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Professional Wrestling January 1916

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Fremont NE Herald: January 1916: (Quoted in Lincoln NE Daily Star of January 13, 1916) "While in Fremont the other day J.F. Hetmanek, manager of wrestler Joe Stecher, admitted that the pride of Dodge County had been pinned to the mat once. The story has been going the rounds that Earl Caddock, the great farmer lad from Cass County, Ia., once upon a time gained a fall on Joe, but it was generally discredited, for the reason that it sets the scene of the little encounter over in Cass County, Ia., and it is not generally known by Dodge County folks that Joe Stecher resides for a time over there. Mr. Hetmanek says the story is true, every word of it. Joe confesses to it all. It happened during the brief period that the paternal roof was abandoned for the reasons of strong opposition to wrestling. The senior Stecher was not going to allow his boys to be professional wrestlers and emphasized the decision with an announcement that they could quit it or go elsewhere. There is another little tale in this connection that a choice, 160-acre farm was offered the Stecher brothers, provding they would agree to forever let 'rassling' alone, but it has nothing to do with what is here related ... Joe sallied forth to Iowa to work on the farm of Frank Petit. Caddock is a product of Anita, a little inalnd town in Cass County. One day he was driving down a road with a team when he passed the farm of Petit. Petit stopped to talk to Earl and told him of a 'strong fellow' he had working for him. Caddock was regarded as a pretty husky youth around those parts, so Petit suggests that he and the 'strong fellow' work out. Caddock was agreeable. So the working out was arranged for in a kerosene lamp-lighted hall in Berea. When Caddock arrived he found Stecher on the job. Joe suggested that an admission be charged. 'What is this?' queried Caddock, 'a workout or a wrestling match?' 'Let's make it a match,' said Joe. 'All right,' agreed Caddock. Thirty one persons were charged a dime a throw to see the fray, thus making a total gate of $3.10. Stecher copped 60 per cent for his bit and the house manager got the other 40. The first fall of the event went to Stecher. It came quick. Caddock declares that it really wasn't a fall, but that the referee, being a novice at umpiring, called it ahead of time. The second fall came just as quick but the referee awarded this fall to Caddock. Claiming that he has a pretty good claim to the reputation for honesty, Caddock admits that this was no fall, either, and that the referee again started out ahead of the train. The third fall went to Joe about the same as the first one."

Sioux City IA: January 12, 1916: It is reported by his friends here that Frank Gotch will return to the mat. They say he has signed a contract with a circus for next summer, calling for thrice-daily exhibition matches at a salary of $1,200 a week.

Boston MA: January 17, 1916: Joe Stecher's manager, J.F. Hetmanek, writes to Cy Sherman, sports editor of the Lincoln NE Daily Star: "We are here in the city of baked beans, killing time just for one day. Joe has been busy since we left Nebraska two weeks ago and is wrestling almost every night. So far he has cleaned up on all opponents ... On our way east, we stopped for a day in Chicago and heard of the flurry Emil Klank is kicking up in his anxiety to match his giant from Buffalo, Joe Rogers, against Stecher ... Let Klank come through with his deposit and the game is on."

Utica NY: January 18, 1916: Joe Stecher booked.

Hartford CT: January 19, 1916: Joe Stecher booked.

Boston MA: January 21, 1916: Joe Stecher beat Cyclone Burns

Lincoln NE: January 21, 1916: George Gion answers Chris Jordan's challenge by plunking down $25 at the offices of the Daily Star, then says, "Jordan isn't so anxious to wrestle me as he is to break into the game at Houston, Texas. He has heard that my recent match with Pet Brown at Houston drew a $3,500 house and he wants to build himself up in Texas by challenging me. In order to get a match with Brown, I had to bind myself to make 170 pounds ringside. Making the weight was a hard job, but I made it and the newspaper writers and wrestling fans of Houston gave me credit for giving Brown the toughest match of his career. After Brown had beaten me in a match which lasted an hour and a half, I called attention to the fact that he was wrestling as a light heavyweight. I claimed the right to a return match at the recognized light heavyweight limit, which is 175 pounds. The Houston public is fair and Brown had to concede that I was right, so we have been re-matched at 175 pounds, a figure which will enable me to be at my best. I am offered a guarantee of $1,000 as my share of the receipts, so I don't intend to fool around right now with unimportant matches. Another match I have in sight is one with Waino Ketonen, who has defeated Jordan. Ketonen and I could draw a big house in ... any one of a dozen western or southern cities, so I am going to give these matches with Brown and Ketonen first attention. Jordan wants to wrestle for only $100 a side, so it would be a small-fry match, at its best, and I don't believe it would draw a corporal's guard. However, I have covered his forfeit and he can't crawl out. When my matches with Brown and Ketonen are out of the way, this Greek may have his chance."

Lincoln NE: January 21, 1916: Gene Melady, who is directing the business affairs of Earl Caddock, says the latter is forced by illness to call off a series of scheduled bouts --Hussane in Council Bluffs, Martinson in Sioux City, and several other "little" matches in Iowa. Melady adds that he is still confident of putting on a Joe Stecher-Frank Gotch match in Nebraska.

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