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From: Paul Odle <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Memories 'Round The Mill
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 17:00:03 -0700 (PDT)


Workouts Around The Mill

Back in the 1920¡¯s to 1950¡¯s in my little hometown around the Mill that outsiders call Yukon, Oklahoma and we called home we never heard of a Gym filled with exercise equipment like they have today. No one could have afforded it and we had no need for it. We walked everywhere because most folks did not own a car. We got our work out while swinging a weed cutter, stacking 75 pound hay bales on a flat bed wagon to haul to the barn where you lifted those bales up high and threw them into the hay loft where someone else was getting his workout stacking them in the hay loft. That will build your muscle fast. That¡¯s the one big reason farm boys make such good athletes. Before most country folks had tractors to pull a plow and they had to stand behind a team of Mules or horses to plow their fields.

I do not think many people in Yukon had ever heard of most sports my Grandmother told me until after Mr. Frank Ball, (Dick Balls Father) went away to Prep School where he played football and came home in about the year of 1917 and by then Yukon had a High School. If I remember right Mr. Ball introduced football to Yukon High School and taught the other boys to play the game. I do not remember if my Grandma ever told me who the first coach was. I known after Coach Meyers came here he was the Coach that had the winning teams. My grandmothers neighbor John Blair the Railroad man had a son named Lester Blair that played on the first Yukon Football Team with Frank Ball. I remember sitting in the front porch swing with Lester and Goldie Blair when Lester told me the team even had uniforms back in those days. Lester Blair said the team went to every business in town and was able to raise almost a $100, which was a lot of money in 1917-1918. John Kroutil put in enough money to
make an even $100. Every team member was able to have a regular Football shirt & pants. They played against teams in Hinton, El Reno, Edmond, Oklahoma City, Concho, and Watonga & Kingfisher. Boys and girls in those days were use to hard heavy work and when the great Depression came in 1929 they pulled together after all most every one cut their teeth on hard times. Everyone was in the same Boat!

My father Jake Odle never played football, but he was a big football fan. My dad had to quit school after the 8th grade because his father was dead and he had to work at Bass Grocery store to help support the family. One of my dad¡¯s crony¡¯s was Carl Carmichael whose son Sonny Carmichael played Right Tackle for the Yukon Millers Football Team in 1949. My father wanted me to play football and be like Sonny Carmichael. I never learned to play football other than back yard football with some of my friends like Earl Ed Novak. I always had to work if I wanted to have nice clothes and any spending money. Since I really did not know how to play very well. I didn¡¯t have the incentive to want to play. That year Dick Ball played Quarterback.

John Kroutil owned the Yukon Flour Mill and Progress Brewery in Oklahoma City. The Yukon Schools Football team got its name from the Mills back in 1917 when John Helped the Team get its first Uniforms. Mr. John Kroutil did many good things for Yukon and its people. He provided jobs for a large percent of the early town families. When there was no electricity in the country in Oklahoma. John Kroutil ran electricity out to Czech Hall.

The boys in my class that played Football for the Yukon Millers in 1949 were Albert Horn, Jr., Warren Selement, Dean Reed, and Billy Joe Florence.

Good things were happening in Yukon in 1917 and good were happening in 1949 as they are happening in Yukon in 2007. God bless America, God bless Yukon, God bless our men and women in Uniform and God bless our veterans.
By Paul L. Odle, Sr.
Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center
P.O. Box 849
Lawton, Oklahoma 73502
1-580-354-3287
1-580-512-4767



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