"Soldier" Jacob Bartfield
Tale Of The Tape
Born: Feb 15, 1892
Place: Budapest, Hungary
Alias: Jacob Bartfeldt
Weight: 147 lbs.
Date of Death: Oct 2, 1970
Height: 5' 8 1/2"
Manager: Jack Kearns
and Dan McKetrick
Soldier Bartfield fought many of the great Hall of Famers
during his time such as Jack Britton, Ted "Kid Lewis, Harry Greb, Benny
Leonard, Mike Gibbons and Mickey Walker.
Bartfield fought for the world middleweight championship
title 5 times. He fought Al McCoy 3 times for the title-7/9/14, 8/6/14,
10/23/15. All 3 were 10 round newspaper decisions. Soldier actually won
the fight on 10/23/15 but in the no decision era the only way a champion
could lose his crown was if he got knocked out.
Soldier fought for the title again on 9/19/19 against
Mike O'Dowd. The last attempt was on 7/1/20 against Johnny Wilson. None
of the attempts were successful.
What makes his career record so impressive
is the fact that he fought all these greats during their primes, and fought
them each multiple times.
Soldier Bartfield's cousin, Louis (Lou) Bartfield, wrote
the following about Jake in an email to me:
"There was a letter from Soldier about how he'd like
to find members of his family in Europe. He went to Europe to bring his
mother back, and came across my mother, daughter of Jonah Bardfeld. He brought
back his mother, then sent for my mother in hopes of having her become his
wife. She did not know his profession while she stayed in New York with
his brother, until one night she was taken to Madison Square Garden, and
learned to her horror what his profession was and refused to marry him.
When I played high school football I had to lie about it to my mother. She
married another man and moved to Chicago with him where I was born. When
I was about thirteen we spent a year in New York and I met "Uncle Jake",
who was known to all the cabbies in New York. He was a little punchy after
more than 200 bouts, but showed me how to throw a hook. "
Louis went on to write in another email, "He (Jake)
died in Chicago's skid row. Jake Bartfield's brother, Hymie, used to come
out to see us often, but I heard anything suspicious. I'm very proud of
the man I believe to have been my father and would love to get in touch
with some Bartfield relatives."
Louis went on to say, "He learned the fight game late
in life, and did not have the style of Benny Leonard, who his brother told
me he fought five times, but apparently got his back up in a good scrap.
I visited him in New York where I spent a year and he visited my mother
frequently; I was thirteen at the time and I honestly think he was a little
punchy because he would rough house with me, and my mother had to stop him
because he was not gentle. I believe he was a wonderful man"
Louis Bartfield works in real estate in California (Bartfieldmotelgroup.com)
Lou would like to get in touch with any other family members
out there. He can be found in the Santa Cruz phone book.
Here is a newspaper article from the Pittsburgh Post. December 26, 1914.
SOLDIER BARTFIELD SORROW STRICKEN
PUGILIST WOULD GLADLY GIVE SAVINGS TO RESCUE LOVED ONES FROM WAR ZONE.
"Here's your money, Soldier- don't spend it all in one place,"
said a New York fight promoter, as he handed Soldier Bartfield his money
for thrashing "Champ" Al McCoy in that city last Tuesday night.
Bartfield was unlacing one of his fighting shoes as the promoter came
in. He took the money and a sad little smile played about his features.
"I'm afraid I'd have to go along way to spend this where I'd like
to spend it." began Bartfield. "I've got this and $4,000 more
to spend on those I love if I only knew about them.
'I came from Lanczyn, Austria. My folks own a big estate there. At the
very begining of the war the Russians moved into that section. I got one
letter from my brother. He was a student in the Royal College there. He
told me that the school had been turned into a hospital and that our people
had blown up the big salt center near us to keep it out of the hands of
"My brother was ordered into the government railroad service. God
only knows if he is alive or dead, for no word has come since from any of
my people. They seized all my fathers horses and cattle besides his lands.
I've appealed to the Austrian consul and have told him that my little pile
is ready to bring my folks here if he can locate them.
"Half the time when I'm fighting I don't realize what I'm about.
It isn't until I get a good belt on the jaw that I come out of it. I want
to find them and if I do I'll spend this and the other $4,000 on a little
'I'm an Amrican citizen. I came to this country when I was 16. I'm 22
now. I was a good shot and I applied at army headquarters. I told them I
was 18 and I got by. I became attached to the sharp-shooting squad. Then
I served as a first-class gunner in the coast artillary. I never heard of
a boxing glove until then. I kept at boxing in the service. I didn't forget
to be a soldier either. I was decorated while in active service in Cuba.
"I'd give the $4,000 and these bills, too, for just a letter telling
me that they are alive and--' Then the soldier bent down and fumbled mysteriously
with the laces on his other fighting shoe.
CLICK HERE FOR FIGHT RECORD
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