Tag Archives: Martin “Farmer” Burns

Wrestling to the Fore Once More

(Copyright, 1905, by McClure, Phillips & Co.)

The Minneapolis Journal – December 3, 1905

The present vogue for wrestling, which became marked last year and which is exceedingly strong this season, is sufficient reason for calling the interested public’s attention to this, the not least interesting fact about wrestlers today that, unlike prize fighters, they are a pretty abstemious lot when out of training as well as when in. Continue reading

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Farmer Burns Defeated

The Reading Eagle – December 9, 1905

Des Moines, Ia.: Charles Hackenschmidt, a Russian wrestler, defeated Farmer Burns in a mixed match.  Hackenschmidt won the first fall at Graeco-Roman in 18 minutes, and Burns the second at catch-as-catch-can in 19 minutes and 30 seconds.  Hackenschmidt chose for the third fall Graeco-Roman, and won in 15 minutes.

On The Hoof

Saturday Evening Post – December 14, 1935
By Milton MacKaye

The standing of wrestling as a profit-making enterprise has received little attention in the economic journals, and even those publications devoted to the fevers of sport have been niggardly in space and headlines. There has been a general tendency to regard wrestling as a sort of little country cousin of the opulent boxing profession, a rude and primitive trial of strength persisting feebly in the backwoods sections, but destined ultimately to become as extinct as the broadsword. As a public spectacle, it has been rated just ahead of long-distance walking contests and the hop, skip, and jump, and considerably behind the breath-taking thrills and romance of puss-in-the-corner and the potato race. Continue reading

Roller Wins Straight Falls From ‘Farmer’

Tacoma Daily News – January 24, 1908
By Biddy Bishop

SEATTLE – Before a packed house, many in the audience being ladies, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Roller, physician and wrestler, last night defeated Martin “Farmer” Burns of Iowa in a catch-as-catch-can wrestling contest in the Grand Opera House by winning two straight falls, the first in 55 minutes and 15 seconds and the second in 25 minutes and 20 seconds.

Roller secured his first fall with a crotch and toe hold and a half nelson to turn his opponent on his back. The second fall was by the aid of a chancery hold, which brought forth a clever bridge from Burns which he maintained for perhaps 30 seconds or more. Continue reading

Will Hold Mammoth Wrestling Tourney

Associated Press – January 18, 1908

CHICAGO – By terms just closed with the Florida State Mid-Winter Fair Association, Fred M. Barnes, of Chicago, will handle and promote the biggest wrestling tournament ever attempted in America. The tourney will take place at Tampa, Fla., for eight days, February 8 to 15 inclusive. At an estimated expense of not less than $20,000, mat artists from all parts of the world will be invited to participate in these events. Continue reading

Farmer Burns Again Defeats Dwyer

Associated Press – January 10, 1908

OMAHA, Neb. – Martin Burns, better known as “Farmer” Burns, the veteran wrestler, again defeated Mike J. Dwyer of Denver in a mixed wrestling match last night. Continue reading

Gotch to Back Mahmout

The New York Times – January 4, 1911

Champion Resigns Honor of Title-Holder in Wrestling to Foreigner.

Omaha, Neb., Jan. 3. – Frank Gotch, champion wrestler of the world, to-night declared he resigned the honor in favor of Yousef Mahmout, and said he would back Mahmout against Hackenschmidt for $20,000, part of which was posted to–night. Continue reading

Mat’s Giant-Killer At 34, Farmer Burns Dies At 76

Omaha World-Herald – January 9, 1937
By Robert Phipps 

It’s hard to believe that Farmer Burns, for years a shadowy and legendary figure on the streets of Omaha, is dead.

The facts of this man’s long career in athletics were almost lost in the wealth of stories that accompanied him everywhere. A main point was that he was a giant-killer at the age of 34, beating the original Strangler (Evan) Lewis in Chicago. Continue reading

Jack Rowett Once Met Farmer Burns

Ironwood Daily Globe – November 30, 1926

Fans, page Jack Rowett, old time Cornish star of the canvas, for hizoner, Farmer Burns, of the catch-as-catch-can school of tussling, is anxious to see him. A letter Monday to Jocco Harris contained a notification that the Farmer, gray-haired and aged, who dons his tights Friday night at the Memorial Building, will call on Rowett after striking town, hoping also that Jack won’t disappoint him if it’s possible for him to be home. Continue reading

Champion Got Start Via Defeat By Ringer

Chicago Tribune – March 30, 1913
By Harvey T. Woodruff

Frank A. Gotch, world’s champion wrestler, met a “ringer” in his first serious engagement on the mat. Gotch proved inferior to the scientific tricks of his opponent and was thrown, but the realization that it took Dan McLeod, then in his prime, one hour and forty-one minutes and forty-six minutes, respectively, to tumble him fully decided Gotch in his budding determination to become a champion grappler. Continue reading