Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1876

By: Karl Stern (@wiwcool)

Much of the text of this entry comes from issue 82 of the DragonKing Press Newsletter available as a downloadable .pdf in the digital downloads section.


01-17-1876: Future world heavyweight champion Fred Beell is born in West Prussia, Germany.

04-27-1876: Future world heavyweight champion Frank Alvin Gotch is born in Humboldt, IA.

12-27-1876: A wrestling match between Col. James H. McLaughlin and Jim Owens for a purse of $500 each plus the proceeds of the house and the American championship (held by McLaughlin) took place in Boston, MA with Owens winning the title. According to newspaper reports, the audience was comprised entirely of men and it was an “exceedingly respectable gathering”. Dr. John T. Ordway was the referee and J.R. Smith was the umpire for McLaughlin and Mr. M. Kirk was the umpire for Owens.

The contestants were unevenly matched in size with McLaughlin weighing nearly 30 pounds more than Owens and taller also. McLaughlin’s strength advantage, however, was negated by his seriously injured left foot. The match began at 8:15 PM and did not end until 1:30 AM. The contest was described as being “uninteresting”.

At 1:15 AM neither had been able to gain the deciding fall and they left the stage determined not to wrestle any longer but the crowd became very boisterous and refused to leave until a final fall had taken place. At 1:30 AM, Owens threw McLaughlin over his hip to win the match. Professor Thiebaud Bauer announced himself ready to challenge Owens.

1876 (unspecified): “The Solid Man” William Muldoon joins the New York City police force. He quickly forms the Police Athletic Association and has his first professional wrestling match sometime in late 1876 defeated Thiebaud Bauer.

Frank A Gotch.jpg

Frank A. Gotch

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