Legends of the 715: A Heisman Trophy Connection

For this next “Legend of the 715”, we’re going to the northern part of our area to our friends in Rhinelander.

If you follow sports and/or college football, you know what the Heisman Trophy is. It’s awarded every year by the Heisman Trophy Trust to the best college football player from that season.

The award was created in 1935 by the Downtown Athletic Club and it’s purpose was to award the most valuable college football player on the eastern side of the the Mississippi. The first winner of this award was Jay Berwanger, who was a halfback from the University of Chicago.

The Club’s athletic director was a man named John Heisman, who was involved in college football as a player, coach, and athletic director during his lifetime. After his death in 1936, the award was named after him and would include players from west of the Mississippi. So essentially, the rest of the country.

So, what’s the connection to the 715 or more specifically, Rhinelander?

John Heisman is buried there.

The story goes that after his passing in 1936, his wife, Edith Heisman, went to move in with her sister who was living in Rhinelander. Edith decided to bury him in her plot at Forest Home Cemetery.

That’s the connection.

I bet you didn’t know one of the most popular and significant people in college football history is currently laid to rest in the 715.

Don’t worry. Many people don’t. But now you do!

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