History of the City Park Racetrack

and the Morris County Racing Association

Council Grove, Kansas

 

This photo of what is left of the south turn of the City Park Racetrack at Council Grove in Morris County, Kansas was taken on May 14, 2011.  The photographer was standing at the highest point of the slight banking at the outside edge of the old racetrack looking east-southeast into the turn counterclockwise just as a driver would have seen it.  You can see the curve of the racetrack as it turned left before the grove of trees in the center of the photo and to the right of the lone tree at the left side of the photo.  That tree was not there back when the racetrack was in use.  Click your mouse on the photo to see another taken of the same view after the photographer had moved about thirty feet to the right from where he took this photo - Bob Lawrence photo

 

Harold Stanley "Doc" Roller

1893 - 1964

Bob Mays collection

Phineas Comador "Dad" Harrier

1878 - 1938

Roy Eaton collection

John Bryan Gerber

1896 - 1979

Roy Eaton collection

Hugo Oscar Haucke

1880 - 1953

Revere collection

 

            Automobile racing came to Council Grove, Kansas in 1919 after Frank Revere, George "Jig" Burton, and brothers Frank and Hugo Haucke got together to build a half-mile dirt oval racetrack with the straightaways running north and south.  A slight rise in the terrain on the north end of the racetrack was cut into making a natural low earthen crash wall around that end of the racetrack.  Grandstands were built along the front straightaway on the east side of the racetrack.  For the location, they picked a spot on the east side of present day Kansas Highway 177 on the north edge of Council Grove where baseball fields are located today.

            The Morris County Racing Association was soon formed and the sport became quite popular in the area for a time with as many as 25 racing cars constructed locally.  The rules were rather loose with some of the cars being full body stock cars that could be driven on public roads while others were built as dedicated open chassis racing machines.

            The races listed below are only the ones currently known about.

 

 

Friday Afternoon - October 10, 1919

These races were run on the final day of the Morris County Fair and advertized as having only professional drivers participate.  No further information about these races has been learned to date.

 

 

Friday Afternoon - May 28, 1920

 

Daily Guard

May 14, 1920 - Page 2

Daily Guard

May 26, 1920 - Page 3

 

Race Organizers - "The enterprising dealers of automobiles and supplies of Morris County"

Attendance - 400

 

Time Trials - 1 Mile

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

1915 Dodge #5

1:12.50

2

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

1:14.75

3

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

1:15.25

4

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

1:19.75

5

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

Ford

1:21.00

 

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Case

 

 

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Henrietta

NT

                Meyer was a mechanic employed by the Whitaker and Featherston Dodge garage in Council Grove.  Featherston claimed that his Dodge had between 75,000 and 100,000 miles on it by the time he entered it in these races.  Hauck had transmission trouble while warming up before the races but he was able to make repairs before the competition got underway.  Snider's Case was known as "The Red Devil". Wood's 12-valve Maxwell was owned by F. Fred Clarey of Council Grove.

 

Free-for-All - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

1915 Dodge #5

6:17.5

2

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

6:25.0

3

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

4

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Case

 

5

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Henrietta

DNF

6

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

DNF

Carson dropped out with a flat tire and Wood dropped out with a flat right front tire.

 

Handicap Free-for-All - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

1915 Dodge

6:16.0

2

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

6:34.0

3

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

 

4

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

Ford

 

 

Ford Race - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

7:00.0

2

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

Ford

7:13.0

 

Large Car Race - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

6:30.0

2

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

1915 Dodge #5

6:30.5

3

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

4

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Case

 

                Featherston led this race until he spun out in the south turn.  That allowed Meyer to get by him but Featherston was able to get the car going in the right direction before anyone else could pass him.  On the final lap, Featherston was able to pull even with Meyer but he lost the race by one-half second.

 

Free-For-All - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

1915 Dodge

12:40.0

2

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

13:00.0

3

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

13:30.0

4

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas 

Ford

 

5

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

6

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Case

 

7

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Henrietta

DNF

Carson dropped out with carburetor trouble.  Haucke's Double engine Ford special overheated and was barely able to muster enough power to complete the race.

 

 

Monday Afternoon - July 5, 1920

 

 

 

Above is the first of three known photos taken in the north turn on the third lap of the first Free-for-All race on this afternoon.  #5 Babe Featherston's Dodge had entered the turn very fast and can be seen here trying to regain control of near the outside edge of the racetrack as #2 Tink Snider races by in the middle of the racetrack.  Moments later however, Snider's Essex would also slide to the outside of the track from his attempting to take the turn even faster than Featherston had.  The Essex then hooked a grader rut and overturn one and one-half times landing against a hog wire fence that lined the outside of the racetrack.  This same photo was published in the next issue of the Hudson Triangle magazine.  Click your mouse on the photo above to see the photo as it appeared in the magazine complete with caption - Dailey Guard newspaper

 

 

 

The Essex driven by Tink Snider after it had come to rest against the hog wire fence that surrounded the outside of the racetrack.  Snider scrambled out from under the car uninjured.  Note the wood spoke wheels that broke causing the car to overturn.  The car was owned by the Dale Hollister Motor Company which was the local Essex dealership - Dailey Guard newspaper

 

 

 

Tink Snider in the Dale-Hollister-Motor-Company-owned Essex after repairs had been made and he had won the final 10-mile Free-for-All race of the afternoon in 12 minutes and 2 seconds.  Note that fenders were added and the radiator was changed during the repairs with the replacement radiator carrying the #12 rather than just the #2 that was on the radiator that was damaged in the wreck.  Also note that Hudson Triangle magazine, mentioned above, shaved 8 seconds off of the elapsed time that the Essex actually covered the 10-mile distance in - Dailey Guard newspaper

 

 

 

Attendance - 3,000

 

Free-for-All - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

4:15.0

Did Not Finish

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex #2

 

               Snider and Featherston raced side-by-side for the first two laps of this race.  On the third lap, Snider was two car lengths behind Featherston when their cars entered the northeast turn.  Snider drove into the turn very fast, passed Featherston to the inside, but then slid to the right with his right wheels hooking a grader rut.  Both right side wheels crushed under the strain and the Essex overturned one and one-half times coming to rest in the northwest turn of the racetrack.  Snider was not injured and was able to exit the car "without losing a breath."

 

Australian Pursuit - 4 Cars - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leslie "Babe"  Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

11:15.0

2

Dutch Porter & Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

Did Not Finish

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge

 

Did Not Finish

Roy Wiggans

Delavan, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

                Featherston led from the start and won this race easily.  The 12-valve Maxwell that finished in second place was owned by F. Fred Clarey of Council Grove who listed the drivers as "Dutch Porter and Bernie Wood."  It is currently unknown which one was the actual driver although the car is believed to have been a "two-man" car with a driver accompanied by a riding  "mechanican".  Wiggans dropped out of this race with a twisted axle and Lamb dropped out with a broken rim.  Elmer "Tink" Snider worked on his car during this race trying to replace the crushed wheels from his crash in the 3-mile Free-for-All.  At the conclusion of this pursuit race, the judges allowed another 15 minutes (that stretched into 20 minutes) to let him complete the job so he could start in the 5-mile Free-for-All race.

 

Free-For-All - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Leslie "Babe"  Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

 

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex #12

                Featherston led from the start and won this race easily.  The engine in Snider's Essex was badly out of time in this race so the judges allowed him extra time at the conclusion of this race to tune it up for the last race on the program.  He received a huge round of applause when the job was completed as the crowd appreciated his daring driving in the first Free-for-All race and his hard work in repairing the car so that it could start in the final race.

 

Match Race - 2 Cars - 2 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

2:35.0

2

Roy "Blub" Robbins

White City, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

Haucke won this race easily.

 

Free-For-All - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex #12

12:10.0

Did Not Finish

Leslie "Babe"  Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

 

Did Not Finish

Roy "Blub" Robbins

White City, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

Did Not Finish

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

Did Not Finish

Dutch Porter & Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

Did Not Finish

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge

 

Did Not Finish

Roy Wiggins

Delavan, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

                Haucke started on the pole and led the first seven laps before being passed by Snider for the lead near the end of the eighth lap.  The rear of the two engines in Haucke's car quit late in the race causing him to run off of the racetrack on the back stretch winding up in a wheat field.  Robbins stopped on the racetrack with a collapsed wheel and it was so dusty that Featherston had to be flagged to a stop to keep him from running into Robbins' disabled car.  Featherston was able to get started again only to drop out on the 16th lap due to a problem with one of his front wheels.  Snider turned the track in times of 27.0 seconds on the third lap, 28.0 seconds on the fourth lap, and 31.0 seconds on the fifth lap.

 

Race Officials

Starter:

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Announcer:

L. N. Woodside

Judges:

Harry Clyborne

 

Harry White

 

"Curley" Edwards

Scorers:

Ray Thorp

 

Harry Woods

 

Don Dilley

 

Norney Burton

 

Harry Alexander

 

Ted Main

 

  

Friday Afternoon - September 24, 1920

 

 Daily Guard

September 2, 1920 - Page 2

 

Time Trials - 1 Mile

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Purse

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

$10.00

 

Free-for-All - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Purse

1

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

$60.00

2

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

  25.00

3

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

  15.00

4

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

 

Free-For-All - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Purse

1

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

11:35.0

$150.00

2

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

    62.50

Did Not Finish

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

 

    37.50

Did Not Finish

Leslie "Babe" Featherston

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge #5

 

 

Burton's Buick was bumped by Featherston's Dodge causing the Buick to spin out.  Featherston was able to back off the throttle enough to avoid a more serious collision but his Dodge was still eliminated suffering from a sprung axle and a bent wheel.  The two remaining double engine Fords put on a close race to the completion of the race.

 

Special Race - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Fred Clarey

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

4:01.0

2

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Case

 

3

Roy "Blub" Robbins

White City, Kansas

Ford

 

 

Back-up Race - 1 lap on the half mile racetrack

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

DNF

Elmer "Tink" Snider

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex #12

Snider led this race for three-quarters of the distance before backing into the fence that surrounded the racetrack.  The collision tore a back wheel off Snider's Essex eliminating him from the race.

 

Free-For-All - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Purse

1

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

6:19.0

$102.00

2

Wesley "Wes" Carson

Garfield, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

    42.50

DNF

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

4-cylinder Buick

 

    25.50

DNF

George "Jig" Burton

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

 

 

Wood's Buick lost a wheel.  Burton's Buick lost a wheel in the north turn.  It sped along the racetrack finally coming to rest near the west fence after bumping into the back of Burton's Buick after it had coasted to a stop on the racetrack.  Carson's double engine Ford special did a tail spin but came down on its wheels and he continued on with no damage being done.

 

Free-For-All - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Purse

1

Bernie Wood

Council Grove, Kansas

4-cylinder Buick

11:35.0

$170.00

2

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

    62.50

DNF

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

 

    37.50

Haucke's Ford did a 360 spin during this race but kept going not loosing much ground on the lead car.

 

 

Saturday Afternoon - September 25, 1920

These races were open to anyone who wanted to participate but no further information has been found concerning them.

 

 

Monday Afternoon - July 4, 1921

 

Daily Guard

June 29, 1921 - Page 3

 

These races were postponed to Friday afternoon, July 22, 1921 due to rain.

 

 

Friday Afternoon - July 22, 1921

Attendance - "Nearly 2,000"

 

Time Trials - 7 Cars - 1 Mile

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Order Timed Trialed

Time

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

2

1:02.0

2

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

5

1:09.5

3

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

3

1:11.0

4

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

4

1:11.2

5

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

1

1:11.5

6

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

No Time

7

T. J. "Tom" Crippen

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

 

No Time

                Drashner's 12-valve Maxwell was owned by F. Fred Clarey of Council Grove.  Lamb's Dodge received no time due to a broker rocker arm while Crippen's Essex did not compete due to a broken piston.  There were three brothers from Morris County, Kansas who were old enough to have been able to race in these races.  They were: Clarence R. Meiers (born in 1893), Lee H. Meiers (born in 1896), and Leonard F. Meiers (born in 1902).  Which one actually did so is currently unknown.

 

Free-for-All - 5 Cars - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

3:28.0

2

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

3:32.5

3

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

3:34.0

4

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

Did Not Finish

5

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

Did Not Finish

Miller led all six laps.  The 12-valve Maxwell driven by Drashner was owned by F. Fred Clarey of Council Grove.

 

Australian Pursuit - 5 Cars - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

 

1

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

 

2

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

 

3

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

4

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

 

5

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

12-valve Maxwell

 

                Revere led all twenty laps.  Drashner dropped out when he was passed by Haucke on the third lap and after breaking a drive shaft housing.  Meiers dropped out when he was passed by Haucke on the tenth lap.  Haucke dropped out when he was passed by Miller on the sixteenth lap.  Revere and Miller both completed the ten miles in just over eleven minutes.

 

Free-for-All - 5 Cars - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

5:56.1

2

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

6:00.1

3

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

6:01.1

4

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

Did Not Finish

5

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

Did Not Finish

                Lamb's Dodge went too wide and crashed into the embankment around the northwest turn overturning once and throwing Lamb clear of the machine.  Lamb was uninjured in the incident.  Haucke led the first three laps before dropping out of the race and Miller led the last seven laps.

 

Free-For-All - 4 Cars - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

Did Not Finish

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

Did Not Finish

Clarence "C. R." Meyer

Council Grove, Kansas

Dodge #7

Did Not Finish

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

                Miller led every lap although his lead was challenged by Haucke from the beginning.  On the second lap, Haucke tried to take a turn too fast and his car "skidded, buckled, turned, plunged off of the racetrack through a woven wire fence and overturned".  The Ford came to rest upside down on top of Haucke.  Hugo's father is quoted as saying of his injuries, "If it doesn't kill him, it might teach him a lesson."  He was assisted from the car and rushed to a hospital where it was determined that his only injuries were severe bruises.  He returned to the racetrack that same afternoon and was even seen walking around Council Grove later that evening.

                Revere lost control of his Buick on the northwest turn and slid nose first into the earthen embankment.  When rescuers reached him, Revere was still seated in the car uninjured although the frame had been ripped loose from the running gear by the impact.

 

 

Wednesday Afternoon - October 5, 1921

No further information has been found about the races on this afternoon.

 

 

Friday Afternoon - October 7, 1921

These races were run before "a large crowd."

 

Time Trials - 8 Cars - 1 Mile

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

 

1

John Mais

Salina, Kansas

Dodge special

1:07.0

2

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

Dodge special

 

 

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

 

 

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

 

 

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

 

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

 

Phineas "Dad" Harrier

Hiawatha, Kansas

Ford special

 

 

Frank Revere

Council Grove, Kansas

6-cylinder Buick

 

Revere's 6-cylinder Buick suffered a broken piston and did not start in any of the actual races run on this afternoon.

 

Free-for-All - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

John Mais

Salina, Kansas

Dodge special

 

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

Dodge special

 

3

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

 

Phineas "Dad" Harrier

Hiawatha, Kansas

Ford special

 

Mais and Roller finished first and second in each race on this afternoon but it is not known which finished first and second in each race except for the last race.

 

Australian Pursuit - 10 Miles

Driver

From

Automobile

John Mais

Salina, Kansas

Dodge special

 

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

Dodge special

 

 

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

 

Phineas "Dad" Harrier

Hiawatha, Kansas

Ford special

 

John Mais had competed in the 1915 Indianapolis "500".

 

Free-for-All - 5 Miles 

Driver

From

Automobile

John Mais

Salina, Kansas

Dodge special

 

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

Dodge special

 

 

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

 

Phineas "Dad" Harrier

Hiawatha, Kansas

Ford special

 

 

Free-for-All - 10 Miles 

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

John Mais

Salina, Kansas

Dodge special

2

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

Dodge special

 

3

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

Did Not Finish

George Dashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

 

Did Not Finish

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

Did Not Finish

Phineas "Dad" Harrier

Hiawatha, Kansas

Ford special

 

                Harrier's Ford lost a rear wheel and slowly coasted to a stop beside the woven wire fence around the racetrack.

                Miller was running in third place on the fourth lap and gaining on Mais and Roller when he hooked wheels with Roller in the south turn.  Miller's Buick skidded wildly before crashing into a woven wire fence throwing him from the car and clear of the racetrack as he landed face down on the road outside.  Miller suffered several broken ribs, a wrenched back, and several bruises in the incident.  The only damage his Buick suffered was the loss of both rear tires.

                Dashner had his Essex running among the leaders when it suffered a broken steering gear.  He managed to guide the car back to the pit area without running into anything.

 

 

Saturday Afternoon - October 15, 1921

  

Free-for-All - 3 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

 

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

3:34.25

2

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

3:35.75

3

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

3:43.00

4

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

Did Not Finish

5

Roy "Blub" Robbins

White City, Kansas

16-valve Ford super special

Did Not Finish

                Robbins ran off of the racetrack in the very first corner of the race.  His car knocked down three fence posts and a few yards of woven wire before overturning.  When it did, Robbins was thrown clear but had a 2-foot long sharp sliver of wood from one of the posts entered Robbins' shirt below his right arm pit, passed through inside of his shirt, and exited just above his left shoulder.  Even in doing so, it did not so much as scratch his skin.

                Haucke's Ford dropped out on the second lap with a broken right front hub.

 

 

Free-for-All - 5 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

6:07.0

2

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

6:07.6

3

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cylinder Buick

Did Not Finish

Miller's Buick lost a wheel on the final lap.

 

Australian Pursuit - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Earnest "E. C." Miller

Council Grove, Kansas

16-valve, 4-cyliner Buick

12:10.5

2

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

 

3

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

16-valve Dodge special

 

4

Hugo Haucke

Dunlap, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

 

Miller passed Haucke on the ninth lap, Lamb on the tenth lap, and Drashner on the fourteenth lap.

 

 

Thursday Afternoon - August 10, 1922

 

Free-for-All - 5 Miles 

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet #15

2

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

3

Roy Lamb

Dunlap, Kansas

Dodge

4

Tom Wittick

Ford

 

Australian Pursuit - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

2

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet

3

Harley Wells

Miami, Oklahoma

4

_____  Schwendener

 

 

  

Free-for-All - 10 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

1

George Drashner

Council Grove, Kansas

Essex

2

Hugo Haucke

Council Grove, Kansas

Double engine Ford special

3

Harley Wells

Miami, Oklahoma

4

_____  Schwendener

 

 

 

 

Thursday Afternoon - October 4, 1923

No further information has been found about the races on this afternoon.

 

 

Thursday Afternoon - October 18, 1923

These races were postponed until Sunday afternoon, October 21, 1923.

 

 

Sunday Afternoon - October 21, 1923

These races were canceled due to conflicting with the race date of another racetrack.

 

 

Saturday Afternoon - October 18, 1924

Race Promoter - J. C. Roberts

Attendance - "546 paid admissions and 1,121 spectators parked outside the fairgrounds"

 

Time Trials - 1 Mile

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet #15

1:03.5

 

Free-for-All - 5 Miles 

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet #15

7:09.0

2

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

 

3

Archie Bane

Emporia, Kansas

 

4

Commodore "C. C." White

Emporia, Kansas

4-cylinder Ford Frontenac

 

 

Free-for-All - 8 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet #15

9:41.0

2

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

 

3

Archie Bane

Emporia, Kansas

 

4

Commodore "C. C." White

Emporia, Kansas

4-cylinder Ford Frontenac

 

 

Free-for-All - 15 Miles

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Chevrolet #15

31:50.0

2

Harold "Doc" Roller

Abilene, Kansas

 

3

Archie Bane

Emporia, Kansas

 

4

Commodore "C. C." White

Emporia, Kansas

4-cylinder Ford Frontenac

Did Not Finish

                White tried to take the south turn with too much speed and crashed headlong through the woven wire fence and out of the racetrack sending spectators parked in their cars outside the racetrack scrambling for cover.  His car was badly smashed but there was no word as to White's physical condition.  Webmaster's Note:  It is unknown for certain but this may have been the crash in which White suffered badly disfiguring lifelong injuries to his head.

 

 

            When the auto races began in Council Grove, the competition was primarily neighbor racing against neighbor in relatively inexpensive creations they built themselves.  They raced mostly for fun cheered on by good sized crowds of more neighbors who came out to watch often knowing the drivers personally.  As time went by though, the good sized crowds also caught the attention of a few touring semi-professionals like Dad Harrier, Doc Roller, John Mais, Harley Wells, and John Gerber.  Those semi-professionals brought increasingly sophisticated racing cars so it was not long before the local cars and drivers could no longer keep up.  At that point, the local drivers were mostly racing for show with the largest part of the purses leaving town with the semi-professionals.  Those circumstances led to the car counts dropping off and, with that, the crowds dropped off too.  It was no longer just fun.  Auto racing ceased at the City Park Racetrack after the 1924 season.  The Morris County Racing Association put on races at the fairgrounds at Bushong, Kansas on September 17-20, 1924 but nothing more has been learned about those events.

            Some thoroughbred and trotting horse races were run on the City Park Racetrack up through 1941 when a flood destroyed the grandstands.  Baseball fields replaced what was left of the racetrack in 1947.  The racetrack was rebuilt by the City of Council Grove early in the 1960s but then that was replaced again by baseball fields in the 1980s.  Those are the fields that are on the site today.

 

Left to right:  F. J. Revere (son of race driver Frank Revere), Max Kieffer (great-nephew of race driver Earnest "E. C." Miller), and Bob Lawrence discuss Hugo Haucke's restored double engine Model T Ford racing car in the Yesteryear Museum in Council Grove, Kansas on May 14, 2011 - Lawrence collection

 

 

 

 Thank you to:

Sharon Haun, Bonnie McClintock, Bob More, F. J. Revere, and Anne Revere-Lawrence