Gibbons-Dempsey boxing match was a financial disaster
The Beardstown Ladies stock club did a lot to put Beardstown on the map with their books and national television appearances. But, just imagine the publicity we would have had for Beardstown, if back in the 1940’s an organization like the Jaycees or the American Legion would have sent a letter to boxer Joe Louis’ manager offering $1,500,000 if Joe would have his next championship bout in Beardstown. That is double the amount he ever took in. It wouldn’t matter if it happened or not, the story would have been in all of the papers and on all of the television stations.
Our friend Lois lives here where we are living, she and Frank have an apartment down on the second floor. Lois’s parents lived in Shelby, Montana, population under 2,000, in 1923, when Lois was a baby. Lois’ Dad saved the clippings, pictures and even a small book about the unusual happenings in Shelby that year, and they were passed on to Lois.
A young man by the name of Jim Johnson, age 23, had just opened a real estate office. Jim’s father was rather wealthy, owning a large ranch, raising a lot of sheep and a herd of cattle. He was Shelby’s first mayor and owned the hotel and other real estate in the town. The year before, oil was discovered just a few miles out of town, and that brought prospectors, contractors, oil riggers, drillers, geologist and other oil people to town. There was a need for homes and office space for the newcomers and so the town was booming with excitement.