Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Miles City's First Football Game
Our story today will concern the first football team and the first recorded football game played in Miles City. There are several things which must be borne in mind concerning this first game which are altogether different than the present conditions. One of these is that football had not attained the nationwide acclaim and interest in the nineties as it has now. The method of scoring was different then, for it appears from the newspaper account that a touchdown counted four points, the goal kick after touchdown counted two, a "fair" catch of a punt on which the receiver of the ball "heeled" (after touchdown) counted one; two such punts could be elected instead of attempting a goal kick. The goal posts were also set on the end lines of the field. What other methods of scoring were possible we do not know as it seems that the scoring in the three games that were played here that fall was made up exclusively from the first two achievments mentioned. The school system in Miles City then consisted of one school house--the former First Ward school, which later became the Washington school, and was situated on the southerly half of the block on which the Washington school now stands. The ball ground at that time was known as the Athletic Park and was situated upon the tract of land now occupied by the Junior College--the old Milwaukee depot. The first football team in Miles City was not made up of boys attending school but rather from the ranks of the young men around town who had been to college or who were naturally athletically inclined. Mustaches adorned the upper lip of some of the players on this first team. There had been interest brewing around town all during the fall of 1897 for a football team, and finally on an evening of an early November day of that year, some twenty enthusiasts for the game met at the Fireman's hall for the purpose of "adopting a code of signals and practising some of the intricate plays of the game, such as the wedge, the double crisscross, catching and throwing the ball, end plays and interference." A few days after this first meeting, the paper published an item that the following "yell" had been adopted by the football enthusiasts: 'Rah! Rah! Ree! Can't You See! Hot Time, All Time! M I L E S C I T Y!"

The next obstacle to overcome was that of opponents. At that time the male population of the Reform school, as the present Industrial school was then called, was usually kept there until they were twenty-one years of age. So a team was formed out at the school consisting of some good husky players. A challenge for a game was issued and accepted. The game was played at the Athletic park on the afternoon of November 17, 1897--admission 25 cents, ladies free. The old college graduates were there with the alumni colors flaunting gaily from coats and canes, and jostled each other with the greetings of old college chums, while the feminine contingent added beauty and grace to the occasion with their bright and enthusiastic faces, their varied colored ribbons and inevitable chrysanthemums. Before the game was over, they had caught the enthusiasm generated by the fascinating sport, and girlish shreaks of delight blended with the Rah, Rah, Rees in the applause of the gathering. The line-up of this first Miles City team was: Taylor, center--Daly and Forscyth, left and right guards, respectively, Babcock and Levi Schwartz, tackles, Wiseham Terrett and Vernie Beeman, ends, Ed Holt, left half, Dell Keenan, right half, and Tom Butler, full back. No substitutions were mentioned in the account of the game, and none are listed in the line-up, so we may deduce that the team consisted of eleven players--period. The officials were: Dr. L. C. Bruning, umpire, Dr. Bert Butler and White, linesmen, and Jack Kraker, referee.

The Reforms kicked off to the Miles City team, right tackle Levi Schwartz caught the ball and ran it back for a touchdown--Wiseham Terrett kicked the extra two points. Score, Miles City, 6 - Reforms 0. Reforms again kicked off and, after several scrimmages, right half back Dell Keenan ran 30 yards for a touchdown. Terrett missed the kick. Reforms kicked off again and after several plays, in which both sides got into their adversaries' territory, left end Terrett recovered a fumble and ran to the goal line for another touchdown, then kicked the points after touchdown. Score 16 to 0. Reforms kicked off and with two minutes to play in the first half, after short gains through center, full back Tom Butler, by good dodging and with excellent interference, made the last touchdown of the first half. Terrett missed goal. Score at the end of the first half: Miles 20, Reforms 0. Only one touchdown was made in the second half--that one by right end Dell Keenan. For the points after touchdown, Butler punted to Holt, who missed a fair catch, and on the second punt out Forscyth failed to heel. Score 24 to 0. And that was the score at the end of the game; Miles City 24 - Reforms 0. Terrett was the star of the Miles City eleven, being in the game for a hot time, all time, though praise was extended to every player participating. And thus ended the first football game ever played in Miles City. These same two teams played again the next week with the Reforms winning 6 to 4. In this game several high school players played with the town team. In the last game of the season between these two teams, three Miles City players, Ed Holt, Del Keenan and Bert Butler, played on the Reform School team. The score in that game was Miles City 10, Reforms 0.