Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Powel Crosley, Jr. Muzzle-Loading Rifle Championship

As anyone who knew Powel Crosley, Jr. or has read CROSLEY: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed the Nation knows, Crosley was really into hunting and fishing, pasttimes he'd pursued since childhood. As an adult he particularly enjoyed quail hunting and deep sea fishing.

Crosley was also interested in the "old-time" outdoorsmen of the 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular their muzzle-loading rifles, an interest sparked by his one-time Indiana hunting companion and star of WLW's "R.F.D. Hour" in the 1930s, Maurice "Boss" Johnston. Boss Johnston's radio show consisted of guest country music performers and Boss himself talking about farming and woodcraft, and telling tales passed down from his older relatives.

On one Saturday evening program in 1933, Boss got to talking about muzzle-loading rifles, and how it might be nice to have a shooting match. Within two days more than 100 letters came in to WLW asking when and where the shoot was to be held. Johnston told Powel Crosley, Jr. about this, and Crosley offered to fund a trophy (shown above) and donate prizes for such a competition. The Crosley match continues to be shot at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA) annual meet in Southeastern Indiana. More details are of course in CROSLEY: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed the Nation.
Copyright © 2007, Michael A. Banks

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