A quote from a softcover historical publication A Souvenir of Lake County, 1906 pointed out that "Lowell has a splendidly organized football team...swift, scientific and courageous. The team was organized three seasons ago  through the efforts of Messrs. Frank Maloy and Ray Nelson, and while changes have taken place each season, the team at present is the original organization. From the beginning, this team has played phenomenal ball. The patient coaching of Mr. Maloy and the strict rules observed by Referee Frank Hunt [Lowell's druggist] has brought the team from the crude state and placed it in the ranks of scientific players. It can no longer be called the 'Beef Trust,' which term was applied by the Hammond News because of the few big fleshy boys on it."
The three early managers of this stellar Lowell athletic team were Ray Nelson, Dr. P.L. Rigg, and Bart Moxell. Dr. Rigg was a dentist in town for many decades, and Bart Moxell was manager of the Wilbur Lumber Company. (The lumber yard was across from the present Costas store on Washington Street.)
Christopher "Crip" Hill captained for the first two seasons, and the 1906 captain was Ed Brownell, Lowell businessman and one of the founders of the Castlebrook Golf Course on the site of the present Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #6841 north of town.
During those early years the Lowell town team played teams from Crown Point, the Lyon Serpents, Chicago Minoquas, Hammond Iroquois, the Pullman Tigers and a Renssalaer squad. In 1905 the team boasted a 5-1-1 record.
Much of the credit for football becoming popular in Lowell has to be given to Frank Maloy, who began his coaching career as the first high school coach at Renssalaer, where he was born in 1872. From his obituary: "His fondness for the sport never waned, and after coming to Lowell in the early 1900's, he helped manage and coach the town team here. He and his wife, Emma (nee Eger), married in 1900 and came to Lowell in 1903. For 33 years, he was the Monon Station agent at Lowell, and after his retirement he served the community as Justice of the Peace."
Maloy always made everyone feel welcome at the old depot (demolished in 1952 by a train wreck) and took time to show the mysteries of the telegraph to interested young people. At the time of the Lowell Centennial in 1952, he wrote an article about early athletics in Lowell.
In part it stated, "Football was unknown in Lowell when I arrived in 1903. Having left Notre Dame in a lurch (joke), we immediately got started a team of our own. It was a team to be reckoned with and was known as the 'Beef Trust.' I need mention only a few of the men who made up this aggregation to show you how adept the name was, Big Tim Pattee, Bernard Beckman, Crip Hill and Pood Kelsey made up our line, 'Red' Johnson played center and we had a speedy backfield with Ned Regnier, Ben Lynch, Doc Rigg, Smiley Anderson, Ed Brownell and others whose names I can't recall. The two most aggressive players were Bill Purdy and John Beck.
"As the years passed by, many of the players dropped out and a newer and fresher gang took over. In time, I, too, had to quit coaching as the old body began to creak. Town teams are no more. Indeed, now our loyalty is directed to the High School team."
In his retirement, one of Mr. Maloy's favorite pastimes was writing sports editorials in The Lowell Tribune. He died in 1953 at the age of 81.
His pretty home, which was at the present site of the Lowell Moose Lodge at the southwest corner of Mill and Main Streets, was moved in 1958. Lowell resident Orville Corns, who lived nearby at the time, told the Old Timer that he saw it being moved west on Main Street on the way to the present location between the Main Street bridge and the railroad at the time the Lowell National Bank was building the current structure on the Mill Street corner.
Ben Lynch, the speedy quarterback, was well-known for his insurance office at the corner of Clark and Commercial Avenue, a business taken over later by his nephew, Loyal "Ty" Alyea.
"Bernie" Beckman, the big lineman, was a blacksmith in Lowell for 45 years, with 18 years of service on the Lowell Town Board, 14 years as president. His blacksmith shop, which spanned the creek near Halsted Street, is often mentioned as having a trap door in the floor where everything was swept down into the water.
Taken from the 1958 obituary of Christopher "Crip" J. Hill, who was raised in the Lowell area: "Old timers will remember 'Crip' as one of Lowell's grid greats of 1904-5, when Lowell's illustrious town football team drew spectators from all of northern Indiana. He [later] moved to Chicago, where he had a successful business making soft drinks." His business was the John Hill Bottling Company, and the obituary also stated that he was the organizer and president of the Pepsi-Cola Company of Chicago.
"Hill was the manager of the beverage department of the Hydrox Company of Chicago in 1935, when a Pepsi-Cola territorial representative convinced him to bottle the product in Chicago. Sales were so good he hired Sheridan Ruge, of the pioneer Lowell family, as sales manager. By 1938, Ruge had over 100 distributors selling the soft drink, which offered 'twice as much for a nickel.'" (Excerpt from the Whitman Corp.)
The year that plans were made to build a new football field at Lowell High School, "Crip Hill" wrote the following to The Lowell Tribune: "That photo of the LHS football field in The Lowell Tribune certainly gives me a feeling of nostalgia, a longing desire to visit one's native country. The football field was practically my native country FORTY YEARS AGO...especially Saturdays and Sundays. I would come to Lowell [from Chicago] on the Monon milk train and return all torn to pieces on the early train, 5:15 a.m., Monday...Frank Maloy was the coach and sometimes Jesse Little would appear to give us some pointers. On the team were Tim Pattee, about 240 pounds; Bill Purdy, no lightweight; Ben Lynch; Ralph Trump; Dr. Rigg; Bird Viant; and at the moment I can't remember more.
"In those days there were no forward passes...the only time the ball was in the air was on a punt, the kickoff and maybe a fumble...also I nearly forgot the on-side kick...which was a kick by the fullback behind the line of scrimmage...I explain that because no one in Lowell is old enough to remember that STRATEGIC play...which never worked!
"The only fast man on the team was Ben Lynch...and an imported quarterback, Billy Callahan. They both could run like a frightened deer. Most of us were as fast as Percheron horses..especially Tim, Bill and myself. ...Regards, Crip Hill"
He sent a check as a donation for the new football field and hoped that the Lowell folks would support it also. He told the editor that he worked for Ernest Woodcock of the Lowell Souvenir newspaper during his early days at Lowell. Hill died in 1958 at the age of 72.
The Old Timer had the pleasure of knowing several members and staff of the early teams, as well as some team members who played in the 1920's. His uncle, left end Charles "Bird" Viant, was the grandson of one of Lowell's first businessmen, John Viant, a merchant soon after the founding of the town in 1852.
Bird was manager of the big Grand Theatre, which once stood on Clark Street and also owned Viant's restaurant for decades. He also was Lowell's town marshal for a time.
Bird's father, Fred, originally painted the old restored Rexall sign on Clark Street.
George Beckman, longtime valued employee of Globe Mfg. Co. and son of early team member Bernie Beckman, played in the 1920's.
There is a story (or tale) told about the time the team was on their fourth down at the goal line, with seconds to play, and in desperation gave the ball to the lightweight quarterback, George "Nibs" Rosenbauer, while two strong players threw him and the ball over the goal to win the game.
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