University of Nevada, Las Vegas

page 13

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The Goldfield Athletic Club and Its Energetic PresidentT HE HISTORY of the Goldfield Athletic Club, which in a bound has immediately leaped into prominence among the leading- sporting institutions of the country, is closely intertwined with that of "Tex" Rickard, its president and creative genius.It was Mr. Rickard's qualities of public spirit-edness that caused him to think of securing an event for the Labor Day celebration at Goldfield this year, which would center the eyes of the world upon the up-to-date mining camp. It was his idea that this celebration, the second of the kind to be held in the wonderfully progressive town, should be a fitting demonstration of the prestige that Goldfield has attained among the great mining camps of the world in less than three years' time.Above all things, Mr. Rickard is noted for quickness of action, once he has arrived at a decision. Hi:; venturesome and successful career is one strong testimonial of this fact. Consulting only a few of his friends on the project, he stated that he was willing to put up $10,000 of his own money if the latter would guarantee $10,000 more in order to secure the appearance of "Battling" Nelson and Joe Gans in Goldfield on that day.The men he approached were : "Al" Myers, L. L. Patrick, "Larry" Sullivan, Ben Rosenthal, Ole Elliott, Milton Detch and George Wingfield. Approval on their part was instantaneous and in-stanter; $20,000 was deposited in the John S. Cook Bank.Then Rickard wired "Billy" Nolan, Nelson'smanager at Salt Lake, offering a purse of thatamount for a match between Nelson and Gans.Nelson's reply was brevity itself. He wired:"Thirty thousand dollars for Nelson-Gans finish,post cash."It was on receipt of this telegram that the Goldfield Athletic Club was formed. In less thanthree hours $52,000 was raised, and with $32,000 of the amount in the bank, a telegram of acceptanceto Nolan went singing over the wires.Not content with this, the members of the newly organized Club redoubled their efforts to collect a fund which would provide against all contingencies, insure a strong card of preliminary events, and make certain the erection of a suitable arena. Before Nolan's reply was received, $102,000 was on deposit in the local banking institution to the credit of the Goldfield Athletic Club.Nolan's wire of acceptance arrived in Goldfield within forty-eight hours. In the meanwhile strenuous efforts had been made by Rickard to communicate with Gans in San Francisco. This proved a difficult matter. Though Gans was known to be in the city, it seemed impossible to reach him by wire. Despite Nolan's wire accepting Goldfield's offer, the men of the mining camp were keenly apprehensive of the outcome. The day passed with breathless expectancy. The tension was only relieved when, at 9:30 that evening, without word or warning, Joe Gans stepped off the "Desert Flier" of the Southern Pacific at the Goldfield depot.The incidents of the negotiations preliminary to the signing of the articles of agreement for the big contest, as they occurred in rapid succession from the hour of 9 o'clock that evening, are well known to all lovers of sport. Nolan and Rickard arrived in Goldfield the following evening, and were accorded a demonstration similiar to that shown Gans the night before. In a conference between"Tex" Rickard.sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) to be divided between the second parties; in case either of the second parties causes a forfeiture of this contract, his deposit of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) is to be divided equally between the first party and the other second party.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, The said first party has caused these presents to be executed by its President and, attested by its Secretary, and the second parties have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year in this agreement first above written.GOLDFIELD ATHLETIC CLUB,By W. S. ELLIOTT, Its Secretary By G. L. RICKARD, Its President.(Seal) "BATTLING" NELSON. (Seal) JOE GANS.Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Presence of MILTON M. DETCH.

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page 13
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,4
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