Beaton Squires

Beaton Squires
Harvard Crimson
Position Tackle
Major Law
Career history
College Harvard (1905)
Personal information
Date of birth (1881-12-16)December 16, 1881
Place of birth Newfoundland
Career highlights and awards
  • All-American (1905)

Beaton Hall Squires, LL.B, BA (December 16, 1881 - ?) was an All-American football player and a noted Canadian lawyer. Born in rural Newfoundland, Squires became a star football player at Harvard and was selected by Walter Camp as his first-team All-American at the right guard position in 1905. Squires received his law degree from Harvard and later became one of the leading solicitors in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.


Born in Newfoundland, Squires attended the public school in Newfoundland before enrolling at Harvard University. He came to Harvard on a fellowship given by the Canadian government.[1] Squires received both BA and LL.B degrees from Harvard.[2]

All-American football player

He played guard and tackle for the Harvard football team from 1903-1905. Harvard coach Bill Reid kept a diary of the 1905 season that was published as a book in 1994. Reid wrote that Squires was a big man who had worked his way through college working odd jobs. Reid considered Squires "a thoroughly respectable and decent fellow, although he is perhaps a little thick headed."[3] Reid wrote that Squires had a job in 1904 as a conductor on Boston's electric railway. When a drunk passenger refused to pay his fare, Squires grabbed him by the nape of the neck and the trousers and threw him to the ground. A lawsuit filed by the man was dismissed, but Squires was dismissed by the company with the comment, "You are too strong for us; come back next year."[3]

Squires became a star as a senior in 1905 and was selected as a consensus All-American at the end of the season.[4][5] In the years prior to the establishment of professional football as a major sport, selection as one of the eleven players on the All-American team marked the highest level of accomplishment in the sport. Squires won the All-American honor despite having broken his thumb in a game against Bates College.[6] As a senior in 1905, Squires was also selected as the captain of the Harvard football team, the first time a citizen of a country other than the United States received the honor. At the time, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

"Beaton H. Squires, Harvard's giant guard may be elected captain of the football eleven next year. It will be the first time that a man who is not a citizen of the United States will lead a Harvard football squad."[7]

On the eve of his election as Harvard's captain, a New York newspaper noted that, despite growing up in rural Newfoundland and not being a society man, his skill and leadership on the field supported his candidacy:

"Born and reared in the country, the big fellow was proof against every accident. No matter how hard he was used he never seemed to mind it in the least, and fairly grew fat on the same diet which left others sprawling behind him on the ground. The reason undoubtedly was that the other men were nearly all city boys. Squires' steady and consistent work makes him a leading candidate for the captaincy next year, despite the fact that he is in no sense of the word a society man.[8]

In its coverage of the 1905 Harvard-Yale game, the Philadelphia Inquirer compared the "sturdy Squires" to a steam shovel smashing into the Yale line.[9]

Editorial opposing the elimination of college football

During the 1905 season, while Squires was captain of the Harvard team, a national debate erupted over the violent nature of the sport of football. Harvard's president, Charles William Eliot, proposed eliminating the sport from college campuses,[10][11] and even President Theodore Roosevelt, a Harvard alumnus, weighed in on the debate.[12] In an editorial published in The Boston Journal, Squires wrote in support of the sport. Squires argued: "Let football alone. It is a grand game, a game which requires all the best qualities a man should possess, strength, endurance, quick perception, and self-control."[13] Squires supported rule changes to reduce the likelihood of serious injury, including a 20-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, creation of a body of officials to more clearly define unnecessary roughness, use of two umpires to more carefully watch for unnecessary roughness, a ban on tackling below the knees, and creation of a five-yard safe zone for a player catching the ball.[13] However, Squires opposed proposals to more dramatically alter the rules of the game, noting, "You cannot make a parlor game out of football."[13]

Legal practice

After receiving his law degree, Squires practiced as a lawyer in Boston from 1908-1912.[2] He moved to Saskatoon in 1913 where he became one of the leading lawyers in Saskatchewan. In 1923, Squires and Andrew Sibbald formed a partnership that became the law firm of Squires & Sibbald.[2]

Football coach and family

In addition to his legal practice, Squires served as head football coach for the University of Saskatoon Huskies in 1919.[14]

Squires married Edith Louise Gaffield, a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1913.


  1. "Football Notes". Springfield Daily Republican. 1904-12-02.
  2. 1 2 3 John Hawkes (Legislative librarian) (1924). The Story of Saskatchewan and Her People, vol. 3, pp, 1879-1880. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.
  3. 1 2 Bill Reid (edited by Ronald Austin Smith (1994). Big-time football at Harvard, 1905, pp. 87-88. Univ. of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02047-2.
  4. "Walter Camp Football Foundation". Archived from the original on 2009-05-04.
  5. Consensus All-American designations based on the NCAA guide to football award winners Archived July 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "Hurley Back On Harvard Squad". The Evening Times (Pawtucket). 1905-10-31.
  7. "Squires for Captain". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1904-12-01.
  8. "Native of Newfoundland May Lead Harvard Team: Squires May Be Chosen Captain at Tonight's Election". The Post-Standard (New York). 1904-12-02.
  9. "Story of the Game. Course of the Ball from Start to Finish of the Contest". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1905-11-26.
  10. Craig Lambert and John T. Bethell (Sep–Oct 2003). "First and 100". Harvard Magazine.
  11. Ronald A. Smith (Winter 1981). "Harvard and Columbia and a Reconsideration of the 1905-06 Football Crisis" (PDF). Journal of Sports History.
  12. "Barring Football from the Universities". Dallas Morning News. 1905-12-01.
  13. 1 2 3 ""Let Football Alone!" Squires: Harvard Tackle Says Unnecessary Roughness Is Point To Be Controlled". The Boston Journal. 1905-12-14.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.