By Janice Dunnahoo
Special to the Daily
Hiram M. Dow had a long list of achievements, among those was being an attorney here in Roswell and also mayor of Roswell. He was born in Cotulla, Texas, April 21, 1885. His family moved to Seven River, New Mexico, when he was 6 years old, during the cattle drive days.
He attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell and was in the first graduating class of 1905. Upon graduation, he attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia where he graduated in 1908 with a law degree, and then returned to New Mexico to practice law.
He was president of the New Mexico Bar Association and of the New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners and he was a member of the State Board of Bar Examiners. He was the lieutenant governor of New Mexico from 1937 to 1939. “Hi” Dow married Ella Lea, Daughter of Joseph C. Lea, known as “Father of Roswell,” and founder of the New Mexico Military Institute — Lea County was named after Lea.
Dow was a resident of Roswell where he died in March 1969.
Though “Hi” Dow, as he was called, had many accomplishments, what I would like to share this week — since it is fall and football season — is an article I found — unfortunately no date or publication was listed — about when he played football for Washington and Lee University, at Lexington, Virginia.
“When Roswell Attorney Played Football Back in 1906 It Wasn’t Big Business
“The past will catch up with you. Hiram M. Dow, Roswell lawyer, found that out a few days ago, when he was confronted with the photograph above.
“Dow played football with the Washington and Lee University, at Lexington, Virginia, where he was graduated and where he formed the acquaintance of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Cap’ Brown, who became a stealth character in Roswell athletics as a coach and athletic director at New Mexico Military Institute. In fact, Dow was largely instrumental in securing “Cap” Brown’s services as coach here, where he served until retirement only a few years ago.
“The photograph and some interesting figures came to light when a Lexington attorney came by chance upon a wrinkled sheet dated 1906. A closer look and the lawyer, John L. Campbell Jr., discovered that the paper he held was a financial report.
“At the bottom was his signature as manager of the Washington and Lee University football team, 1906-07. Forty-five years after they were compiled, the figures in the report seemed hard to believe but yet, there they were. … For the entire football season of 1906, disbursements totaled $1,411.76!
“To present W. and L. athletic officials, struggling to hold down the high cost of football, discovery of the old report was like a voice from the forgotten past. Uniforms for the entire team, and ‘lime, etc.’ for the playing field — entered in the report as one item — cost only $157.61 in 1906. Today (45 years later) that sum is hardly enough to equip one player.
“Biggest item of expense for the 1906 season was the salary and board of coach R. R. ‘Buster’ Brown — $556. Among the other entries were ‘guarantees,’ hotel bills and loss on trips, ‘$513.25;’ telephone, telegraph and advertising, ‘$18.40;’ and ‘printing, $17.25.’
“Despite its shoestring budget, the Washington and Lee team of 1906 captained by H.M. Moomaw, now a Roanoke, Virginia attorney, enjoyed a highly successful season. The ‘Generals’ won four games, lost one and tied one.
“Washington and Lee opened this season by defeating Augusta’s Military academy 10-0 (touchdowns counted five points in those days) and closed out the year with a rousing 18-0 victory over the University of Maryland, rated among the top teams of the nation this year.
“The two other W. and L. wins were at the expense of St. John’s college and Randolph-Macon college. The single loss for the Blue and White was to Georgetown University by a one-point margin, 6 to 5. The Generals tied North Carolina State that year, 4-4, with both teams scoring on a field goal.
“Even with a winning team, the Generals of 1906 were unable to draw the large crowds from miles around that witness W. and L. gridiron contests today. Gate receipts for the 1906 season totaled only $110.37. Season tickets from the professors amounted to $10. The bulk of operating revenue came from the Athletic Association.
“Members of the team in addition to Captain Moomaw were C.B. and C.F. Bagley, both deceased; C. William Stries, now president of the Southern Cement Co., Birmingham, Ala.; C.S. ‘Pat’ Osbourn, in the life insurance business in New York City; Donnell C. Dinges, Alexandria, Tenn.; E.A.C. Hogue, general manager of Hogue Construction Company, Cincinnati, Ohio; Hiram A. Whittington, H.M. ‘Burley’ White, deceased; E. L. ‘Dutch’ Alderson, Houston, Texas, engineer; John Izard, deceased; T.O. Bagley, Fayetteville, Tenn., real estate man; and H. M. Dow, Roswell, lawyer.”
Such was the 1906-07 football season and expenses of Washington and Lee University. Maybe colleges today should take a look back and be able to “trim” a little of their expenses. At any rate, it’s always fun to take a look back at this aspect of the “good ol’ days!”
Janice Dunnahoo is chief archivist at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives. She can be reached at 575-622-1176 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.