Grand Rapids Mich,Aug 31.A telegram received by Dr.J.D.Peters,father in law of Frank Ives,the champion billiard player,announces the latter’s death,which occured at Progresso,Mexico.Consumption was the cause of death.Ives’s remains will be brought to Plainwell,Mich.
Frank C.Ives was familiary known as the”Napoleon of billiards”.He was so called because of the extraordinary dash and brilliancy of his play,rather than for the decisiveness of his victories.For some years was the champion of the billiard world,having defeated his great rival Schaefer,after a long struggle for the supremacy.
Ives was born at Plainwell,Michigan,October 5,1866.It is said that from his early boyhood he was remarkable for his skill at playing pool and billiards and by the time he was fifteen he was sought eagerly by sporting men who wanted him to act as an “attraction”for their resorts.Despite this early development of billiard skill,young Ives’s first predilection was for baseball and he played with the team of Petoskey Mich,as catcher.It was while he was engaged that he met his first famous rival in a game of billiards.
Catton,the Chicago billiardist,had come out to Petoskey(left:Ives-Roberts) to pick up money from men who thought they could play the game and by chance run across young Ives.In two days Ives had won all of Catton’s money,and he had to telegraph to friends in Chicago to send him funds to get home!!This story so interested Schaefer that he saw Ives and engaged him to play billiards the following winter at his billiard room in Chicago.
His first serious match play was a handicap with Schaefer and Slosson,in wich Ives was to make 600 to 800 of the others.Schaefer won the match with Ives second and Slosson third.His next conspicuous performance was in a match with Eugene Carter at Milwaukee in which he equaled the world record then held by Vignaux with 75 average.These achievenents placed Ives among the top players in the world and Schaefer offered to back him(as a sponsor)against Slosson.Slosson refused the challenge,saying that to accept it would cost him his prestige as Ives was not in his class.Ives defeated Schaefer in their first match .Slosson had to challenge the winner and found that he had to meet Ives.He was defeated worst than Shaefer.From this time Ives was practically the champion of the world,being able when in good form to defeat any opponent that dared to face him.
The versatility of his play was finely shown when he attemptd to wrest from Roberts the English player the championship in what is known as “English billiard”(carom game in snooker table).Roberts was easily the best player in the world at this peculiar form of the game.Ives had an English table set up in Chicago and set himself practicing.When he had perfected his game he went to England to play with Roberts.The game was 5000 point,1000 a night.The first two nights the Englisman made his 2000 and Ives a few hundred.The third night Ives put the two object balls in to a pocket with a “jam”and quietly clicked 3000 points and won the game.
In 1896 Ives played in a tournament in Boston and won first prize.In a tournament with Schaefer,Daly,Slosson and Sutton he came out well although Slosson won first place.In the tournament in Chicago in January 1898,Ives defeated Schaefer and became again the champion of the world.He returned the emblem to the donors and virtually retired from the field of billiards.His health had been declining for some time and his physicians ordered him to the south for a change of climate in the hope that a stay in the tropics would aid him in recovering from consumption.He went to Mexico.When he left this city he said to his friends that he never expected to return.
A telegram announcing the death of Frank C.Ives was received at the billiard room of the young”Napoleon”.Was addressed to William Burke,the manager of Ives room.After reading the telegram Mr.Burke came out in to the centre of the big hall and read it aloud to those present.There were expressions of sorrow on all sides at the death of the popular champion.
New York Times,September 1,1899.
After a match Morningstar-Cocran in 1919 an enthusiast approached Morningstar and asked Ora”Do any of the players of the present day outclass Frank Ives?”Morningstar eyed his questioner keenly for a flecting second and then replied:“Ives is not outclassed and never will be”