio Wittenberg University team. The Wittenberg game was also special because it would be the first home game of the season and would also be a time of formal dedication of Shelby's new sports facility built on the Judge Jenner property on Mack Avenue. The Wittenburg team had played a more extensive schedule and the game would be a real test for the Shelby team. The game was played on Saturday, October 27 and the Shelby Daily Globe reported the attendance was about 800 people. The teams were escorted through town by the Shelby City Band and arrived at the field at 2:30 pm. The game began at 3:00 pm. with Wittenberg choosing the south end of the field and kicking to Shelby. A complete description of the game was published in the October 29th edition of the Daily Globe. It was a hard fought game: "Full back C. Mayer and right half back G. Mayer, were both compelled to retire in the latter part of the first half on account of injuries, and were replaced by Bland and Stratford, respectively." The final score of the game was Shelby 8, Wittenberg 0.
 
Friday, November 2, Ohio Wesleyan University arrived from Delaware to challenge the Shelby team on a Friday afternoon. A description of the game was published by the Daily Globe, November 3rd. The Shelby Band again escorted the teams to the field. The crowd numbered over 1000 people. The game was extremely hard fought and the score at the half was Ohio Wesleyan 6, Shelby 0. In the second half Shelby began to make a come back, but the visiting team was just a bit too much. The final score was Ohio Wesleyan 6, Shelby 5.
 
A rematch of the Ohio Wesleyan game was played on November 10th. The Daily Globe (November 12th edition) stated: " It was one of the best and doubtless the cleanest games ever played on the local gridiron. By straight hard foot ball O.W.U. could not have scored on Shelby if they had played until Sunday morning." The final score was Shelby 5, Ohio Wesleyan 0.
 
Saturday, November 17th Shelby played the Akron Athletic Club in Akron. The November 19th article in the Daily Globe reported there were several inches of snow on the field. The Shelby team was said to have the best of the game, however, neither team was able to consistently move the ball under those conditions. The game ended in a 0 to 0 tie.
 
The final game of the 1900 season would be a rematch with the vaunted Akron team that played Shelby to a tie just about two weeks previously. The game was played November 29th on Shelby's field and was attended by 1000 fans. The Daily Globe article appeared November 30th. The game seemed to be going against Shelby in the first half until Akron scored, then Shelby's team "braced up" and played a superb game that stirred the crowd to a high pitch. The final score was Shelby 6, Akron 5. Shelby had just won the 1900 State Championship over all Athletic Associations!
 
The 1900 Shelby Athletic Association Team State Champions
 
In recognition of the Shelby A. A. Team State Championship, the Daily Globe ran a series of tribute articles for a week following the Championship winning game. The following are all Daily Globe articles:
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - November 27, 1900

The Shelby Foot Ball Team - How they usually line up on the field.
Harry Miller, L. E.
Pat Gillen, L.T.
Art Rice and Will Harris, L. G.
Fred Tucker, C.
Holly Morse and Mel Simon, R.G.
 Ed. Austin and Bert Gates, R.E.
Frank Griffith, L. H. B.
Col. Mayer, F. B.
Gus Mayer, R. H. B.
Smith Weiser, Q. B.
Bud Johnson, R.T.

 Coaches : Bland and Stratford.
 
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 1, 1900

Two of Shelby's Foot Ball Heroes

 Long Live Miller
Harry Miller, left end, made a 40 yard run at Akron which has made him a favorite. He is one of the most determined men on the eleven and made a remarkably strong showing during the season just closed. He played his position faultlessly and has covered himself in glory.
 Long Live Myers
Gus Mayer, left half back, made two of the longest runs of the season. He holds the record of the team for the longest run. He made a 50 yard run at Akron and a 25 yard run on Thanksgiving. The team is more than satisfied with his work. He has a host of admirers who praise him for his clean fair playing.
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 3, 1900

Two Kings of the Gridiron

Captain Russell Johnson
Never failed to gain when he carried the ball. If Shelby's goal was ever in danger Johnson was sent through the line and invariably made the required gain. The right tackle never fumbled and never lost ground for Shelby. His perseverance has won the applause of every foot ball enthusiast.
 Colonel Mayers
As fullback surprised everybody this season. The position was never played better. Every Shelby admirer felt confident when Mayers lined up as fullback. When the word was given to put Stratford through the line Mayer was the man behind the plucky right half back and Stratford went through.
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 4, 1900
The Big Three

The powerful three, Tucker, center, Harris, left guard, and Simon, right guard,
swept everything before them this season. Most any team would have trouble
with this bunch of sturdy foot ball players. They performed like clockwork.
They were always in the game. They were not where they could make star
plays but they knew how to stop the plays directed against them. We have
occasion to be proud of them.
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 5, 1900
Players who Have the Metal of Which Foot Ball Men are Made.
Morse right guard, Gillen left tackle, and Griffith left half back, were equal to
every emergency. Griffith as end runner was a star. All three were ground
gainers and made remarkable records for themselves.

Smith Weiser
The plucky quarterback has covered himself in glory. He used good judgment and handled himself like a general. He kicked the goal which gave Shelby the championship of the state over athletic associations.
 Bert Gates
The little right end is famous for his remarkable tackles and excellent runs. Opposing teams never tried his end but once. This convinced them that it was impossible to make a gain around the end that Gates defended,
 
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 6, 1900
The Star of the Season
Dr. T. F. Stratford, right half back, is unquestionably the star of the Shelby foot ball world. In bucking the center or gaining ground no one can compare with our favorite, Stratford. "No not in a thousand years." Let us pay tribute to the right half back whose coaching and playing are generally conceded to have made the team what it is - champion athletic team of the state. Everybody is anxious to have Stratford coach the team and pilot them to victory next season, as all recognize and acknowledge his worth to the team as coach and right half back.
 
 
 
Shelby Daily Globe - December 8, 1900
The Man Who Always Saved The Day - Bland
Dr. M. W. Bland stands out prominently above all and is acknowledged as one of the best foot ball players in the state. He stands on his merits and has shown his ability to coach and pilot the team to victory. He is without question the best man in this section of the state for the position and certainly ought to have no trouble holding the same place next fall against all competitors. Shelby people who show more than a passing interest in foot ball affairs state that Bland has earned and deserves a great deal of credit and honor for his efficient work. When the game was going to the bad, Bland always saved the day. He made the foot ball team and made the season, a season of victories.
 
 
The final foot ball wrap-up article of the season appeared in the December 12, 1900 edition of the Daily Globe and has the head line:
 
COACHES AND CAPTAIN For Shelby's 1901 Foot Ball Team are Practically Decided.
 
 
Could next season be even better than this one??
 

 

Part I

 1894 - 1898 Teams

Part II

 1899 - 1900 Teams

  Part III

  1901 Teams

  Part IV

  1902 Teams

 Part V

  1903 Teams

  Part VI

  1904 Teams 
 
 
 

(1) "The History of Shelby Football 1894 - 1985", written by Fred Eichinger, published ca. 1986.

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