Dudley Riggs (American football)

Dudley Riggs (American football)
Dudley Riggs

Dudley Riggs, 1894 Mayo's Cut Plug card
Date of birth: January 28, 1875
Place of birth: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of death: May 22, 1913(1913-05-22) (aged 38)
Place of death: Baltimore, Maryland
Career information

Thomas Dudley Riggs (January 28, 1875 – May 22, 1913) was an All-American football player. He played for Princeton University and was selected as an All-American in 1895.


Early years

Riggs was the son of Lawrason Riggs, a well-known banker of Baltimore, Maryland. The family had founded and operated Riggs Bank, which financed Samuel Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1845 and lent $16 million to the United States to fund the Mexican-American War. Riggs received his elementary training in a Baltimore private school and later attended St. Paul's School, a private preparatory school in Concord, New Hampshire.[1]

All-American football player at Princeton

After completing his studies at St. Paul's, Riggs enrolled at Princeton University. He followed his older brother, Jesse Riggs, to Princeton. Jesse had been an All-American for Princeton's football team, and Dudley followed in his older brother's footsteps by joining the Princeton football team. In September 1893, a newspaper account compared Dudley to his older brother:

"Another new man that gives much promise is a brother of the great Jesse Riggs, '92. This one's name is Dudley and he weighs 185 pounds -- not bad to begin with. It is said he is another Jesse, built like him, a football fighter of his spirit and just as tricky as the big guard ..."[2]

By 1895, Riggs weighed 211 pounds and was 6-feet, 1-inch in height. He played center for Princeton's varsity football team in 1894 and left guard in 1895.[3] At the end of the 1895 season, Riggs was selected as an All-American. He graduated from Princeton with a Bachelor of Sciences degree as part of the class of 1897.

Later years

After graduating from Princeton, Riggs married Miss Laura Lanman, of Hartford, Connecticut, and the couple traveled to Scotland for their honeymoon.[1] Riggs and his wife had three children, T. Dudley Riggs, Jr., Elizabeth Riggs and Mary Lawrason Riggs.[4]

He was active in Baltimore's clubs. He was a member of the Baltimore and Pimlico Country Clubs the Baltimore Hunt Club, and the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club. He was also active in the Masonic organization,[1] and the president of the Paint and Powder Club.[5] Riggs was a friend of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the two were observed by reporters traveling to Philadelphia in 1907 in a new 60–65 horsepower (48 kW) Isotta-Fraschini limousine.[6]

Riggs was also a breeder of horses, beagles and other hunting dogs. His beagle, Nordley Ben, was entered in contests throughout the country.[7][8] Riggs was also an officer of the National Beagle Club of America.[9]

Riggs and his family lived for many years on a 150-acre (0.61 km2) estate in Stevenson, Maryland in Green Spring Valley. The estate included a large home, stables, and several outbuildings. In 1907, Riggs sold his Maryland estate for $50,000 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut to engage in business.[1] Three years later, in 1910, Riggs purchased several acres in the Brooklandwood section of Green Spring Valley.[10]

Riggs died in 1913 at Baltimore, Maryland, aged 38. He died of pemphigus, a disease usually found in cattle and commonly known as "foot and mouth disease."[4] Riggs was a horse breeder and was believed to have contracted the disease in the stables of his country home in the Green Springs Valley.[11] Riggs was survived by his wife and children.

See also

  • 1895 College Football All-America Team


  1. ^ a b c d "In Realty And Building Field: Nordley Farm, Green Spring Valley, Sold; T. Dudley Riggs Sells Handsome Property to W. Irvine Cross". Baltimore American. 1907-01-15. 
  2. ^ "A Strong Centre for Princeton: Bright Outlook for a Winning Football Team at Old Nassau This Fall". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1893-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Yale is Triumphant: Wins Its Eleventh Football Game from Princeton; Score of 20 to 10". Daily Inter Ocean. 1895-11-24. 
  4. ^ a b "T. Dudley Riggs Dead: Well-Known Baltimore Clubman Victim of Rare Disease". The Washington Post. 1913-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Seats For "1492" Sold At Auction: Society Attends Sale At Hotel Belvedere; Mr. T. Dudley Riggs, Ex-President of the Paint Powder Club, Acts as Auctioneer". Baltimore American. 1911-04-02. 
  6. ^ "News and Gossip About the Automobiles Along Gasoline Row". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1907-05-12. 
  7. ^ "Beagle Trial Results: Mr. T. Dudley Riggs' Dogs Failed to Win in Events of New England Club". Baltimore American. 1906-11-14. 
  8. ^ "Beagle Trials Open: Dudley Riggs, of This City, Represented in National Events". Baltimore American. 1909-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Beagle Club Officers T. Dudley Riggs, of Baltimore, as Chosen Third Vice President". Baltimore American. 1910-11-16. 
  10. ^ "untitled". Baltimore American. 1910-10-21. 
  11. ^ . Indianapolis Star. 1913-05-23. 

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