The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, January 30, 1921, Magazine Section, Page 7, Image 79

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Who Can Explain Why Jack
Dempsey Has a Giant's Phy
sique and Tremendous Powers of Endurance
When His Parents, Sisters andBrothersHave
Been Frail, or Underweight, or Invalids All
Their Lives?
Vtyt-W"''? -I , .- ni,
V v!' ' ll . . fho livls at home with the Demp- . ' ' , ' ' U
NV A I ' IL Jl seys. From earliest girlhood Effie - ' keWft' ' " T
V tX ' V " has been Bickly she weighs lese ' . . ' Hi
liSjjrr-" -V Z?SS77' JfrJC'X'' r7 JFSJ'J'??? than 100 pounds today, and through S' , , -; j' "
VvA'v. V 7 VA', 1 A the past eight or ten years has spent . 1 , V K "
0JS -rSf 'tyS not teen laid up for weeks some- has Johnny Dempsey. Elsie is a bit . ' ' ' J ' -
4 . 'HiCtyr times months by Illness. And, like heavier but not much less frail. She, ' t "
- - -' Johnny, he cannot endure much in the too, has known much of illness. - . , -
- way of muscular exertion. And so we come to William Harri- - -v ' ' $ tt
son not merely the mightiest of the .. N. " ' ' v . -i
Frank O. Monks, writer of the accom
panying article, la ona of the beat-known
porting auttirfritiea of the preaent day.
He saw the recent vldely-dlacuased fight
between Champion Jack Dempser and Big
Brennan of Chicago ln Aladiaon Square
Garden. New York city. The remark
able ahowlng Brennan made against
bis more powerful and ekllful opponent,
wblle reflecting credit upon the Chicago
fighter, has not served, ln Mr. Menke'a
opinion, to rob the heavy-weight champion
of any laurels, for he went Into the ring
overtrained. He calla Jack Dempsey the
superman of the prize ring, and on thle
page today brings out the very curioua
fact that Jack is the one mighty mem
ber of the whole Dempsey family.
The champion's father and mother, two
sisters and three brothers are undersized,
underweight and quite frail compared with
him. The combined weights of Jack's
father and, mother equal his own. Why
this should be so and why a world's heavy
weight champion should spring from a
family of most unathletle constitution and
build la something which Mr. Mer.ko does
not undertake to explain. Be leaves It aa
a mystery for the readers of this page to
. man, sportive world Knows no
I mystery beyond this:
Whence comes the mighty
power of Jack Dempsey, superman of
the prize ring, physical marvel of
the athletic world?
ro ainieie or modern times none
whose name has thundered down the
lanes of history from the dim Greek
ages has known a physique more
marvelous than that of the western
gladiator. Witn a body as perfect as
the greatest sculptor might chisel
from marble, with gorilla-like
strength and power, all set off with
the speed of a panther and the grace
fulness of a swan, Dempsey Btands
alone supreme,' magnificent!
Where is the fountain source of
- this amazing physical development?
Heredity? Well A diminutive,
frail, almost feeble woman, who
never weighed beyond 100 pounds in
her life, and who now beams just 90
or so, is the mother of. the man ac
claimed the most perfectly formed in
America. And through most of the
years of her life she has been sick
vnd suffering.
Jack Dempgey's father Is fairly tall
notches probably S feet S inches
But be weighs only 125 or 130 at the
most. Uls health has never been i
good and from young manhood until
the present day he has been sick.
His condition was such years ago that
the family was forced to move from
West Virginia to Colorado and even
the climate there did not Improve it.
The amazing heavyweight cham
pion of the world has three brothers
and two sisters living at the present
time and every one has known
months and years of Illness. Each
has been or now Is something of
an Invalid. That condition has not
come through the latter years it al
ways was so from their very earliest
hours of life.
Johnny, the youngest of the Demp
sey boys, has submitted to three or
four major operations for stomach
trouble. Twice physicians despaired
of saving him. He was hardly out of
one hospital, before he had to go to
another; , rarely did one attack of
sickness end until another came on.
For many years he has been too
sickly to do any work that calls for
physical strain.
Then there's Joe Dempsey, older
than Jack, who has suffered long
from various ailments with valvular
trouble of the" heart as the most con
spicuous. Joe has known only a
few years in his life when be has
He Isa't Jack Dempsey at All!
Bernard, the older brother, was a
sickly youngster, but outgrew It. In
his late teens he went in for athletics
and developed a fondness for boxing.
He was a professional fighter for a
brief length of time and fought under
the name of Jack Dempsey. But
eventually the sickness of youth re
curred ln Bernard's' case and he quit
the ring. When William Harrison,
his kid brother, decided to become a
fighter Bernard eaid:
"Take my ring name and call your
self Jack Dempsey."
And that is how William Harrison
Dempsey, known to his own family as
"Harry," became Jack Dempsey, su
per fighter.
The king of pugilism has two sis
ters, Effie, who is married, and Elsie,
who lives at home with the Demp
seys. From earliest girlhood Effie
has been sickly. She weighs less
than 100 pounds today, and through
the past eight or ten years has spent
almost as much time in sick beds as
has Johnny Dempsey. Elsie is a bit
heavier but not much less frail. She,
too, has known much of illness.
And so we come to William Harri
son not merely the mightiest of the
Dempseys, not merely the most re
markable of pugilists, but a man
whose physical perfection is beyond
that of any of the athletes of the to
day or yesterday of sportdom.
Whence comes this amazing phy
sique? Perhaps the strength, the power,
the health of all the Dempseys has
been centered in him. r perhaps he
is a throwback to his mountaineer
and Indian ancestors. For, coursing
through the veins of the gladiator, is
the one-fourth Cherokee Indian and
three-fourths Scotch blood of his
mother and the full Irish blood of his
father, whose forefathers lived long
in the hills of West Virginia.
It is almost miraculous that Jack
should be most powerful and the
healthiest of all the Dempseys. For
he .suffered more privation and en
dured more than all the other Demp
seys. If there was cause for any of
them to be sickly, to know but little
of physical power. Jack was the logi
cal invalid.
He wasn't a husky in his boyhood.
Always loved to fight always keen
about physical combat. But not al
ways did he have the power to
carry him through.- And the frail-
Miss Lorena Trickey at Age of 20 Has Record for Riding and Unique Philosophy as to Best Manner for
Getting Along With Male Sex.
F all women knew bow to handle
horses they wouldn't have much
difficulty in handling men. Such
is the philosophy of Miss Lorena
Trickey, the - smallest champion of
them all, who recently won the title
of ' premiere all-around horsewoman
of the world at the historic Frontier
Days round-up at Cheyenne, Wyo.
Despite the fact that her tiny stature
makes her appear dwarfed In com
parison with the cowpunchers with
whom she associated on the Irwin
brothers' TS ranch ln Oregon, she
accomplished a most notable feat in
winning the championship, as she not
only showed that she Is a past master
at broncho busting but is also ln a
class by herself when it comes to re
lay riding, trick riding and other
strenuous events involved in horsemanship.
In addition td winning the right
of being called champion of her class.
Miss Trickey garnered a beautiful
trophy emblematic of her champion
ship which was donated by L. M.
Boomer, the well-known hotel man.
several weeks before the great an
nual classic which has been held ln
Cheyenne for the last 20 years. Mr.
Boomer, who is a lover of the west
and its sports, was asked by the com
mittee in charge of the round-up if
he would donate a cup for one of the
events. He Immediately agreed, and
chose the women's relay race, an
event open to any young woman In
the world and one which tests horse
manship to the utmost. In addition,
to the trophy there was' the added at
traction that the winner of the event
was to spend a week ln New Tork
city as a guest at one of the leading
And it was this visit to the metrop
olis several days ago that strength
ened the philosophy of Miss Trickey
as regards the best medium ln han
dling the opposite eex. As she
watched her sisters of the east danc
ing in some of the emporiums noted
for their bright lights and soft music.
the lithe and agile young western
girl became convinced that they did
not know how to handle men. The
reason for this she declares is that
they do not know horses.
"Men." she mused, "differ not much
from horses. You've got to know
ho-w to handle them. Of course, it's
not easy at first. If you doubt me
just go 'out to our corral on the morn
ing of a round-up and try to Btrike
up an acquaintance with a piece of
equine flesh to which you have never
been properly Introduced. Tou don't
imagine, that when. I get the' pick of
the horses. at one of those events I
walk up to him, grab him by the
mane and lead ' him to the saddle?
It's Impossible to get him that way.
Tou stay at a distance and throw a
rope over his head when he least ex
pects it. And then, if you know your
work, he Is willing to come in. In
other words, you have-to use subtlety
In handling them. In driving a horse
off the range into the corral therick
is to drive him without letting" him
know that be is being driven.
"Treat a man in the same way and
he will soon learn to like it It an
noys me to see some women work so
frightfully hard for the little atten
tion they get from the opposite sex.
The other night at a New York cafe,
for example, I saw a couple that will;
serve In making my point clear. The
man was evidently tired and appar
ently Inclined to go home. But the
woman prattled away, talked and
talked, jerked up his Jaded nerves
and just made him stay and dance.
After a while he relented somewhat,
petted her a trifle and tried to be
agreeable. The boys on our ranch
would have resented that woman's
sham and methods and most of them
wouldn't like that kind of a girl.
"Our men never have to be remind
ed to be kind and considerate to us.
We do not have to go to any particu
lar trouble to get them to be nice to
us. A cowboy in the Upper Horse
Heaven country in Oregon shows far
more chivalry and politeness to a
cowgirl than someof the men I stud
led in New York cafes show to their
girl companions. And for this state
of affairs I blame the women. They
do and say so many unnecessary
things. Silence is said, to be golden,
but it seems to be very difficult in
New York. You are supposed to keep
up a line of chatter whether you have
anything to eay Or not. When we
have nothing to say to each other we
just keep- still, and on the plains
silence can be made very nice and
This little champion who outclassed
all her feminine rivals ln the broncho
busting, trick riding, roping, Roman
riding and other events at Cheyenne's
Frontier Days round-up, is just 20
years old and weighs less than 100
pounds dressed ln her cow-punching
regalia. She was practically raised
ln ' the saddle, having been riding
since her earliest recollection. She
was born on a big cattle ranch owned
by her father near Pendleton, Or.
Being the only girl, she became the
pet of her older brothers and the
other cow-punchers, and as a mere
tot rode the range with them, learn;,
ing roping and branding-of cattle 'as
well as the breaking ef wild horses,
and the training of them which now
occupies most of her time. Three
years ago she entered her first con
test, and although since that time
her life has been' a veritable pilgrim
age from one round-up to another,
she has never entered a contest in
which she did not win a prize.
. 1
Cartons Nesting Places.
Every year some fresh discovery Is
made by naturalists respecting the
curious habits of birds. The boldness
shown by even shy birds when do
mestic duties are concerned Is sur
prising. Ro'bins are especially noted
for their boldness and a pair have
been known to build and rear their
family on a beam in a school, enter
ing1 by the window, which was left
ooen. Swallows seldom build in oaa
places but a pair have been known
to build their nest against a pane of
window-glass. A swallow's nest ln a
funnel is an exceptionally queer place
for a bird of this species to choose.
Wrens are very ingenious, and their
dome-shaped nests, which are so
beautifully woven, are often found ln
old kettles and tins, and even in the
pockets of old coats which have been
left hanging about. A hedge-sparrow's
nest in a kettle was found in
a bunch of nettles close to a public
footpath, where school children passed
every day, but the faithful bird, with
no thought of danger, reared a fam
ily quite unmolested.
"Yes, sir; we are proud, of this elec
tion district. Why "
"Oh, sure, I know! You have the
oldest voter In the country, who has
never failed to cast his ballot at any
election since 1824, and who "
ty endured through to his teens.
Then he went away from home
shelters to work. Among the first
tasks was that of apprentice boy
in a coal mine. He shifted later
to copper and silver mining but al
ways his work was carled on in dark
tunnels in the bowels of the earth.
In those days Dempsey saw sun
light but rarely. He went to work
with the dawn and quit at dark. And
pot always ln that era was it possible
for him to enjoy all the nourishment
which his youthful body might have
For in those days the Dempseys
were not well supplied with funds
and illness was ever present. Often
Jack's earnings constituted the fam
ily's all. And because Jack knew
that his wages were needed for doc
tor bills, for medicine, for food and
rent and the others, he turned every
dollar of it over to his mother and
then bluffed It that he had kept out
a little of it for himself.
That's Dempsey's way always has
been. The Dempsey family may have
known hard times before Jack be
came a big money-maker ln the prize
ring. But it has known only luxury
since then. Jack Has Deen tavisn in
his bestowal of money and all that
money can buy upon his family his
mother, father, his sisters, and his
brothers. They may have suffered
once; they suffer want no longer.
Jack has set one brother up in business,-started
another in a mining ven
ture, amply provides for the invalid
Johnny, bought two homes for his
parents, an auto for one sister, a
home for the married sister, and is
sending her children through a pri
vate boarding school and already has
provided for their college education.
And each Is possessed now of an
"Not at alL Our district is unique j "emergency" bank account provided
and notable as being the only one
in the nation which does not contain
that political veteran."
by Jack, called by his mother "the
finest eon God ever gave to woman."
In the years which whirled along
between the time that Jack Dempsey
became a professional fighter, and
that hour in Toledo when he rose to
the sublime heights of the fighting
-.vorld, he knew another era of suf
fering and privation. Nothing broke
txactly right for him. He fought as
often as he could find opponents
but they were few and far between.
The purses he had received were piti
fully small. Sometimes they reached
$100 oftener they were around $10,
515 and $25.
And most of that money Jack
Dempsey sent back home and went
"broke" as a result. There were days
when he felt gnawing hunger; there
were almost countless nights when
the sky was his only shelter. He lived
away fom home, doggedly sticking ft
out in his chosen profess'on of fight
ing, rather than return to the old
town and admit failure. He folt that
some, day he would become great in
the fistic world if only given the
chance. He suffered much to gain
that opportunity. When it came he
made good ln whirlwind fashion.
A Superman of the Ring.
Jack Dempsey came from a family
of physical weaklings. His boyhood
was one of privation; his early man
hood was one during which the health
that was his was constantly menaced
by privation, worry and a life of ir
regularity. Yet, from out of It all emerges
Jack Dempsey, who never knew' a
prize ring equal; a man so powerful
that no human who was ever struck
to the heart by one of his mighty
fists could hold to his feet; Jack
Dempsey, the man of irresistible
force, boundless energy, chaln-Ilght-nlng
speed, uncanny endurance pow
ers the superman of the prize ring
the most remarkable athlete since
the world began.
Whence comes the appalling and the
peerless physical greatness that is
his' -