Dec. 23, 1908 (Wednesday)
TEENAGE ROWER FOUND SHOT TO DEATH ON ICE OF LAKE QUINSIGAMOND: Today's Globe has the stunning news of the shooting death of Francis E. Jones, a 16-year-old, who was shot and killed while he was ice fishing on Half Moon Pond on Lake Quinsigamond. The first words of the first sentence of the story described the gruesome scene:
With a gunshot wound three icnhes in diameter in the left side of his head and the skull fractured into many places, the body of Francis E. Jones, aged 16, son of Herbert A. Jones of Shrewsbury, a former mail carrier in the Worcester post office, was found frozen into the ice of Half Moon Poond at the south end of Lake Quinsigamond today [meaning Dec. 22].
The killing also rated a front-page spot on the New York Times, which called Jones "one of the crack scullers" on the lake. (No, they didn't mean to say "skull crackers"; it means he was a great oarsman.)
The body had to be cut from the ice, where Jones had opened a number of holes for fishing. Police have no strong suspect as of now.
BROCKTON AND FIGHTING CERTAINLY FIT; BUT, BROCKTON AND POLO? The headline "Two Fights in Polo Game" snagged my attention, especially when I noticed the Brockton dateline (right). The Brockton team beat Providence, 6-3. The article noted this was a rough game, which included a tussle between Brockton's Lacy and Providence's Miller. They ended up on the ground, with Miller applying a "half-nelson" to Lacy's neck. A little reading (and research) revealed that this "polo" is horse-less polo, a sport that's very similar to ice hockey. Here's a description of ICE POLO from the "hockey" entry of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica:
Ice Polo, a winter sport similar to Ice Hockey, is almost exclusively played in the New England states. A rubber-covered ball is used and the stick is heavier than that used in Ice Hockey. The radical difference between the two games is that, in Ice Polo, there is no strict off-side rule, so that passes and shots at goal may come from any and often the most unexpected direction. Five men constitute a team: a goal-tend, a half-hack, a centre and two rushers. The rushers must be rapid skaters, adepts in dribbling and passing and good goal shots. The centre supports the rushers, passing the ball to them or trying for goal himself. The half-back is the first defence and the goal-tend the last. The rink is 150 ft. long.
(A closeup of some players from the school that would come to be known as the University of Connecticut is at right -- taken from this UConn site).