Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1896

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.

1896

01-30-1896: The Chicago newspapers run an interesting note, “Evan Lewis, the Strangler, arrived in the city from the east yesterday and is after Farmer Burns and Dan McLeod. Lewis, it will be remembered, lost the catch as catch can wrestling championship to Burns some time ago in what was said to be a fake match and is probably seeking to even up matters with Burns.”

02-15-1896: The following article appears in The Sporting Journal - Kansas City, MO: “I notice in the sporting papers that Evan Lewis of Madison, Wis. issues challenges to wrestle me. In justice to myself would say that I taught him to wrestle last August and Parson Davies kindly purchased the ticket for me to go to Madison. After eighteen days hard work I had hard trouble to get $10 from Lewis’ backer, when my contract called for $25 and expenses per week. After I taught him what he now knows he left me in Beloit in destitute circumstances and John Klein of Beloit supported me. I made two matches for Lewis, his backer promising me that I would receive my share and that it would give Lewis a reputation. The parties I made the matches with were John Leon and Andre Christol, and at both these matches Evan Lewis and his backer went back on me. The last match he had with John Leon, I asked him to give me $5 and he told me to go to Hades. the result was I returned to Chicago, defraying my own expenses. Lewis stated in the Chicago Herald that he downed me and others which is a bare-faced lie. He also claims to have downed Jack Carkeek. Lewis told at the gymnasium at Beloit that Carkeek came near killing him! Now in conclusion will say that every match that Evan Lewis has made was fixed for him to win, thus making a reputation that he has nothing to boast of. The first match made with Christol he paid Christol $5; second with John Leon $30; Chas. Moth in September last, all of the gate money; Tom Cannon 75%, and Jim Faulkner and his trainee Nobby Clark $125. At last they told me to travel up to Montana under an assumed name and lose matches to Lewis which I refused to do. I do not consider Evan Lewis my equal but I have a novice that I will back against him at any style- Greco-Roman or catch-as-catch-can preferred for $200 and the gate money and the match to take place one month after articles of agreement are signed at any place that he may select, private preferred. By publishing this letter you will greatly oblige. - Theodore George AKA: Greek George.

09-1896: George Hackenschmidt makes his pro wrestling debut.

Evan Lewis.jpg

Evan “Strangler” Lewis

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