Fast Mule Race, July 4 1925

A 1871 map of the Fair Grounds in Burlington Wisconsin

Aside from ancestors, I’ve never heard of anyone with exactly the same name as me.

Thanks to the Hancock-Henderson Quill, a US local newspaper first registered in 1879, I’ve now found another. Here’s the entry from the Stronghurst Graphic: July 2, 1925

ALL SET FOR THE BIG PICNIC: Representatives of both the Henderson County and Des Moines County Farm Bureaus are busy putting the final touches on the big picnic to be held July 4th at the Burlington Fair Grounds.  A fine lot of prizes has been arranged for the drawing contest. Numbers covering the drawing were mailed to all members in both counties…A big picnic dinner at noon will be one of the most enjoyable features of the day while the Oakville Ladies’ Band will fill in the musical part of the program.  The address by W. F. Schilling, Pres. Twin City Milk Producers Association of St. Paul, Minn. promises to be a real worthwhile occasion…Following this, the balance of the afternoon will be devoted to sports and baseball.  A feature will be the fast mule race, the mules being ridden by Chas. Bond, Secretary of the Greater Burlington Association; Rex Wickham, County Agent in Des Moines County; and Ernest Walker, Farm Advisor of Henderson County…

No further information is available at the moment so I’ve yet to find out who was the winner of the ‘fast mule race’ but one can only hope the result was favourable.

Pierce Norton was only 16 at the time of the Great American Horse Race. (Courtesy of Curt Lewis)
Pierce Norton was only 16 at the time of the Great American Horse Race. (Courtesy of Curt Lewis)

You can find out more about Mule Racing at

Mules are not always the poor relation of horses when it comes to racing. In 1976 a mule won the “Great American Horse Race”, a 3,500 miles marathon starting in New York and then following the Pony Express route to California, beating Icelandic ponies and Arabians. The mule’s name was Leroy.

Wickham is still a name in the area, as this recent article mentions the family, taking part in something called Horse Barrel Racing (sadly not as peculiar as it sounds – see NBHA for details).