Cahokia Downs: Stelles Vivid and Exciting Career Recalled; Former Governor Realizes Highest Ambition; Made Whole-Hearted Entrance Into Breeding, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-09


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Cahokia Downs I By Dick Kumble Stelles Vivid and Exciting Career Recalled Former Governor Realizes Highest Ambition Made WholeHearted Entrance Into Breeding BreedingCAHOKIA CAHOKIA DOWNS East St Louis 111 May 8 This shall be a brief sketch of the vivid and exciting career of John Stelle the presidentelect of this race course anc of the great State of Illinois These are inspiring achievements his and certainly good cause for a motion picture depicting his en tire life to date Only John Stellev is far frorp what our economy re ¬ fers to as retirement Retrospec ¬ tively let us say it has never been considered Each evening he sits in the magnificent dining room terrace in the Cahokia Downs clubhouse and nersonally wel ¬ comes all of his old and newer friends to the race track that he built of a longstanding ambition Concerning the word ambition it has been synonymous with Stelle for many decades since his birth in the town of McLeansboro 111 Small towns did not give Americans uninteresting dreams even prior to television televisionHe He attended Western Military Academy and left school to play professional baseball at the age of 18 He was a catcher was in the Southern Illinois and Kitty leagues went to Henderson Ky and later joined Decatur in the Threerl circuit He played last at Frankfort in the Blue Grass league and then decided to extend his education He learned law under the old method which consisted of studying with an attorney in practice Interesting enough he interned for the man who had obtained his legal background from John Stelles father a former judge He went to the law school at Washington University in St Louis and opened his own practice jn 1914 He married the former Wilma Wiseheart of Shawneetown 111 and joined the army during World War I being dispatched to Officers Training Camp CampCombat Combat Officer in World War II He graduated an infantry lieutenant and com ¬ manded a machine gun outfit Company B of the 115th Battalion which was under the command of the 30th Division in the British sectors of France known as Bellincourt Ypres and Mt Kemmel His outfit broke the famed Hindenburg Line and John Stelle was dis ¬ charged a captain after the peace peaceReturning Returning to public life he entered the world of commerce and purchased onethird of a McLeansboro creamery taking over the active management of same He later built ice cream ice and frozen food locker plants to multiply his interests Stelle became presi ¬ dent of the chamber of commerce and was asked by Judge Karns of East St Louis to help manage his campaign for congress The judge also wanted Stelle to run for state attorney but he declined and helped his friend W W Daley gain that office He began active participation in each election in the campaigns of men who set a remarkable record for reaching office officeNumbered Numbered among the campaigns he managed were George Brennan for senator Anton Cermak George Lukas for senator Al Smiths presidential campaign in Stelles district Edward J Barrett for state treasurer James Hamilton Lewis for senator and William Diet ¬ rich for congressmanatlarge Barrett after being elected appointed Stelle as assistant state treasurer In 1932 Stelle ran Judge Homers downstate campaign for governor and that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt for president of the nation Barrett was elected auditor of public accounts and immediately appointed Stelle IMS assistant In 1934 Stelle ran unopposed for state treas ¬ urer and was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1936 1936Longtime Longtime Association With Racing RacingGovernor Governor Horner took sick in November 1938 and went to Florida on the advice of his physicians Stelle became governor and held the office until January 1941 Previously he participated in the purchase of the Arketex Ceramic Corp and took over management after leaving public office Today his son 41yearold John A Stelle runs that organization Stelles brother inlaw C C Wright had a thoroughbred farm and raced horses with much success in the early part of the 20th Century whining the 1904 Oaklawn Derby with Omer J John Stelle helped pass the parimutuel bill that the late Colonel Matt Winn negotiated in the legislature Cahokia Downs is the first and only race track in which Stelle is active The grandfather of six his younger son Russell is president of the Glaze Tile Sales Corp plus the McLeansboro Creamery plans continual improvement of this plant and hopes to expand the parking facilities facilitiesGeneral General manager George Edward Day and the other three members of the family that help operate this modern plant Dan McGlynn an East St Louis attor ¬ ney Andrew Ryan ot Springfield and Charles Rook of Alton are constantly looking for any innovation that would increase the comfort of the public They have already modeled the dining room terrace after the examples at Tropical Santa Anita and Garden State The Turf Club is similar to Gulfstream and that of the Chicago and eastern tracks Stelle has wholeheartedly entered the breeding business He races a fine string here plus in Chicago ChicagoContinued Continued en Pig ThirtyTwo CAHOKIA DPWNS DPWNSBy By DICK KUaiBLE Continued from Page Seven Sevenand and campaigns in Florida where he has a home on Star Island in Miami Beach His large farm is operated in conjunction with longtime friends Col Albert G Foote TJ S Army retired Frank Bonan state attorney from Hamilton County John B Lockwood leading druggist Hillard Tyler prominent farmer and show horse enthu ¬ siast TJ Prendergast PrendergastIt It is known as the Egyptian Stallion Sta ¬ tion and they plan to increase the total of broodmares from 25 to 75 shortly They have tentative plans for the Egyptian sales dedicated to Illinoisbred yearlings They own a halfmile track where they plan to run a fair under the lights later this sum ¬ mer Stelles stock which races in this area is handled by young Noble Atchison a 30yearold Benton 111 veteran of the Guam campaign where he served with the Seabees Atchison had formerly worked for Clyde Troutt who is state steward here and Eugene Constantin Jr Their finest local stakes hope is Egyptian 9ueen who reversed a close defeat by Herb S in this years Inaugural and finished third to the classy Ezgo in last years iich St Louis Derby One need only to speak with John Stelle to learn definitions of ambition and ac ¬ complishment that Webster failed to touch oh in his latest publication Ask anyone this is the man

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