Feb. 14, 1899 -- A
Hockey Match to Remember
Left to right, standing: centre forward F. E. Curtis (150 pounds), right
wing W. Sutton (212 pounds), point
H. B. Donly (208 pounds), centre
forward D. Robb Tisdale (232 pounds), centre forward W. E. Tisdale
(225 pounds), right wing W. B. Browne (139 pounds). Centre row: goal
Charles A. Austin (243 pounds), referee C. C.
Fairchild, goal Wyatt S.
Wood (124 pounds), cover point W. D. Battersby (206 pounds). Front row: right
wing Harvey S. Falls (143 pounds), cover point Grant H. Backus (147
pounds), centre forward George A. Curtis (125 pounds), left wing
Charles E. Boyd (212 pounds), point T.
R. Slaght (146 pounds). Average weight of Thicks: 220 pounds;
average weight of Thins: 149½ pounds.
1899 hockey was becoming a popular sport in Simcoe. A local newspaper
reported the following about a very interesting contest in the Beemer
From the Feb. 9, 1899 Norfolk Reformer:
"A Match for Blood ...
a hockey match that should draw a full house ... it all started this
way: Wyatt Wood and Charlie Austin met in the wine room of the
Battersby [Hotel]. They had gone in to see a drug traveler and he
was out for a minute, so they waited. They talked, and the
conversation drifted to hockey and the relative merits of "light
weights" and "beefy" players. One word led to another
until someone talked "bet." There was a challenge and
an acceptance. The match is to take place next Tuesday
evening. Proceeds for charitable purposes ... stake $1,000 a
side. Thicks over 200 pounds. Thins under 150."
the Feb. 16, 1899 Reformer:
"That hockey match ... contrary to
the opinion of all the prophets, the thin men were outplayed and defeated
... the official score was 7-5. Ever since last week's Reformer told
the people of Simcoe about the proposed hockey match between the
"Thicks" and the "Thins," the match and probable
results have been the chief topic of conversation. The rink on
Tuesday night contained the largest crowd ever held for hockey and we have
yet to hear of anyone having gone home dissatisfied. Charlie
Boyd, the two Tisdales, and "Dad" Battersby were
strictly in business and proved altogether too hard a combination for the
Thins to solve. The best for the "little 'uns" was done by
Grant Backus and T. R. Slaght while George Curtis and Harvey Falls were,
to say the least, very energetic."
Photo from Simcoe & Norfolk County, published 1924 by Pearce
Publishing Company. Book now out of print. Copy available for inspection
in the Reading Room of the Norfolk Historical Society Archives at the Eva
Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe, Ontario.