Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mantell, Alfred "Dutch" (25 Jul 1881 - 31 Jan 1941) -- Wrestler

Just looking at his picture, I would not have wanted to mess with Alfred "Dutch" Mantell (25 Jul 1881 - 31 Jan 1941).

Dutch Mantell, the original Dutch Mantell, was a rough-and-tough, down-and-dirty wrestler, who was considered a villain of the ring because he would do almost anything to win, including punching, kicking, and gouging. Dory Funk Sr. described him as "the type of wrestler who would storm into the ring smoking a cigar and as soon as the bell would ring, he would shove the cigar into the eye of his opponent."

Cal Farley, who was not only a minor league baseball player but also a wrestler, first met Dutch Mantell in El Paso in 1921, when Dutch climbed into the ring uninvited to challenge Mr. Farley after Cal had just beaten his opponent. In his autobiography, "Two Thousand Sons," Cal Farley described the two times he met Dutch Mantell in the ring as follows:
Both ended in ugly brawls, with a cracked skull for the Dutchman and enough free-flowing blood from the pair of us to establish the sport solidly in the city's favor. After the second meeting, we agreed it was better to be friends.
Another interesting thing about Dutch Mantell is that he was once one of silent film's "Keystone Cops."

In 1925 Dutch Mantell made Amarillo his home. He was a regular guest on Cal Farley's radio show, and he helped Mr. Farley with the Maverick Club and later with Boy's Ranch.

Dutch Mantell died of cancer in 1941. In his obituary, the Associated Press wrote the following:
"He was a pal of underprivileged kids everywhere and a favorite of fans who watched him maul opponents."

The ad below was printed in the 14 Aug 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe, in which Dutch Mantell congratulated the citizens of Amarillo on the city's Golden Anniversary.

The following are links to two histories of Dutch Mantell:

Texas State Historical Association's History of Dutch Mantell

"Bartee Haile: Villain in the ring was a friend to street urchins"

Ad clipped from the 14 Aug 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe

Undated photo of Dutch Mantell


1 comment:

  1. Searched almost everywhere for a picture of Dutch Mantell. It is unfortunate there is a "Dutch Mantell" in today's world not living up to the legacy Dutch left behind. We are highlighting Dutch in our Twilight Tour at Llano Cemetery. Thank you for having your blog!