Chicago Tribune – October 21, 1954
Another step in the fight for equal rights for women was won yesterday in Circuit court by a diminutive redhead who likes to wrestle.
Judge Harry M. Fisher ruled the Illinois Athletic Commission had no right to refuse a wrestling license to Miss Rose Hesseltine, of 5638 Green St. At the age of 23, she has a four-year wrestling record in 32 states.
Bernard Genis, assistant Illinois attorney general, told the court the athletic commission’s rules said women should not be allowed to wrestle and that, furthermore, the fragility of women should be protected.
Informed by a reporter of the judge’s favorable ruling, Miss Hesseltine said: “It’s so wonderful. This means about 150 other women wrestlers in the United States can now wrestle in Illinois.”
Illinois Atty. Gen. Latham Castle, however, is not one to give up a fight easily. He ordered Genis to file an appeal.
“Why, I’ve won better than half the matches I’ve wrestled in,” she said. “This is a great day for women wrestlers.”
Miss Hesseltine, who wrestles under the name of Rose Roman, stands 5 feet 5 inches and weighs 139 pounds.
Despite Judge Fisher’s ruling, she will have to wait the outcome of the Appellate court action before getting a license.