Tug of War, August 1899 – To the Victors Belong the Spoils

Skidmore took its tug-of-war battles seriously. Here’s the rest of the story from the August 11, 1899 Skidmore Standard:

To The Victors Belong the Spoils
The M. W. A. Win the Flag in a Tug-of-War with the W. O. W. 20 men on a side.

The Modern Woodmen team is the biggest. That fact was established last Saturday afternoon when it yanked the Woodmen of the World gang over the line in the tug-of-war. But as for that matter any one who can see – with or without glasses – did not have to look twice to decide the question before the match as far as mere avoirdupois is concerned; but the W. O. W. fellows were slightly over conceited and had to be “showed.” They were “showed” too, in about two minutes and a half, but the Modern Woodmen were made to feel that they had performed a difficult task.

A hard rain Friday night and Saturday morning put the ground in a very unsatisfactory condition for the pull and it was to this fact that the World men attributed their defeat. Some of their men had to pull in mud from start to finish which put them at a great disadvantage. A constant digging and scratching for a new foot hold as soon as the old one gave way made the road more slippery each time, and it was extremely amusing – to the onlookers – to see the efforts of the contestants to keep their feet on the ground. Occasionally some fellow, pulling like a yoke of oxen, as if the success of his side depended upon his efforts, would lose his footing and take a slide, when up he would come and go to digging again.

For the period of about two minutes no advantage was gained by either side and it was hard to determine what the results woudl be, but finally the Modern Woodmen gained a momentary advantage and pulled some others of the World men into the mud, then it was easy and the whole bunch went like greased sled runners on ice and the match was over.

It was a hard, evenly matched pull as all will attest, and none of the contestants have any great desire to repeat the performance.

The band came out and rendered some good music for the occasion; a big crowd was in town; several of the business houses were closed for the time; and altogether it seemed very much like a holiday celebration.

H. W. Hatfield, one fo the Modern Woodmen contestants, was taken with an attack of fainting immediately after the pull. He was soon revived however, and experienced no more evil effects from his exertions.

The best of order and good will prevailed.