Archive for Wednesday, September 26, 2012

100 years ago: County fair visitors to see rare auto-racing spectacle

September 26, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 26, 1912:

  • "The Big Racers are here and ready for the races tomorrow. This is going to be the big day at the Fair and a record breaker in attendance is expected. The big cars are in the finest of condition and will certainly put on something exciting. Dick Seip who drives the big 90 horse power Lozier is one of the most daring drivers in the profession. He has been in some of the biggest races in the country and drove against Barney Oldfield in the races last month on the Galveston Beach track. Seip took first, passing Oldfield on the last lap. He holds several world's records.... The other two drivers, Wilbur Crosby and Ben Gregory, are old timers at the business.... Crosby will drive the 65 horse Speedwell. Ben Gregory who drives the Warren Detroit is also known by the followers of auto races as one of the best. He is there with the goods and will do some mighty fast racing.... Auto races are not very common in Douglas County and it is expected that there will be a large crowd out to see them tomorrow afternoon."
  • "Chancellor Strong has appeared in a new role -- that of a football scout -- and the chancellor apparently is making good at the new game. Yesterday he discovered a pair of husky freshmen wandering about the campus. They were well built young chaps and immediately attracted the chancellor's attention. 'Do you boys play football?" quizzed the chancellor. 'No,' came the reply from both. The chancellor pointed out McCook field to the boys and told them to report to Jay Bond at once, that he was looking for just such men as they. The boys took the advice and two more 200-pounders have been added to the Tyro squad. The boys weight 200 and 217 pounds and are considered likely candidates for future Varsity teams."
  • "It is felt generally [in Havana] that Cuba is approaching a crisis in its history as a republic. Two serious questions occupy the public mind: Can Cuba survive the present state of her finances? Can she hold an honest and orderly election for the presidency with a loyal submission of the defeated party to the will of the majority?"


Sarah St. John 5 years, 7 months ago

I tried to find a picture online of a 90 HP Lozier, but I couldn't find one.... I wonder if it was a typo in the original article. The touring cars were a bit lower in HP than that. You can see a whole lot of Loziers by using google images. I tried "1912 Lozier" and got a bunch, but I didn't have time to look at them all. If you find any really sweet ones, feel free to post them here. Lozier was a rather interesting company that built some very expensive automobiles -- more than a Cadillac or a Packard.

Please take a moment while you're at it and use google images for "Speedwell 1912" -- oh my gosh, I think I'm in love!!!

Lastly, here's a 1912 Warren-Detroit.

(I tried to add it as a photo, but no success.)

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 7 months ago

Miss Sarah, do you happen to know where the race track was located?? I know there was a track at the Bismarck Grove Fair Grounds, but I think it was for horses, Thanks and have a great day

Sarah St. John 5 years, 7 months ago

Hi Flint! If I remember correctly from an earlier article, they built it right there at the fairgrounds, which in 1912 was at Woodland Park. It was the same track that they used that year for the horse races, which had fallen into decline but whose popularity was picking back up (see However, they decided to have the horse races earlier in the Fair and the auto racing on the last day, so the track would be in good condition for the horses (see Woodland Park, you may remember, was in the Brook Creek neighborhood.

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