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LJP
Member
Posts: 72

BONDURANT?


In 1922, the NFL and other sources credit Bourbon Bondurant of DePauw playing one game with the Bears and two with the Evansville Crimson Giants. He also played with Evansville in 1921.


In the Bears opener at Racine on 01-Oct-1922, a Bondurant (or Bonnderaut as listed in the Tribune) was a substitute for Russ Smith at RG during the game. Problem is, a Bondurant is listed as the starting LT for Evansville on the same day at Toledo.


Any ideas?

December 9, 2017 at 8:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

LJP
Member
Posts: 72

The Bears All-Time Roster records the 1922 player as a J.B. Bondurent of DePauw. Like the Glenn/Harry Greenwood situation, is this just a case of the wrong player being assumed to be the Bears player? If Bourbon Bondurant was with Evansville in 1921, it would make sense that he was the same player there in 1922 and the one that played on 01-Oct-1922 at Toledo.


One possible alternative for the Bears player - in the 1916 Northwestern Syllabus yearbook there are several mentions of a J.R. Bondurant.


John Roper Bondurant (1894-1964) appears on the 1920 and 1930 Census at Evanston. In 1940 he is in Los Angeles and whilst his highest level of education is recorded as H-4, he may only have attended Northwesten briefly for a few classes. Various family trees on Ancestry.com state that this is the same person that attended Northwestern.


I don't have access to the yearbook, so not sure if he has any links to the football team there or not. He is not recorded on their letterwinners list, but may not have played enough, if at all. His 1942 WWII Draft Card lists him as 6'0" 235, so certainly big enough to play on the line back in the 1920s.

December 9, 2017 at 10:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

LJP
Member
Posts: 72

The Racine Journal News of 28-Sep-1922 and 30-Sep-1922 have the Bears roster listed for the upcoming 01-Oct-1922 game at Racine. Bondurant is on there and listed as #13 (a previous unknown!). I  only have access to an OCR version and his school is corrupted to "l>xasj", which doesn't really help! although given its length is probably not Northwestern and more likely to be DePauw. Weight is listed as 202, which is what the NFL list Bourbon Bondurant as.


?!?

December 9, 2017 at 12:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

LJP
Member
Posts: 72

Hmm, interesting. After some constructive searches of the OCR version, I was able to find the school for the Bondurant listed in the 28-Sep-1922 edition of the Racine Journal News. [drumroll......] it's Texas! OK, so not necessarily the University of Texas (or others), but possibly just from Texas. Bourbon Bondurant was from Kentucky and attended DePauw, in Indiana.


Need to see the actual image for confirmation, but ...?!?!?

December 9, 2017 at 7:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

LJP
Member
Posts: 72

Around in circles we go! In 1915, Austin College at Sherman, Texas, had a Bondurant playing on the line. The 1916 Chromascope yearbook records the player as B.P. Bondurant.


https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25151/m1/140/?q=bondurant


There doesn't appear to be any mention of him before or after. Bourbon Bondurant lettered at DePauw in 1916 and 1917.


There is an Elisha Bondurant in Sherman Texas on the 1910 Census. He is recorded as being born in Kentucky and in 1920 is in Evansville. He was an elder brother of Bourbon Bondurant.


OK, so Bourbon Bondurant is probably the Bears player on 01-Oct-1920. So who played for Evansville that day?

December 9, 2017 at 8:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

steve j
Member
Posts: 177

LJP,

         I am sure that the Evansville player and the Bears player are the same person.  There is an article in the Davenport (IA) Daily Times, of 10/11/22, mentioning Bondurant having signed with the Bears, but then couldn't get a release from his Evansville contract, so he was back with the Crimson Giants.  Some time ago, I had seen another article from 1922, mentioning the Evansville team now had Bondurant, who had been with the Chicago Bears earlier in the season.  Unfortunately, I misplaced the reference to that article.  As for him being listed for Chicago and Evansville on the same day, I was told by a reliable historian that in the early days, especially in the smaller cities, the lineup that was printed on the day after the game often did not correspond to the ones who actually played.  Often, those listed in the box score were the players listed on the pre-game roster.  I believe that Bondurant played with the Bears on that day, and was listed in the Evansville boxscore also because he was still under contract to them.I guess someone could have used Bondurant's name, but I really doubt there were 2 Bondurants involved. Take care.

                                                 Steve J

December 12, 2017 at 1:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

LJP
Member
Posts: 72

Thanks Steve. I am pretty certain it was Bourbon Bondurant who played for the Bears. Like Keefe with the Tigers and Staleys in 1920, you can't always trust the lineups in the papers. Quite often you see the projected lineup being used in the game report, when it was in fact different. Even the Chicago Tribune has some oddities, particularly with the Staleys in 1920.

December 18, 2017 at 5:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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