BLACK MEN RECONSTRUCTION SPORTS

The Man Who Had No Fears As University of Nebraska First Black Football Player

Written by Rewindingblack

George Albert Flippin was born February 8, 1868 in Ohio to Charles and Mahala Flippin. His father, Charles, was a freed slave who fought in the Civil War on behalf of the Union in the 14th US Colored Troops, Co. A. After Mahala died in 1871, Charles and his two children moved to Marion County, Kansas. Charles attended the Bennett Eclectic Medical School in Chicago and became a doctor. In 1885 Charles married Mary Bell Reed, a white physician, who was also a graduate of the Bennett Eclectic Medical School. In 1888 the Flippin family moved to Henderson, Nebraska to set up a clinic and pharmacy.

George Flippin attended the University of Nebraska from 1891 to 1894. He was the first African-American football player for the University. Missouri refused to play a scheduled football game, forfeiting 1-0 because of Flippin’s presence on the team. He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

George married Georgia Smith in 1895. Georgia, from Des Moines, Iowa, was a piano student at the Nebraska Conservatory of Music in Lincoln prior to their marriage. They had two children, Dorothy May (Jeffers) and Robert Browning Flippin.

In 1907 George moved to Stromsburg, Nebraska where his father and step-mother had established a medical practice in 1900. He built the first hospital in Stromsburg which is now the local Bed and Breakfast. George was part of an early civil rights case in Nebraska when he was denied service at a York restaurant. Contrary to local legend, George did not own one of the first automobiles in Stromsburg. That notoriety belonged to his father, Charles. In 1910 George endured the scandal of a divorce and subsequent marriage to local Swedish, miss Mertina Larson.

George was a respected physician and surgeon known across the county and state for his willingness to make house calls regardless of the distance or the ability of the family to pay. George Flippin died May 15, 1929 and is the only African –American buried in the Stromsburg Cemetery.

via UNL | Nebraska Unions | George Flippin.

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