More of this, that and BSHS football
Maybe we should call this column a bit of “this and that.” In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had some answers to a couple of issues discussed in recent weeks.
Recently, I wrote about the centennial celebration in Bonner Springs and the project to honor Henry Tiblow by repairing the marker on his grave. One of the issues at that time was the burial of his wife, Mary Ann (Polly) Marshall Tiblow. It turns out that she wasn’t buried beside her husband but in the Big Cabin Cemetery in Big Cabin, Okla. Roger Miller, who was chairperson of the centennial committee, said he got an e-mail from Vickie Wilkens, great-granddaughter of the Tiblows, who had discovered the location of the grave. I believe she was the person who earlier informed the committee about the location of Henry’s grave. Henry was born on Feb. 9, 1818, and died on Dec. 16, 1881, and was buried near Nowata, Okla.
Apparently after his death, Polly moved to the Big Cabin area to be near her children. She outlived Henry by a number of years and died on July 23, 1907. Roger said that he received a photo of Polly’s grave and it had the same type of marker as Henry’s.
Incidentally, Polly was a sister-in-law of Moses Grinter who built the historic Grinter House on K-32 and 78th Street.
Nearly a century and a quarter after his death, Henry is still remembered and has his own Web site and is mentioned on a couple of other Web sites.
Henry Tiblow was quite an interesting person. He was a successful businessman and was a chief among the Delawares. He was an interpreter for the U.S. government and could speak five Indian languages plus French and English. Reading the material, I have to wonder if the name of our town still shouldn’t be named in his honor.
According to a line printed at the bottom of the information, I was the 1,396th person to visit the Web site since Dec. 10, 2000.
I am continuing my search to find more information about the first Bonner Springs High School football teams. I have come across information that Bonner had a grid team well before 1912. I was gathering material for the 100 years ago column when I found that Bonner Springs was scheduled to play its first game (maybe of the season) against Gardner on Oct. 10, 1908. The article even listed the starting line-up for the Bonner team. The starters were: Langston and Plotner, ends; Twist and Fredricks, tackles; Hall and Millard, guards; Parker, center; Garrett, quarterback; Davidson, fullback; and Waters and Pfiefer, halfback. One has to wonder about depth since the only reserve listed was Whorton. Incidentally, newspapers in those days weren’t big on using first names in the few sports stories that were published. Certainly no weights were listed, but you can bet they were a lot smaller than today’s athletes.
Anyway, I checked the following week’s edition only to find out that the game against Gardner had been “called off.” There was no explanation as to why the game was scuttled. The paper announced that Bonner Springs would play a home game on the following Saturday afternoon against Tonganoxie. I checked the next two weeks newspapers and found nothing at all about the football team. In fact, a quick check revealed no additional stories about the team. In addition, the name of the coach was never included in any of the stories.
Maybe the reason was that the team had no coach. In those long gone days, there was far less emphasis on high school athletics than today. In 1908 the only “big time” sport was baseball.
Bonner Springs, however, was moving forward in another area of athletics. It was determined that Bonner Springs would field a girls basketball team and practices were under way in mid-October. Now the girls faced some serious handicaps. Apparently the school didn’t have a gymnasium so the girls had to practice in a vacant lot across the street from the Christian Church. At that time, I believe, the Christian Church was located at the site of the new Bonner Springs library. When practice started, the vacant lot had no goals, but the newspaper reported that they would soon be installed.
Apparently the girls didn’t have a coach, either. Margaret Fredrick was appointed as captain and was conducting practices. Mabel Dixon was the manager. I plan to try to keep track of how the girls team did in the seasons.
Bonner Springs has a very unique and interesting history and it is always fun to find a fact that throws some light on our city’s past.