ND's Football Lawyers

Jan 09, 2017

As most of you know, I have been researching early (1887-1917) Notre Dame Football.  The more I dig into the post-ND lives of these early players, the more impressed I have become about the caliber of person Notre Dame was turning out in those days.  Viewing these players it is important to note that the majority of the faculty and all of the administration were dedicated CSC Priests and Brothers, all of whom worked in the same role as educator, administrator, dorm official, and mentor.  This theme cannot be emphasized enough.

Back in the early days, when ND enrolled students from first grade through high school, and when discipline and comportment were heavily stressed, we were not enrolling many students from privileged backgrounds.  Nearly all of our students were first generation in attending college.  This was also a time when not many had high school diplomas.

In those early days, students could receive an undergraduate law degree.  As long as you passed the state bar, you were an attorney.  Of the 370 or so players of the first 30 years of ND football (during which time we graduated approximately 165 of our players) at least 86 of them received LLB’s from ND and at least another 8 received law degrees from other colleges.  Notre Dame had an outstanding man leading our legal training—Judge William Hoynes.  Our law education featured a substantial amount of Moot Court Trials, which were covered in the SCHOLASTIC in the same manner that football games are covered today.  Large numbers of students performed all the necessary roles in these proceedings.  Also, debate was a major competitive organization on campus and many debates received an equal amount of coverage.  Notre Dame maintained a very high “winning percentage” in debate against outside competition.  Theatrical productions were also big events on campus, also perhaps aiding our future barristers.

Here are ND’s early Law Grads who later became Judges:

Barry, Norman Christopher

b. 12/25/1897, Chicago, IL; d. 10/13/1988 (90), Chicago, IL.  5’10, 170.

At ND 1910-1921, LLB. Played briefly in two games during my research period, before becoming an All American after the war. In 1920, caught George Gipp’s final pass (for TD). Gipp threw the pass from a short punt formation because he was protecting a separated shoulder and could play only briefly in his final game for ND. Barry attended ND as “Minim”, “Prep”, and University student. The 1920 DOME referred to him as “President of the Lifers’ Club. Also played baseball and ran track and coached the ND “Preps” (high school) baseball team. NFL player for three teams, 1921-1922. Head Coach-Chicago Cardinals, leading them to the 1925 NFL Championship (in a 20-team league) and winning Coach of the Year. Served three terms in Illinois Senate. Coached De La Salle High School. Cook County Judge for 25 years. Hereceived the Edward Frederick Sorin Award (1984) and the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Hall of Fame Foundation (1988). Also served as President of the Notre Dame Club of Chicago. A courtroom at Notre Dame Law School was named in his honor.

Bracken, Robert Louis “Peggy”

b. 1/4/1885, Polo, IL; d. 7/29/1965 (80), Dixon, IL.  6’, 165.

At ND, 1903-1908, LLB.  Team Captain, 1906.  Assistant ND Coach, 1907.  Attorney and Law partner with ND gridder Sherwood Dixon, who would later become Lt. Governor of Illinois.  Circuit Court Judge, in Dixon, a town named after the ancestors of his law partner.  Fifty years after quarterbacking ND to a 2-0 win over Purdue, Bracken was an honored guest on campus at the ND-Purdue Game.  

Eggeman, John William

b. 6/12/1875, Fort Wayne, IN; d. 11/14/1936 (61), Fort Wayne.  6’4, 248.

At ND, 1897-1900, LLB.  Transfer from Taylor University.  Three sport star at ND.  He was Notre Dame’s first large-sized player who was also a skilled athlete.   Allegedly received a Valentine, while at ND, addressed to “Baby Elephant”.  Served as Manager of Athletics, like today’s Athletic Director.  The SCHOLASTIC reported: “‘Big John’ made his reputation as a centre rush last year.  In both seasons, he has been handicapped by having new and inexperienced men as his guards. Nevertheless, when he gets in front of a play it's all off. His favorite game is to throw his opponent out of the way with one arm and tackle the runner with the other.  He is a tower of strength in the line; visiting fullbacks have had trouble trying to get by him.”  The student writing in the SCHOLASTIC was quite clever during these early years.  Here’s an example: “John Eggeman, shot-putter, hammer-thrower, high-jumper, mile-runner and manager:  Mr. Eggeman is a lanky youth about seven feet tall, four feet wide and weighs two hundred and sixty pounds and two ounces when in training.  His first experience in athletics was in throwing bricks at the neighbor boy.  In the war last summer, he caught a sixteen-pound shot from admiral Cervera's flag-ship, and threw it four miles after the enemy.  His record for the hammer throw is two hundred feet, which distance he made by throwing the hammer from the top of the water work's stand-pipe in Fort Wayne and hitting a man on the head.  If the man was not in the way, it would have gone more than five feet farther.  He has posted a challenge to compete with Sweeney for championship in high-jumping, and can run the mile in ten minutes flat. As manager he is a howling success, and will hold his position as head of the training table as long as there is anything to eat.”  Delegate to the 1908 and 1928 Democratic Party Convention.   During WWI he was Foreign Secretary of the Knights of Columbus, serving in war zones in France, in charge of providing relief services to our troops.  Allen County (IN) Probate Commissioner (1904-1912) and Circuit Court Judge (1912-1918).  Board of Directors, National Knights of Columbus.  President of the Notre Dame Club of Fort Wayne, the Allen County Bar Association, and the Notre Dame Alumni Association.  After his death, the ALUMNUS reported “No sermon was delivered at the funeral of John W. Eggeman…His life, Father Monohan said, was his sermon”.  Among the priests who attended his funeral in Fort Wayne, were Rev. J. Hugh O'Donnell, C.S.C, Rev. Thomas Steiner, C.S.C, and Rev. John Farley, C.S.C.  O’Donnell was an ND football player a dozen years after Eggeman; Steiner and Farley were classmates of John.  Steiner was one of John’s basketball teammates and Farley was one of his football and track mates. 

Fansler, Michael Louis

b. 7/4/1883, Logansport, IN; d. 7/26/1963 (80), Indianapolis, IN.  6’1, 175

At ND, 1901-1905.  Two-year starting tackle for ND.  Cass County, IN, Prosecutor, 1906-1914.  Sixty-ninth Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, 1933-1945, elected as a Democrat during the FDR landslide of 1932.  Chaired Indiana Judicial Council from 1951 to 1960.  Sent a humorous note to the editor of the ALUMNUS, in 1967:  "I have been receiving the ALUMNUS and am very much interested in it. I noticed in the last number that my old friend, Byron Kanaley, is referred to as one of the older men. If he admits anything of the kind, please cease to consider him a contemporary of mine."  Buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, in Indianapolis, the final resting place of President Benjamin Harrison; the Duesenberg Brothers (founders of the automobile company); Ovid Butler (founder of the University); Richard Gatling (inventor of the Gatling gun); Col. Eli Lilly (founder of the drug company); Lyman S. Ayres (founder of the department stores); poet James Whitcomb Riley; and writer Booth Tarkington; bank robber John Dillinger; ND and NFL star Stacey Toran; and Wee Willie McGill, the boy pitcher who won ND’s first varsity baseball game (despite being in his third Major League season!).

Frantz, George Franklin

b. 7/30/1891, Pine Valley, WI; d. 7/3/1972 (80), Fennimore, WI.  5’10, 190

At ND 1914-1917, LLB.  Five-game sub guard.  WWI Lt.  City Attorney & Mayor of Fennimore.  District Attorney & Judge of Grant County (WI).  In 1929, he and his wife drove to Chicago for ND-Wisconsin football game and the trip made the news in the Madison County (WI) Times.

Galen, Albert John “Wild Bill”

b. 1/16/1876, Three Forks, MT; d. 5/16/1936 (60), Helena, MT.

At ND, 1889-1890 & 1893-1896-LLB.  One game sub end for ND.  Manhattan College, 1890-1892.  University of Michigan, 1896-1897.  Youngest Montana Attorney General ever elected (1904-1912).  Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his WWI service.  The citation read:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Albert J. Galen, Lieutenant Colonel (Judge Advocate General's Department), U.S. Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. As Judge Advocate of the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, Lieutenant Colonel Galen organized this important department and administered its affairs with conspicuous efficiency. His marked legal ability, sound judgment, and untiring efforts were important factors in the splendid work of his department, and he at all times handles with great success the various military and international problems with which he was confronted. He contributed materially to the success of the forces in Siberia and rendered conspicuous services in a position of great responsibility.  

War Department, General Orders No. 56 (1922)

Practiced law, in Helena, until his election to the Montana Supreme Court (1920-1933).  In a letter acknowledging congratulations sent by the President of Notre Dame:  "Whatever I have accomplished or may yet accomplish in life is due chiefly to the interest which was taken in me during the years I attended Notre Dame”.   Ran unsuccessfully, as a Republican, for United States Senate-1930.  The Morehead Daily News described him as “one of the strongest Republicans in the state, a man of colorful personality”.  Judge Galen campaigned to make Prohibition an issue to be decided by the states.  There were allegations that he may have violated the Prohibition laws a time or two.  First Vice President of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, 1935-1936.  After his drowning death, at Ox Bow Point, on Lake Holter, the ALUMNUS noted:  “Judge Galen had set out alone in a motor boat in the evening to cross a lake 90 feet deep. Later the boat was found overturned, its motor silent and the Judge's hat was discovered where it had washed ashore.  The assumption of the family was that, in trying to crank a stalled motor, the Judge had overturned the frail boat and had drowned in the exceedingly cold water before he could gain support for his body”.  His obituary in the Helena newspaper included this commentary: “Honest men esteem and value nothing so much in this world as a real friend. Such a one is as it were, another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts, who partakes of our joy, and comforts us in our afflictions; add to this, that the company of such a friend is an everlasting pleasure to those who know such relationships.  Widely known in all walks of life as an attorney, a jurist, a soldier, a loyal Republican, Judge Albert J. Galen, whose tragic death shocked the people of Montana Monday night, was always best known to people everywhere as the most-sincere friend to those he chose for companions, of any public man in Montana. If he once gave another his confidence and friendship, there was no breaking this relationship.  He was one who early in life grasped the meaning of the advice Polonius gave his son: ‘Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel’."  

Hardy, Russell Charles

b. 9/12/1894, Kansas City, KS; d. 2/3/1950 (55), Kansas City, KS.

At ND, 1913-1916, LLB. One game sub HB. Excellent track athlete—was on the mile relay team (with fellow gridders John Miller and John Voelkers) which held the ND outdoor record. WWI 2ndLt., Field Artillery. Hardy began in the insurance business with the Hartford Insurance Company and then the Zurich General Accident and Liability Company in Chicago. On 1/28/1938, he was shot in the hip, in his car, in Alexandria, VA, under suspicious circumstances. At that time, he was working as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Kansas. Later worked as Attorney and Wyandotte County District Court Judge (Democrat), 1941-1950. In February, 1942, he presided over the first all-woman jury trial ever held in Wyandotte County. He declared that the trial was “a success”.

 

Healy, Thomas Francis

b. 9/10/1882, Rochelle, IL; 11/15/1932 (50), Rochelle, IL.  5’10, 200.

At ND, 1902-1906, LLB.  Eight-game RT for ND.  From a 1919 note in the SCHOLASTIC: “—Frank Hailey (Healy), a football player of '04, is now the Municipal Judge of Rochelle, Illinois.  Frank has been threatening to visit his Alma Mater for a long time now and we hope that the coming Commencement will see the materialization of his threats.”  Living in Fort Dodge, IA, in 1923.

Kennedy, John Joseph

b. 7/15/1889, Scottdale, PA; 1/21/1960 (70), Pittsburgh, PA.  

At ND, 1906-1909, AB.  Three-game sub end.  University of Pennsylvania, LLB, and also played football for them.  John was born in the same town as famed Hindenburg explosion announcer Herbert Morrison (“Oh the Humanity”).  Coached Mercersburg Academy in 1912.  He enlisted as a private in WWI, moving up through the ranks to Captain.  Served in Mexico, in 1916. Wounded twice, he received the Distinguished Service Cross from General Pershing, after six major engagements.  Common Pleas Court Judge (22 years), Allegheny County, PA.  Active member of the N.D. Club of Western Pennsylvania.  Eight children.  

Lonergan, Frank John “Happy”

b. 5/27/1882, Polo, IL; d. 10/4/1961 (79), Portland, OR.  5’10, 168.

At ND, 1901-1904, LLB.  In 1903, Lonergan scored three TD’s in a game three times.  Against DePauw, he scored four rushing TD’s and kicked six extra points.  12th in games played and 6th in Full-games played, in our early years.  Fifth in scoring, with 20 TD’s and 40 extra points.  Three-sport coach and teacher (Commercial Law and History) at Columbia University (now the University of Portland).  Served six terms in the Oregon Legislature (1925-1933 and 1939-1941).  He was acting Governor in 1933 while holding office as Speaker of the House (Republican).  As Judge of the Circuit Court of Oregon, he was one of the first Judges to permit news photography during trials in his courtroom.  Elected VP, ND Alumni Association, 1929.  

McKeon, Thomas Jacob* (*In ND enrollment records; U.S. Census indicates “James”)

b. 5/13/1867, Maryland; d. 12/14/1938 (71), Los Angeles, CA.

At ND, 1886-1890, LLB.  Father born in Scotland; mother in Ireland.  Starting right guard in the only game played by our 1889 team.  Gave oration “The Lincoln of the War Period”.  The SCHOLASTIC critiqued his effort “Mr. McKeon has a good voice under fair control and used rather more gestures than any other of the contestants and used them quite well.  The oration brought the Lincoln of humble Kentucky birth up from his log home among its hills and forests to the White House.”  Stroked the six-oared varsity crew.  Attended University of Michigan, 1890-1891, LLM, earning football letter.  Attended Harvard Law School, 1891-1892.  First President, 1893, of the Catholic Club of Duluth, where he was an attorney and Judge for 38 years.  Board of Directors, Notre Dame Alumni Association.  A note in the ALUMNUS described him as “always first into the chapel and the dining hall”.  A Spring 1909 issue of the Successful American said of him:  He is "a highly respected lawyer of Duluth, and a living example that while a collegiate education is being acquired, a thorough athletic training should in no manner detract from the studies intended."  This is a theme Notre Dame has been proud to support for 175 years.  After his passing, the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles wrote: “Tom had been ill for several months, and we believe that it was only his undying love for Notre Dame and football that kept him with us until the end of the season”.

Nelson, Patrick, J.

b. 2/18/1860; Otter Creek, IA; d. 12/7/1946 (86), Dubuque, IA.  172#.

At ND, 1886-1888, LLB.  Six brothers and four sisters.  Member of ND’s first football team.  Claimed he was “fresh off the hayfield”.  A 1911 note in the SCHOLASTIC: “—P. J. Nelson (LL. B., 1888) is the senior member of the firm of Nelson and Duffy, 205 Security Bldg., Dubuque, Iowa.”  City & County Attorney, and District Court Judge for 15 years.  Delegate to the 1928 Democratic National Convention.  President of Bar Association and Board of Education.  After his passing, the Bar Association testimonial included “In addition to his rare qualities as a lawyer and judge, he was a genuinely human being.  Behind a rugged front, he had a tender and sympathetic heart that found expression in acts of kindness to countless souls”.  Perhaps related to his football background, he was also touted as “fearless”.

O’Phelan, John Ireland

b/ 5/22/1883, Graceville, MN; d. 4/27/1950 (66), Raymond, WA.  6’, 165.

At ND, 1900-1904, LLB.  He was the 10th of 11 children.  Two-game guard.  City Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, and Superior Court Judge of Pacific & Wahkiakum Counties (WA) from 1/12/1937, until his retirement, 12/1949.

Sinnott*, Roger Brass

b. 7/15/1872, The Dalles, OR; d. 3/16/1920 (47), Portland, OR.  

At ND, 1890-1894, Litt.B & LLB.  His father was born in Ireland and eventually became Chief U.S. Deputy Marshal, in Portland, Oregon.  Roger shared the starting fullback position, in 1893, with John Studebaker (son of the President of Studebaker Motors).  Roger’s older brother, Nicholas, 1892 ND valedictorian, became a prominent 8-term Republican U.S. Congressman and Federal Judge.  The family owned the Umatilla House, a luxury hotel, overlooking the Columbia River.  It was called "the best hotel west of Minneapolis and north of San Francisco".  Among the famous guests who stayed there were President Ulysses S. Grant, General W. T Sherman (whose sons attended Notre Dame), Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Edison, author Rudyard Kipling, Boxers John L. Sullivan and James Corbett, U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax (from South Bend), and writer Mark Twain.  In 1908, Roger sought the Republican nomination for District Attorney of Portland, OR.  Well known Portland attorney for the final 20 years of his life.  *Not actually a judge himself, I’m including him because of his more famous ND brother.

Walsh, William A.

b. 8/18/1871, Yonkers, NY; d. 3/18/1967 (95), Yonkers, NY.  5’6, ½ 135

At ND, 1895-1896.  1895 starting QB, never left the field, in all four games.  Captain elect of the 1896 team, but did not return.  Georgetown Law School, 1897-LLB.  Attorney; Judge; Commissioner of Public Safety; City Manager; and Mayor (Dem.) of Yonkers.  President, Notre Dame Club of New York, 1933.

Here is my “oops”…….I sent my prior post on ND physicians too quickly and failed to include three of our finest ones:

Fennessey, John Francis

b. 6/24/1880, Boston, MA; d. 4/11/1930 (49), Boston, MA.  5’8, 140.

At ND, 1893-1899, A.B.  Four game halfback.  Harvard University Medical School-1903.  A SCHOLASTIC note from 1900 indicated he “came out second in a class of one hundred students at the Harvard University Medical School in a competitive examination held recently”.  Assistant Professor of the Theory and Practice of medicine, Tufts College Medical School; WWI-Captain, Army Medical Corps.  Chief of Medical Staff, Carney Hospital, Boston (1919-1928). 

Joyce, Thomas Martin

b. 1/28/1885, Emmetsburg, IA; 4/18/1947 (62), Portland, OR.  5’10, 180.

At ND, 1903-1906.  Both parents born in Ireland.  Two-game halfback.  Performed in the “Merchant of Venice”, during the 1905 President’s Day program in Washington Hall.  The SCHOLASTIC reviewer wrote: “Mr. Joyce who undertook the role of "Portia" was at his best during the trial scene where both his appearance and acting were very good”.  In the 1910 Census, he lived with his grandfather.  The household included his mother and her three siblings; his two brothers and sister; three servants (two from Austria and one from Ireland); and seven “roomers” (who included the four young children of their Irish servants, a Swede, and two Americans).  His obit in the ALUMNUS stated he was an “internationally-known Portland surgeon and head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Oregon Medical School” and “Dr. Joyce, credited with developing one of the finest departments of surgery in the United States…received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1910 and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Portland in 1936. He was first surgical assistant to Dr. Charles Mayo at the Mayo Clinic from 1911 to 1914. He was a noted author on many surgical subjects and served in the Army as a major during the first World War.  Dr. Joyce is survived by his widow and two daughters. Father Kerndt Healy, C.S.C., is a cousin”.  Fr. Healy was the Assistant Provincial of the C.S.C. Order at the time of his 1960 passing.

O'Donnell, Leo Day

b. 5/8/1895, Cleveland, OH; d. 12/6/1967 (72), Pittsburgh, PA.

At ND, 1913-1917, B.S., Pre-Med.  1-game guard.  WWI service.  Lived in Philadelphia, 1934-1948.  Chief Medical Resident & Chief of Surgery, Mercy Hospital, and faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh.  Created the Mercy Hospital Diagnostic Clinic, “which offers a complete package of diagnostic services and includes a motel for the convenience of patients who must stay”.  The Hospital named the clinic after him.  Board of Directors, ND Alumni Association.

As most of you know, I have been researching early (1887-1917) Notre Dame Football.  The more I dig into the post-ND lives of these early players, the more impressed I have become about the caliber of person Notre Dame was turning out in those days.  Viewing these players it is important to note that the majority of the faculty and all of the administration were dedicated CSC Priests and Brothers, all of whom worked in the same role as educator, administrator, dorm official, and mentor.  This theme cannot be emphasized enough.

Back in the early days, when ND enrolled students from first grade through high school, and when discipline and comportment were heavily stressed, we were not enrolling many students from privileged backgrounds.  Nearly all of our students were first generation in attending college.  This was also a time when not many had high school diplomas.

In those early days, students could receive an undergraduate law degree.  As long as you passed the state bar, you were an attorney.  Of the 370 or so players of the first 30 years of ND football (during which time we graduated approximately 165 of our players) at least 86 of them received LLB’s from ND and at least another 8 received law degrees from other colleges.  Notre Dame had an outstanding man leading our legal training—Judge William Hoynes.  Our law education featured a substantial amount of Moot Court Trials, which were covered in the SCHOLASTIC in the same manner that football games are covered today.  Large numbers of students performed all the necessary roles in these proceedings.  Also, debate was a major competitive organization on campus and many debates received an equal amount of coverage.  Notre Dame maintained a very high “winning percentage” in debate against outside competition.  Theatrical productions were also big events on campus, also perhaps aiding our future barristers.

Here are ND’s early Law Grads who later became Judges:

Barry, Norman Christopher

b. 12/25/1897, Chicago, IL; d. 10/13/1988 (90), Chicago, IL.  5’10, 170.

At ND 1910-1921, LLB. Played briefly in two games during my research period, before becoming an All American after the war. In 1920, caught George Gipp’s final pass (for TD). Gipp threw the pass from a short punt formation because he was protecting a separated shoulder and could play only briefly in his final game for ND. Barry attended ND as “Minim”, “Prep”, and University student. The 1920 DOME referred to him as “President of the Lifers’ Club. Also played baseball and ran track and coached the ND “Preps” (high school) baseball team. NFL player for three teams, 1921-1922. Head Coach-Chicago Cardinals, leading them to the 1925 NFL Championship (in a 20-team league) and winning Coach of the Year. Served three terms in Illinois Senate. Coached De La Salle High School. Cook County Judge for 25 years. Hereceived the Edward Frederick Sorin Award (1984) and the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Hall of Fame Foundation (1988). Also served as President of the Notre Dame Club of Chicago. A courtroom at Notre Dame Law School was named in his honor.

Bracken, Robert Louis “Peggy”

b. 1/4/1885, Polo, IL; d. 7/29/1965 (80), Dixon, IL.  6’, 165.

At ND, 1903-1908, LLB.  Team Captain, 1906.  Assistant ND Coach, 1907.  Attorney and Law partner with ND gridder Sherwood Dixon, who would later become Lt. Governor of Illinois.  Circuit Court Judge, in Dixon, a town named after the ancestors of his law partner.  Fifty years after quarterbacking ND to a 2-0 win over Purdue, Bracken was an honored guest on campus at the ND-Purdue Game.  

Eggeman, John William

b. 6/12/1875, Fort Wayne, IN; d. 11/14/1936 (61), Fort Wayne.  6’4, 248.

At ND, 1897-1900, LLB.  Transfer from Taylor University.  Three sport star at ND.  He was Notre Dame’s first large-sized player who was also a skilled athlete.   Allegedly received a Valentine, while at ND, addressed to “Baby Elephant”.  Served as Manager of Athletics, like today’s Athletic Director.  The SCHOLASTIC reported: “‘Big John’ made his reputation as a centre rush last year.  In both seasons, he has been handicapped by having new and inexperienced men as his guards. Nevertheless, when he gets in front of a play it's all off. His favorite game is to throw his opponent out of the way with one arm and tackle the runner with the other.  He is a tower of strength in the line; visiting fullbacks have had trouble trying to get by him.”  The student writing in the SCHOLASTIC was quite clever during these early years.  Here’s an example: “John Eggeman, shot-putter, hammer-thrower, high-jumper, mile-runner and manager:  Mr. Eggeman is a lanky youth about seven feet tall, four feet wide and weighs two hundred and sixty pounds and two ounces when in training.  His first experience in athletics was in throwing bricks at the neighbor boy.  In the war last summer, he caught a sixteen-pound shot from admiral Cervera's flag-ship, and threw it four miles after the enemy.  His record for the hammer throw is two hundred feet, which distance he made by throwing the hammer from the top of the water work's stand-pipe in Fort Wayne and hitting a man on the head.  If the man was not in the way, it would have gone more than five feet farther.  He has posted a challenge to compete with Sweeney for championship in high-jumping, and can run the mile in ten minutes flat. As manager he is a howling success, and will hold his position as head of the training table as long as there is anything to eat.”  Delegate to the 1908 and 1928 Democratic Party Convention.   During WWI he was Foreign Secretary of the Knights of Columbus, serving in war zones in France, in charge of providing relief services to our troops.  Allen County (IN) Probate Commissioner (1904-1912) and Circuit Court Judge (1912-1918).  Board of Directors, National Knights of Columbus.  President of the Notre Dame Club of Fort Wayne, the Allen County Bar Association, and the Notre Dame Alumni Association.  After his death, the ALUMNUS reported “No sermon was delivered at the funeral of John W. Eggeman…His life, Father Monohan said, was his sermon”.  Among the priests who attended his funeral in Fort Wayne, were Rev. J. Hugh O'Donnell, C.S.C, Rev. Thomas Steiner, C.S.C, and Rev. John Farley, C.S.C.  O’Donnell was an ND football player a dozen years after Eggeman; Steiner and Farley were classmates of John.  Steiner was one of John’s basketball teammates and Farley was one of his football and track mates. 

Fansler, Michael Louis

b. 7/4/1883, Logansport, IN; d. 7/26/1963 (80), Indianapolis, IN.  6’1, 175

At ND, 1901-1905.  Two-year starting tackle for ND.  Cass County, IN, Prosecutor, 1906-1914.  Sixty-ninth Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, 1933-1945, elected as a Democrat during the FDR landslide of 1932.  Chaired Indiana Judicial Council from 1951 to 1960.  Sent a humorous note to the editor of the ALUMNUS, in 1967:  "I have been receiving the ALUMNUS and am very much interested in it. I noticed in the last number that my old friend, Byron Kanaley, is referred to as one of the older men. If he admits anything of the kind, please cease to consider him a contemporary of mine."  Buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, in Indianapolis, the final resting place of President Benjamin Harrison; the Duesenberg Brothers (founders of the automobile company); Ovid Butler (founder of the University); Richard Gatling (inventor of the Gatling gun); Col. Eli Lilly (founder of the drug company); Lyman S. Ayres (founder of the department stores); poet James Whitcomb Riley; and writer Booth Tarkington; bank robber John Dillinger; ND and NFL star Stacey Toran; and Wee Willie McGill, the boy pitcher who won ND’s first varsity baseball game (despite being in his third Major League season!).

Frantz, George Franklin

b. 7/30/1891, Pine Valley, WI; d. 7/3/1972 (80), Fennimore, WI.  5’10, 190

At ND 1914-1917, LLB.  Five-game sub guard.  WWI Lt.  City Attorney & Mayor of Fennimore.  District Attorney & Judge of Grant County (WI).  In 1929, he and his wife drove to Chicago for ND-Wisconsin football game and the trip made the news in the Madison County (WI) Times.

Galen, Albert John “Wild Bill”

b. 1/16/1876, Three Forks, MT; d. 5/16/1936 (60), Helena, MT.

At ND, 1889-1890 & 1893-1896-LLB.  One game sub end for ND.  Manhattan College, 1890-1892.  University of Michigan, 1896-1897.  Youngest Montana Attorney General ever elected (1904-1912).  Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his WWI service.  The citation read:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Albert J. Galen, Lieutenant Colonel (Judge Advocate General's Department), U.S. Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. As Judge Advocate of the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, Lieutenant Colonel Galen organized this important department and administered its affairs with conspicuous efficiency. His marked legal ability, sound judgment, and untiring efforts were important factors in the splendid work of his department, and he at all times handles with great success the various military and international problems with which he was confronted. He contributed materially to the success of the forces in Siberia and rendered conspicuous services in a position of great responsibility.  

War Department, General Orders No. 56 (1922)

Practiced law, in Helena, until his election to the Montana Supreme Court (1920-1933).  In a letter acknowledging congratulations sent by the President of Notre Dame:  "Whatever I have accomplished or may yet accomplish in life is due chiefly to the interest which was taken in me during the years I attended Notre Dame”.   Ran unsuccessfully, as a Republican, for United States Senate-1930.  The Morehead Daily News described him as “one of the strongest Republicans in the state, a man of colorful personality”.  Judge Galen campaigned to make Prohibition an issue to be decided by the states.  There were allegations that he may have violated the Prohibition laws a time or two.  First Vice President of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, 1935-1936.  After his drowning death, at Ox Bow Point, on Lake Holter, the ALUMNUS noted:  “Judge Galen had set out alone in a motor boat in the evening to cross a lake 90 feet deep. Later the boat was found overturned, its motor silent and the Judge's hat was discovered where it had washed ashore.  The assumption of the family was that, in trying to crank a stalled motor, the Judge had overturned the frail boat and had drowned in the exceedingly cold water before he could gain support for his body”.  His obituary in the Helena newspaper included this commentary: “Honest men esteem and value nothing so much in this world as a real friend. Such a one is as it were, another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts, who partakes of our joy, and comforts us in our afflictions; add to this, that the company of such a friend is an everlasting pleasure to those who know such relationships.  Widely known in all walks of life as an attorney, a jurist, a soldier, a loyal Republican, Judge Albert J. Galen, whose tragic death shocked the people of Montana Monday night, was always best known to people everywhere as the most-sincere friend to those he chose for companions, of any public man in Montana. If he once gave another his confidence and friendship, there was no breaking this relationship.  He was one who early in life grasped the meaning of the advice Polonius gave his son: ‘Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel’."  

Hardy, Russell Charles

b. 9/12/1894, Kansas City, KS; d. 2/3/1950 (55), Kansas City, KS.

At ND, 1913-1916, LLB. One game sub HB. Excellent track athlete—was on the mile relay team (with fellow gridders John Miller and John Voelkers) which held the ND outdoor record. WWI 2ndLt., Field Artillery. Hardy began in the insurance business with the Hartford Insurance Company and then the Zurich General Accident and Liability Company in Chicago. On 1/28/1938, he was shot in the hip, in his car, in Alexandria, VA, under suspicious circumstances. At that time, he was working as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Kansas. Later worked as Attorney and Wyandotte County District Court Judge (Democrat), 1941-1950. In February, 1942, he presided over the first all-woman jury trial ever held in Wyandotte County. He declared that the trial was “a success”.

 

Healy, Thomas Francis

b. 9/10/1882, Rochelle, IL; 11/15/1932 (50), Rochelle, IL.  5’10, 200.

At ND, 1902-1906, LLB.  Eight-game RT for ND.  From a 1919 note in the SCHOLASTIC: “—Frank Hailey (Healy), a football player of '04, is now the Municipal Judge of Rochelle, Illinois.  Frank has been threatening to visit his Alma Mater for a long time now and we hope that the coming Commencement will see the materialization of his threats.”  Living in Fort Dodge, IA, in 1923.

Kennedy, John Joseph

b. 7/15/1889, Scottdale, PA; 1/21/1960 (70), Pittsburgh, PA.  

At ND, 1906-1909, AB.  Three-game sub end.  University of Pennsylvania, LLB, and also played football for them.  John was born in the same town as famed Hindenburg explosion announcer Herbert Morrison (“Oh the Humanity”).  Coached Mercersburg Academy in 1912.  He enlisted as a private in WWI, moving up through the ranks to Captain.  Served in Mexico, in 1916. Wounded twice, he received the Distinguished Service Cross from General Pershing, after six major engagements.  Common Pleas Court Judge (22 years), Allegheny County, PA.  Active member of the N.D. Club of Western Pennsylvania.  Eight children.  

Lonergan, Frank John “Happy”

b. 5/27/1882, Polo, IL; d. 10/4/1961 (79), Portland, OR.  5’10, 168.

At ND, 1901-1904, LLB.  In 1903, Lonergan scored three TD’s in a game three times.  Against DePauw, he scored four rushing TD’s and kicked six extra points.  12th in games played and 6th in Full-games played, in our early years.  Fifth in scoring, with 20 TD’s and 40 extra points.  Three-sport coach and teacher (Commercial Law and History) at Columbia University (now the University of Portland).  Served six terms in the Oregon Legislature (1925-1933 and 1939-1941).  He was acting Governor in 1933 while holding office as Speaker of the House (Republican).  As Judge of the Circuit Court of Oregon, he was one of the first Judges to permit news photography during trials in his courtroom.  Elected VP, ND Alumni Association, 1929.  

McKeon, Thomas Jacob* (*In ND enrollment records; U.S. Census indicates “James”)

b. 5/13/1867, Maryland; d. 12/14/1938 (71), Los Angeles, CA.

At ND, 1886-1890, LLB.  Father born in Scotland; mother in Ireland.  Starting right guard in the only game played by our 1889 team.  Gave oration “The Lincoln of the War Period”.  The SCHOLASTIC critiqued his effort “Mr. McKeon has a good voice under fair control and used rather more gestures than any other of the contestants and used them quite well.  The oration brought the Lincoln of humble Kentucky birth up from his log home among its hills and forests to the White House.”  Stroked the six-oared varsity crew.  Attended University of Michigan, 1890-1891, LLM, earning football letter.  Attended Harvard Law School, 1891-1892.  First President, 1893, of the Catholic Club of Duluth, where he was an attorney and Judge for 38 years.  Board of Directors, Notre Dame Alumni Association.  A note in the ALUMNUS described him as “always first into the chapel and the dining hall”.  A Spring 1909 issue of the Successful American said of him:  He is "a highly respected lawyer of Duluth, and a living example that while a collegiate education is being acquired, a thorough athletic training should in no manner detract from the studies intended."  This is a theme Notre Dame has been proud to support for 175 years.  After his passing, the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles wrote: “Tom had been ill for several months, and we believe that it was only his undying love for Notre Dame and football that kept him with us until the end of the season”.

Nelson, Patrick, J.

b. 2/18/1860; Otter Creek, IA; d. 12/7/1946 (86), Dubuque, IA.  172#.

At ND, 1886-1888, LLB.  Six brothers and four sisters.  Member of ND’s first football team.  Claimed he was “fresh off the hayfield”.  A 1911 note in the SCHOLASTIC: “—P. J. Nelson (LL. B., 1888) is the senior member of the firm of Nelson and Duffy, 205 Security Bldg., Dubuque, Iowa.”  City & County Attorney, and District Court Judge for 15 years.  Delegate to the 1928 Democratic National Convention.  President of Bar Association and Board of Education.  After his passing, the Bar Association testimonial included “In addition to his rare qualities as a lawyer and judge, he was a genuinely human being.  Behind a rugged front, he had a tender and sympathetic heart that found expression in acts of kindness to countless souls”.  Perhaps related to his football background, he was also touted as “fearless”.

O’Phelan, John Ireland

b/ 5/22/1883, Graceville, MN; d. 4/27/1950 (66), Raymond, WA.  6’, 165.

At ND, 1900-1904, LLB.  He was the 10th of 11 children.  Two-game guard.  City Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, and Superior Court Judge of Pacific & Wahkiakum Counties (WA) from 1/12/1937, until his retirement, 12/1949.

Sinnott*, Roger Brass

b. 7/15/1872, The Dalles, OR; d. 3/16/1920 (47), Portland, OR.  

At ND, 1890-1894, Litt.B & LLB.  His father was born in Ireland and eventually became Chief U.S. Deputy Marshal, in Portland, Oregon.  Roger shared the starting fullback position, in 1893, with John Studebaker (son of the President of Studebaker Motors).  Roger’s older brother, Nicholas, 1892 ND valedictorian, became a prominent 8-term Republican U.S. Congressman and Federal Judge.  The family owned the Umatilla House, a luxury hotel, overlooking the Columbia River.  It was called "the best hotel west of Minneapolis and north of San Francisco".  Among the famous guests who stayed there were President Ulysses S. Grant, General W. T Sherman (whose sons attended Notre Dame), Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Edison, author Rudyard Kipling, Boxers John L. Sullivan and James Corbett, U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax (from South Bend), and writer Mark Twain.  In 1908, Roger sought the Republican nomination for District Attorney of Portland, OR.  Well known Portland attorney for the final 20 years of his life.  *Not actually a judge himself, I’m including him because of his more famous ND brother.

Walsh, William A.

b. 8/18/1871, Yonkers, NY; d. 3/18/1967 (95), Yonkers, NY.  5’6, ½ 135

At ND, 1895-1896.  1895 starting QB, never left the field, in all four games.  Captain elect of the 1896 team, but did not return.  Georgetown Law School, 1897-LLB.  Attorney; Judge; Commissioner of Public Safety; City Manager; and Mayor (Dem.) of Yonkers.  President, Notre Dame Club of New York, 1933.

Here is my “oops”…….I sent my prior post on ND physicians too quickly and failed to include three of our finest ones:

Fennessey, John Francis

b. 6/24/1880, Boston, MA; d. 4/11/1930 (49), Boston, MA.  5’8, 140.

At ND, 1893-1899, A.B.  Four game halfback.  Harvard University Medical School-1903.  A SCHOLASTIC note from 1900 indicated he “came out second in a class of one hundred students at the Harvard University Medical School in a competitive examination held recently”.  Assistant Professor of the Theory and Practice of medicine, Tufts College Medical School; WWI-Captain, Army Medical Corps.  Chief of Medical Staff, Carney Hospital, Boston (1919-1928). 

Joyce, Thomas Martin

b. 1/28/1885, Emmetsburg, IA; 4/18/1947 (62), Portland, OR.  5’10, 180.

At ND, 1903-1906.  Both parents born in Ireland.  Two-game halfback.  Performed in the “Merchant of Venice”, during the 1905 President’s Day program in Washington Hall.  The SCHOLASTIC reviewer wrote: “Mr. Joyce who undertook the role of "Portia" was at his best during the trial scene where both his appearance and acting were very good”.  In the 1910 Census, he lived with his grandfather.  The household included his mother and her three siblings; his two brothers and sister; three servants (two from Austria and one from Ireland); and seven “roomers” (who included the four young children of their Irish servants, a Swede, and two Americans).  His obit in the ALUMNUS stated he was an “internationally-known Portland surgeon and head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Oregon Medical School” and “Dr. Joyce, credited with developing one of the finest departments of surgery in the United States…received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1910 and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Portland in 1936. He was first surgical assistant to Dr. Charles Mayo at the Mayo Clinic from 1911 to 1914. He was a noted author on many surgical subjects and served in the Army as a major during the first World War.  Dr. Joyce is survived by his widow and two daughters. Father Kerndt Healy, C.S.C., is a cousin”.  Fr. Healy was the Assistant Provincial of the C.S.C. Order at the time of his 1960 passing.

O'Donnell, Leo Day

b. 5/8/1895, Cleveland, OH; d. 12/6/1967 (72), Pittsburgh, PA.

At ND, 1913-1917, B.S., Pre-Med.  1-game guard.  WWI service.  Lived in Philadelphia, 1934-1948.  Chief Medical Resident & Chief of Surgery, Mercy Hospital, and faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh.  Created the Mercy Hospital Diagnostic Clinic, “which offers a complete package of diagnostic services and includes a motel for the convenience of patients who must stay”.  The Hospital named the clinic after him.  Board of Directors, ND Alumni Association.


Other news