Forty Years Ahead

Forty Years Ahead

Herald Dispatch, December 28, 1965

Written by: Charles Collett

Submitted by: Robert Kingrey

News dispatches about a proposed new football stadium at Cincinnati, which also is to be the home of the Reds baseball club, and other stories about a new stadium for Marshall University, bring to mind how Ironton High School stadium was built 4 years ago by a small group of businessmen and the American Legion Post 52. The year was 1925. The entire community was enthused over a great football team known as the Tanks, composed of a group of young men proud of their hometown and devoted to the many things that the United Fund now supports.

December 12, 1925 about 50 members of the Elks meet in the large auditorium for a Tank’s pep rally lead by Tom Hudson. Tom, whom we hope will read this at his home, 804 South Fifth Street, was good at calling signals, cheer leading and rooting for Notre Dame. The 1925 football season at Beachwood Park closed on Thanksgiving when 1877 fans paid $2 each to stand in the rain or sit on temporary bleachers, to see the Canton Bulldogs defeat the home team 12-0, the only defeat of the 12 game season. At this time, the Tanks had win 48, lost 2 and tied six during the past six seasons playing teams from Ashland, Huntington, Portsmouth, Cincinnati, Akron and Canton.

That December night in 1925, talk was cheap. Fans, who had stood in mud and rain, all agreed that what was needed was a stadium under roof. The result of the pep meeting was good strokes for the sports editors for the next few months, but there was one newspaper, the Morning News that printed a series of editorials. March 1926, Frank J. Goldcamp, Legion Post with Bert V. Cohen, commander, held a special meeting, and pledged $500 to start a campaign, and on April 8, the city board of education approved a request of the Legion to erect a stadium adjoining the high school.

The Legion called a public meeting at the courthouse April 26, 1926 attended by more than 50 citizens. Incorporators of the Ironton Stadium Association, a non-profit corporation, were Bert Cohen, Judge James Collier, Harry Von Kennel, Homer M. Edwards, Sr. and Charles Collett. A committee headed by Tom Hudson, L. R. Andrews, Dave Morgan, O.D. Hayes, Leo Brumberg, E.J. Merrill, W.P. Lewis, and C.B. Egerton were named to solicit stock subscriptions. They did the job in ten days. On May 6, the committee reported $33,500 in pledges.

The next night the Ironton Stadium Association organized with Tom Hudson, President; F.J. Scherer, F.W. Batham and Dr. C. E. Vidt, vice-president; H.M. Edwards, secretary, and David Morgan, treasurer. Directors were A.R. Johnson, D.C. Davies, Frank Vieteki, Brook Capper, Dr. Cos Burton, W.P. Lewis, George P. Mahl, Charles Collett, E.J. Merrill, Leo Brumberg, Dr. H. Remy and C. W. Golden.

Of the 23 names mentioned all but Hudson, Cohen, Collier, Collett, Mahl and Vidt —- crossed the final goal. The first game was at the stadium on Sept. 19, 1926. Ground was broke in June and the steel roof was completed in less than 90 days. The seating capacity is 3300. After five years the association turned the building over to the school board, along with a bank mortgage of $5087.82. That demonstrates the loyalty and footwork enthusiasm in Ironton 40 years ago.