Earl Caddock

More Speeches and Events for 2012

Sunday, June 24th, 2012 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike has added a few new events to his schedule for the next few months.

June 17 – Walnut will named a street Earl Caddock Memorial Drive during its big Antique City weekend. Members of the Caddock family came from Maryland and Texas to help celebrate the event. Earl Caddock was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1917 to 1920 and lived in Walnut. Mike is the author of the book CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, and gave a speech at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and then held a book signing.

July 4 – The Frank Gotch Statue unveiling will take place in Bicknell Park in Humboldt, at 1 p.m. The eight-foot bronze statue is the project of a special committee in Humboldt, the hometown of the legendary professional world heavyweight champion (1908-1916). Mike is on the statue committee and will make a speech about Frank’s legacy. Among the special guests are Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion (UNI), and Brad Rheingans, a two-time Olympian who also wrestled professionally for 14 years.

July 6 – The Iowa Cubs have declared this date as Iowa History Journal Day and Mike and Bev will set up a booth in the entryway, with Iowa History Journal items for display and for sale. The first 100 fans to stop by the booth will receive a free copy of Iowa History Journal, some with Bob Feller on the cover. The gates open at 5:45 p.m. and the game starts at 7:30 p.m.

July 15 – Mike will be one of the Iowa authors featured at the Linn Creek Arts Festival in Marshalltown. Over 60 artists, 12 authors and a wide variety of children’s entertainment will highlight the 4th annual festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, at the Fisher Community Center, 709 S. Center Street in Marshalltown. Over 2,000 attended last year and admission is free. Other attractions are the world champion Yo-Yo stars, kite flyers, kite memorabilia, as well as numerous food, wine and beer vendors. For more detail, see: www.linncreekartsfestival.com.

August 9-19– For the third straight year, Iowa History Journal will have a booth at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The booth will be on the second floor of the Ag Building, above the Butter Cow exhibit. Back issues of Iowa History Journal and over a dozen of the books Mike has written will be for sale.

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Mike at Dedication of Earl Caddock Memorial Drive in Walnut

Monday, May 28th, 2012 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments

The city of Walnut has announced the dedication of Pearl Street in Walnut to be designated the Earl Caddock Memorial Drive in honor of the town’s most famous citizen. Author Mike Chapman will be a part of the ceremony on Sunday morning, June 17, giving a short address and signing copies of his book on Earl.

Earl Caddock came off an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then won the world heavyweight championship of professional wrestling, back when the sports was a true athletic contest. He was an AAU national champion, in 1914 and 1915, but the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics ended his amateur career. With Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, acknowledged as the top athlete in America at the time, Caddock decided to follow Gotch into professional wrestling. On April 9, 1917, he took a perfect record of 79-0 (53-0 as an amateur and 26-0 as a pro) into the ring in Omaha to take on the world champion, Joe Stecher. After more than two hours of grueling wrestling, Earl Caddock emerged as the heavyweight champion of the world.

In 1919 and 1920, Caddock was one of the nation’s most popular athletes, standing alongside such legendary figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Jim Thorpe.

At the peak of his sports career, Caddock enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in World War I and served gallantly in France as a doughboy, suffering lung damage from gas attacks. He returned to make his home in Walnut, Iowa. After three more years of wrestling, Caddock retired from the ring and began a successful career as a businessman in both Walnut and in Omaha. Caddock is buried in the Layton Cemetery just east of Walnut on Pearl St.

A new book, CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, was written by Mike Chapman, noted wrestling author and historian, and published by Culture House Books of Newton, in cooperation with the city of Walnut. Mike will be on hand for the dedication and available for book signing after the event. Members of the Caddock family will also attend.

The dedication is June 17, at 9 AM, in conjunction with the Walnut Antique Show. The dedication ceremony will be held in front of the Village Blacksmith Shop antique store located one block east of Antique City Drive on Pearl Street. Earl Caddock built this building as one of his businesses during the early part of the 20th century.

For more information about Walnut or the Walnut Antique Show, go to:
www.WalnutIowa.org or www.WalnutAntiqueShow.com

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 2 Now Available

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

In 1917, Earl Caddock of Walnut, Iowa, defeated Joe Stecher of Dodge, Nebraska, to win the world heavyweight wrestling championship. The victory catapulted Caddock into the national spotlight and made him one of the most popular athletes in the entire nation. Shortly after, he signed up to fight in World War I and eventually suffered lung damage from a mustard gas attack in France. After the war, Earl came home to Iowa and became a successful businessman, family man, and devout Christian. His story, written by wrestling historian Mike Chapman, is both heroic and inspirational.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on Fort Dodge’s legendary marching band composer Karl L. King, older Iowans known as “Graybeards” who served in the Civil War, WHO Radio’s Jack Shelley and the Bogenrief glass cutting studio in Spencer.

Also included in this issue:

  • Lillian Blanche Fearing blazed a trail for blind women over a century ago
  • How the city of Oelwein got its name and the importance of the railroad to that Fayette County community
  • A book review of the photographic career of Iowa newspaper professional Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret
  • Waterloo names its newest school for Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-America football player
  • The Iowa History Quiz
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman

…and much more!

Read more to see what’s inside this issue…

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Mike Discusses Earl Caddock on No Holds Barred

Sunday, February 19th, 2012 | Books, Radio, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike was interviewed last Thursday on the podcast No Holds Barred, with host Eddie Goldman. You can listen to the interview below:

The interview focused on Earl Caddock, his place in wrestling history, Mike’s new book, and what was going on in pro wrestling at the time he competed. The discussion continue into the long heritage of wrestling, the Caddock-Stecher match of 1920, the importance of real wrestlers like Frank Gotch, and how the era of real matches faded quickly after Caddock lost his title. Also examined is the current revival of catch-as-catch-can wrestling and what it would take to bring back a form of real pro wrestling.

Goldman also links, on his site, to a youtube video of the match in which Caddock lost his title to Joe Stecher, on January 30, 1920 at Madison Square Garden in New York:

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Mike Chapman Speaks on His new Book Earl Caddock: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder

Saturday, February 11th, 2012 | Books, Radio, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike was on Takedown Radio with Scott Casber on January 17, talking about his new book Earl Caddock: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder. Click the arrow below to listen to the interview:

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Earl Caddock emerged from an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then heavyweight champion of the entire world of professional wrestling.

In 1919 and 1920, Caddock was one of the nation’s most popular athletes, standing alongside such legendary figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Jim Thorpe.

At the peak of his sports career, Caddock enlisted as a doughboy and served gallantly during World War I, then returned to make his home in Walnut, Iowa.

Earl Caddock was world champion for nearly three years then retired from the ring. He was a devoted husband, father, Christian, and highly successful businessman. His story is both heroic and inspirational.

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Earl Caddock is Subject of Mike’s Latest Book

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments

A new book tells the story of the life and athletic career of Earl Caddock, one of the greatest wrestlers in American history who lived most of his life in Iowa and is buried in his adopted hometown of Walnut. Frank Gotch also plays a large role in the book.

CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, was written by Mike Chapman, noted wrestling author and historian, and published by Culture House Books of Newton, in cooperation with the city of Walnut.

Earl Caddock came off an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then won the world heavyweight championship of professional wrestling, back when the sports was a true athletic contest. He was an AAU national champion, in 1914 and 1915, but the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics ended his amateur career.

With Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, acknowledged as the top athlete in America at the time, Caddock decided to follow Gotch into professional wrestling. On April 9, 1917, he took a perfect record of 79-0 (53-0 as an amateur and 26-0 as a pro) into the ring in Omaha to take on the world champion, Joe Stecher. After more than two hours of grueling wrestling, Earl Caddock emerged as the heavyweight champion of the world.

Continue reading the press release…

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