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Jess Willard with his trainers - Page

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Jess Willard was born December 29, 1881, at St. Clere, Kansas. He was a horse-trader and livery stable operator at Delia and Emmett before becoming a heavyweight boxer. Many of Rossville, Kansas, area people followed the career of Jess Willard. A group of local enthusiasts went to Havana, Cuba, in 1915 to watch his fight with Jack Johnson. Willard knocked him out in the 26th round to win the championship on April 5 when the temperature was 115. Pictured standing behind Jess Willard are his first two trainers on the left, Bob Willard (Jess's brother), and Fred Stalker (Jess's and Bob's step-brother) on the right. Jess died December 15, 1968, and is buried in Los Angeles, California. This photograph is provided through a pilot project to host unique cultural heritage materials from local libraries on Kansas Memory and was accomplished by mutual agreement between the Northeast Kansas Library System, the Rossville Community Library, and the Kansas Historical Society.

Date: Between 1908 and 1920

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Jess Willard with his trainers - 1Jess Willard with his trainers - 2

Jess Willard with his trainers - 1

Item Number: 99817
Call Number: People-RCL0117
Holding Institution: Rossville Community Library

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