The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 0949
Michigan Military Academy Years
ERB Gridiron Memories
Edgar Rice Burroughs was captain and quarterback of the the Michigan Military Academy football team in 1893 and 1894, and possibly in 1896, when he took a position with academy as a geology instructor and Assistant Commandant. Under Ed's leadership the team rose to the top of Northeast Independent Conference. Later, in an unpublished autobiography, he wrote:

"We had an unusually good prep school team, cleaning up everything in our class and a number of teams that were out of our class. About the only teams that could beat us were such teams as Notre Dame and the University of Michigan, and at that we once held to a tie score the University of Michigan team. . .

"Today that achievement of the University of Michigan team might not seem like much, but in those days it was a national football upset of the first magnitude. . .  one of the results was that I was offered flattering inducements to come to Michigan after I graduated from Orchard Lake. The fact that two of my older brothers were graduates of Yale kept me from accepting, with the result that I never went to any college."

Ed Burroughs (with mustache) ~ A.T. Conners (with football).Ed Burroughs
Ed Burroughs: front row, holding football.Ed Burroughs.A.T. Conner

Letter and Photos from the grandson of
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Friend and Team Mate:
Atherton Thomas Conner

My grandfather, Atherton Thomas Conner, attended Michigan Military Academy and was a classmate of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  In fact, I'm in possession of a personal letter Mr. Burroughs wrote to my grandfather recalling friends from "the old bunch in Nebraska".  I don't understand that reference, as I have been unable to relate Mr. Burroughs to Nebraska, and though my grandfather did live in Nebraska (at the date of the letter, 1921), he was, at the time of his attendance at MMA, from Chicago.

Editor's Note: Herbert (Bert) T. Weston, Ed's lifelong friend, was from Beatrice (bee-AT-riss), Nebraska (original home of Beatrice Foods). Burroughs and Weston, and possibly others from Nebraska, were on the MMA football team that ERB quarterbacked. Weston and Burroughs corresponded regularly until Ed's death in 1950. In a nod to Weston, Ed named Beatrice, Nebraska (Weston's hometown) as the birthplace of two of his main characters in the books THE MAD KING and THE ETERNAL LOVER: Barney Custer in the first and his sister, Victoria, in the second.

Other than this letter, I have no information as to Mr. Burroughs' relationship with my grandfather.  A.T. (Pops) Conner died in 1948 and I don't recall any subsequent family lore in this regard. I came across the letter in one of several boxes of family scrapbooks etc. I've inherited, and because the letter WAS kept, obviously someone recognized Burroughs as a personality.

I am sending a photo of my grandfather in an MMA football uniform with writing on the reverse ...."(P)layed end at Orchard ???? (189)3, 1894, 1895" I assume he and Burroughs were reasonably close.  Also included are three other photos of MMA cadets, but none indicate that Burroughs is or is not depicted.  I have also included the copies of the reverse sides of the photos. Kingsbury N. Conner

1921 Letter from Edgar Rice Burroughs to Atherton Thomas Conner

Letter submitted by owner K. N. Conner (
who solicits information regarding his grandfather Atherton T. Conner.

Atherton Thomas Conner ~ MMA 1895 Football Team

Atherton Thomas Conner
Age 22 ~ Weight 165
Played end at Orchard ~ 1893, 1894, 1895
and end on Maryland Athletic Club,
Baltimore 1896

MMA Brass
Cadet A.T. Conner, Orderly

MMA Rifle Inspection

Four MMA Cadets

Recommended book by fellow-ERB fan
Brian J. Bohnett
For Purchase Information Contact:
1909 Chestnut Street
Holt, Michigan  48842   USA

ERBzine Issues Featuring ERB and the Military 
MMA Scrapbook I
MMA Scrapbook II
Memoirs of a War Bride
ERB and the Military I 
ERB and the Military II
Major Burroughs' Civil War Anecdotes 
ERB The War Years: The Shaw Connection
ERB The War Years: The Truman Landon Connection
ERB The War Years: Bob Hyde's Odyssey of a Tarzan FANatic
ERB: War Correspondent
Lost Words of ERB: Letters, Articles, Notes

Volume 0949

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