Category Archives: 1918

Ivan Michaloff Is Versatile Wrestler

Asheville Citizen – February 27, 1918

Weighing 225 pounds and in perfect physical condition, Ivan Michaloff, crack Siberian wrestler, arrived in Asheville yesterday from New York. Ivan is on his way to Spartanburg, where he is going on the invitation of United States Army officer friends stationed at Camp Wadsworth, who are endeavoring to have him made physical instructor at this camp.  Continue reading


Strangler Lewis In The Army Now

Omaha World-Herald – July 27, 1918
By Sandy Griswold

“Strangler” Lewis is another if the country’s most notable athletes to don the khaki. He is one of the new recruits at Camp Grant at Rockford, Ill., and has been made captain of the cantonment’s wrestling team. This team is scheduled to meet the Camp Dodge team of Des Moines, Ia., at the White Sox ballpark, Chicago, as part of the Salvation Army benefit, on Friday, August 9. Continue reading

Auditorium All Set For Battle Tonight

Omaha World-Herald – July 6, 1918

Everything is ready for the resumption of the big wrestling match over at the Auditorium tonight, when Charley Peters, the Papillion carpenter, and John Pesek, the Shelton farmer, will grapple for their finish match, which was postponed on Independence day because of the heavy rain. Continue reading

Joe Stecher Released From Selective Service

Omaha World-Herald – July 31, 1918

FREMONT, Neb., July 30 – Joe and Anton Stecher accompanied by their wives and the year-old twin sons of Anton came down from Dodge today and appeared before the Dodge County draft board, in an effort to secure the release of the two famous Dodge Count wrestlers from the selective service. Continue reading

Sandy’s Dope

Omaha World-Herald – April 24, 1918
By Sandy Griswold

HOTEL KNICKERBOCKER, New York, April 23 To Sandy Griswold, sporting editor of the World-Herald: In support of offer of $50,000 for a championship match between Earl Caddock and winner of Stecher-Lewis match in Madison Square Garden Friday evening, I have this day posted a certified check for $10,000 with John Doyle, whom every newspaper in New York will endorse as positively responsible. The match takes place July 4 or any date agreeable to contestants. JACK CURLEY. Continue reading

Caddock’s Story Scouted

Associated Press – March 3, 1919

DES MOINES, Ia. – Friends of Earl Caddock, world’s wrestling champion, are inclined to accept with reservation the announcement just received from France that he has decided to quit wrestling and turn farmer exclusively. Continue reading

Young Hackenschmidt Wins Bout

The New York Times – May 15, 1918

Young Hackenschmidt last night defeated Louis Nelson, claimant of the welterweight wrestling championship title, in a finish match, catch-as-catch-can style, at Bothner’s Gymnasium, in 2 hours 57 minutes 20 second, with a toe hold.

Bowser Beats Irslinger in a Fast Match

The Coshocton Tribune – January 25, 1918

Paul Bowser, of Newark, champion middleweight wrestler of America defeated Henry Irslinger, of Atlantic City, middleweight champion of Europe, in exactly 35 minutes, Thursday evening at the Newark Auditorium.

The General opinion among the sport fans present was that Bowser was never in as good condition as he was Thursday evening.

The first fall came in 22 minutes, Bowser securing a half Nelson and crotch hold on Irslinger and slamming him down to the mat.  Irslinger was dazed when he got to his feet after the fall and did not realize that he had been thrown.

The second fall came in 12 minutes after the referee called time, Bowser again pinning the European champion’s shoulders to the mat with a scissors on the head and arm.  The match was unusually clean and fast, both men doing their best to throw the other every minute of the time.

Peters-Pesek Match Is Stopped By Rain

Omaha World-Herald – July 5, 1918

Charley Peters, the Papillion carpenter, and John Pesek, the Shelton farmer, who were scheduled to wrestle to a finish, two falls out of three, at Rourke Park yesterday afternoon, were forced to postpone their match, after thirty-nine minutes of stiff work, and will finish the bout in a twilight battle which will be held at the same place Saturday night at 6:45.

When it became apparent that the match would have to be postponed, promoter Jack Lewis, after a hurried consultation with the principals, it was decided that the bout would be finished in the Municipal Auditorium next Saturday. It was afterward discovered that it would be impossible to fit the Auditorium up in time, so it was decided to hold the match at Rourke Park.

Spectators – and there were 2,500 of them yesterday – holding their ticket stubs will be admitted free to the match Saturday. Those who came from out in the state will have their money refunded, if they are unable to attend, Lewis declared.

“I realize that many spectators threw their tickets away after gaining admission,” declared Lewis, “and I want to do everything in my power to square the account. If out-of-town spectators will furnish evidence that they bought tickets, I will gladly refund their money, but I cannot pay every boy who picked up a dozen in the grandstand.”

The ring will be moved in close to the grandstand for the big match Saturday night. Both wrestlers were more confident than ever last night that they would be returned a winner.

The thirty-nine minutes of wrestling whetted the appetites of the spectators for a hot match considerably. Referee Cy Sherman of Lincoln was forced to call the bout at that time, when the rain began coming down in torrents.

Incidentally the rain hit Jack Lewis, promoter of the match, a severe swat alongside the jaw in the shape of spectators, who undoubtedly would have turned out in far greater number had the rain held off two hours longer.

The match was a hummer as far as it went. No sooner had the principals touched hands then they landed on the rain-soaked canvas with a thud and went at it in real earnest. Pesek chose to work from behind on the Papillion carpenter, who, apparently, was perfectly willing that the match should take that course. Peters easily broke away from some of Pesek’s favorite holds, although after seven minutes of wrestling the Shelton farmer clenched a scissors on Peters which looked like the first fall for a few minutes.

Arrangements made by the management of the match in case of rain went awry at the last minute, and, despite heroic efforts to get the gladiators under canvas, it was of no use. The canvas covering was given up as useless, and the preliminaries began when the rain momentarily slacked.

Pesek Versus Peters At Rourke Park

Omaha World-Herald – July 4, 1918

The above photo gives a good idea of the superb physical condition in which Jack Pesek is this morning.

This afternoon he meets his most formidable adversary thus far in his meteoric career, Charlie Peters, the redoubtable Papillion athlete. They will clash in a finish battle at Rourke Parke, to which all roads are now leading. Of all the events on the day’s menu, this is the biggest and best in a sporting way, and the management has made fine preparations for accomodating a vast crowd.

But John Pesek: scores and scores of good judges are picking him for the next champion of the world. Many give him an even chance with Joe Stecher, and more than even chances with Earl Caddock, who has met him once, and was lucky to escape with a draw after one hour’s tremendous struggling.

Pesek is a distinct type of the American athlete – alive and powerful, with a beautiful torso and wonderful legs. He is a combination of vicious speed and savage strength. He stands forth the most interesting and most sensational of all the crowd of gladiators now thronging the public stage. In his rugged system of training he has cultivated mind and spirit and body alike. His coolness under fire is uncanny. His relentless aggressiveness is uncanny, and so is his wild and unsubduable lust for rough tactics.

And yet, when even on the defensive against bigger and more noted men, he is uncanny. But his sportsmanlike instincts are developed to a degree that makes him actually willing to give a handicap to any rival alive. John Pesek fears no wrestler living, and if you miss seeing him against Peters at Rourke Park this afternoon, you will miss the opportunity of a lifetime.