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BUTLER, Edward Solomon "Sol"
An outstanding college athlete, Butler quarterbacked the German College football team to its 125-0 trouncing of Buena Vista College in 1916. Butler was credited with averaging twenty-five yards per carry. During his freshman year, Butler led the college to a 13-7 win over St. Joseph College (now LORAS COLLEGE) before a crowd estimated to be seven thousand. (5) During his college career at German College (now the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE), Butler set seven school athletic records while collecting 186 medals. In all he won 12 letters on various Dubuque University teams. (6) Butler also found time to sing in the glee club and hold membership in the Philophnonia Literary Society. (7)
In 1919 Butler won both the 100-yard dash and broad jump at the Penn Relays. (7) Entering military service as a soldier in WORLD WAR I he represented the U.S. Army in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris. He won the broad jump and placed in the 100-meter dash. (8) With the Olympic Games scheduled for renewal in 1920 after the wartime interruption in 1916, Butler was rated as a heavy favorite for the championship. His winning jump at Paris, 24-9 1/2, was only two inches from the Olympic record and set the American record. King Nicholas of Montenegro, the official dignitary of the event congratulated Butler and conferred upon him the Medal of the Fourth Class of the of the Order of Danillo. (9)
Butler went on to a career in professional football playing for the:
Hammond Pros 1923
Rock Island Independents 1923
Akron Pros 1924
Hammond Pros 1925-26
Canton Bulldogs 1926
Butler eventually entered youth work in the black districts of Chicago's south side. He had small parts in several Tarzan movies and worked for the Chicago Parks and Recreation Department (13)
In Pappy's Lounge, a Chicago tavern where he was employed, Butler met his death on December 1, 1954. A man named Jimmy Hill, a patron of the tavern, reportedly had been annoying a waitress. Butler ejected the disturber. Hill came back with a gun and shot the former star twice. Butler died in Chicago's Provident Hospital. (14) It was then discovered that all of Butlers medals and other awards were missing. They were never recovered. (15)
1. McGrane, Bert. "Sol Butler," Des Moines Register. Online: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/19580330/SPORTS11/50624012/Sol-Butler-Dubuque-1958
2. "Sol Butler, Colored Athlete, Has Many Trophies, Telegraph Herald, Nov. 21, 1915, p. 24. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oThiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AHcNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2416,2234393&dq=sol+butler+dubuque&hl=en
3. McGrane, Bert
5. Crimmins, Roger. "Sol Butler Nearly Brought Fame of Olympic Medal to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, Aug. 5, 1984, p. 14 Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=PIVFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-bwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3754,526715&dq=sol+butler+dubuque&hl=en.
6. McGrane, Bert.
7. Crimmins, Roger,
7. McGrane, Bert
9. Crimmins, Roger.
10. "Famous Colored Star is Honored," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 1920, p. 10
11. Crimmins, Roger
12. McGrane, Bert.
13. Crimmins, Roger.
14. "First Pro Football Player Fatally Shot," Baltimore Pro African, Dec. 7, 1954, p. 4. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Dc0lAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kfUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1130,2762328&dq=sol+butler+dubuque&hl=en