Frank Gotch

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Frank Gotch was a world-renowned wrestler from Humboldt. There were numerous newspaper articles about him. As I come across them, I will add to this page, putting each article in chronological order.

Biography: He was born April 27, 1878, near Humboldt. He was the World Heavyweight Champion from 1908 to 1913, with a professional record of 154 wins and 6 losses. He died December 16, 1917, at Humboldt.

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 3, 1905

Come Back to Iowa

Frank Gotch Will Live Simple Life at Humboldt.

Humboldt, April 1 – Frank Gotch, the Iowa wrestler, who held the title of champion of the country until he was finally defeated a few days ago by Tom Jenkins, of Cleveland, will come back to his hold home here and undertake to restore his old form by a course of simple training.

Gotch and his chief patron, “Farmer” Burns, also an Iowan and a former champion wrestler, believes at thoroughly as ever that Gotch is still the champion wrestler. But he has lost the title to Jenkins, and must win it back.

Gotch is the victim of the desire to make money. Like Burns, he is a man of model habits in the main; not quite as abstemious as Burns, who never knew in his life the taste of liquor or tobacco, but a man who never gets out of training. Gotch was discovered, trained and brought out by Burns, and Burns was the most wonderful wrestler for his size and weight that ever went on a mat.

Jenkins wrested the championship from Burns, and Burns raised up Gotch to wrest it from Jenkins. Now Jenkins has taken it back again, and Gotch proposes to go back to the farm and the soil and the simple life to recover his weight and form and defeat Jenkins again.

There is little doubt that Gotch will succeed, for he has repeatedly proved himself superior to Jenkins. But the past winter he has been touring the country doing one-night stands agreeing to throw local champions at the rate of one to every five minutes as fast as they’ll bring ’em on, and such stunts, which are the very worst things possible fora man’s training, when taken with irregular hours and hard traveling. As a result Gotch went to the platform for his last match with Jenkins at fifteen pounds under his best weight.

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 26, 1907

Gotch Denies the Marriage Story

Says Tale That He Will Marry Ida Emerson is a Pure Fake.

In an interview here last night Frank Gotch the champion catch-as-catch-can wrestler of the world denied absolutely the story emanating from St. Louis that he was to marry Ida Emerson, the actress and divorced wife of Joe Howard.

“It is a pure fake,” said Gotch. “I know Ida Emerson but so far as any marriage contract is concerned it is all bosh. I don’t know how it got started. In fact I never heard of it until a few days ago.”

The story seems in truth a wild one and even without Gotch’s denial would hardly be believed. It was to the effect that Gotch was introduced to Ida Emerson on a train by Arthur Deacon of the Time, the Place and the Girl Company and a mutual attraction seemed to be formed at once. It related how the two conversed together evidently fascinated by each other and how in the end Gotch proposed a contract for marriage in which he proposed to settle $10,000, a residence and an automobile on his wife the first day. That the offer was accepted at once and the marriage would take place in the spring was the wind up of the story.