74.3 F
Monday, April 15, 2024

On the Gridiron

In January 1924, as the new Bosse High School on the East Side opened, faculty members petitioned the school board to name the athletic field “Enlow Field” in honor of board member C.B. Enlow, a prominent banker, newspaper shareholder, and community servant.

Plans for construction while the school was being built were canceled due to costs, but work began on a track and football field during the summer of 1924, with temporary bleacher seating brought in from Bosse Field and the Central High School gym. On Oct. 4, Bosse played its first home football game against the high school team from Sturgis, Kentucky. Although Bosse lost, it went on to finish the season with a 22-13 home win over F.J. Reitz. During this time, plans drawn up by Chicago architect J.C. Llewellyn for a $60,000 stadium at Bosse were postponed for another year. Instead, a brick wall 10 feet high and 1,250 feet long was constructed in 1925 around the athletic area. A dummy fence was placed where the grandstands were to be built.

Finally on Sept. 25, 1926, a new 327-foot-long grandstand was opened to the public. Built of brick to match the school, the 21 tiers of wooden benches seating 4,000 spectators were located under a steel and red tile roof for protection against the weather. At the elaborate dedication ceremony Oct. 29, before the annual east-west game with Reitz, frame bleachers for an additional 3,000 fans were added.

Schools closed for the occasion and a parade consisting of the senior classes and bands of the city high schools began marching up Main Street behind carloads of dignitaries. At Walnut Street, the marchers boarded streetcars to Bosse. Each school entered the decorated stadium with school songs and cheers. Boy Scouts raised the American flag and the Enlow Field pennant followed by the formal acceptance of the stadium by the mayor and further dedication speeches.

Just before the 2:30 p.m. game kickoff, two Bosse girls crossed the muddy field to present bouquets of roses to C.B. Enlow, who was now president of National City Bank (later Integra). The game between the two undefeated teams was broadcast by WGBF, with Big 10 Commissioner John Griffith and A.L. Trester of the IHSAA present for the game. The final score was 6-0, giving Bosse a reason to celebrate their second school homecoming.

In early 2017, Bosse announced plans to renovate the 91-year-old stadium. Under the school’s Keep Bosse First capital campaign, officials invested $1 million to rebuild the field’s track, which has been in poor condition in recent years. Work was completed in mid August, just in time for the school’s first football game.

Previous article
Next article

Related Articles

Latest Articles