Lincoln NE: March 14, 1916: Clarence Eklund sends a postal money order for $100 to C.S. Sherman, sports editor of The Star, to secure a challenge aimed at lightheavyweight grappler George Gion of Canada, who is making his headquarters in Lincoln this winter. Gion has lost two bouts to Pet Brown in Houston, while Eklund "more than held his own in a recent grappling bout" at Houston with the same foe. Added Eklund, "When Gion was in Houston a few weeks ago he advertised himself as having won over 900 matches and that he had only been defeated by Joe Stecher and Frank Gotch, evidently forgetting about his defeats before Lincoln audiences at the hands of Dr. Roller, Ernst, Wasem and Schmarder. He said he had defeated me and could do it again. I went to the sporting editor of the leading Houston newspaper and posted a $250 forfeit to meet Gion inprivate. Gion's answer was that he would meet me as soon as he had wrestled his second match with Brown, but after he had again lost to Brown he left Houston ... It is a fact that Gion defeated me three years ago for the light heavyweight championship of Canada, but I am anxious to meet him again. I am confident I can reverse the verdict." Gion told The Star he was leaving Lincoln the middle of next week for Canada to put in his wheat crop but would be willing to return to the States to meet Eklund.
CUTLER AND MILLER MOST MODEST WRESTLERS (By Cy Sherman, Lincoln NE Daily Star, March 14, 1916)
The season's richest contribution to the wrestling dope-mill was published a few days ago under a Portland, Ore., dateline, as follows:
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Joe Stecher is a better man than Frank Gotch at the wrestling game. At least Charley Cutler and Walter J. Miller, both no mean wrestlers themselves, said so here. So both men scratched their heads and tore off the following ranking of the leading wrestlers:
Heavyweights -- 1. Joe Stecher; 2. Frank Gotch; 3. Charlie Cutler; 4. Stanislaus Zbyszko; 5. Earl Caddock; 6. Wladek Zbyszko; 7. Alexander Aberg.
Middleweights -- 1. Walter Miller; 2. John Kilonis; 3. Mike Yokel; 4. Joe Carr; 5. Joe Turner; 6. Waino Ketonen; 7. Johnny Meyers; 8. Lou Talaber.
Welterweights -- 1. Eddie O'Connell; 2. Eugene Tremblay; 3. Jean Paradis; 4. Young Jordan.
The foregoing three classes are the only ones profitable in the wrestling game, for there are not enough prominent grapplers in the business at other weights to make the game worth while. ++++
After pondering over the Portland effusion, it is at once apparent that there is nothing wrong with Charley Cutler's gall. Charley, it will be noted, modestly ranks himself above Stanislaus Zbyszko, while he says not one word of such well known heavyweight grapplers as Yussif Mahmout, Henry Ordemann, Adolph Ernst and Yussif Hussane, all of whom are expert exponents of the mat game and as good as the best, only Gotch and Stecher barred from the comparison. Yet Cutler is a mere pee-wee in the gall business when compared with Miller, who has the sublime nerve to place himself at the head of the middleweight brigade. Miller has been defeated by Waino Ketonen and Mike Yokel; he never was a champion and he has slumped full fifty percent in ability during the past year. Ketonen, in truth, should be rated as the premier of the middles by reason of the fact that he has victories to his credit over Yokel, Miller, Chris Jordan and every other claimant to the championship who can scale in at 158 pounds, ringside, the legitimate middleweight limit.
The suggestion that the other wrestling divisions, such as light-heavy and lightweight, are not profitable would inspire only snickers down in Texas, where the renowned 'Pet' Brown, a light-heavy, has been pulling houses that would excite even the envy of Joe Stecher or Frank Gotch. ++++
Butte MT: March 23, 1916: Joe Stecher beat William Demetral (2-0) ... NOTE: The falls came in 6:40 and 4:07
Lincoln NE Daily Star: March 30, 1916: (Thursday) More high praise for Joe Stecher from Cy Sherman: "The wrestling game ... never has developed a fairer, squarer sportsman than Joe Stecher of Dodge, Neb. His morals and his private life are above taint or suspicion, while his methods on the mat, in which he never stalls or 'hippodromes,' have made him the most unique and the most to be admired of all the grapplers who have bid for fame and popularity in the annals of the sport ... The advent of Joe Stecher, in truth, has placed wrestling on a new and higher plane."
Lincoln NE: March 31, 1916: (Auditorium) ... Joe Stecher beat Henry Ordemann (2-0) ... Referee: Sandy Griswold ... Claude Swindell beat Lawrence Hall (as Masked Marvel) (dec)... Jake Amen (of Lincoln NE) drew Fred Moormeier (of Cortland NE) ... Referee: Charley Dickerson ... NOTE: Stecher dispatched Ordemann in short order, taking falls in 10:40 and 6:46, yet Cy Sherman wrote in the Evening Star: "The Norsk had given the Nebraska marvel by far a tougher battle than in the latter's previous combats this season with Americus and Hussane, yet the man who once stood off Gotch in an hour's engagement and had even won a fall from Stanislaus Zbyszko was completely helpless to stay the tide of defeat." ... The Auditorium was said to be "practically filled." ... Ordemann, from Minneapolis, is managed by Minneapolis News sports editor George Barton.