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Author Topic: Cora Livingston & the PWHF & the WON HOF plus the history of women's wrestling
Steve Yohe
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There is only one American woman in the WON HOF. I've never seen a problem with that. When on the PWHF selection committee, I never played a big part in picking the women candidates, because I'm not interested in female wrestling and haven't seen enough research on the subject and never liked watching it.

In the last week, I got a pile of Cora Livingston research has reach me from J Michael Kenyon. This changed my ideas on Livingston. I'm now strongly behind her being accepted in the WON HOF and the PWHF. (She has always been on the PWHF ballot, but all her friends are gone, and with historians losing their pull, her chances are getting smaller. Wrestlers vote for friends.)

So I'm posting the JMK project with the hope it with be read...and people will make up their minds. She was the first great woman's champion and the base that took female wrestling out of burlesque house and into wrestling arenas. If woman's wrestling is a valid art form, she should be on the list of HOF'er...like Frank Gotch, Rikidozan & Santo. There is an argument here. Thanks to JMK and to all who actually wrote it.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CORA LIVINGSTON
[That which immediately follows was posted at Women's Wrestling Illustrated -- http://womens-pro-wrestling.com/index.html -- a site which featured a good deal of historical material regarding the distaff grapplers.]

DESCENDED FROM BURLESQUE ... Women's wrestling in the United States can trace its roots to the great American burlesque theatre at the turn of the century. Acts where women would box or wrestle other women, or men, could be seen in burlesque theatre's across the country. According to Nat Fleischer from Ring Magazine dated 1966:

"Going over a list of old-timers I find Nellie Reville, Sis Howard, Kitty Ammerman, May Edwards, Texas Mamie, the Cleve sisters, Lyde Sheeron, Babe Kelly, Cora Williams, Elsie Burns and Helen Hildreth standing out."

Many acts featured both wrestling and boxing. Helen Hildreth and her partner Jack Atkinson had an act where Hildreth mainly boxed while Texas Mamie's act included both wrestling and boxing. The first really capable wrestler to emerge from the burlesque circuit was Josie Wahlford from Elizabeth New Jersey, according to Fleischer. Wahlford stood 5 feet 8 inches and weighed 165.

"Josie was powerful. She placed herself in the hands of Charley Blatt, who came from Hoboken and was a strong-man more than a wrestler. The Professor taught Josie all the tricks and she became invincible. I would say that Josie Wahlford was the first generally accepted champion among the fair wrestlers of the USA."

Wahlford soon carved her way through the limited opposition available in those days and at age 24 began touring the vaudeville circuit as a strong-woman act. She called herself Minerva and would lift 700 pounds a foot off the floor and toy with 100 pound dumb bells.

From 1907 to 1909, a girl named Mary Harris laid claim to the women's title.

"She maintained her supremacy for two years and then had the ill luck to accept the challenge of Laura Bennett who pinned Mary in a long and vehement battle. Laura, who stood 5 feet 9 in height and weighed 190 pounds, was all muscle and all fight."

Cora Livingstone was born in Buffalo, New York in 1893. Livingstone, who exhibited considerable abilities as a teenager, was a natural athlete. She stood 5 feet 5 inches and weighed 138 pounds.

At the age of 20, Livingstone began her wrestling career in earnest after marrying ring promoter Paul Bowser and settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professionally trained, Livingstone would meet up with Laura Bennett in St. Louis. Smaller and outweighed by 50 pounds,

"The Livingstone girl tore into the Bennett girl right from the start and pinned her in 12 minutes. Miss Bennett's morale was shot to pieces by that fall. The second part of the match was no contest. Cora threw Laura in three minutes. When I say 'threw' I mean it. A half Nelson and crotch hold proved to be the Livingstone media for victory. Cora was recognized everywhere as the greatest female wrestler in the world."
++++
Boston MA: May 2, 1922
The wrestling publicity mill here notes that women's wrestling "champion" Cora Livingston was born February 28, 1889 in Buffalo NY, graduated from Buffalo High at 16, and "could run, put up her hands and wrestle as well as many of the boys of that age and a whole lot better than the average. There was talk of a convent for Cora, but she preferred the sawdust and the stage and after seven months of training she made her debut as a girl wrestler in a tournament held in the Lafayette Theatre, Buffalo." ... There were said to be 16 contestants in the 1905 tournament, Livingston defeating Hazel Parker, straight falls, in the finale ... Livingston toured the U.S. and Canada, meeting all comers, including Celia Pontos, so-called champion of Canada, and Bessie Farrar, the British titleholder ... Laura Bennett challenged Livingston in 1914 and H.M. Donegan staged the bout at the Century Theatre, Kansas City MO, for a $1,000 side purse and a belt emblematic of the world's title ... Livingston won in straight falls, eight minutes and four minutes, respectively ... Since then she has never lost a best two-of-three bout ... However, she presently being hounded by a "troublesome challenger," Bobbie Miller of Gloucester MA.
++++

LIPSTICK, DYNAMITE AND GLOWWORMS – Part 1
(The Phantom of the Ring, August 19, 2008)
(excerpt) ... In America, female fighting began in the back tents of carnivals and circuses and spread to burlesque houses via the back rooms of taverns. At the turn of the century, female wrestling shot up in popularity, which, in turn, necessitated the need for as champion of some sort to defend a championship of some other sort. Actually, there had been female wrestling champions in the nineteenth century, the most famous of which was Josie Wahlford, who put her title on the line against both women and men (the men were limited to carny visitors and could outweigh Josie by no more than twenty pounds). Josie was defeated in about 1901 by Laura Bennett, who dominated the championship in that first decade.

Laura temporarily gave up the title for two years to Mary Harris in 1907 and reclaimed it in 1909. At the height of her career she stood 5’9” and weighed in the neighborhood of 190 pounds, all of it muscle. Her second title run lasted until 1912, when she was bested by a challenger many consider to be the finest woman athlete ever to step between the ropes.

Cora Livingstone (the “e” at the end of her last name may have been added by husband Paul Bowser as a flourish) was born in Buffalo, New York in 1893. A natural athlete who exhibited her abilities in track and field when still a teenager, she stood 5 feet 5 inches and weighed 138 pounds. Livingstone turned to wrestling at the urging of her husband, wrestling impresario Paul Bowser. Operating from the family mansion in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she was trained in the wrestling arts not only by her husband, known as one of the best middleweight wrestlers of his time, but also by the great Dr. Benjamin Roller. With all this under her belt, Livingstone met up with Laura Bennett in St. Louis in 1912. Though smaller and outweighed by 50 pounds, Livingstone took the match to Bennett right from the start, pinning her in 12 minutes to take the first fall. The second fall was shorter, with Cora using a half nelson and crotch hold (body slam) to throw Laura in less than three minutes.
Her victory won Cora recognition everywhere as the greatest female wrestler in the world; and with the rise of Cora Livingstone, women’s wrestling went into a more lucrative, dignified successful phase. Cora defended her belt at legitimate theaters, athletic clubs and small arenas, often on the same card with men’s matches – a first in that time. She retired in 1925 to a life of luxury and a second career as an equestrian of the first rank ...
++++
[ED. NOTE -- Getting a handle, or straight dope, on anything involving professional wrestling has always been a tough chore. When the ladies were involved, which may be noted from the above snippets, it was no different. The acclaimed ring historian, Nat Fleischer, apparently may be credited, for openers, with misspelling Cora Livingston's name ... unless you buy into the Phantom's notion about a Bowserian "flourish."]

Buffalo NY Evening Times: March 18, 1906
"A female wrestling tournament is announced as an extra feature this week at the Lafayette Theater, commencing tomorrow afternoon, in conjunction with the Brigadiers’ Extravaganza Company. Miss Cora Livingstone, 110 pounds, champion featherweight of Buffalo, and Mrs. Hazel Parker, 110 pounds, champion featherweight of the United States, will meet all comers in their class and offer $25 to any lady either fails to throw in 15 minutes. During the week Miss Livingstone and Mrs. Parker will contest for the featherweight championship of America, best two falls out of three, one bout a night to a finish. Both women are clever wrestlers and hold records." (Matt Buziak research)

Buffalo NY: March 19, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Hazel Parker beat Cora Livingston (5:01-1st fall of 2/3) ... NOTE: Throughout this week, it apparently was spelled "Livingstone" by the Buffalo press.

Buffalo NY: March 20, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Miss Neilson ... (Ladies) Hazel Parker beat Miss Erickson

Buffalo NY: March 21, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Hazel Parker (0:35-2nd fall of 2/3 falls)

Buffalo NY: March 22, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Miss Erickson ... (Ladies) Hazel Parker beat Miss Farrard

Buffalo NY: March 23, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Miss Neilson beat Hazel Parker ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Miss Walsh … NOTE: "Three papers have Miss Neilson winning, the wording is tricky." – Matt Buziak, researcher

Buffalo NY: March 24, 1906
(Lafayette Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Hazel Parker (deciding fall of 2/3 fall contest started March 19th.) … NOTE: "Five papers don’t have the result, which was mentioned when Cora next appeared. Parker was billed as American champion. Likely Cora made it a world title." – Matt Buziak

Buffalo NY: March 14, 1907
(Garden Theater) ... Jack Mills vs Roy Neygus ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs "unknown" ... NOTE: Matt Buziak research.

Buffalo NY Evening Times: March 17, 1907
The Lafayette theater will hold a female tournament this week. Cora Livingston won the women’s title from Hazel Parker last fall. ("It was really last March" – Matt Buziak)

Buffalo NY: March 18, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat May Colbert ... (night) (Ladies) Mamie Warner beat Lou Kingsley ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Bessie Feerrar

Buffalo NY: March 19, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Bertha Smith ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Emma Goodridge ... (night) (Ladies) Bessie Feerrar beat Mamie Warner ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat May Colbert

Buffalo Evening Times: March 20, 1907
The paper notes Celia Pontos won the "Canadian women’s title" about two years ago, in Montreal QC, from May Vickers.

Buffalo NY: March 20, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (afternoon) (Ladies) May Colbert beat Bertha Smith ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Bessie Feerrar (5:30) ... (night) (Ladies) Bessie Feerrar won Bertha Smith ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Celia Pontos (6:01) (1st fall of their 2/3 fall title match)

Buffalo, NY: March 22, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Celia Pontos (2nd fall) ... (night) (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Vivian Hoffman & May Chester... Celia Pontos beat May Colbert ... NOTE: The win over Pontos, notes researcher Matt Buziak, ostensibly gave the tournament title to Livingston ... "However, Pontos raised such a fuss that Livingston agreed to face her on Saturday night for a third fall." ... Hoffman and Chester were described as chorus girls with the American Burlesque Company ...

Buffalo, NY: March 23, 1907 (Saturday)
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Celia Pontos ... NOTE: Presumably, Livingston won, although Buziak could not find a reference to the result.

Buffalo NY: March 28, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Handicap) Charles Olson FTT Walter Willoughby (15:00) ... (Ladies) (Handicap) Cora Livingston pinned two women, but FTT Bessie Feerrar ... NOTE: Matt Buziak research

Buffalo, NY: March 29, 1907
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Handicap) Charles Olson FTT Al Solomon (15:00) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Celia Pontos (2-1) ... NOTE: "Before the match Cora Livingston was claiming the female lightweight championship of America, which she won from Hazel Parker in March 1906. Celia Pontos was claiming the lightweight female championship of the world. This gave Cora a better claim to the world’s women’s title." – Matt Buziak

Columbia SC: November 9, 1907
The State fills up its sports pages with wrestling items clipped from recent issues of the Kansas City MO Star, which proclaim that city to be a veritable hotbed of professional grappling: "Last night the sporting editor drifted into the lobby of the Century Hotel and there beheld a collection of mat talent that is seldom seen … Jack Mills, meeting all comers at the Century (Theatre); Charles Cutler, doing the same at the Majestic (Theatre); Frank Fripp, the local lightweight; Walter Willoughby, the Buffalo grappler; Athos, the French wrestler and bullfighter; Joe Lambert of Kansas City, Kan.; Young Schwartz; Stanley Karp, considered to be the best in the country at 150 pounds, and Jack Herman, the well known wrestling promoter." … Another Star clipping detailed a match between Cora Livingston "champion wrestler of the world" and Cora Bennett of Kansas City MO; Livingston took one fall, which Bennett proclaimed, afterward, to be "a fake" … Same show, Athos and Jake Mills "mixed" 10 minutes "in a bout that was rather rough (and then) called off."

Washington DC: January 27-February 1, 1908
(Kernan's Lyceum Theatre) ... Featured: Cora Livingston, champion lady wrestler of the world, who will forfeit $25 to any woman she fails to throw in 15 minutes ... Extra: Grand Female Wrestling Tournament

Washington DC: January 27, 1908
(Kernan's Lyceum Theatre) ... (evening) (Handicap) Cora Livingston beat "unknown" (sub for Bertha Stark) (dq) ... (afternoon) (Handicap) Cora Livingston beat May Colbert (5:00) ... Referee: Stanley Karp ... NOTE: The "unknown's" manager kept "butting in" and so produced a disqualification ... Livingston had 15 minutes to throw her foes.

Washington DC: January 28, 1908
(Kernan's Lyceum Theatre) ... (Handicap) Cora Livingston vs Bertha Stark ... Referee: Stanley Karp ... NOTE: $25 was on offer to anyone Livingston could not throw.

Boston MA: April 12, 1908
(Howard Theater) ... Cora Livingston, world champion lady wrestler, all this week ... NOTE: Future ads call her “the Gotchess of the Mat” … “She is appearing with her seven agile mat artists. It will be catch-as-catch-can style, no Graeco-roman for her.” (Don Luce research)

Toronto ON: September 21, 1908 (Monday)
(Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT May Cullen (of Toronto ON) (10:00) … Referee: Artie Edmunds … NOTE: Cullen was paid $25 by the manager of the world’s woman champion whose name here was spelled "Livingstone." ... The account also noted they may meet on Wednesday at double the sum. (Don Luce research from Montreal QC Gazette)

Boston MA: January 4, 1909
(Howard Theater) ... Cora Livingston, champion female wrestler, versus all comers this week

Buffalo NY: January 18, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... (afternoon) (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Freda Heinetz ... (night) (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Lou Harris ... NOTE: Cora claimed the "world’s women’s title." ...Livingston had defeated Hazel Parker in Buffalo for the American woman’s title ... She also won the a world title claim at the same site (Matt Buziak research)

Buffalo NY: January 19, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Mrs. Chris Mosgeller

Buffalo NY: January 20, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Lou Harris (15:00)

Buffalo NY: January 21, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Kate Bruenner

Buffalo NY: January 22, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... Cora Livingston vs Freda Heinetz

Buffalo NY: April 29, 1909
(Lafayette Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs May Kenzie

Minneapolis MN: January 5, 1910
(Dewey Theater) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Louise Harris (15:00)

Minneapolis MN: January 6, 1910
(Dewey Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Celia Jasnes … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Carrie Wilcox

Minneapolis MN: January 8, 1910
(Dewey Theater) ... (Ladies) Louise Harris beat Cora Livingston (11:00, dq) ... NOTE: A referee, who had been "chosen" from the audience, disqualifies Livingston for use of the strangle hold ... Livingston billed as woman's champion.

CORA LIVINGSTON BEATEN
(Minneapolis MN Tribune, Sunday, January 9, 1910)
One of the roughest wrestling matches that has been seen in Minneapolis for some time resulted last night in the disqualification of Cora Livingston, the woman champion, in the contest with Louise Harris. The women were to wrestle to a finish, but after 11 minutes of fast work Miss Livingston was disqualified by the referee for using the strangle hold. She had been warned previously. The referee was chosen from the audience at the Dewey Theater where the match was held.

For the first few minutes the female grapplers wrestled carefully, but lost their heads after a time, and rough work was very apparent.
++++

Kansas City MO: January 23-29, 1910 (Sunday to Saturday)
(Century Theater) ... Cora Livingston, wrestler, two shows daily, offers $25 to any woman she can't throw inside 10 minutes ... Sam T. Jack Company brings two musical burlesques, "A Midnight Spree," and "Girls in Girl Land," to the Central Street house ... (advertisement) "Extra! Extra! – Cora Livingston – Extra! Extra! (She forfeits $25 to any woman opponent she fails to throw on the wrestling mat in ten minutes)." ... Joseph R. Donegan manages the Century.

Kansas City MO: January 24, 1910 (Monday)
(Century Theater) ... (Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Freda Ritchie ... NOTE: Freda is sister to Al Ritchie, the "strong man" at the Hippodrome this week ... "Such hair pulling, scratching, roughing and biting was never seen before in a match in Kansas City. Oscar Mathew Battling Nelson was the referee and did all that was possible to make the bout a lady-like one, but his efforts were unavailing. The women will have a 15-minute go at the Century Wednesday night." – Kansas City MO Star, Jan. 25, 1910

Indianapolis IN: February 7, 1910
(Empire Theater) … Cora Livingston* FTT Miss Bessie Hastings (of Indianapolis IN) (15:00)

Indianapolis IN: February 8, 1910 (Tuesday)
(Empire Theater) … Cora Livingston* beat Bertha McCabe (9:30)

Indianapolis IN: February 9, 1910
(Empire Theater) … Cora Livingston* FTT Miss Bessie Hastings (15:00)

Indianapolis IN: February 11, 1910 (Friday)
(Empire Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Bessie Hastings beat Cora Livingston (2-0, dq) ... Referee: Tom Orbington ... NOTE: Livingston was disqualified twice for use of the strangle hold

Indianapolis IN: February 12, 1910
(Empire Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston vs Bertha Smith ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston vs Carrie Wilcox ... NOTE: Lieut. John Corrigan stopped one of the matches for being too brutal (Don Luce research)

Pittsburgh PA: March 14, 1910 (Monday)
(Academy Theater) … Cora Livingston FTT May Nelson (of Pittsburgh PA)

Pittsburgh PA: March 16, 1910
(Academy Theater) … Cora Livingston FTT May Nelson (15:00)

Pittsburgh PA: March 18, 1910 (Friday)
(Academy Theater) … (WLTM) Cora Livingston* vs May Nelson (to a finish)

Washington DC: March 28-April 2, 1910 (Monday thru Saturday)
(New Lyceum Theater) … Cora Livingston, “world’s champion female wrestler” vs all comers … $25 to any female she cannot throw in ten minutes … Livingston is the feature of Sam T. Jack’s Own Burlesque Company (Mark Hewitt research)

Washington DC: March 30, 1910
(New Lyceum Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Lena Miller

Washington DC: March 31, 1910
(New Lyceum Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Bertha Smith

Washington DC: April 1, 1910
(New Lyceum Theater) ... (Ladies) Bertha Smith beat Cora Livingston (dq)

Washington DC: April 2, 1910
(New Lyceum Theater) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston vs two opponents ... Referee: Pat O'Connor
Baltimore MD: April 4, 1910
(New Monumental Theater) … Cora Livingston, "Worlds' Champion Female Wrestler" is taking on all female wrestlers, offering $25 to anyone she cannot throw in ten minutes

Indianapolis IN: April 18, 1910 (Monday)
(Empire Theater) … Laura Bennett, claimant of the women world title meets all comers this week.

Pittsburgh PA: September 5-10, 1910 (Monday thru Saturday)
(Academy of Music) ... Cora Livingston, “world’s champion woman wrestler” vs all comers … $25 purse (Mark Hewitt research)

Pittsburgh PA: September 5, 1910
(Academy of Music) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Hazel Kennard

Pittsburgh PA: September 6, 1910
(Academy of Music) ... (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston vs Jeannie Lewis

Pittsburgh PA: September 7, 1910 (Wednesday)
(Academy of Music, att. 2,000) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT May Nelson (15:00) … Referees: Archer Parker, Frank Serry … NOTE: The purse was hiked to $50 for this feature ... The bout was interrupted by a police intervention, designed to forestall a potential riot, as the crowd angrily protested the rough treatment accorded Nelson by Livingston through the first 13 minutes of the fray … Those in the front rows attempted to climb onto the stage, but were pulled back … The kicking and gouging finally abated, with the two destined for a repeat two nights hence.
Pittsburgh PA: September 9, 1910
(Academy of Music) … (Ladies) May Nelson beat Cora Livingston (11:30) … NOTE: Said to be the first time Livingston ever has been pinned.
CORA LIVINGSTON WAS THROWN BY MAY NELSON
(Pittsburgh PA Press, Saturday, September 10, 1910)

May Nelson, of Pittsburgh, threw Cora Livingston, the champion wrestler of the world, in 11 ½ minutes at the Academy of Music last night, in a special match arranged after Miss Livingston had failed to drop the local girl in the time allotted her for that purpose last Wednesday night. Last night's affair, it was announced, was for a special purse of $100.

According to the dope, this is actually the first time the champion has had her shoulders placed on the mat. Prior to her appearance last night she had wrestled over 300 matches, winning them all, having defeated the ex-American champion, the French champion and the English champion.
++++

Pittsburgh PA: September 11, 1910
(Academy of Music, att. 2,000) … Cora Livingston* vs May Nelson … Referee: Archie Parker … (stopped by near riot)

Milwaukee WI: September 25, 1910 (Sunday)
(New Star Theater) … Cora Livingston begins her initial Milwaukee engagement, during which she will wrestle all comers and forfeit $25 if unable to pin any woman in 10 minutes, no weight barred.

Kansas City MO: October 28, 1910
(Century Theatre) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Laura Bennett ... NOTE: Livingston, who frequently has billed herself as "champion lady wrestler of the world," is formally awarded an actual belt commemorating the claim after this bout ... She will not relinquish the title claim until 1925 ... And, nearly 80 years later, the belt will come up for sale on eBay (see below for details) ... Since no such "real" title ever existed, Miss Livingston was entirely within her rights to claim anything she wanted.

Indianapolis IN: November 7, 1910 (Monday)
(Empire Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Florence Berry (of Humboldt IA)

Indianapolis IN: November 8, 1910
(Empire Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Helen Wilcox

Indianapolis IN: November 9, 1910
(Empire Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Florence Berry (12:00) … NOTE: Livingston's "world" title claim is advertised as being at stake ... Florence Berry was called a protégé of Frank Gotch … Miss Livingston, smiling, shook her fist at the audience as she left the stage (Don Luce research)

Indianapolis IN: November 10, 1910 (Thursday)
(Empire Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Helen Wilcox ... NOTE: This was likely a handicap bout

Indianapolis IN Star: Friday, November 11, 1910
"Miss Livingston is easily the champion of her sex, having won every finish match in which she has ever engaged. Two weeks ago in Kansas City, she defeated Miss Laura Bennett, who was seen here last season and who is a wonderful wrestler."

Indianapolis IN: November 11, 1910
(Empire Theater) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Bessie Hastings (of Indianapolis IN) ... NOTE: Hastings, 19, said to have won a handicap match from Livingston here a year ago ... Don Luce research establishes this as a best two falls out of three affair.

Detroit MI: December 7, 1910
Cora Livingston vs Bertha Smith

Boston MA: January 1, 1911
(Howard Athenaeum) ... Ladies world’s champion Cora Livingston vs all comers this week.

Boston MA: January 12, 1911
(Columbia Theater) ... Cora Livingston vs all comers this week.

Boston MA: March 7, 1911
(Howard Atheneum) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Olga Nelson ... NOTE: Livingston, still billing herself as champion lady wrestler, is facing all comers this week.

Boston MA: March 8, 1911
(Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Olga Nelson (2-1) … NOTE: Livingston, claiming to be the female wrestling champion "of the world," loses the first fall in 16 minutes, but rallies to win.
Boston Globe: March 18, 1911
Cora Livingston at the Howard next week.

Washington DC: April 10, 1911
(New Lyceum Theater) ... Cora Livingston, “champion female wrestler of the world,” is billed vs all comers … $25 to any women she cannot throw in 15 minutes (Mark Hewitt research)

Pittsburgh PA: April 27, 1911
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat May O'Neill
Pittsburgh PA: April 28, 1911
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs May Nelson
Minneapolis MN: September 12, 1911
(Dewey Theater) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Lou Harris (15:00)

Minneapolis MN: September 14, 1911
(Dewey Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat May Walton (61:00)

Minneapolis MN: September 16, 1911
(Dewey Theater) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Lou Harris

Pittsburgh PA: December 2, 1911
"Lovers of wrestling will have an opportunity next week to see Cora Livingston, champion woman wrestler of the world, in 10-minute bouts and a finish match at Harry Williams' Academy. Miss Livingston comes to the Academy as an extra attraction with Tom Miner's 'Jardin de Paris Girls.' She agrees to throw all woman comers at every performance in 10-minute bouts or forfeit $25. During the week she also will meet Margaret Dunn, a Northside girl who has defeated some of the best women wrestlers, but never has met Miss Livingston. Miss Dunn, who teaches physical culture in Montreal, is home on a visit." – Pittsburgh PA Press, Dec. 2, 1911

Pittsburgh PA: December 5, 1911
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Margaret Dunn (10:00)

Pittsburgh PA: December 6, 1911
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Anna Peterson (of Buffalo NY) (10:00)
Pittsburgh PA: December 8, 1911 (Friday)
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Ladies) Margaret Dunn beat Cora Livingston (18:00) … NOTE: "Miss Livingston protested the decision, but to no purpose. A wing fell, striking Miss Livingston on the knee, checking her for a moment, and Miss Dunn quickly threw her on her back." – Pittsburgh PA Press, Dec. 9, 1911
Boston MA: December 16, 1911
(Howard Theater) ... Cora Livingston vs all comers next week

Boston MA: December 26, 1911
(Howard Theater) ... Cora Livingston continues to face all comers.

Pittsburgh PA: January 22-27, 1912 (Monday thru Saturday)
(Harry Williams' Academy) … Cora Livingston "Champion Woman Wrestler of the World" is the "Special Attraction" for the week.

Pittsburgh PA: January 26, 1912 (Friday)
(Harry Williams' Academy) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Margaret Dunn (2-1) … NOTE: Livingston is said to collect a $250 purse and a $100 side bet while defending her claim to the women's "championship."
Boston MA Globe: February 10, 1912
Cora Livingston will return to the Howard next week.

Boston MA: February 19, 1912
(Howard Athenum) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Isabel Savoy

Beaver Falls PA: March 4, 1912 (Monday)
Paul Bowser (of Monaca PA) vs Jim Buckley (of Lawrenceville PA) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Belle Wilson (of Cleveland OH) … Harvey Freshcorn (of Rochester NY) vs Ollie Molter (of New Brighton PA) … NOTE: Cora Livingston claims to be the "champion female wrestler of the world" … Manager Sam S. Hanauer was in charge of the program … One can only guess that this may have been the week which led to the marriage of wrestlers Paul Bowser and Cora Livingston.
Beaver Falls PA: March 7, 1912
(Lyceum Theatre) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Alice Wilson … NOTE: Livingston recently participated in several matches at Harry Davis' Academy, Pittsburgh PA, and drew large crowds … Wilson is described as "the former reputed female champion." … Manager Sam Hanauer also has engaged female boxers for the program.
Boston MA: January 12, 1913
(Howard Theater) … Cora Livingston, champion lady wrestler, versus all comers this week … NOTE: Cora boasts that there are no good girl athletes in Boston to beat her.

Boston MA: January 18, 1913
(Howard Theater) … Cora Livingston is still meeting all comers.

Boston MA: January 24, 1913
(Howard Theater) … Cora Livingston vs all comers.

Sandusky OH: October 29, 1913
(Sandusky Theatre) … Paul Bowser (“the wrestling demon”) & Cora Livingston take on all comers as part of the Jardin de Paris Girls burlesque show

Decatur IL: November 25, 1913
(Power’s Theater) … Appearing as “Extra Added Attractions” with the Jardin de Paris Girls burlesque show were Paul Bowser, “wrestling demon,” and Cora Livingston, “champion lady wrestler of the world” … NOTE: This was the year in which Livingston was said to have beaten Laura Bennett in Kansas City MO for the women’s title – also Blanche Whitney and May Harris … Plus, 1913 is when she is said to have married Paul Bowser … Cora Livingston was born in Buffalo NY in 1893 … Livingston, who exhibited considerable abilities as a teenager, was a natural athlete … She stood 5 feet 5 inches and weighed 138 pounds … At the age of 20, Livingston began her wrestling career in earnest after marrying Paul Bowser … The couple eventually settled in Cambridge MA Professionally trained, Livingston would meet up with Laura Bennett in St. Louis … Smaller and outweighed by 50 pounds, "The Livingston girl tore into the Bennett girl right from the start and pinned her in 12 minutes. Miss Bennett's morale was shot to pieces by that fall. The second part of the match was no contest. Cora threw Laura in three minutes. When I say ‘threw’ I mean it. A half Nelson and crotch hold proved to be the Livingston formula for victory. Cora was recognized everywhere as the greatest female wrestler in the world."

Decatur IL: December 5, 1913
(Power’s Theater) … Jardin de Paris Girls burlesque show has three featured wrestling matches: (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Emma Bryan (for $100) … and (Handicap) Paul Bowser vs Flying Dutchman and The Terrible Greek.

Boston MA: February 1, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … Cora Livingston versus all comers this week.

Boston MA: February 3, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Eva Schaffer (10:00) … NOTE: Livingston still billed as women’s world champion.

Boston MA: February 4, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Fanny Lewis

Boston, MA: February 9, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Isabel Savoy (of Roxbury) … NOTE: Savoy won the $25 prize.

Boston, MA: February 10, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Eva Schaffer (of Cambridge MA)

Boston MA: February 11, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Fanny Lewis (of Lynn MA)

Boston MA: March 30, 1914
(Howard Atheneum) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Isabel Savoy (15:00) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT May Kelley (15:00)

Boston MA: March 31, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Gracie Devon

Boston Globe: April 7, 1914
Cora Livingston, who lost her championship wrestling belt to Fanny Lewis last week, will be given another chance at the Howard tonight to regain her laurels.

Boston MA: April 8, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Davon

Utica, NY: April 15, 1914
(Armory) ... Gene Westergaard beat Paul Bowser (2-0) ... (Police Gazette woman’s belt) Cora Livingston* beat May Brae ... Phillip Mowers drew Jack Feeney ... Joe Malcewicz beat Sailor Smith (2-0) ... Referee: Ed (Strangler) Lewis … Note: Cora Livingston won the title from Laura Bennett in 1911 [conflicting date] at Kansas City … She is the wife of Paul Bowser … Mae Brae from Boston is a former partner of Bennett and has wrestled about four years

Elyria OH: July 20-25, 1914
Paul Bowser & Cora Livingston appear for six days, taking on all comers, he putting up $10 for anyone who could stay 10 minutes with him, and she, as “world champion woman,” pledging to pay $5 to any woman who could stay five minutes with her.

Boston Globe: November 29, 1914
Cora Livingston, world’s champion lady wrestler, comes to the Howard, Dec. 7, to demonstrate that she is still a real champion.

Boston MA: December 13, 1914
Cora Livingston will wrestle another week at the Howard Athenaeum … She has wrestled Grace Turner and Emma Buchte (Don Luce research).

Boston MA: December 15, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Emma Buchtel … NOTE: Livingston is once again wrestling as “women’s champion”

Boston MA: December 16, 1914
(Howard Athenaeum) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Turner

Boston MA: December 17, 1914
(Grand Opera House) … John Kilonis drew Paul Bowser (2:00:00) … Referee: George Tuohey … NOTE: The Boston Globe refers to Bowser as Cora Livingston’s manager.

Boston MA: March 1, 1915
(Howard Theater) … Cora Livingston versus all comers.

Boston MA: March 7, 1915
(Howard Theater) … Woman’s champion Cora Livingston versus all comers for a second week … Grace Turner of Worcester and the “Unknown” will be her principal contestants this week (Don Luce research).

Boston MA: March 9, 1915
(Howard Theater) … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Turner

Boston MA: March 10, 1915
(Howard Theater) … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs “The Unknown”

Coffeyville KS: August 15, 1915
Mildred (Millie) Bliss, who, as Mildred Burke, will become women's wrestling "champion," is born, the baby of six kids born to Bruce Bliss and his wife, Bertha … Four of her siblings will grow up to become associated with evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson … She marries, at age 17, Joseph Martin Shaffer – "about a dozen years older than her" – and with him she sees her first pro wrestling match at the Midway Arena in Kansas City … Jeff Leen, in "The Queen of the Ring," writes, " … when she looked into the ring she saw a beckoning vision." Leen quotes from Burke's own, never-published autobiography, "Something deep in my core had been tapped awake."

Detroit MI: March 25, 1916 (Saturday)
(Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Grace Brady ... NOTE: "An apparent effort on the part of the promoters ... to have it appear that the Newark women did not appear was frustrated by (Paul) Bowser, who instructed (them) to occupy seats at the ringside while the preliminaries were in progress ... This gave the promoter no opportunity to tell the crowd that they did not appear and thus sidestep the fulfillment of that part of the contract." -- Newark OH Advocate, Mar. 27, 1916

Lancaster OH: April 27, 1916
(Chestnut Street Theater) ... John Kilonis beat Bull Montana…Lewis Huhn beat Herman Walther (2-1) ... NOTE: The main event was called “the roughest match ever staged here”. ... Kilonis weighed 172 and the Bull tipped the beam at 181 ... Walther and Huhn were Ohio State University athletes ... Raymond Carpenter refereed the prelim ... Paul Bowser and his wife Cora Livingston were in attendance (Mark Hewitt research)

Lancaster OH: May 13, 1916
(Chestnut Street Theater) ... Paul Bowser beat Thor (Young) Olson (utc) ... (Ladies) Grace Brady beat Cora Livingston ... Johnny Dayton drew Joe Smith (1-1) ... NOTE: Bowser apparently won Olson's Lord Lonsdale belt, which had been displayed before the match in the window of a local drug store ... Bowser claimed the "world" middleweight title ... It is unclear what the particulars of the Livingston match were.

Lancaster OH: January 3, 1917 (Wednesday)
(Sherman Armory) … John Kilonis beat Bull Montana (2-1) … Ray Carpenter beat Vance Wallace … NOTE: Wallace was a protégé of Paul Bowser, who came over from Newark OH to see the main event and challenge the winner; Bowser operates a gym in Newark, where he and his wife, Cora Livingston, both train

Lancaster OH: January 15, 1917 (Monday)
(Armory) … Paul Bowser beat John Kilonis (1:10:00, dq) … Referee: Al Haft … Ray Carpenter drew Alla Smith (billed as exhibition) … NOTE: Haft “asked the police to intervene” at the 70-minute mark of the main event and disqualified Kilonis … Charles Metro, Bowser’s trainer, went through a 20-minute workout with Grace Brady, trainer of Bowser’s wife Cora Livingston

Columbus OH: March 13, 1917
(Athletic Club) … Paul Bowser beat Wilfred Barrett (sub for John Kilonis) (2-0) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Grace Brady (2-1) … (Amateurs) Walter Reiter beat John Schimkola

Newark OH Advocate: March 20, 1917 (Tuesday)
"'If women would adopt wrestling as a regular exercise and practice it diligently, they would be free from many ills which make their life a burden at times,' declares Cora Livingston, who will appear in a physical culture demonstration with Grace Brady next Friday night as a feature of the (Paul) Bowser-(Mike) Yokel wrestling bill at the Auditorium. Miss Livingston a few years ago was a semi-invalid, due to an accident. Physical culture was recommended by physicians as the only means of relief. Mechanical devices in the gymnasium soon lost their attraction for her in spite of the fact that it meant possible health. She chanced to see the gymnasium instructor giving a lesson in wrestling one day and was struck with the idea that it furnished the ideal form of physical exercise. She took up wrestling, soon regained her strength and much better health than she ever enjoyed. Not only that but she became so proficient that she met and defeated the champions of three countries, America, England and France. For years she wrestled every day and sometimes twice a day while on a vaudeville circuit."

Newark OH: March 23, 1917
(Auditorium) ... Paul Bowser beat Mike Yokel (2-1) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingstone beat Grace Brady ... Vance Wallace beat John Sullivan … NOTE: Coming into this Friday night affair, Yokel claimed victories over Stanley Karp, Al A ckerman, Farmer Burns, Walter Miller, Henry Ghering, Walter Willoughby, Henry Irslinger, John Kilonis, Peter Goulette and Jack Ozar, among others ... He admitted to having been beaten by Pet Brown, Joe Turner, Bowser and Henry Gehring

Columbus OH: December 21, 1917
(Chamber of Commerce) ... William Demetral beat Paul Bowser … Leslie Fishbaugh beat Clyde Hinton … (Handicap) Theodore Senadenes beat Harry Eckert & Charles Soloman ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Grace Brady … Referee: Dr Scott ... NOTE:

Coshocton OH: February 27, 1918
(6th Avenue Theatre) … Paul Bowser beat Bill Ninnich (60:00, utc) ... NOTE: "Two days before the match, Bowser breezed into Coshocton in his big Buick touring car, accompanied by his red-headed wife, Cora Livingston, world’s champion woman wrestler." – Bob Wallace, Coshocton OH Tribune, Aug. 27, 1944

Newark OH: April 29, 1919
(Auditorium Theatre) ... (Handicap) Wladek Zbyszko beat Paul Bowser (168, of Newark OH) (25:00) & "unknown, 190-pound heavyweight" (7:00) & Vance Wallace (145, of Newark OH) (3:00) & Elmer Mooncatch (160, of Newark OH) (6:00) & Frank Miller (165, of Wheeling WV) (3:00) ... Leslie Fishbaugh drew George Pappas (30:00) ... (Ladies "Exhibition") Cora Livingston (139, of Newark OH) beat May Lewis (125, of Charleston WV) (2-1) ... Referee: Alva Lockwood ... NOTE: At the conclusion of the program Zbyszko made a curtain speech "stating that he had come to America seven years ago and he was devoting his efforts at the present time to place the wrestling game on a plane with other sports where it rightfully belonged. He said that he was a university man and a practicing attorney in his native country, Poland." -- Newark OH Advocate, Apr. 30, 1919 ... Bowser gave Zbyszko 77 pounds (168 to 245) and "put up a splendid exhibition" ... Wallace "looked as if he would be mashed into jelly if the big fellow would happen to fall on him. The comparison between their sizes would be about that of a Shetland pony and a big Percheron horse." ... Fishbaugh and Pappas were said to weigh 135 pounds each

Washington DC: June 5, 1919
(Lyceum Theater) … Joe Turner vs Paul Bowser … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Brady ... NOTE: Bowser and Livingston are billed as husband and wife.

Washington DC: June 7, 1919
(Lyceum Theater) … Joe Turner vs Paul Bowser … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Lewis

Newark OH: May 5, 1920
(Auditorium) … Joe Stecher beat Jack Boyer … Joe Stecher beat Paul Bowser … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Grace Brady … (Handicap) Matty Matsuda FTT Bill Gallagher … Ray Carpenter drew Vance Wallace … Clarence Miller drew Webster (Webb) Bierberbach … Sam Travelis drew John Matz … NOTE: “Cora Livingston (aka Livingstone) had claimed the women's world title since 1919.’ – Don Luce ... The Stecher tussles were not part of a handicap match, Stecher having agreed to throw the 198-pound Boyer and middleweight Bowser in separate bouts – the latter lasting 40 minutes before being thrown

Wilmington NC: July 2, 1920
(Academy of Music) … Paul Bowser beat Fritz Hanson … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Belle Roberts (130, of New Orleans LA) … Promoter: Isa F. Cates … NOTE: The Academy of Music, in later years, would be re-named Thalian Hall … Cora Livingston, 135 pounds, was billed as “champion lady wrestler of the world” … Bowser and Livingston (actually husband and wife) were said to be from Flint MI … This was the first women’s wrestling match in Wilmington and marked the close of the local wrestling season. (Mark Hewitt research)

Charlotte NC: July 3, 1920
(Auditorium) ... Paul Bowser beat Joe Turner ... Referee: Harry Bangle ... (Ladies, "exhibition") Cora Livingston vs Grace Brady ... Promoter: John Elliott ... NOTE: Bowser is billed as "the terror of Ohio." ... It is clear to the attendees that Bowser and Livingston are man and wife and that she claims the "women's championship." (Mark Hewitt research)

Charlotte NC: July 10, 1920
(Auditorium) ... Paul Bowser beat Big Mike Nestor ... (Ladies) Grace Brady beat Cora Livingston ... Referee: Miaki Oishu ... NOTE: Nestor was a light heavyweight.

Winston-Salem NC: July 15, 1920
Cora Livingston vs Grace Brady ... NOTE: Livingston and Brady may have been engaging in some early-day title flip-flopping.

Richmond VA: July 20, 1920
(Broad Street Athletic Arena) ... Paul Bowser beat Pink Gardner (sub for Joe Turner) (utc) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat May Wilson ... Promoters: Zeke Smith, Billy Wollsieffer ... NOTE: Livingston-Wilson reportedly is the first women's bout ever held here.

Richmond VA: December 27, 1920
(City Auditorium) ... Joe Turner vs Paul Bowser ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs May Wilson ... Promoters: Zeke Smith, Billy Wollsieffer

Wilmington NC: December 28, 1920
(Academy of Music) … Paul Bowser beat Kid Ellis … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat May Lawrence … Promoter: Isa F. Cates

Newark OH: March 9, 1921
(Auditorium) … Paul Bowser beat Charlie Ross (2-0) … Billy Gallagher beat Johnny Wilson (dq) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Grace Brady … Referee: Vance Wallace

Boston MA: March 14, 1921
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs “The Girl in the Mask” … NOTE: G.E. Lothrop and Paul Bowser represent the Howard Theatre management; it was through this venue that Bowser gradually assumed his promotional stranglehold on Boston wrestling.

Boston MA: March 15, 1921
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Mabel Sharkey

Boston MA: March 16, 1921
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies) “The Girl in the Mask” beat Cora Livingston

Boston MA: March 17, 1921
(Howard Theatre) … Cora Livingston vs Olga Nelson

Boston MA: March 19, 1921
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Mae Kelly

Newark OH: May 25, 1921
(Auditorium Theater) … Marin Plestina beat John Evko (2-0) … Paul Bowser vs Joe Turner … Bob Gregory vs Bill Gallagher … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Grace Brady ... NOTE: Evko was a protege of Plestina … Final card of the season

Lewiston ME: December 29, 1921 (Thursday)
(City Hall) ... Paul Bowser (of Newark OH) vs Pete Goulette (of Woonsocket RI) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston booked ... Referee: Charles Metro (of Boston MA) ... (plus boxing) ... Promoter: Gus Legendre

Boston MA: January 3, 1922
(Grand Opera House) ... (World Middleweight Title*) Paul Bowser beat Joe Turner ... Charley Metro beat Adolph Marshall ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Mae Kelly ... Referee: Sam Anderson … NOTE: Livingstone claimed to be world's woman champion since 1914.

Boston MA: February 16, 1922
(Grand Opera House) ... Paul Bowser drew John Kilonis ... Charley Metro beat Joe Saboski ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Ruth Kinsella (sub for Olga Nelson of Lynn MA) ... NOTE: Bowser comes in with six straight Boston wins ... Metro was billed as "the Albanian Tiger" and Saboski as "the Polish wonder."

Boston MA: March 16, 1922
(Grand Opera House) … Paul Bowser beat John Kilonis ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Janet Henry ... Young Kilonis beat Young Henry … NOTE: Janet Henry and Young Kilonis were proteges of John Kilonis, the latter billed as his nephew.

Boston MA: March 29, 1922
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Bobbie Miller

Boston MA: March 30, 1922
(Howard Theatre) … (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston beat Minnie French … Cora Livingston FTT Janet Henry

Boston MA: April 1, 1922
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs “Unknown” … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Bobbie Miller

Boston MA: May 2, 1922
The wrestling publicity mill here notes that women's wrestling "champion" Cora Livingston was born February 28, 1889 in Buffalo NY, graduated from Buffalo High at 16, and "could run, put up her hands and wrestle as well as many of the boys of that age and a whole lot better than the average. There was talk of a convent for Cora, but she preferred the sawdust and the stage and after seven months of training she made her debut as a girl wrestler in a tournament held in the Lafayette Theatre, Buffalo." ... There were said to be 16 contestants in the 1905 tournament, Livingston defeating Hazel Parker, straight falls, in the finale ... Livingston toured the U.S. and Canada, meeting all comers, including Celia Pontos, so-called champion of Canada, and Bessie Farrar, the British titleholder ... Laura Bennett challenged Livingston in 1914 and H.M. Donegan staged the bout at the Century Theatre, Kansas City MO, for a $1,000 side purse and a belt emblematic of the world's title ... Livingston won in straight falls, eight minutes and four minutes, respectively ... Since then she has never lost a best two-of-three bout ... However, she presently being hounded by a "troublesome challenger," Bobbie Miller of Gloucester MA.
++++

Boston MA: June 2, 1922
Cora Livingston challenged Jeanne LeMar of France to wrestle or box for any size sidebet … LeMar was touring the U.S. as the "European Women' Boxing Champion" (Mark Hewitt research)

Boston MA: December 21, 1922
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Joe Perelli beat Billy Klein … Stanley Stasiak drew Frank Lurich … (evening) Charley Metro vs Joe Perelli … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Mae Kelly

Boston MA: March 26, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Charley Metro drew Charley Marshall ... Stanley Stasiak beat John Perelli … (evening) Tommy Record drew Charley Metro ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Mae Kelly … NOTE: These were all scheduled ten-minute bouts.

Boston MA: March 27, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Stanley Stasiak beat Frank Martin ... Charlie Metro drew Tommy Record … (evening) Stanley Stasiak drew Frank Yusko ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Hazel Kinnard … NOTE: Kinnard was offered $1 a minute to stay 10 minutes … All these were ten-minute handicap affairs, generally the case with the vaudeville-show bouts.

Boston MA: March 28, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Eva Watson ... Stanley Stasiak vs Mike Nestor … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Hazel Kinnard … Stanley Stasiak vs Henri Lobmayer

Boston MA: March 30, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Eva Le Man ... Stanley Stasiak beat George Wilson … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew Mae Kelly … Stanley Stasiak drew Jack McGrath

Boston MA: March 31, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs. Eva Le Man ... Stanley Stasiak drew Lawson Pinkham … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Hazel Kinnard … Stanley Stasiak vs Frank Yusko

Boston MA: November 15, 1923
(Grand Opera House) … Stanley Stasiak beat Joe Zigmund (as Dakota Jack Turner) … (Ladies) Virginia Meserean drew Hazel Kinnard ... Jack Albright beat Fred Swanson ... Milo Steinborn beat "Savage" Toolous … NOTE: Turner is rumored to be a "scout" for Strangler Lewis testing out Stasiak … Miss Merserean had arrived in Boston to challenge Cora Livingston, woman's world champion, but they insisted she first face Kinnard (Don Luce research)

Boston MA: November 29, 1923
(Grand Opera House) … (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Virginia Mercereau ... Stanley Stasiak beat Milo Steinborn ... Jack Albright beat Peter Goulette … NOTE: Livingston, reported the Boston MA Globe, beat Mercereau (aka Marie Diderrich of Appleton WI) in straight falls … The latter later went around the country, boasting that she was the world's female wrestling champion.

Boston MA: December 19, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) John Kilonis vs Frank Dutcher ... Stanley Stasiak vs "Savage" Toolous … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston drew "Bobby" Miller ... Stanley Stasiak drew Savage Toolous

Boston MA: December 20, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) ... Tommy Record vs Louie Andrews ... Lawson Pinkham vs Stanley Stasiak … (evening) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Alice Harris ... Stanley Stasiak vs “Savage” Toolous

Boston MA: December 21, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) ... Stanley Stasiak vs Lawson Pinkham ... John Kilonis vs Tommy Record … (evening) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs “Bobby” Miller ... Stanley Stasiak vs Jack Albright

Boston MA: December 22, 1923
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) ... John Kilonis vs Jimmy Brown ... Stanley Stasiak vs “Savage” Toolous … (evening) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs “Bobby” Miller ... Stanley Stasiak vs Jack Albright

Greensboro NC: February 19, 1924
(Neese Hall) ... Pete Sturgis beat Harry Nixon (2-1) ... Referee: Frank Jones (as Micky O'Donohue, sub for Virginia Mercereau) ... Promoters: S.F. Haffine, E.A. Woodell ... NOTE: "Women's wrestling title claimant Virginia Mercereau was scheduled to referee the contest and also issue a challenge to meet any wrestler, male or female, 160-lb weight limit and guarantee to last 15 minutes without being pinned or forfeit $150. Her manager is Al Ketchel. However, her train to Greensboro was delayed. Mercereau claims to have defeated Cora Livingston (Mrs. Paul Bowser) last Thanksgiving and to have won her title claim. She is said to have met John Kilonis and Jack Reynolds in handicap bouts." – Researcher Mark Hewitt

Greensboro NC: March 2, 1924
Wrestling promoter S.F. Haffine says he hopes to match Virginia Mercereau with the former champion Cora Livingston.

Boston MA: March 20, 1924
(Grand Opera House) … Stanley Stasiak beat George Kotsonaros ... (Ladies) Belle LeMarr (of France) beat Cora Livingston (1-0) ... Farmer Bailey drew Angelo Taramaschi (nc) ... Nick Bozinis beat Frank Dutcher … NOTE: Bozinis and Toolas were brawling outside the ring and had to be seperated by police.

Boston MA: April 3, 1924
(Grand Opera House) … Angelo Taramaschi beat George (Farmer) Bailey (2-0) ... Stanley Stasiak beat Count Nicholas Zarynoff ... "Savage" Toolas beat Frank Dutcher (sub for John Kilonis) ... (Ladies) Cora Livingston beat Belle La Marr

Boston MA: April 14, 1924
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) … (Handicap) Nick Bozinis FTT Frank Dutcher … Stanley Stasiak beat Al Williams … (evening) (Ladies, Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Belle Le Marr … Stanley Stasiak beat Steve Pappas … NOTE: Stanley Stasiak , Nick Bozinis and Cora Livingston -- meeting all comers in 10-minute handicap matches ... Dutcher and LeMarr collected $10 for going the distance

Boston MA: April 15, 1924
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) (Handicap) "Savage" Toolas FTT Frank Dutcher (Dutcher stayed 10 minutes) … Stanley Stasiak beat Frank Williams … (evening) (Ladies) Belle La Marr beat Cora Livingston … Stanley Stasiak vs Charles Donnell … NOTE: Donnell was billed as the “Norwood Police Heavyweight Champion.”

Boston MA: April 16, 1924
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Nick Bozinis beat Fred Miller ... Stanley Stasiak beat Al Williams … (evening) (Ladies) (Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Bobbie Miller … (Handicap) Stanley Stasiak FTT Count Nicholas Zarynoff (later George Zarynoff)

Boston MA: April 17, 1924
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Nick Bozinis vs Frank Dutcher ... Stanley Stasiak vs Lawrence Pinkham … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Belle La Marr ... Nick Bozinis vs Bob Johnson

Boston MA: April 18, 1924
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Nick Bozinis vs Billy Rudy ... Stanley Stasiak vs Al Rizzo … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Belle La Marr ... Stanley Stasiak vs Charles Donnell

Boston MA: May 1, 1924
A challenge is sent to Cora Livingston, the women's wrestling champion, from Miss Winnie Grey of London, England.

Boston MA: May 1, 1924
(Grand Opera House) … Angelo Taramaschi beat Count Nicholas Zarynoff (2-0) ... (Ladies) Hazel Kinnard drew Bobbie Miller (sub for Cora Livingston, whose mother was seriously ill) … (plus amateur bouts)

Appleton WI: July 27, 1924
Matty Matsuda agrees to meet “woman’s champion” Virginia Mercereau here August 4 … Mercereau claims wins over Hazel Kinnard, May Kelley and Bobbie Miller, and says she won the title the previous Thanksgiving by defeating Cora Livingston … She is working out locally with Joe McVey.

Boston MA: November 6, 1924
(Grand Opera House) … Count Nicholas Zarynoff beat Jack Albright ... Frank Yusko beat "Savage" Toolas ... Frank Bruno beat Jimmy Gentwell ... (Handicap) Cora Livingston FTT Louise Gardner (in 10 minutes)

Boston MA: November 27, 1924
(Grand Opera House) … Chief Arthur Montour beat Farmer Bailey ... (Ladies) Louise Gardner beat Cora Livingston (dq) ... Sam S. Korsky beat Lawson Pinkham ... Frank Yusko beat Joe Alvarez ... Harry Mamos beat Earl Swanson

Boston MA: December 15, 1924
As part of the Howard Theatre's daily vaudeville- burlesque program Stanley Stasiak, Chief Arthur Montour, Nick Bozinis and Cora Livingston will meet all comers, forfeiting a dollar a minute to anyone they cannot throw in 10 minutes.

Boston MA: April 6, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … Stanley Stasiak, Cora Livingston, Angelo Taramaschi and Nick Karavas among the wrestlers appearing this week

Boston MA: April 7, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Nick Karavas vs Long … Stanley Stasiak vs Al Rizzo … (evening) Stanley Stasiak vs Don Orlando … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Eva La Mar

Boston MA: April 8, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Nick Karavas vs Frank Dutcher … Stanley Stasiak vs Jack Albright … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Louise Gardner … Stanley Stasiak vs Charles Clinksdale

Boston MA: April 10, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Stanley Stasiak vs Charles Clinsdale … Frank Dutcher vs Bill Rudy … (evening) Alex Lunden vs “Unknown” … Stanley Stasiak vs Charley O’Donnell … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Louise Gardner … NOTE: Wayne Munn made an appearance during the show.

Boston MA: April 11, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Frank Dutcher vs Nick Karavas … Stanley Stasiak vs Charles Clinksdale … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Eva Le Mar … Stanley Stasiak vs Sam Skorsky

Boston MA: December 18, 1925
(Howard Theatre) … (afternoon) Stanley Stasiak vs Frank Dutcher … (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Hazel Kinnard … (evening) (Ladies) Cora Livingston vs Eva Le Mar … Stanley Stasiak vs “Unknown”

Boston MA: March 29, 1926
Joe Malcewicz to embark on a barnstorming tour with planned stops in Chicago, Little Rock, Tulsa, Denver and Kansas City. The last week in March Bowser booked Joe Malcewicz, Stanley Stasiak, Bill Beth, Leone Labriola, Ned McGuire, Don Orlando, Cora Livingston and Louise Gardner to appear in wrestling matches at the old Howard Theater; afternoon and evening burlesque shows.

Mansfield OH News: October 12, 1927
"Such women wrestlers as Hazel Kinnard, May Kelly and Bobbie Miller have gone down before Miss (Virginia) Mercereau. All these she met in an elimination series before Cora Livingston, former world's champion woman wrestler, would consent to a match. Miss Mercereau finally met Miss Livingston and, on Thanksgiving Day, 1923, won the title from her ... Miss Mercereau weighs 155 pounds. She is five feet six and a half inches tall and except for unusual muscular development through the shoulders is said to have much the appearance of a well-built woman." ... Mercereau, as a Milwaukee WI school girl, was attracted to basketball and became a member of the Milwaukee Five, known for its fast floor game ... Wrestling was part of the training of those basketball players ... It appealed to Mercereau and she decided to go for it.

Boston MA: December 19-23, 1927
(Old Howard Theater) ... Paul Bowser’s wrestlers “meet all comers” as part of the burlesque show… troupe included Cora Livingston, Betty Bushey, Bull Komar and Stanley Stasiak

Boston MA: April 2-7, 1928
(Old Howard Theater) ... Joe (Bull) Komar, Charlie Hanson, Cora Livingston, and Betty Bushey are among the wrestlers appearing in matches during afternoon and evening burlesque performances.

Boston MA: December 17-21, 1928
(Old Howard Theater) … Paul Bowser’s wrestling troupe appeared at the afternoon and evening burlesque shows meeting all comers … included Stanley Stasiak, Dan Koloff, Cora Livingston, Betty Bushey, Gus Sonnenberg (on Tuesday and Friday nights).

APPLETON LOSES CLAIM TO WOMAN MAT STAR
(Appleton WI Post Crescent, Friday, May 2, 1930)

Appleton will lose its claim to Virginia Mercereau, former contender for the women's wrestling championship of the world, in another few days when Miss Mercereau, better known to Appleton people as Marie Diderrich, moves to Newark NJ to make her home.

But as far as Miss Mercereau is concerned, the wrestling game has already lost its claim to her and so has the vaudeville stage. A few years ago a woman wrestler was quite a novelty and there was considerable competition for the national crown then held by Cora Livingston.

Miss Mercereau, working in a Milwaukee department store, became interested in the sport and with considerable practice and instruction she developed into a wrestler of no mean ability and sought Miss Livingston's crown.

With the resultant interest the new phase of women's sports was creating, Miss Mercereau toured the country meeting men wrestlers in exhibition bouts. During that time she visited Appleton and participated in several fights at the armory.

The "racket" failed to gain much favor, however, because of the taboo put on mixed bouts. Even the vaudeville bookers failed to "see" the card and then Miss Mercereau took to the stage via a musical route, playing an accordion. But that has failed to appeal to her and it's all off from now on. She played several well known circuits for a few years and now has decided to abandon the effort.

Miss Mercereau was accordion soloist at the Elks Club bowling banquet Tuesday evening and was one of the features of the program.
++++

IT WON'T LAST LONG: WRESTLING IS AN IN-AND-OUT SPORT
(By William Braucher, Newspaper Enterprise Association, May 29, 1931)

NEW YORK CITY -- Wrestling comes and goes. Revivals even greater than the current upturn have been seen in the past. And each chapter ends with a note of disgust.

... Years ago when Paul Bowser, the big shot of New England wrestling, was getting his start in Boston, he was the hero of a vaudeville wrestling show in which the gladiator offered to throw anybody in the house. Sometimes a woman could come up out of the audience to do battle with him. The action was spirited and all that, the lady giving the gentleman all he could do to master her, but after the customers learned that Cora Livingston, the wrestlerette, was Mrs. Paul Bowser, enthusiasm for the skit lost much of its savor.
++++

Montreal QC Herald: August 26, 1931
Cora Livingston of Cambridge, Mass. challenged Sandra Porter of France, and Zitta Zambelli of Italy, who both claim the woman’s world title ... Cora has the belt to prove that she is the world’s champion ... A picture shows Livingston with a title belt.

Augusta GA: February 21, 1933 (Tuesday)
(New Coliseum) ... Fred Koloff (sub for Masked Marvel) vs Bobby Stewart ... (Ladies, Woman vs Man) Miss Mabel Livingston (of New England) vs Fred Furlong ... George Phillips (of Augusta GA) vs Clark Holmes (of Augusta GA) ... Sailor Downs (of Louisville KY) vs Young Ferris Epting (of Columbus GA) ... Promoter: W.K. Carswell ... NOTE: Shades of Andy Kaufman, but a half-century in advance; Carswell bills the "mixed" bout as an "Inter-Gender Match" ... This was the first appearance by a woman in the local ring; Mabel is billed as a "cousin" of Cora Livingston ... Marvel had pledged to enter ring barefaced, "without the customary hangman's black cap shrouding his features" ... Koloff was known as "the battering ram of the Balkans"

Boston MA: February 9, 1950
(Boston Arena) ... Professional wrestlers Roy McClarty, 28, of Winnipeg MB, and Shirley Strimple, 21, of Joplin MO, are married in the ring ... Promoter Paul Bowser and his wife, Cora Livingston, give the bride away ... Mrs. Irene Kovacs, wife of wrestler Sandor Kovacs, is the bridesmaid, while Harry Armus serves as best man.

Lake Worth FL: January 27, 1953
(American Legion Arena, att. 1,200) … Great Togo vs Art Nelson (1-1, nc) … (Ladies) Dot Dotson beat Lynn Livingston (2-1) … George Curtis drew Jack Wentworth (30:00) … Referee: Herbie Freeman … NOTES: Lynn Livingston was said to be a niece of the ex-champion Cora Livingston ... The paper called Nelson as Battling Nelson in the results ... King Kong, ex wrestler from West Palm Beach, climbed in the ring to aid Freeman. (Don Luce research)
MRS. PAUL BOWSER

(Newark OH Advocate, Wednesday, April 24, 1957)
Word has been received in Newark of the death Monday night in New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, of Mrs. Cora B. Bowser, 71, wife of Paul Bowser, of Monaca, Pa., wrestling promoter.

Mr. and Mrs. Bowser were former Newark residents and operated a wrestling school in North 4th St., in the building that had been the local YWCA, and later became the Salvation Army.

Mrs. Bowser, also a wrestler, worked under the name of Cora Livingston, and in 1914 won the women's title.

Mr. and Mrs. Bowser left Newark a number of years ago and located in the vicinity of Boston to operate a racing stable. She met her husband in 1910 as a wrestler. She was a native of Oakfield, N.Y., and also had lived in Pittsburgh.

The funeral took place Wednesday in the Methodist Church in Lexington, Mass.

(ED. NOTE: Researcher Don Luce is in possession of a clipping stating that Ms. Livingston/Bowser was born “Cora Tubbs.” He has seen another article claiming that she was born in Canada.)
++++

Boston MA: July 17, 1960
Paul Bowser dies in a hospital here ... His wife, Cora Livingston, died two years ago ... Bowser, in addition to his lifetime work in the professional wrestling business, was associated with the Loew theater interests both here and in Connecticut.
++++

WRESTLEAUCTIONS! Rare & Oddball Wrestling Items On Ebay & For ... Wrestling-News.com - Howard Beach NY, United States

[Note that the following blurb does not contain the name, Clara Livingston, although it obviously was a title belt awarded to her.]

By Anthony DeBlasi, March 8, 2004
A one-of-a-kind antique American championship women's wrestling belt from 1910. We recently discovered it in the attic of the Milton home where it was stored for many years. The belt is made from thick leather with chrome or nickel plated metal badges and center medallion with legend "Worlds Champion Female Wrestler" and engraved image of 2 wrestlers. There are total of 10 badges (5 on each side) with match details starting from left to right:
1) Defeated Grace Brady, Lafayette Theatre, Buffalo, NY
2) Defeated Louise Harris, Standard Theatre, St. Louis MO
3) Defeated May Nelson, Folly Theatre, Chicago, ILL
4) Defeated Margaret Dunn, Academy of Music, Pittsburg, PA
5) Presented to Cora Livingston - Fri. Oct. 28 - 1910
6) Defeated Laura Bennett for Championship, Century Theatre, Kansas City, MO
7) Defeated Bothner Twins, Century Theatre, Kansas City, MO
8) Defeated Nellie Ludrig, Howard Theater, Boston, MA
9) Defeated May Kelley, Miner, S. Bowery Theatre, NY City
10) Defeated Hazel Parker, People's Theatre, Cincinnati, OH
... The belt is 30.5" long (6" wide in center) and in surprisingly fine shape. The only defects are the 2 small straps on one side that are missing. The leather is still pliable with some minor cracking on the back. A great piece of Americana/memorabilia for the wrestling fan or collector of the unusual!! I have no idea of value but have placed a low opener with no reserve.
++++

"Despite having nearly busted a gut trying to get Cora Livingston installed in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at Amsterdam NY, I continue frustrated, as both she and Clara Mortensen remain unelected." – J Michael Kenyon, Port Orford OR, Feb. 12, 2013
Cora Livingston

2 Time Women’s World Champion
22 Year Women’s World Title Reign
Regarded as the Pioneer of Women’s Wrestling
Retired as Women’s World Champion


Cora Livingston would be pressured into wrestling by her husband a professional wrestler and wrestling promoter Paul Bowser.

Cora Livingston would train to wrestle in 1912 under Women’s World Champion Laura Bennett in St. Louis.

The Student would soon become the champion defeating her trainer and mentor Laura Bennett in 1913, They would wrestle 3 falls and Livingstone pinned Bennett in 12 minutes. The second part of the match was no contest. Cora then won the 3rd rounds in three minutes.
This would pioneer in the first great era for Women’s Wrestling and would first become profitable by promoter Paul Bowser and his wife Livingston.

Cora Livingston Defeated Grace Brady in Lafayette Theatre, Buffalo, NY

Defeated Lou Harris at the Standard Theatre, St. Louis MO

Defeated May Nelson, Folly Theatre, Chicago, ILL

Defeated Margaret Dunn, Academy of Music, Pittsburg, PA

Presented to Cora Livingston - Friday Oct. 28

Defeated Laura Bennett for Championship, Century Theatre, Kansas City, MO

Defeated Bothner Twins, Century Theatre, Kansas City, MO

Defeated Nellie Ludrig, Howard Theater, Boston, MA

Defeated May Kelley, Miner, S. Bowery Theatre, NY City

Defeated Hazel Parker, People's Theatre, Cincinnati, OH.

Laura Bennett would be one of Cora’ 1st big challengers but would be defeated In return bouts.

Virginia Mercereau won a elimination series against Hazel Kinnard, May Kelly and Bobbie Miller before facing Cora Livingston whom she would defeat on Thanksgiving Day of 1923.

She would however defeat Virginia Mercereau and would remain champion untill retiring in 1935.

Cora Livingston would help her husband Paul Bowser as promoter of wrestling territories aswell as helping many women become wrestler’s

She was even a great mentor to the great Mildred Burke appearing at several cards in support.

Cora Livingston died in 1957.

Cora Livingston’s Women’s World title belt from 1910 was sold on eBay for US $1,677.00 Approximately AU $2,269.59 in March 2004.

[ 03-22-2013, 01:06 AM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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phoenixkeeper
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Great post, full of wonderful information. Given the relatively small number of women wrestlers over the years, any of the long-term title holders dominated in a way that should earn all of them inclusion in the HOF: Mildred Burke, June Byers, probably even Moolah. Maybe Burke is the one woman already there (I just don't know). Certainly agree Livingston should be named.
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Ken Viewer
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There's virtually no obviously-surviving newsreel footage of Cora Livingston wrestling (by name), but several film clips exist of someone who looks like a still-photo of her and -- if it's her -- she could really go.

I have seen the footage of Mercereau referenced below and she couldn't throw a flea. Sorry I don't have a link to it, but it's out there in some archive or other:

http://wrestlingclassics.com/cgi-bin/.ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=002572

Great pieces of research put together by some famed wrestling historians, and thank you Steve Yohe, for posting it.

Ken

[ 03-27-2013, 06:57 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

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Ken Viewer
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posted 11-30-2009 01:27 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Photo of Cora Livingston wrestling in the era in which she held the undisputed ladies' championship, seen here sparing with Jane Henry in preparation for a series of Boston matches in 1922.

 -
http://wrestlingclassics.com/.ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=002979#000021

This is from 1922, from Corbis.

Links to earlier photos of her are also in that thread.

Ken

[ 03-28-2013, 04:47 AM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by phoenixkeeper:
Maybe Burke is the one woman already there (I just don't know).

Yeah.

So long from the Sunshine State!

--------------------
So long from the Sunshine State!

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Ken Viewer
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 -

Ken

[ 03-28-2013, 04:42 AM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

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Ken Viewer
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 -

Title date on belt is 1910. Image courtesy of Amy Action.

Ken

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