The Wapello Republican
June 18, 1981, Section B, Page 57

Transcribed by Shirley Plumb, July 4, 2018


        From 1895 to 1900, the Wapello Indians were a semi-professional football team which gained the reputation as the “best eleven in the state of Iowa,” and were determined to prove it.

     A group of local boys organized the team in 1895 and were undefeated from 1897 to 1900. They played against small neighboring towns, Iowa Wesleyan College and Parsons College.

     There was an Indian Cheer, a flag and in 1900 season tickets to promote the “Indians.”

     Taken from a newspaper article of 1896 which states “Their team was given a square deal by the Wapello eleven who are a gentlemanly lot of players.” Other reports mentioned “Spittin” in eyes of opposing linemen.”

     The title of Wapello Indians was a natural in an area famous for its Indian culture, but had little to do with the naming of the original team. A tall, dark team member wearing a headband was teased about being an Indian and the name appealed to the team so the name was chosen.

     The heavy pads and helmets of today’s teams were not a part of the equipment used in the late 1900’s.

     The undefeated record of the Indians was a game 0-0 in October and a 11-0 defeat in November of 1900. The game was called the “best ever witnessed in Wapello” with a good attendance besides the small ones who crawled over the fence.

     The popularity of football has continued in Wapello with the high school Indians. Records show several undefeated seasons and always a top notch effort by our Wapello Indians.

Picture: Wapello Foot Ball Team.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Return to Community News Index

Back to Louisa Co. IAGenWeb, Home Page

Page created July 4, 2018 by Lynn McCleary