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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- Old Timer

John Van Heest

BORN October 20 1870; Escanaba, Michigan
DIED March 23 1932; Superior, Wisconsin
(Some sources report 1933)
HEIGHT 5-2 1/2
WEIGHT 120-125 lbs
MANAGER Tom Manning; E.W. Thompson; Gene Lutz

 

 

Van Heest was a top featherweight of the 1890s and very popular; As a fighter, he applied pressure and was a stiff puncher who retained his punching power over the rounds; He was also durable and took a solid punch - always willing to take punches in order to throw them; Later in his career, the toll of taking too many punches overcame his ability to take them

Van Heest and "Solly" Smith often traveled the country together, sharing the same hotel rooms, and approaching local promoters, offering to fight each other; Although friends, they always put on great fights

During his career, Van Heest defeated such men as Joe Gans, George Siddons, Dan Daly, Mike Coburn, Jack Campbell and George Stout

1887
Oct  7 Billy Rhodes                 Ashland, Wi                       D  6
          -Police intervened
Dec 16 J. Sheldon                   Ashland, Wi                      EX  3

1888
Mar 17 Frank Sutton                 Ashland, Wi                      KO  4
Aug 28 Tommy Warren                 Ashland, Wi                      LT  4
Nov 10 Billy Campbell               Ashland, Wi                      EX  4
Nov 10 Charles Tolliver             Ashland, Wi                      KO  2
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date

1889
Jan 12 John McGill                  Ashland, Wi                      KO  5
          -Some sources report Featherweight Championship of the Northwest
Feb  2 Billy Welch                  Ashland, Wi                      KO 18
Feb 16 George Finney                Escanaba, Mi                     WF  3
Mar  2 Billy Welch                  Ashland, Wi                       W116
          -Some sources report 3/03/1889; Some sources report 3/04/1889
Mar 28 Billy Campbell               Ashland, Wi                      KO  3
Apr  9 Ed Hanley                    Washburn, Wi                     KO  6
          -Featherweight Championship of the Northwest;
           Some sources report "KO 5"
Apr 28 Johnny O'Brien               Hurley, Wi                       KO  6
          -Some sources report 4/29/1889
Jun  7 Doc Mack                     Ironwood, Mi                     KO  6
Jul 12 Billy O'Brien                Ashland, Wi                       W 10
Aug  2 Billy O'Brien                Ashland, Wi                      KO 23
          -Featherweight Championship of the Northwest
Aug 16 Billy O'Brien                Ashland, Wi                      EX  3
Aug 16 Charles Kemmick              Ashland, Wi                      EX  3
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Sep  4 Arthur Purcell               Ashland, Wi                      KO  1
          -Some sources report "KO 2"; Some sources report "KO 3"
Sep 14 Tom Connors                  Ashland, Wi                       D  4
          -Some sources report 9/16/1889

1890
Sep 16 Tommy Warren                 near Buffalo, NY                  D 11
          -Some sources report "Bradford, Pa"
Oct 17 Mike Coburn                  Tonawanda, NY                    KO 18
          -Reports vary - "KO 11", "KO 13", "KO 18"
Nov 13 Martin Neary                 near Bradford, Pa                KO  7
          -This bout was held in New York state but near Bradford, Pa;
            Some sources report "W 7" on 11/14/1890
Dec 23 Tommy Hogan                  Minneapolis, Mn                  KO 22
          -Some sources report Bantamweight Championship of the Northwest

1891
Jan 20 Charles Marks                Bradford, Pa                      D 10
Jan 29 Jimmy Kennard                Buffalo, NY                     SCH   
          -An attempt was made to hold this bout; Sheriff Veiling prevented it
Feb 13 John Hawthorne               Jamestown, NY                     W  3
Feb 16 Jack Smith                   New York, NY                     EX  3
Mar  6 Joe Innes                    Jamestown, NY                   SCH   
          -This was a wrestling match
Mar  6 John Hawthorne               Jamestown, NY                   SCH   
Mar  6 Jimmy Carroll                Jamestown, NY                   SCH   
          -The previous 3 bouts were scheduled/held the same date;
           The outcomes are not known     
Apr  3 Ed Schoenborn                Minneapolis, Mn                   W  6
Apr 10 George Warner                Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  1
          -Some sources report "George Franklyn"
Apr 21 Ed Schoenborn                St. Paul, Mn                      D  6
Apr 22 Young Hogan                  Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  4
May  1 Danny Needham                Minneapolis, Mn                   L  4
May  4 Black Pearl                  Minneapolis, Mn                  EX   
May  4 Danny Needham                Minneapolis, Mn                  EX   
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
May  5 Jack Campbell                Minneapolis, Mn                   W  6
May  8 Tom King                     Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  6
          -Some sources report "KO 5"
Jun  7 Charles Kemmick              Minneapolis, Mn                 SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known
Jun 30 Dan Daly                     Minneapolis, Mn                  KO 12
Jul  6 Eugene Roper                 Minneapolis, Mn                  ND   
          -Police intervened  
Sep 24 William Harris               Ironwood, Mi                     KO  1
          -Some sources report "William Norris"; Some report "William Morris"
Sep 24 Billy Ricky                  Ironwood, Mi                     KO  5
          -Some sources report "William Rickney";
           The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Dec  2 Tommy White                  Chicago, Il                       D  6
          -Lightweight Championship of the Northwest;
           Some sources report "W 6" on 12/03/1891
Dec  5 Arthur Stackpole             Chicago, Il                      EX  3
Dec 21 Jack Connor                  Chicago, Il                       W   
Dec 30 Joe Jeroux                   Chicago, Il                      KO  2
          -Reports vary - "George Jeroux", "Joseph Jerout", "Joe Geroux"
Dec 30 Joe Roulo                    Chicago, Il                      KO  2
          -Reports vary - "Joseph Roult", "Joe Ranlo", "Joe Rulo"; "Joe Roule"
           The previous 2 bouts were held the same date

1892
Jan  9 -Van Heest seconded Mike Boden vs Mike Queenan in Chicago, Il
Jan 11 Harry Finnick                Chicago, Il                      ND  4
          -Some sources report "D 4" on 1/12/1892
Jan 13 Fred Clark                   Chicago, Il                      KO  2
Jan 13 Pete Peterson                Chicago, Il                       W  4
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Jan 25 Fred Williams                Chicago, Il                      KO  5
Feb  1 Alex Ahearn                  Chicago, Il                      KO  6
          -Some sources report "Alec O'Hearn"
Feb 19 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX  5
Feb 20 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX   
Feb 21 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX   
Feb 22 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX   
Feb 23 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX   
Feb 24 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX  5
Feb 25 Bob Fitzsimmons              Bay St. Louis, Ms                EX   
Feb 28 Frank "Dutch" Neil           New Orleans, La                  EX   
Mar  4 Jimmy Carroll                New Orleans, La                  EX   
Mar 10 Jimmy Carroll                New Orleans, La                 SCH   
Mar 10 Andy Bowen                   New Orleans, La                 SCH   
          -The previous 2 bouts were scheduled for the same date;
           The outcomes are not known
Apr 27 George Siddons               New Orleans, La                  KO  7
May 28 George Siddons               New Orleans, La                   D 46
Dec 29 Solomon "Solly" Smith        San Francisco, Ca                LT 14

1893
Apr 17 Jimmy Lynch                  Brooklyn, NY                    SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but cancelled
Apr 17 Danny Russell                Brooklyn, NY                     TK  3
Apr 21 Paddy McPhillips             Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
          -Some sources report 4/22/1893; Some sources report 4/25/1893
May 30 "Torpedo" Billy Murphy       Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
Jul  5 Jack Randall                 Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
          -Some sources report "ND 6"
Jul 11 Walter Edgerton              Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
          -Edgerton used the name "Kentucky Rosebud"
Jul 23 Walter Edgerton              Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
          -Edgerton used the name "Kentucky Rosebud"
Sep 20 Hugh Napier                  New Orleans, La                  KO 28
Dec  4 Jimmy Barry                  Chicago, Il                      EX  6
Dec 28 Al Neist                     St. Louis, Mo                    KO 10

1894
Jan 23 Young Griffo                 Chicago, Il                       D  6
          -Some sources report "D 8"
Feb  5 Billy Plimmer                Chicago, Il                      EX  3
          -Some sources report "LK 3" on 2/06/1894
Mar 29 Oscar Gardner                Minneapolis, Mn                   D 40
          -Some sources report "D 41"
Aug 15 Kid Vance                    St. Joseph, Mo                   KO  5
Oct 20 Mike Gillespie               Cincinnati, Oh                   TK  1
          -Police intervened; Some sources report "D 5" on 10/21/1894
Oct 26 Solomon "Solly" Smith        Buffalo, NY                       D 15
Nov 24 Jack Grace                   Buffalo, NY                      KO  3

1895
Jan 12 Walter Edgerton              Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
          -Edgerton used the name "Kentucky Rosebud"
Feb  9 Billy Price                  New York, NY                      D  2
Mar 30 John Parry                   Wheeling, WV                      D  6
          -Is this the same as the 5/30/95 bout ?
Apr 13 Joe Gans                     Baltimore, Md                     W  9
Apr 20 Fred Ross                                                      L 10
May 30 John Parry                   Wheeling, WV                      D  6
Jun 25 Jerry Marshall               Wheeling, WV                      D 39
          -Some sources report "D 31"
Jul 23 Jerry Marshall               Washington, DC                    D 21
Sep  2 Billy Whistler               Baltimore, Md                     W 25
Sep  9 Jack McDonald                Baltimore, Md                     W  8
Sep 13 Oliver Lewis                 Baltimore, Md                    KO  5
Sep 13 Henry Mason                  Baltimore, Md                    KO  5
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date;
           Some sources report 9/11/95 for the previous 2 bouts
Sep 14 Billy Whistler               Baltimore, Md                     D 10
Oct  3 Tommy White                  Terre Haute, In                   D 20
          -Some sources report 10/04/95
Dec  2 Oscar Gardner                Excelsior Springs, Mo            ND  6

1896
Jan 17 John Parry                   Homestead, Pa                    NC   
Jan 27 Eddie Campbell               McKees Rocks, Pa                 ND   
Apr  9 Billy Burris                 Philadelphia, Pa                  W  6
          -Some sources report "ND 6"
May  8 George Dixon                 Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  4
Jun  4 Fish Ferris                  Philadelphia, Pa                 TK  6
Jun 18 Reddy Connelly               Philadelphia, Pa                  D  6   
          -Some sources report "Billy Connelly"
Jul 14 Tommy White                  Albany, NY                       LT  5
Jul 21 "Denver" George Williams     Syracuse, NY                      D  6
Aug 30 Johnny Jones                 Toledo, Oh                        D  6

1897
Feb 13 Patsy O'Leary                Hot Springs, Ar                   D 15
Feb 24 Andy Powell                  Hot Springs, Ar                  KO  2
Mar  6 Andy Powell                  Hot Springs, Ar                  KO  3
          -Some sources report 3/05/97
Mar 20 Billy Layton                 Hot Springs, Ar                  LK  8
May  5 George Stout                 Lexington, Ky                    KO 14
Jun 14 Eugene Bezenah               West Covington, Ky                D 20
Jun 30 Jack Dougherty               Columbus, Oh                      W 10
Jul 26 George Stout                 Cincinnati, Oh                    D 10
Aug  5 Dave Seville                 Columbus, Oh                      W 12
Oct  6 Oscar Gardner                Lexington, Ky                    LK 11
Nov 11 Jack O'Keefe                 Zanesville, Oh                    D 20
Nov 19 Oscar Gardner                Dayton, Oh                        D 20
Dec 13 Jack Grace                   Chicago, Il                       D  6
          -Some sources report "D 5"
Dec 23 Peter Boyle                  Chicago, Il                       D  6

1898
May  5 Eddie Santry                 South Omaha, Ne                 SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but cancelled
Jun 22 George "Kid" McCarthy        near Indianapolis, In            KO  5
Jul 25 Ole Oleson                   Chicago, Il                      ND  4
Aug  8 Eugene Bezenah               Fort Wayne, In                    D 20
Sep 21 Tommy "Kid" Hogan            Louisville, Ky                   LK 17
Nov 26 Al Neist                     St. Louis, Mo                     L 10

1899
Feb 11 Eugene Bezenah               Indianapolis, In                  L 10
Mar  4 Kid Ashe                     Cincinnati, Oh                    D 10
Mar  7 "Torpedo" Billy Murphy       Dayton, Oh                       TK  6
Mar 20 George Elliott               Indianapolis, In                  W 10
Apr 15 Kid Ashe                     Cincinnati, Oh                    L  8
Apr 19 Gilbert "Kid" Goulette       Sandusky, Oh                      D 10
May 16 Barney Furey                 Cincinnati, Oh                    D  6
Jun  8 Eddie Gardner                Newark, Oh                        D 20
          -Some sources report 6/09/1899
Jul 23 Jack Dougherty               Cincinnati, Oh                    D  6
Oct 16 Eddie Gardner                Wheeling, WV                     LT 17
Nov  7 Frank Stackhouse             Detroit, Mi                       L  8
          -Some sources report 11/08/1899
Nov 16 Jack Prince                  Anderson, In                      D 10
Nov 30 Charles Cross                Detroit, Mi                       L 10
Dec 27 Tom Prendergast              Bay City, Mi                     LK  4
Dec 29 Charles Cross                Detroit, Mi                     SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but cancelled


1900
Jan 19 Frank Stackhouse             Detroit, Mi                      LK 11
Feb 19 -Van Heest seconded Tom Sharkey vs Jim Jeffords in Detroit, Mi
Mar 28 Scotty Cross                 Detroit, Mi                       D  8
Apr  6 -Van Heest seconded Jack Finnegan vs Jim Jeffries in Detroit, Mi
Jun 13 Jimmy Reeder                 Youngstown, Oh                   LT  2
Aug 17 -Cincinnati (Oh) Enquirer reported Van Heest had knocked out two men recently
          in Mount Clemens, Mi
1901
Feb 26 Young Ownie                  Chicago Heights, Il              KO  1

1902
Aug  3 "Torpedo" Billy Murphy       Union County, SD                 LK  4
          -Some sources report 8/04/1902
*** The Following Bouts Are Reported But Not Confirmed ***

1887
       Henry "Harry" Maxey          Ashland, Wi                      KO  5

1888
       Tommy Warren                 Ashland, Wi                       D  5
          -Some sources report "EX 5"
       Tommy "Spider" Kelly         Philadelphia, Pa                  L  
          -This bout ended in a riot

1887-1889
       Charles Hawley               Ashland, Wi                      KO  1
       Paddy Welch Jr.              Ashland, Wi                      KO  2
       Bob Chambers                 Ashland, Wi                      KO  7
       Ed Roarke                    Ashland, Wi                      KO 11
       Jim Mullen                   Ashland, Wi                      KO  5

1889
Apr    Jimmy Conley                 Hurley, Wi                        W  

1890
       Jim Tacker                   Philadelphia, Pa                  W  5
       Jack Lynch                                                     D  
       Tommy "Spider" Kelly         Philadelphia, Pa                  L  

1891
       Billy Foster                 Minneapolis, Mn                   ?  2
       Mike Ryan                    Minneapolis, Mn                   ?  3
       Jim Porter                   Minneapolis, Mn                   ?  4
       Morris McNally               Ironwood, Mn                      ?  2
       Bob Morrison                 Ironwood, Mn                      ?  1
       Gus Brown                    Denver, Co                        ?  1
          -Reportedly, the previous 6 bouts were held; The results are not known
Dec  3 Tommy Hogan                  Chicago, Il                       D  3

1895
Nov    Jack Gardner                 Chicago, Il                       L 15

1898
Apr    Jimmy Hatfield               St. Louis, Mo                     L 15

Undated
       Frank Maciewski                                                L  
       Bob Anderson                                                   D  
       Harry Fails                                                    L  6

*** Photo and much data provided by William Schutte ***
 

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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