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Family of

William Walter "Pudge" Heffelfinger &
Grade Harriett Pierce Heffelfinger




Grace Harriett Pierce Heffelfinger

By Lacy Winston Rasberry

Grace Harriett Pierce was born at “Rancho Grande,” Deming’s Bridge, Texas, on September 1, 1879, the youngest daughter of Jonathan Edwards Pierce and Nannie Deborah Lacy Pierce.


Grace left Deming’s Bridge at an early age following the tragic death of her mother, who had suffered fatal injuries in a horse and buggy accident. She lived with her cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Withers in Kansas City, Kansas. During the years in Kansas, Grace attended finishing school and met her future husband, William Walter Heffelfinger.


William Walter Heffelfinger was born on December 20, 1867, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Major Christopher B. Heffelfinger and Mary Elen Tottan Heffelfinger. William was totally dedicated to the game of football throughout his life, and was All-Time All American, Yale University Class of 1891, with the distinction of being one of the first players to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.


William and Grace “began their life’s journey together,” as he once wrote to her, on December 4, 1901, in Kansas City, and traveled to Europe for their wedding trip. Upon returning to the United States, the Heffelfingers lived in Minneapolis where their three children were born: Nancy Pierce (February 28, 1904-April 18, 1980) died at Columbia, South Carolina, and was buried at Hawley Cemetery; William Walter, Jr. (December 1, 1907-April 21, 1969) died at Lexington, Virginia, and was buried at Hawley Cemetery; and Jane Lacy (January 21, 1908-February 4, 1960).


Grace and William lived in Minneapolis until the death of her sister, Pearl Pierce Smith, brought them back to her native Texas and “Live Oak Farm,” near Blessing, where she spent the rest of her life. William died on April 2, 1954, at Live Oak Farm, and Grace died on February 4, 1960, in Houston. Both were buried at Hawley Cemetery.


In addition to her three children, Grace left four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


The children of Jane Lacy Heffelfinger and Peter Bickerton Winston, who was born March 18, 1909, in Minneapolis, Minnesota were: Lacy Winston who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and married Richard L. Rasberry, who was born in Laurinburg, North Carolina and Nancy Winston Sinclair Swindler who was also born in Milwaukee.


Stephen McClure Heffelfinger who was born in Minneapolis, the son of William Walter Heffelfinger, Jr. and Lois Hargett, who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and died in Bay City and is buried at Hawley Cemetery.


Grace Pierce Heffelfinger, who was born in Lexington, Virginia, was the daughter of William Walter Heffelfinger, Jr. and Jen Wade, who was born on October 24, 1907, at Brownsburg, Virginia. This Grace Pierce Heffelfinger died on January 28, 1974, at Charlottesville, Virginia, and was buried in the New Providence Presbyterian Churchyard, Brownsburg, Virginia.


Grace Pierce Heffelfinger’s great-grandchildren were:


The children of Nancy Winston and Michael Manson Sinclair: Michael Manson Sinclair II and Nena; and the child of Nancy Winston Sinclair and Timothy Swindler, Jane I.


The children of Stephen McClure Heffelfinger and Elaine Kathryn Wolf: Jennifer and Grace Pilar.

Grace Pierce Heffelfinger was a gracious, dignified, regal lady. She enriched the lives of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by her very presence and deserves a place in the history of Matagorda County.


Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 231

Grace attended Miss Dana's School, a finishing school for young ladies in Morristown, N. J.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


In Social Circles

The marriage of Miss Grace Harriet Pierce, daughter of J. E. Pierce of Hawley, Texas, and Walter W. Heffelfinger will take place Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, in Kansas City. Miss Pierce will be the guest of her cousin, Mrs. Henry Willis, in Kansas City, until after the wedding, which will be a church affair and which will be attended by a large group of Minneapolis people. Invitations will be issued this week.

Minneapolis Journal, November 14, 1901

The Minneappolis guests for the marriage of Miss Grace Harriet Pierce and Walter W. Heffelfinger will leave for Kansas City Saturday, Nov. 30, and a number of affairs have been planned for them by the bride-elect and her friends. Miss Elizabeth Donaldson will be the maid of honor and the bridesmaids will include Miss Louise Heffelfinger, Miss Harriott Pillsbury from Minneapolis, and a group of Kansas City girls. Charles Heffelfinger will be best man, and the only Minneapolis usher will be John Bovey. Mrs. C. B. Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. Frank T. Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Wells and Mrs. William S. Donaldson will go down with the members of the bridal party.

Minneapolis Journal, November 15, 1901

In Social Circles

Walter Heffelfinger left last evening for Kansas City, where his marriage to Miss Grace Harriet Pierce will take place Wednesday evening in Trinity Episcopal church. A group of relatives, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Heffelfinger, Miss Louise Heffelfinger, Miss Fannie Heffelfinger and Charles Heffelfinger will leave tomorrow evening. They will be accompanied by Miss Wagner, Miss Bernadette Kelly and Miss Elizabeth Donaldson. Miss Donaldson will stop in St. Louis for a short visit. Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Wells, Miss Leslie, John Donaldson, David M. Chute and Fayette Bousfield will go Monday evening. Miss Harriott Pillsbury is in New York and will go directly to Kansas City.

It will be a green and white wedding and Miss Donaldson will be maid of honor. The bridesmaids will be Miss Harriot Pillsbury and Miss Louise Heffelfinger of Minneapolis, Miss T. Mastin, Kansas City, and Miss Nan McFarlin, Akron, Ohio.

Charles Heffelfinger will be his brother's best man and the ushers will be Wiley Cox, William McClung of Washington, D. C.; Vance McCormick, Harrisburg, Pa.; Robert Riley, New York; Burt Hamlin, Chicago and John Bovey, Minneapolis.

A number of affairs have been arranged by Kansas City friends in honor of the Minneapolis people and Miss Pierce will give a dinner Monday evening.

Minneapolis Journal, November 29, 1901

Brilliant Wedding
That of Grace Harriet Pierce and W. W. Heffelfinger
In Kansas City Last Evening
Trinity Church Where Ceremony Was Performed Decorated in White and Green

A brilliant wedding took place last evening in Trinity church, Kansas City, when Miss Grace Harriet Pierce and William Walter Heffelfinger were married. The bride is a Texas girl, who visited Miss Donaldson and Miss Pillsbury, schoolmates at Mrs. Dana's school, a year ago, and she has made many friends in Minneapolis who will welcome her return. Mr. Heffelfinger is the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Heffelfinger and is well known throughout the country as the Yale's famous football guard.

The decorations in the church were in white and green and the chancel was banked with palms and hung with smilax. A musical program was played on the organ as the guests arrived and were seated by the ushers, Frank Heffelfinger, David M. Chute and John Bovey, Minneapolis; Thomas Lee McClung, Washington, D. C.; George Riley, Harrisburg, Pa.; Robert Cheney, South Manchester, Conn.; Roscoe Crary, Chicago, and Wiley Cox, Kansas City. The four bridesmaids were the Misses Harriet Pillsbury, Louise Heffelfinger, Minneapolis; Miss Nan McFarlane, Akron, Ohio, and Miss Theo Mestin of Kansas City. Their gowns were of white point d'esprit, trimmed with ruffles of chiffon, and the low bodices were edges with chiffon roses above lace berthas. The maid of honor, Miss Elizabeth Donaldson, was in pale pastel green crepe de chine, tucked and trimmed with point lace. The maids all carried great clusters of white chrysanthemums. The bride entered with her cousin, Henry Withers. Her gown was of white satin, with full court train. The yoke was of tulle, trimmed with white satin cords, and her veil was of honiton lace. Mr. Heffelfinger, met the bride at the chancel steps and led her through the floral gates to the altar where the service was read by Rev. Robert Talbot.

A reception for the relatives and out-of-town guests was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Withers. The decorations and appointments were characterized by the same charming simplicity and the same colors--white and green--were used. Mr. and Mrs. Heffelfinger went east on their wedding trip, and they will return to Minneapolis for the holidays. The guests from Minneapolis were: Major and Mrs. C. B. Heffelfinger, Miss Nellie Heffelfinger, Miss Fannie Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. Frank T. Heffelfinger, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Wells, Mrs. William Donaldson, Mrs. Fred Pillsbury, the Misses Minnee Leslie, Harriet Wagner, Bernadette Kelly and John Donaldson.

Minneapolis Journal, December 5, 1901

Trinity Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri
Courtesy of Denise Morrison, Kansas City Museum


All-Time All-American
Matagorda County’s Greatest Athlete Pudge Heffelfinger, Dies At 86

Walter W. “Pudge” Heffelfinger is dead.

Matagorda County’s greatest athlete passed away Friday afternoon at his home near Blessing after a short illness. He was 86.

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at Hawley Cemetery near Blessing.

A frequent visitor to The Bay City News office in past years, Mr. Heffelfinger, an all-time American, loved to reminisce about the early days of football in the United States.

He divided his time between Texas and Minnesota and on one visit to The News confided that he was telling everyone that he was a Texan. Matagorda Countians have considered Pudge Heffelfinger “one of their own” for many, many years.

Played Left Guard

He played left guard for Yale in the years 1888-91. He recounted that the first All-American team was picked in 1889 by Walter Camp and Casper Whitney of Harper’s Weekly. Heffelfinger made that mythical selection as he also did in 1890 and 1891.

After graduation he played with various athletic clubs and coached at LeHigh University (1892), University of California (1898), and the University of Minnesota (1895).

He was offered a coaching job at Navy but turned it down because of other work. “If I had taken the job at Annapolis,” he said on one visit to The News, “I might have been in the coaching business for many years.”

Active In Real Estate

Leaving college, he entered the shoe business in Minneapolis with his father, the late Major C. B. Heffelfinger. He was active for any years in real estate in his home state and in 1904 and 1908 he was a Minnesota delegate to the Republican National Convention.

Mr. Heffelfinger was in excellent health through his late years, as he was all during his life, standing six feet, two inches tall and weighing around 218 pounds, about 12 pounds more than his playing weight.

He played in an all-star game in Columbus, Ohio, when he was 53 years old. His team—he was captain—beat the Ohio boys, 16-0, he recalled with a grin of satisfaction on a visit here not so long ago.

He played all but four minutes of this game at an age most men would do nothing more strenuous than fishing or nine holes of golf. He said he could have gone the route, but he wanted to give “some other fellows a chance to play.”

But that wasn’t his last game. When he was 64 years old, he played nine minutes of football in an all-star game for disabled veterans in Minneapolis. He was forced out of the game by an injured knee, the first incapacitation injury of his long career.

In his last year of college, he played every minute of the 13 scheduled games. He also played baseball, tossed the weights in track and, in his senior year, rowed on the Yale crew.

His last visit to Yale was last November 21, when he was presented a certificate naming him a member of the Football Hall of Fame at Rutgers University.

His survivors include his widow and three children, Walter W. Heffelfinger, Jr. of Blessing, Mrs. P. Bickerton Winston of Columbia, South Carolina, and Miss Nancy Heffelfinger of Blessing.

Bay City News
, April 8, 1954

William W. “Pudge” Heffelfinger Buried In Hawley Cemetery Today

The central figure in the world’s most famous football legend, Monday afternoon was laid to rest at Hawley Cemetery near Blessing, with legions of sporting fans and athletic acquaintances throughout the world acting as mourners.

He was William W. “Pudge” Heffelfinger, Sr., 86, a famed “iron man” of the gridiron for Yale University in the 1890 era.

The famous athletic great died at his Live Oak Farm near Blessing at 4:11 p. m. on Friday.

Services were held at 2 p. m. at the Live Oak Farm, with Rev. A. C. Maxted officiating. Interment was at Hawley Cemetery. The body of the football immortal lay at state at the Blessing farm from 11 a.m. until time for the service.

He had lived on the farm for 52 years.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Grace Harriet Pierce Heffelfinger of Live Oak Farm; two daughters, Miss Nancy Pierce Heffelfinger of Live Oak Farm, Mrs. P. B. Winston of Columbus, South Carolina; a son, W. W. Heffelfinger, Jr., Brownburg, Virginia; three sisters, Miss Mary Ellen Heffelfinger, Mrs. J. C. Seiden, and Mrs. James Ford Bell, all of Minnesota; one brother, Frank T. Heffelfinger, Minnesota.

Mr. Heffelfinger was three times named to Walter Camp’s all-American team and was the most often named on all-time all-America teams.

He was a 60-minute man for Yale in 1889, 1890 and 1891 and was reputed to have been the first running guard in football. His football ____ continued after his college days, playing some 54 minutes of an all-star game when at the age of 57. At age 65 he played briefly in another all-star game.

He was recently honored at New Haven, the home of the school for which he brought immortal football glory.

Taylor Bros. Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

The Daily Tribune
, April 15, 1954


Grace Pierce Heffelfinger

Mrs. Grace Pierce Heffelfinger, 81, of Blessing, died Thursday. Survivors: Daughters: Miss Nancy Heffelfinger, Blessing, Mrs. James H. Winston, Columbia, S. C.; son, W. W. Heffelfinger Jr. Brownsburg, Va.; four grandchildren. Burial 2:30 p. m. Saturday Hawley Cemetery, Blessing, Texas. In lieu of other remembrances, please make donations to Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Palacios.

Newspaper and date unknown

Heffelfinger Funeral Set For Saturday

Mrs. Grace Pierce Heffelfinger whose late husband, W. W. (Pudge) Heffelfinger was one of early football’s star guards, died Thursday in St. Luke’s Hospital. She was 81.

Mrs. Heffelfinger lived at Live Oak Farm at Blessing, where she and her husband had moved in 1939. He died in 1954. They formerly lived in Minneapolis.

Services will be Saturday at 2:30 at Hawley Cemetery at Blessing. Survivors include two daughters, Miss Nancy Heffelfinger of Blessing and Mrs. Jane H. Winston, Columbia, S. C.; a son, W. W. Heffelfinger, Jr., Brownsburg, Va.

Heffelfinger made football history as guard on the 1891 Yale team. In 1951 he was named by the Associated Press for its midcentury all-time all-American team.

Newspaper unknown, February, 1960

Nancy Pierce Heffelfinger

Nancy P. Heffelfinger, 76, died Saturday, April 19 in South Carolina where she had moved several years ago to be near her sister, Mrs. P. Bickerton Winston. Burial was in the family plot in Hawley Cemetery.

Nancy Heffelfinger lived at Live Oak Farm near Blessing several years ago with her mother, the late Grace Pierce Heffelfinger and father “Pudlge” Heffelfinger, who made their home there at that time.

Her grandfather was Johnathon [Jonathan] Pierce. Her cousins living in this area are Abel B. and Ruth Pierce of Blessing; Stella and Abel Pierce of Palacios.

During World War II she served with the Red Cross in the European area where she met several men from this area, one being the late Eddie Huffman, also one of the Denn Brothers from Bay City.

The Daily Tribune
, April, 1980


Heffelfinger Rites Friday at Blessing Catholic Church

Mrs. Lois Hargett Heffelfinger wife of Lt. William Walter Heffelfinger of Fort Bragg, N. C., who passed away Sunday morning, will be held Friday morning at 10 o’clock at the Blessing Catholic Church with Father Bauman officiating.

Mrs. Heffelfinger is survived by her husband and son, Stephen McClure. She has resided at Live Oak Farm near Blessing for the last two years with the family of Mrs. W. W. Heffelfinger.

Funeral arrangements are in charge of Taylor Bros.

The Daily Tribune, Thursday, March 9, 1941

Jane Winston

Advocate News Service

Blessing—Jane Lacy Heffelfinger Winston, 78, of Colombia, S. C., died Sunday in Columbia.

She was born Jan. 21, 1908, in Minneapolis, Minn. to the late W. W. “Pudge” and Grace Pierce Heffelfinger.

Her grandfather was J. E. Pierce and early pioneer settler in Matagorda County, who, with his brother, Abel H. “Shanghai” Pierce, accumulated considerable land in Matagorda and Wharton counties.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Columbia.

… p. m. Sunday at Hawley Cemetery near Blessing with the Rev. Herbert A. Willkie officiating.

Pallbearers will be Steven Heffelfinger, Richard Rasberry, Teddy Smith, Andy Friend, Charles Kutchka, Lee M. Pierce and M. L. Null.

Arrangements are under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home of Bay City.

Surviving are her husband, Peter Bickerton Winston of Columbia, S. C.; two daughters, Lacy Winston Rasberry of Eastover, S. C., and Nancy Winston Swindler of Columbia, S. C.; and three grandchildren.

The Victoria Advocate
, February, 1986

Peter Bickerton Winston

Peter Bickerton Winston, 86, of Columbia, South Carolina passed away April 3, 1995 at the Life Care Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He was born in Minneapolis, MN to Phillip & Katherine Wheaton Bickerton Winston. He was a Navy Veteran of WWII, a member of Forest Lake Club, and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Columbia. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Heffelfinger Winston in 1986. He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Winston-Swindler and Lacy Winston-Rasberry both of Columbia, South Carolina, a brother, John Winston of Minneapolis and three grandchildren. Grave Side Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, 1995 at the Hawley Cemetery in Blessing. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

The Daily Tribune
, April 11, 1995




Stephen McClure Heffelfinger - Hawley Cemetery


Heffelfinger Family Plot Marker - Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Photo courtesy of Ken Gardner

Christopher B. Heffelfinger
Photo courtesy of Don Houlding


Mary Ellen Totton Heffelfinger
Photo courtesy of Ken Gardner

Envelope from Pudge Heffelfinger's father's shoe business.

1898 Magazine Ad for The North Star Shoe Company


Minneapolis Visited by a Big Fire--About $350,000 Worth of Property Gone Up in Smoke.

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 23.--Fire broke out tonight at 10 o'clock in the five-story building occupied by the North Star Boot and Shoe company on Third street between Hennepin and First avenue north. A brisk wind was prevailing at the time and the flames had a good start. It looked as though Temple court, the Nicolet house and other buildings would have to go. By great work on the part of the the firemen the flames were confined to the building in which they originated. The loss is estimated at $350.000; fully insured. The building is owned by H. G. Harrison and cost $85,000. The North Star Boot and Shoe company is composed of Preston King and W. W. Heffelfinger. It will be rebuilt.

Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, November 24, 1891

Telegraphic Brevities.

W. W. Heffelfinger, Yale's big football rusher, has entered the service of the Union Pacific as a civil engineer.

San Diego Union, April 21, 1892

Heffelfinger Leaves Yale.
One of the Greatest Athletes who Ever Graduated from a College.

William W. Heffelfinger, the noted Yale athlete, has permanently retired from the university, and will enter the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

In his way Heffelfinger is one of the greatest all-round athletes who ever graduated from the university. He began his career by playing foot ball as a freshman, and at the time made a reputation as a sprinter, nothwithstanding his 200 pounds of weight. Each succeeding year he gained additional glory on the foot ball field, and concluded his undergraduate career by being one of the crew in New London last summer.

When Heffelfinger returned to college after the Christmas recess, it was announced he would complete his course in the law school, and thus appear on the foot ball field another season. A remunerative offer from the Union Pacific Railroad has, however, caused him to alter his determination. His last appearance as an athlete was at the winter games of the Yale Athletic Association, when he knocked out H. M. Kidd, a '92 man with the gloves.

Repository, Canton, Ohio, May 7, 1892

Now the Hero of Skykomich.
Yale's Giant Football Player Saves a Desperate From the Hands of Infuriated Lynchers.
By His Pluck and Nerve He Holds a Mob at Bay Completely.

New York, April 8--A special to the World from Tacoma, Wash., has the following remarkable story of one of the most widely known Yale athletes, namely, W. W. Heffelfinger, the rusher in foot ball in 1891. It says: "W. W. Heffelfinger, the famous rusher of the Yale football team, is a hero to-day in the eyes of the people of Skykomish, one of the toughest towns in the west, because he had the nerve to face them from hanging a bully and desperado whom they feared and hated. "Old Heff," is in the army of men that James J. Hill brought to the northwest in the construction of his railroad to Puget sound. He has been drifting westward as the work of constructing the railroad progressed. A few weeks ago he landed at Skykomish, which is undoubtedly one of the toughest towns that has ever been opened up in the west in the last 10 years. Skykomish is in Snohomish county, in the Cascade mountains, about 150 miles northeast from Tacoma, on the line of the Great Northern railway. A camp was originally located there by the railroad employees, and they soon made it profitable for a man to open a saloon. Now it has a population of about 400, and half of this number are men and women of the worst class, who have no fear of God or man, who live by their wits and consider it a crime to miss an opportunity to steal, and who have been following the railroad across the continent.

"A big brutal fellow, known as 'Big Kid,' has been the 'terror' of the town. The Kid always had his guns with him, and he was never slow to bring them into play if occasion required. He had been known in the northwest for several years and very few men cared to cross him. Heffelfinger is an assistant paymaster in the employ of the Great Northern. On Saturday last the pay car passed over the road and the men were paid for the month. Skykomish burst into a roar of excitement after the arrival. The gambling hells were in full blast and the saloons were filled with staggering men and women. The cheap variety dens were crowded. By nightfall several railroad men struck the town and complained that they had been robbed. A dozen or two men had been forced to look down the barrels of revolvers while 'parting with their dust.' Soon the whole town was in an uproar over the robberies. About 200 railroad men congregated, and they began discussing means of protecting themselves.

"Big Kid was generally regarded as the man at the bottom of all the trouble, and the men decided that if the Kid was out of the world there would be fewer shooting scrapes and robberies. The crowd was in deadly earnest, and when one of them yelled: 'Let us go down to the Big Kid's dive,' they yelled approval.

"'We want a spokesman,' shouted two or three voices; and several yelled in answer; 'What's the matter with Heff.'

"'He's all right!' roared 100 voices, and the big man from Yale was pushed to the front. His life among the men had made them see that he was made of the right kind of material. Few knew of his Yale foot-ball reputation, but 'Heff,' as they call him, stands over six feet in his stockings and weighs 200 pounds. He urged the men to keep quiet and then led them through he streets at a run between the ill-arranged cabins and frame shanties. Arriving at the 'hang-out' of Big Kid, Heffelfinger stepped forward and said:

"Kid, we have come to the conclusion that you are not wanted in this town. We will allow you until 4 o'clock to-morrow (Monday) morning to leave Skykomish."

"'No, no,' yelled the crowd, 'hang him! hang him!'"

"The cry was taken up, and in an instant 200 men were frantically crying "Hang him! hang him!" A score of them started towards the Kid, who was ready in a twinkling to sell his life dearly.

"'Stand back!' commanded the man from Yale in stentorian tones, as he sprang beside the big ruffian and faced the angry mob of men. 'Keep cool, men; now listen to reason,' he shouted; but the crowd did not want to listen. Revolvers were drawn, but Heffelfinger stood unarmed and held the crowd at bay.

"'Drop that gun!' he would shout first at one man and then at another. He talked to them, saying that they should not hang the man, that the courts would deal with him and that they should not have his blood upon their heads.

"The crowd listened for awhile, but soon broke out again in a wild cry for the death of the Kid. The latter stood cowering by the side of his protector, for his brash courage was leaving him. When guns whipped out for the second time Heffelfinger thought that his time had come, but with rare presence of mind and nerve he said:

"'Boys, you can't have this man.'

"This declaration seemed to astonish the crowd. Couldn't have the man? What could he mean? Did he defy them, or was he going to defend the life of a man whom he knew was a ruffian of the lowest type? The men who had been yelling the loudest became quiet when they saw that their leader wanted them to heed his advice. He could look down a gun and stand by his man even though the moment he said so he knew that the had tempted death. This was a display of nerve that the rough men around him could not help but admire. There was a short silence, revolvers were lowered and Yale's old athlete was master of the situation. Big Kid shot him a glance of gratitude.

"'You have until 9 o'clock to-morrow morning to get out of Skykomish,' Heffelfinger said to the tough, and a man in the crowd added: 'If you are not gone by that time you will hang as sure as fate.'

"The Kid was permitted to slink away. Quiet was restored and at 9 o'clock on Monday morning Big Kid was not to be found.

"Since the affair the railroad men speak highly of the manner in which their leader prevented them from lynching the Kid. They swear by him, and as one of them said to-day."

"'Nobody but Heff could have saved de Kid's life without a gun play.'

"Matters have reached such a pass at Skykomish that it will not be surprising to hear of a lynching there at any time. Men are held up on the streets daily, and about the time the car passes on its monthly trip trouble may be looked for. The constable there is a barkeeper and the justice of the peace is a saloon habitué, and they are worse than no officers at all.

"Heffelfinger, or 'Old Heff,' as Yale men call him, is several inches over six feet in height, is as straight as an oak and as active as a cat. His weight is something over 200 pounds, and every pound of it represents bone and sinew. He was one of the most courageous, powerful and skilful men that ever bucked into a rush line on the football field. Even his opponents in the rival college football teams gave him credit for being head and shoulders the best football guard in the country. He was as well the best boxer in college, and in spite of his height and weight he could run like a greyhound. He was a fine oarsman and rowed in the waist of the university boat for three years. He was graduated in 1891 and went west. His departure left a breach in the rank of Yale athletes that has not been filled."

New Haven Register, April 6, 1893

The hop season was inaugurated this week by a full dress hop at the Tacoma hotel. The season was introduced with eclat. The fairest flowers from the social realm were escorted to the hop by their friends and admirers and the occasion was made exceedingly pleasant. The decorations in the parlors were charmingly and artistically arranged. Beautiful flowers gave a rare fragrance to the rooms and the music rendered by the Spanish Students made dancing a pleasure. The list of dances ran like this; Waltz, polka, waltz, lancers, york, polka, schottische and waltz. Lunch was served at midnight. The list of invitations included the following names:

W. Heffelfinger

Tacoma Daily News, June 17, 1893

The Second German.

The Thursday club gave a german, second of the Winter, at Chestnut street hall. The patronesses were Mrs. Edward Bailey and Mrs. John B. McPherson. Among the young ladies from a distance were Miss Gamble, of Williamsport; Miss Stewart, of Lancaster; Miss Rogers, of Logansport, Ind.; Miss Beaumont, of Hagerstown; Miss Russel, of Winchester, and Miss Bailey, of Pittsburg. W. W. Heffelfinger, of St. Paul, Minn., Oliver Scarfe, Pittsburg; Harry Smith, Baltimore, were also present.

Patriot, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1894

A Cross Country Run
The T. and C. Club Plans a Small Cycle Event.

The Town and Country Bicycle club has arranged a cross country run for Saturday next. The start will be from the club house to Lake Calhoun and back. 10 1/2 miles, and the start will be made after the heat of the day, somewhere bout 4 p. m. There are a good many entries in already, and as the prizes are unusually attractive there should be a good sized list.

This bids fair to be one of the fashionable events of the season, and the lady members of the season, and the lady members of the club will turn out in full force. A lunch will be served at the clubhouse on the completion of the race, and the prize distribution and speech making will occur.

The following have already entered: ...W. W. Heffelfinger

Minneapolis Journal, July 7, 1896

Old Yale Men Here

W. McClung, captain of the crack Yale eleven of '91 and W. W. Heffelfinger, the big Yale guard of the elevens from 1888 to 1892 are the guests of Vance McCormick. They will likely remain over Saturday and McClung may play in the All-College game.

Patriot, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1897

Boot and Shoe Buyers In Town.

Minneapolis, Minn.--C. B. and W. W. Heffelfinger of North Star Boot & Shoe Company. Ads.

Boston Herald, October 13, 1897

Society News

Portland soon is to acquire another prominent society matron from the East when Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Selden, formerly of Minneapolis, take up their residence here permanently next week. Mrs. Selden probably will leave Minneapolis tomorrow for Portland to meet Mr. Selden. The Seldens have two attractive children.

Mrs. Selden is a sister of Walter W. "Pudge" Heffelfinger of Minneapolis, noted as the greatest athlete Yale ever produced, and also noted as Yale's greatest football guard. Mr. Selden long has been connected with timber interests, which business has called him to Idaho and the West within the past two years. It is probable Mrs. Selden will be visited soon by her father and mother, Major and Mrs. C. B. Heffelfinger, who have been passing the Winter in California with their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Frank T. Heffelfinger.

Oregonian, March 20, 1914

Pudge's sister, Fanny Mary Ellen Heffelfinger

Yale's Great "Pudge' Now Is Politician
"Pudge" Heffelfinger, Old Time Yale Gridder, Seeks Congress Seat

MINNEAPOLIS, June 21--(AP)--"Pudge" Heffelfinger, the old-time Yale star whom Walter Camp called "the greatest guard that ever played football," is bucking the political line here this year as a candidate for congress in the primary election to be held June 16.

"Tackled for a loss: in a special election for the same post a year ago, the great Yale guard of the turn of the '90s has come back again with the battle cry of anti-Volsteadism.

On the ballots he is Walter W. Heffelfinger. He won four letters in each of four years at Yale, and starred at Minnesota before that, while still a Minneapolis high school student. Rules were different in those days. He was at Yale from 1888 to 1891, and was an all-American selection all four years.

He is now 55 and the 250 pounds of his collegiate days has grown into something else. A giant physically, even Primo Canera didn't look so big when he stood next to "Pudge" during an exhibition bout here.

Beside football, "Pudge" was outstanding in rowing, baseball and track, winning other "Y's" in these sports. In 1889 he was Yale's heavyweight boxing champion also. After he left Yale he coached at his alma mater, then at Minnesota, Lehigh and California.

His opponent in the present congressional race is W. I. Nolan, a former lieutenant governor of Minnesota, who defeated him in 1929. "Pudge" says he wishes the battle called for moleskins.

Aberdeen Daily News, Aberdeen, South Dakota, June 21, 1930

66-Year-Old Grid Star Delays His Plans To Retire

Minneapolis, Nov. 9. (AP)--W. W. "Pudge" Heffelfinger, a power on Yale football teams in the late '80's, again has postponed his retirement from gridiron activity.

The 66-year-old local man, a great guard at Yale, has decided to play his "final game" here next Saturday with a team of former University of Minnesota gridders against one-time St. Thomas college stars in a disabled veterans' benefit contest.

A year ago, he played in a high school alumni game, suffered an injury, and decided to give up active participation in the sport. Before that he played from time to time.

He weighs 240 pounds and is active.

Daily Illinois State Journal, November 10, 1933



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Nov. 6, 2011
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