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First Important Match
Meeting Farmer Burns
Off to Alaska
His Two Greatest Foes
Frank Gotch, Superstar
In Retirement
At His Peak
Meeting Top Celebreties
His Death
His Fame Endured
Others' Words on Gotch
The Controversy
Frank's Legacy

Meeting Farmer Burns

The meeting which would change Frank's life took place in Fort Dodge, about 20 miles south of Humboldt, on December 18, 1899...just 13 days before the dawn of a new century. Frank sat in the audience with a group of friends while Burns and another wrestler took on some local men in short matches. And then Frank challenged Burns to a match. Burns weighed just 165 pounds and was regarded as the most scientific wrestler of his era, a master of holds. He had traveled the Midwest wrestling circuit and was even labeled "world champion" for a spell. Burns was offering $25 to anyone who could last fifteen minutes without getting pinned. Gotch gave him all he could handle, but the Farmer prevailed after eleven minutes of hard wrestling. The Farmer then addressed the audience, and told them, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have never met an amateur wrestler the like of this fellow in my life. If he will go with me, I will make him champion of America in a few months." (Gotch: World's Champion Wrestler, George Robbins, 1913, page 42)