Charles Leroy Pauley

1912 – 2010


Charles Pauley of Herington, Kansas is shown here at Abilene, Kansas on September 26, 1932 with the #14 bobtail Chevrolet he drove for his uncle, Henry Pauley.


The Henry Pauley owned

#14 Chevy bobtail on

July 25, 1934

Charles Pauley, seated,

with Henry Pauley and

the #14 Chevy bobtail

The #14 Chevy bobtail

in front of Henry Pauley’s

garage in Herington, KS

on July 25, 1934

Charles Pauley, left with

his uncle, Henry Pauley

and the #14 Chevy bobtail

Charles Pauley at speed

in his uncle’s #14 Chevy

bobtail at Anthony, KS

On July 22, 1933

Charles Pauley with his

uncle’s Frontenac

Charles Pauley in his

uncle’s #28 Frontenac

in front of Pauley’s

Garage in Herington, KS

Charles Leroy Pauley was born on December 31, 1912 at Herington, Kansas.  As a teenager, he remembered watching such drivers as John Gerber and “Dad” Harrier race at Abilene, Kansas when he attended the races there with his uncle, Henry George Pauley (1897-1962).

          Henry Pauley built a bobtail racing car and attempted to copy John Gerber’s successful machine as closely as possible.  Pauley found Gerber willing to share his knowledge and they visited for hours at a time about what Pauley would need to do to build a competitive racing car.  Pauley’s bobtail utilized a 4-cylinder Chevrolet engine with an Oldsmobile head which increased the compression and had larger valves than a stock Chevrolet head.  The car was painted dark blue with red lettering.

          Charles Pauley raced from 1930 through 1935 spending most of that time in his uncle’s #14 bobtail Chevrolet.  Some of the later races were in a white #28 Frontenac that Henry purchased from J. E. "Jim" White shortly after White moved to Herington, Kansas.

          Charles recorded the information about many of the races that he competed in, in a small notebook.  The dates and the information in quotes are from that notebook.  The information in parentheses below has been added by the webmaster:


Belleville, Kansas – August 28, 1930


Belleville, Kansas – August 29, 1930


Belleville, Kansas – September 3, 1931


Belleville, Kansas – September 4, 1931


Newton, Kansas – June 1, 1932  (racetrack at the athletic field)

“1st in class B - $3.39”

          “2nd in finals - $3.14”  (a five-mile race won by Roy Lake of Los Angeles, California)


Wichita, Kansas – June 19, 1932 – “rained out”


Wichita, Kansas - June 26, 1932 – “rained out”


Dodge City, Kansas – July 4, 1932

          “2nd in class B - $11.75”

          “2nd in match race”

          “4th in finals” (that were won by Sammy Ard of Sterling, Colorado)


Wichita, Kansas – August 7, 1932

          “Smashed up in first race on north curve”


Belleville, Kansas – September 1, 1932

          “Got second place in fourth event – Got $30, $10 mine”

(This was a heat race won by L. O. Hughes of Beatrice, Nebraska.)


Belleville, Kansas – September 2, 1932

“Drove Murray Earl’s car”

          “Got third place in fourth event – Got $20, $10 mine”

(This was a consolation race won by Gene Frederick of Dallas, Texas.  While Pauley’s notebook says he finished in third place, the Belleville Telescope newspaper said that he finished in second place.)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 23, 1932

“Got fifth place in sixth event – Got nothing”

(This was a consolation race won by Rex Edmunds of Houston, Texas.)


Abilene, Kansas – September 26, 1932

          “No other record”


Abilene, Kansas – July 4, 1933:

          “Time: 31.5”

          “2nd place in class A”

          “2nd place in finals”

          “Got $12, I got $5”


Anthony, Kansas – July 22, 1933

          “Time: 32 flat”

          “1st in class A - $10”

          “1st in match race - $6.70”

          “1st in finals - $33.30”

          “Total won: $50, I got $17”


Wichita, Kansas – August 13, 1933

          “Time: 31.58”

Charles Pauley with his

uncle’s Frontenac in

front of Pauley’s

Garage in Herington, KS

Charles Pauley in his

uncle’s #28 Frontenac

Charles Pauley with his

uncle’s Frontenac at

Hutchinson, KS on

July 4, 1934

#500 Posey Reeves, left

and #28 Charles Pauley,

right at Hutchinson, KS

on July 4, 1934

Charles Pauley at left

with his uncle and car

owner Henry Pauley.

The car is the #28


Charles Pauley with

his uncle’s #28


Charles Pauley, left, with

friend and fellow driver

Murray Earl after Charles’

crash at Belleville, KS

on August 31P 1934

          “2nd in handicap race” (behind Waldo Barnett of Hutchinson, Kansas)

          “1st in consolation race” (over Tige Beal of Anthony, Kansas who finished second)

“4th in final race” (a 12-lap event won by Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri with Tex West of Dallas, Texas in second place and Ted Davis of Junction City, Kansas in third)

          “Total won: $27.81, I got $9.30”


Belleville, Kansas – August 31, 1933

          “Time: 28.2”

          “I got third in consolation race - $12” (behind Port DeFraties of Springfield, Illinois and Oscar Coleman of Dallas, Texas)


Belleville, Kansas – September 1, 1933

“Time: 27.0”

          “I got 3rd in third event - $20” (a 10-lap heat race won by Tex West of Dallas, Texas with Oscar Coleman, also of Dallas, in second)

          “$32 for two days” (August 31st and September 1st)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 18, 1933

          (Pauley finished 5th in a heat race won by Floyd Davis.)

          “Got 3rd in consolation - $10”

(Pauley was running in 2nd place until a brush with the fence dropped him to 4th place.  He then worked his way back up to 3rd place.  The race was won by Lew Irwin.)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 22, 1933

“Got 4th in the consolation” (that was won by Ted Davis.)

“I didn’t get anything”


Concordia, Kansas – September 24, 1933

          “Time: 32.2”

          “Got 2nd in first preliminary”

          “Got 2nd in handicap”

          “Got 2nd in finals”

          “Got $23.55”

            (Ted Davis had the fastest time in time trials.  1st place in the finals was won by an entry from Lincoln, Nebraska but his name was not given in the local newspaper account of these races.)


Dodge City, Kansas – September 29, 1933

          “Time: 33.0”

          “Got 1st in all the events”

          “Got $15”

(Pauley’s 33 second time trial was the fastest turned in of the ten cars that ran time trials.  Pauley won the second heat in 3 minutes. 33.0 seconds.  Pauley also won the 10-lap feature race in 6 minutes, 33.0 seconds.)


Dodge City, Kansas – September 30, 1933

“Got 1st in all events”

          “Got $26”

          “For both days, got $41, I got $13.50” (September 29th and September 30th)


Anthony, Kansas – October 28, 1933

          “Time: 32.5”

          “I got two firsts”


Anthony, Kansas – October 29, 1933

“I got one first and one second”

“Got $10.50, I got $3.50”


St. Joseph, Missouri – May 21, 1934

          “I got one 3rd place – $5.31”


Hutchinson, Kansas – July 4, 1934

          “Got three 1st places $86.25, I got $29.25”


Anthony, Kansas – July 21, 1934

          “Got a 2nd and a 3rd

          Got $33.00, I got $11.00”


Winfield, Kansas – July 28, 1934

          “One 1st, one 3rd, got $20”

(Spun the bobtail out in time trials and backed it through the board fence that surrounded the Winfield racetrack.  Somehow, he escaped injury and was able to repair the car in time to compete in the races.  He won the 2nd heat race and was third in the feature race that was won by Bill Morris a.k.a. Ben Musick of Dallas, Texas.)


Belleville, Kansas – August 30, 1934

          “No other record”  (Did not finish in the money.)


Belleville, Kansas - August 31, 1934

          “I cracked up.”

(The right front spindle broke on Charles’ #28 car on the front straightaway at Belleville.  The car then veered into the outside fence knocking down fifty feet of 1” x 12” board fencing.  Next, it careened back across the racetrack crashing into another board fence “just north of the ticket booth.”  Despite wearing a football helmet, he received severe cuts and burns on his head from the flying boards.  The accident broke the aviator goggles he was wearing as well as injuring three spectators who were standing near the first fence he hit.)


Topeka, Kansas – September 11, 1934 – Sanctioned by I. M. C. A.

          “One 1st, got $18.40”

(Was 10th fastest of the 14 cars that took time trials with his 1-lap time of 31.0 seconds.  The 9 drivers who finished ahead of him in time trials were Bob Wilson of Kansas City, Kansas; Verne Franks of Chicago, Illinois; Art Martinson of Denver, Colorado; Ben Musick of Dallas, Texas a.k.a. “Bill Morris” of Denver, Colorado; Loren Fondoble of Ogaliah, Kansas; Win Fenstermaker of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cotton Grable of Houston, Texas and Pietro Alberti a.k.a. “Pete Alberts” of Ybor City, Florida.  Pauley won 1st in the 5-lap consolation race in 2:33.2.  Win Fenstermaker of Minneapolis, Minnesota finished in 2nd place and Cotton Grable of Houston, Texas finished in 3rd place.)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 17, 1934

          “Two thirds - $20”

(This was an I.M.C.A. sanctioned race.  Charles was 4th fastest of the 16 cars that took time trials, placed 3rd in the 2nd heat that was won by Win Fenstermaker of Minneapolis, Minnesota; 3rd in the invitational handicap dash won by Red Campbell of Iowa City, Iowa, and 5th in the feature that was also won by Red Campbell.)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 21, 1934

          (This was an I.M.C.A. sanctioned race.  Charles placed 5th in the consolation that was won by Art Challender of Davenport, Iowa.)


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – June 2, 1935

          (Pauley’s name appears on page 44 of the Daily Oklahoman newspaper on this date as an entrant in these open competition races but results of these races have yet to be located.)


Belleville, Kansas – August 29, 1935

          (Finished 5th in the 10-lap consolation race behind “Bill Morris” a.k.a. Ben Musick of Dallas, Texas; Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri; Tex West, and Cecil “Dutch” Dorris, both of Dallas, Texas.)


Belleville, Kansas – August 30, 1935

(Finished 5th in the 10-lap consolation race behind Tex West, Bus Tasker, Bill Harding, and Cotton Grable.  Bus Tasker was also from Herington, Kansas and was Charles’ team mate as he too was driving a car owned by Henry Pauley.)


Hutchinson, Kansas – September 20, 1935

          (This was an I.M.C.A. sanctioned race.  Charles turned a lap of 32.5 seconds in time trials and finished in 3rd place in the pursuit handicap that was won by Oscar Coleman of Dallas, Texas.)


Anthony, Kansas – July, 1936

(A traveling group of midget racing cars and drivers from Southern California competed against the big cars in these races.  Charles set the fourth quickest time in time trials among the big cars of 33:90 and the ninth fastest time overall which included the times turned in by the midgets.  The fastest time over all of 30.97 set by Ralph Keyes in a midget, was a new one-lap track record).




          Charles Pauley’s fiancée, Pauline Buckman, enjoyed watching the auto races except when Charles was competing.  They were married in 1935 and Charles gave up driving a year later to start a family.  Charles had taken a job with the Rock Island Railroad in 1929 and remained with them for more than 45 years.  During that time, Charles and Pauline had two sons: Byron and Floyd Pauley.

          Charles Pauley passed away at the age of 97 on January 5, 2010 at Herington, Kansas and is buried in the Sunset Hill Cemetery at the northwest edge of Herington.  Pauline Pauley passed away at the age of 100 at Council Grove, Kansas and is buried beside him.


Connie Lawrence photo


All of the photographs on this web page except the one just above are from the Charles Pauley collection







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