Chapter 23

The Arrival In Danville

Members of the Danville Chamber of Commerce had been in communication with stations along the route home, both by telephone and by wire. Their purpose was to let the townspeople know when the "Special" would roll back into town. There were conflicting reports, some of which were incorrect due to the time differential between Boston and Danville. Similarly, since the "Special" was just that, a special, non­-scheduled train, there were delays from time to time when the Kentuckians' train had to pull off onto a siding in order to let a regularly scheduled "Express" pass so that it could stick to its timetable.

At first it was announced that the train would arrive at 6:00 in the morning, then 8:00. Finally at 9:25, the huge crowd at the little brick station heard the whistle in the distance and peered down the tracks for the first glimpse of their returning heroes.

The Danville "Advocate" had a reporter in the crowd who wrote about the morning's events for publication in the afternoon paper.

His story ran under a ¾ inch headline.


Long before the time for the special train bearing the football team and rooters to arrive at the station, a throng of 4,000 people crowded the station platform and overflowed on the tracks. College yells were given and cheering was joined in enthusiastically by the townspeople, the girls from K.C.W., and the pupils of the public schools, all of whom were present to see the return of the football heroes who have made the name of Centre so famous. The Danville town band played the college airs and "Hail! Hail! The Gangs All Here!" which served as sort of an outlet for the overflowing spirits of the enormous gathering.

When the train finally braked to a stop at 9:25, a mighty tide of cheering drowned out the roar of the engine, and when the football men stepped down from the train, they were seized by eager students and carried to automobiles which brought them to town.

The scores of machines that were parked at the station then fell in behind the procession that came to the business center of town. The band took its stand at Third and Main and played until it was purple in the face. The college students gathered in front of the Shop Perfect store and were led by George Swinebroad and Arthur Williams, who, taking their position in a second floor window, gave mighty cheers for the team. The college part of the demonstration was then concluded by a monster snake dance which wound its unerring way to the K.C.W. campus.

Business virtually suspended for three hours this morning while the town celebrated.

The college was dismissed just before the train rolled in, and then all classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Groups everywhere were fighting the game all over again, congratulating the returned heroes and greeting their friends who made the trip.

The team and fans had been gone four days, one hour and twenty-five minutes.

Everywhere they went, when asked about the trip to Boston, they invariably started out by saying, "These were the most exciting, unforgettable days that I've ever spent!"

In the week following the game, Uncle Charlie received a hand-written latter from William T. "Bill" Reid, coach of the Harvard football team in 1901, and during the 1905 and 1906 seasons. Coach Reid's record was 30-3-1.

The Centre coach was very pleased to read what the former Crimson leader had written.

Dear Mr. Moran,

As a former head coach of the Harvard football team, I write to offer you and your fine team my heartiest congratulations on the bully, clean-cut, sportsmanlike game played here Saturday. In making two touchdowns in one half, you accomplished more than any team has done here in many years against Harvard. Most teams that come here to play shoot their fireworks in the first quarter, and then they flicker out. Your boys blazed brightly clear through. They played hard, clean, steady football, and Harvard men, had the game gone the other way, would have been proud to take their hats off-as we do anyway-to a team of thoroughbreds. Your whole trainload played the game, too, and we like you. We are glad to know that you will be back next year, and you may be confident that no team on our schedule will be more welcome.


William T. Reid