1894 Season

Amos W. Marston
Amos W. Marston
  Beau Hoopman
Herbert H. Jacobs
 Results | Summary | W Winners 

Season Results


Season Summary

In 1894, Mr. Marsden (sic), former captain and stroke at Cornell, was secured as UW’s first crew coach; he directed the 1894 Badger varsity to a win over the Delaware Boat Club (UW Athletic Review 1971-71 - 1972-73). Paul O. Eckhardt, Jr., in his 50-year history in the June 1948 The Wisconsin Alumnus magazine, says Marston was employed during the spring of 1894 for a few (three) weeks. “Mr. Marston was with the crew less than four weeks and was interrupted often by the roughness of the water. The men had been on the water for several weeks when the coach came.”

The Daily Cardinal of March 23, 1895 advised that Coach Marston did not arrive in 1894 “until the men had been on the water several weeks.” With Lake Mendota ice melting April 8, 1894, Marston did not arrive until mid May.


The First in a Five-Year Series Between Wisconsin and the Minnesota Boat Club

Pyre, in his book “Wisconsin” writes, “From 1894 to 1898 there was an annual two mile race with the Minnesota Boat Club, financed by the summer hotels at Lake Minnetonka.” The Minnesota Boat Club is Minnesota’s oldest athletic institution, founded in 1870. Located on Rasberry Island in downtown St. Paul, the original boathouse was replaced in the early 1900’s. Floods in 1965, 1993 and 2001 damaged the boathouse, but the city is seeking to revive Rasberry Island with new bridges and a staircase from the Wabasha Bridge.

The first race in the series was held June 23, 1894. “It was 6:38 o’clock in the afternoon. The surface of Lake Minnetonka inside the bay in front of Hotel Lafayette was like glass except where the swell of two score of steamers broke its quiet. Three thousand people were on land and water round the bay to see the race. The big side-wheeler steamer, St. Louis, with six hundred passengers aboard was lying in waiting behind the sterns of the shells. The Lotus with the Minnesota Boat Club members and friends aboard was on the south side of the course near the start. The last instructions of the Wisconsin coach to his men had been, ‘If you win the race you will win it in the last half.’ The ‘Varsity were therefore ready to make a long hard race of it – a struggle to the finish.

The referees’s gun sounded and the shells were off. As was expected, with the first stroke the Minnesota faryed (sic) ahead and gained a half a length. Older oarsmen are always more skillful at spurting than those who are entering their first race. It was the first race for many of the U.W. crew and only the second for the rest. some of the men showed by their movements that they were unnerved by the tooting whistles and exciting yells that rose on all sides. One of the men said after the race that he had worked himself into such a frenzy that the big, black, side-wheel steamer, puffing and roaring along behind semed ready to fall over on top of them at any moment.

Minnesota lead by four lengths at the mile, but here the cardinal began to gain and made up two lengths in short order. The Minnesotas increased their stroke and increased their lead again. Near the finaish, another brave spurt was made by the ‘Varsity and all but two lengths was made up. The Minnesotas crossed the line winning in 10:34.75; Wisconsin, 10:40.5.

Wisconsin’s boating: Ap. Roberts ‘97 (bow), Major ’97, Jacobs (Capt) graduate, Sedgwick ’95, (law), Richards ’96, Weber ’97, Rohn ’95, Pyre graduate (stroke) and Worden (coxswain). The MBC boating was: Armstrong-captain (bow), Wann, Nettleson, Largford, Mabon, Houghton, Halbert, Wright (stroke and former captain and stroke of the University of Pennsylvania) and Getty (coxswain).

The average weight of the Wiscoinsin crew was 163 pounds; that of Minnesota was 157. Minnesota had the advantage of experience. Wisconsin’s shell, the almost two-year-old Pabst gift, was ‘pronouned by experts while at Minnetonka to be at least 150 ponds heavier and in its lines inferior to the Minnesota boat.’

Following the race, the crew met at the boat-house on Minnetonka beach and unanimously elected Oscar Rohn as captain for the year 1894-95.

The Schlitz Trophy was offered, however the annual race on Lake Minnetonka with the Minnesota Boat club went to that team in a close race (Prof. Ihdes’ notes say “6 lengths”) principally because of inexperience and a slow boat.



John D. Freeman
W. W. Geisse
J. R. Richards
Percy Roberts
A. K. Sedgwick


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