Today is a good day to remember another impressive Michigan Wolverine named Henry Killilea. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Henry James Killilea was born on this day in Poygan, Wisconsin in 1863. He came to Ann Arbor to advance his education and earn a law degree from The University of Michigan.
Henry Killilea’s name first showed up on a Michigan Football Roster in 1883. The Bentley Historical Library lists him as a “Forward” on the 1883 team that finished with a final record of 2 wins and 3 losses. He is pictured with the letter winners of that season, but he is not credited with one in the Michigan Athletic Department records.
Killilea came back in 1884 and played center in his second season. Michigan, under first year captain, Horace Prettyman, finished the season with a perfect record of 2-0-0. Killilea is listed as a letter winner on the 1884 team.
Henry Killilea is connected to a few Michigan football “firsts.” Here are some of the best:
Yes, today is a good day to remember a true Wolverine Pigskin Pioneer. Henry Killilea went on to graduate from Michigan’s Law School in 1885. He returned to Wisconsin to establish a successful law practice. Killilea went on to become a pioneer in major league baseball. He is credited by some to be the “Father of the American League.” So, the one hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of his birth is a great day to celebrate Henry James Killilea and appreciate his pioneering contributions to Michigan Football. May Henry Killilea always rest in peace. Go Blue!
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