Name: Jack Munroe
Alias: The Cape Breton Miner
Birthplace: Cape Breton, NS, Canada
Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada
Age at Death: 64
Height: 5′ 11Ż″
Munroe enlisted in the famous Princess Pats of Canada at the outset of WWI. He lost his right arm at the battle of Vimy Ridge, at Armentieres, when a bullet severed the subclavial artery. He died in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Feb. 13, 1942.
The Legend of Jack Munroe: A Portrait of a Canadian Hero
By W. W. NAUGHTON
Being an account of every Heavy-Weight Championship
Contest from Sullivan and Corbett to Jeffries and
Johnson, together with a Complete
Record of Every Contestant, Extended
Sketches of Jeffries and
Johnson, and Story of
the Making of the
JOHN KITCHEN, Jr. CO.
San Francisco, California
JEFFRIES AND MUNROE.
Now we come to Jeffries' last fight that is, the last before his retirement as undefeated champion of the world. Jeffries' opponent was one Jack Munroe whose business was mining and who was known to fame in an athletic way as a footballer.
It appears that when Jeffries went on the road with Bob Fitzsimmons after his last fight with the Cornishman, a part of his foot-light scheme was to have on the gloves with the local champion at every town, city, or hamlet visited.
The show was in Butte, Montana, on the evening of December 19, 1903, and Jack Munroe was the man put forward to box four rounds with Jeffries. What is more, Munroe lasted the full four rounds, whether through Jeffries' desire to give his patrons a run for their money or not was not made clear. But in any case, Munroe made capital out of the fact that he had
stayed four rounds with Jeffries. He accepted theatrical engagements and made a tour of the East. And those who managed him were smart enough to bill Munroe as Jeffries' biggest and most serious rival.
Jeffries did not like this kind of thing, but he had to bide his time and wait for revenge. In due course, Jeffries and Munroe were matched to box twenty rounds in San Francisco under Jim Coifroth's auspices ; and the two big fellows went into training Jeffries at Harbin Springs under Billy Delaney and Munroe at Sheehan's tavern, Ocean Beach, Tim McGrath being in
charge of the camp.
Owing to an accident to Jeffries' knee, there was a postponement of the date of the contest, but the men finally got together in Mechanics' Pavilion, San Francisco, on the night of August 26, 1904, Eddie Graney being the referee.
It was evident at the start that Jeffries intended to show no mercy. The moment the gong rang, he stepped quickly toward Munroe, feinting with his left to draw Munroe's fire. Poor Munroe had a bad attack of stage fright, and he missed repeatedly while trying to keep Jeffries at bay. Jeffries took his time, and measured the miner with punishing face and body blows, dropping him to the floor no less than three times in the opening round.
As Munroe sat in his corner, he was in a bad way. His right eye was completely closed, and his face streamed blood. His seconds busied themselves sponging off the effects of the Jeffries punches, while Jeffries sat grinning in his chair in the other end of the ring. The second round saw the end. Jeffries stepped forth briskly with his left arm sticking out. He drew it back to his side, and Munroe, who was a picture of indecision and confusion, ducked clumsily in and clinched. Jeffries pushed him away, and then banged him on the nose with a left. Munroe tried to clinch again, and Jeffries inflicted a cruel right uppercut on the unfortunate miner's face. A rapid-fire left on the chin sent Munroe to the floor, and he looked every inch a loser.
The wonder is that Jeffries was not able to quiet Munroe completely, for Jack was at his mercy. The miner was game in a stolid way, and jumped to his feet as nimbly as he could after being smashed to the floor twice in succession. After Munroe stood erect the second time, his knees were bending under him, and he made feeble attempts to put up his guard. Jeffries backed him to the ropes with body punches, and Jack bent nearly double from the severity of the champion's attack.
Some one shouted, "Stop it; the man will be killed," and just as Jeffries was drawing back his ponderous right fist to administer the coup Referee Graney stepped between Munroe and further harm and gently pushed Jeffries away.
So ended the Jeffries-Munroe fight.
The Anaconda Standard
24 December 1903
JACK MUNROE IS COMING
BUTTE MINER PUGILIST TO ARRIVE TONIGHT
WILL GIVE AN EXHIBITION
Man Who Became Famous By Staying Four Rounds
With James J Jeffries Will Spend The Holidays With Friends
Jack Munroe, flushed with his recent victory over Al Limerick, will reach Butte at 7:40 o'clock to-night. He comes to spend the Christmas holidays with his friends and after his sojourn expects to return to fie East. What definite plans he has for the immediate future are not known here and will not be until Munroe arrives, and then only on condition that "Our Jack" is willing to talk. The miner pugilist will be very much in evidence shortly after his arrival, as he is scheduled to give a boxing exhibition at Button's Broadway theater at 3 o'clock to-morrow night .
The man who will meet Munroe Is Mike Sullivan, the same who did battle with Ike Hayes In Helena during the extra session of the legislature. He is billed as an "Unknown." It is understood that good preliminaries will be a part of the programme tomorrow night.
One year ago Jack Munroe was working In the mines of Butte. He had been a boxer, but had won no renown except as an amateur. When he was in that rank In California he found great pleasure in meeting all comers in his class. Suddenly he became an aspirant for championship honors and won them, when he was presented with the medal proclaiming him to be the amateur heavyweight champion of the Pacific coast. Those laurels Munroe wore gracefully, and when he came to Butte only a few were aware of his presence.
Being practically unknown here, it is not to be wondered at that Munroe came in for a good bit of speculative inquiry when it was announced that he was to try to stay four rounds with James Jeffries, the champion heavyweight pugilist of the world. The contest took place at Button's Broadway theater Saturday night, Dec. 20, 1902. It was a memorable night. The house was packed. The big boilermaker sneeringly received the man who thought he could stand up before him for four rounds. Munroe was not at all frightened. He went after the champion In great shape, and – when the second round had been concluded, Bob Fitzsimmons, who was in Jeffries corner, said to the champion, "Jim that fellow is no dub. You will have to go after him. Don't you see he is winding you?"
Jeffries affected indifference and replied he would finish his man in the third round. He nearly did so, too, and by resorting to a dirty foul. A few seconds before the gong sounded the .men clinched and- Jeff deliberately struck Munroe a vicious blow in the "bread basket," Jack went down, and it looked as if it was all over with him, when the gong saved him. The crowd, which had hooted and jeered at the foul, arose as one man and gave cheer after cheer for the plucky miner who was being taken to his corner to get wind enough to try to stay one more round.
When the fourth round opened Munroe was weak. He was game, though, and kept giving back for what he took. More than once he went down to avoid punishment, but every lime he got up he came back stronger. How Jeffries did hit and jab and how he did work, doing all he knew how, as he realized that the lime limit for the vanquishing of his opponent was drawing near. He was. flushed and winded and he was wild with rage. Munroe could see it all and, keeping his head, staved off the 'big fellow until finally the gong rang, and Jack Munroe had suddenly become famous.; He had stayed four rounds with the champion of the world and had won $100.
That was the beginning for Munroe. The miner was suddenly before the world. His name was heard everywhere, from coast to coast and from the lakes to the gulf of Mexico Newspapers throughout the country printed stories of him and of his battle with Jeffries, and soon his pictures were appearing everywhere in print. Then was Munroe in a fair way to coin money, but he had no experience in that line and did not know how to go about it. He must have a manager. Clark Ball, who was one of the managers of the Jeffries- Fitzsimmons company, saw that Munroe would be a good thing. He opened negotiations with the miner, and the result was that Ball left Jeff and Fitz and became Munroe's manager, and the miner who had been working underground for $3.50 a day found himself entered into a contract by the terms of which he was to receive $500 per week. Ball was knocked down and out by Fitz in the lobby of the Thornton hotel. Fitz was wild because Ball went with Munroe.
Finally Munroe and Ball went East after an unsuccessful tour of the state of Montana. That the state tour was not a success was due principally to the fact that it was poorly managed and not half well advertised. In the East success crowned the efforts of the miner and his manager for a time. Theatrical engagements were plentiful and the money rolled in. Then came a. setback and illness, and for a while things looked blue for Munroe. The hard luck did not last long, however, and again Munroe sprang into public notice and almost as suddenly as he did on the night he stayed four rounds with Jeffries. He got a new manager, and the new manager secured a match with Peter Maher. Munroe whipped Maher, and his stock went up.hen he took on Al Limerick and defeated him, and the stock sailed higher. Now he is scheduled to meet Tom Sharkey, and when that is over, according to the eastern papers, he is to meet Jeffries.
And now, just a few days more than a year since the sudden gaining of fame by Munroe he is coming back to the scene of his great triumph to be with his friends during, the yuletide festivities, Munroe has lost none of his friends during his stay in the East, and it is safe to say that he has made many more than he ever had when he was a miner. All his .friends will undoubtedly be glad to welcome him tonight
The Constitution Atlanta
28 February 1904
Jack Munroe Lands On Sailor Sharkey
Just As He Pleases
Decision Given to the Butte Miner on Points.
Sharkey's Eyes Badly Swollen by Vicious
Philadelphia, February 27.-Jack Munroe out fought Tom Sharkey In their six round bout at the Second regiment armory, In this city, tonight. Munroe stepped from the ring without a mark, while both Sharkey's eyes were badly swollen from vicious right and left swings of the Butte miner. In. only one round, the first, did Sharkey have any advantage over Munroe. After this the battle was also almost wholly in Munroe’s favor. When Munroe began to find the sailor's stomach Sharkey became wild and nearly all of his leads went round Munroe's neck,
In the fifth round Munroe had his antagonist in trouble and again in the sixth round Sharkey was in great stress. The blows which Munroe landed on Sharkey's stomach went straight from the shoulder and were hard enough to have knocked out almost any fighter. The general opinion seems to be that Jeffries will now be called upon to defend the championship
The Fight by Rounds.
Sharkey led and missed. Munroe landed a left blow on Sharkey's rib and the latter fell through the ropes, but did not land on the floor. Sharkey landed right on stomach and Munroe a left to Sharkey's wind. Sharkey missed the left and the men rushed to a clinch. ,They sparred for an opening, and on a rush together Munroe slipped and fell to the floor. Sharkey missed a left swing and; Munroe missed a right. Munroe drove left to Sharkey's nose, and right to stomach, and got away without a return. Sharkey missed a left swing and then landed a right on Munroe's jaw, sending him to the floor. While he came up. Munroe clinched to save himself. Sharkey landed another left to the Jaw. which bewildered Munroe. The men were clinched at the bell.
Sharkey landed viciously over Munroe's stomach, and the men came together. They sparred for a. second, and Sharkey landed a right on Munroe's stomach Munroe tried right for head, but missed Sharkey landed a light left on Munroe's stomach, and then slipped to the floor. Munroe tried a left but Sharkey stepped inside, and landed a light left on stomach. The men rushed to a clinch with no damage. Munroe landed right on Sharkey's stomach, and repeated it a moment later.
Monroe Lands on Stomach.
Sharkey led with swing to head and missed. Munroe landed hard right on stomach The men rushed to a clinch and Munroe landed, a left on stomach. The men sparred for a second and then Sharkey landed a light left on wind. Sharkey rushed, but Munroe met him with a hard right, on the wind. Sharkey was short with right and Munroe countered with right to the wind. Munroe staggered Sharkey with straight left to chin. Sharkey rushed in, but Munroe met him with left to wind. Sharkey was wild. Munroe missed left for head, but landed hard right to the wind.
Munroe landed right to Sharkey's wind and the latter clinched. They sparred for a moment and then rushed for another clinch. Sharkey missed a right and Munroe landed his right on Sharkey’s wind. Sharkey missed a right to stomach and Munroe drove left to sailor's wind Sharkey landed a right to Munroe's stomach and the men clinched. Munroe landed a light left to Sharkey's face and right to stomach Sharkey's right went round Munroe's neck without a. return Munroe landed another left on Sharkey's face and the latter slipped to the floor. Munroe landed hard right on Sharkey's stomach and the latter looked pained. There was a. sickening expression on his face. The men were clinched at the bell.
Sharkey missed a right swing and the men clinched Munroe landed a light left and the men clinched. When they broke away Sharkey tried a left .for the head, but was short. They came
together and Munroe landed a left on Sharkey's wind. He missed the right for the same point a moment later. The men rushed together, each landing a hard right on the stomach. Munroe landed a vicious right on Sharkey's eye, drawing blood. A moment later Munroe landed a hard left on stomach, forcing Sharkey to clinch. Sharkey tried right to stomach, but missed and Munroe missed a left aimed at the same point. The men were sparring when the gong sounded.
Rushed to a Clinch.
The men rushed to a clinch.Munroe landed a right to Sharkey's stomach and Sharkey's left went round Munroe's neck. Munroe drove a hard right to Sharkey's wind and pushed his head back with a left. Sharkey landed a left on Munroe's head, but missed a right for the same place a moment later.
Munroe landed hard left on Sharkey's jaw and the latter looked worried. Sharkey landed a Munroe's wind and the latter opened Sharkey's eye with a vicious left. Sharkey was holding on. He was groggy and. held on to save himself. Munroe landed hard right on Sharkey's stomach and the latter landed a light left on Munroe's head. The latter slipped to the floor. Sharkey led, but missed and Munroe landed a hard left on wind. The men were sparring as the gong sounded.
29 February 1904
Sharkey a “Has Been”
Munroe Won Bout
Miner Will Fight Jeffries for Championship
But It Will Be a
Shame to Allow It.
Partly because Tom Sharkey has gone so far back as to qualify as a "has been' and partly because Jack Munroe has Improved considerably under The tutelage of the clever "Kid" McCoy, the lucky miner gained a decisive victory over the sailor Saturday night in a six round bout In Philadelphia.
Champion Jeffries, who saw the fight ,says he w ill meet Munroe according to his announcement previous to the bout.The fight was a rushing, slashing, rough and tumble affair without even the faintest suspicion of cleverness.
While Munroe is the next logical opponent of the champion, time will prove that he is the weakest Jeffries ever met since he won the title from Fitzsimmons on that memorable night in June, 1899. at the barn like structure of the Coney Island Athletic Club His showing against Sharkey on Saturday night warrants the assertion.
The sailor has only had three contests in as many years, two of which he lost, one on a foul in the first round to Pete Everett, the greatest counterfeit of a boxer who ever crossed the Mississippi river .It is only reasonable to suppose that through the lack of training he had lost much of his speed, judgment of distance and punishing power . Handicapped thus,t should have been an easy task for Munroe, who enjoyed other great advantages of 2 inches of additional reach, 14 pounds in weight, 3 Inches in height and four years of youth to beat the sailor within the prescribed six rounds.
The ease with which Sharkey reached Munroe removes the latter as being a dangerous opponent of Champion Jeffries, or, in fact, any boxer in the heavy-weight division who possesses skill and has a good pair of hands.
The miners discerning manager made capital out of the fiasco with Jeffries at Butte, Mont. His ascension to the ranks of a possible opponent for the champion offers another vehicle f6r unlimited advertising, and the ex-Californian, professional football player can be heralded over the country as the victor over Sharkey and match, to meet Jeffries There are enough people In the country who are willing to pay to have their curiosity satisfied: and Munroe can meet, all comers at wrestling—for he is a sturdy one at that game and gather in considerable money.
This unfortunate account of his supposed death at the war front appeared in
The Washington Post 13 August 1915
PUGILIST DIES AT FRONT
Jack Munroe Meets Heroic Death
HAD AN ADVENTUROUS CAREER
Butte Man Fought Jeffries for World's
Championship and Whipped Sharkey,
Maher and Others—Got Rich Prospecting
for Cobalt in Canada—Death Reported
by Frank Moran from England
Special to The Washington Post
New York, Aug 12—
Jack Munroe who once fought Jim Jeffries for the world s championship, lies dead somewhere in northern France or Belgium Frank Moran, just back from England, says he read Munroe's name in the list of killed and heard his heroic death spoken of several times by wounded soldiers furloughed from the fighting lines
Jack Munroe had about as adventurous life as any man that ever followed the ring Playing tackle on the Butte football team he helped clean up all the big college and club teams between Chicago and San Francisco Later, Munroe threw the hammer and put the shot He was a great athlete
Became Amateur Champion.
While playing football he visited Jack O'Brien's training camp one day and became interested in boxing entering the coast championships at the Olympic Club he knocked out three rivals and became heavyweight amateur champion He turned professional and fought Jim Jeffries four rounds, winning the purse offered to any one who would stay. Munroe modestly said he "played football with Jeff" Jeff went to his knees, once and it was said Munroe knocked him down ,
Made Fortune Prospecting.
Clark Ball "grabbed" Munroe and took him east Here he whipped Tom Sharkey, knocking him down with a. straight left to the jaw, knocked out Al Limerick, Peter Maher and several others He showed himself a game, rough and ready, good-natured fellow. Be fought Jack Johnson six rounds.His finish came when he fought Jeffries a return match In Frisco, and was quickly knocked out.
After that Munroe went North, prospecting in the Canadian wilderness. He was first on the ground in the big cobalt discoveries and his claims made him a rich man For several years he was mayor of Elk City, a responsible capitalist and a member of many clubs In Canadian cities.
A more accurate account
The Syracuse Herald
21 January 1916
Jack Munroe’s Right Arm Is destroyed By A Shell
Man Who Floored Jim Jeffries Is Now Patient in Hospital
After Having Been Maimed During Battle
the giant football player-miner, who fought Jim Jeffries twice when the latter was champion of the world, has Just suffered a loss of his right arm while serving at the front in France with Princess Patricia's Own, better known as the Princess Pats, the crack Canadian regiment.
A fragment of a shell shattered Munroe's arm so badly that it was amputated at the elbow. In a letter to Harry Hastings, a New York friend Munroe says; “I’m sorry to have to tell you old boy but the next time I meet you in New York I will have to offer you my left hand. My right arm has been shot off at the elbow. I am in a London 'hospital -and will have to undergo another operation. There is Something wrong with the circulation in the arm and they deem it necessary to operate again. I'm cheery through it all, for I know it might have been a lot worse.
"I had pals shot down, time after time, right at my side. For a time I thought I led a charmed life. I guess I did at that. I've given my little for the cause, and even now I don't regret it.
What War Is.
"It's been hell, though, old man. I long to get back. I'd give anything to see New York right now Harry. More when I see you. One of the nurses is writing this for the old mayor of Elk City. I suppose that I will have to begin my school days Over again and learn to write with my left. More when I see you. Regards to any of the boys who ask for me."
Munroe joined the crack Princess Pats when a call for volunteers spread through Canada. -He was mayor of Elk City, Ont, at the time he enlisted. The regiment, now almost wiped out, was the finest body of men to serve the King. -Every man had to be six feet tall or more and a splendid specimen of physical manhood. The "Pats" were subjected to terrific fire from the very first. Out of a total of 1000 men that went into battle only ninety-two escaped death or injury at the time the last official report reached Canada. Munroe was wounded several times
before a. spent piece of shell ended his career as a soldier.
On the occasion of his first meeting with the worlds champion, Jim Jeffries , the title holder was touring the country agreeing to knock out any man who would face him for four rounds.
He Dropped Jeffries
Jeffries arrived at Butte, Mont, where Munroe was working as a mine boss in December 1902. Jack was a handy man about the camp with his fists and he didn’t hesitate a moment when Jeffries offered to meet any man in town for four rounds. If he failed to knock out his victim Jeffries agreed to forfeit a substantial portion of the gate receipts . Munroe not only went the distance but he succeeded in bringing Jeffries to his knees with a punch. Jim always claimed he slipped on a wet spot but that didn’t’ prevent Munroe’s name flying road the world.
The great Jeffries had been floored and by a big miner. Every paper in the world that boasted a sports page printed the story of Munroe’s un expected achievement. Jeffries in a rage followed Munroe about the country for two years before he got him into the ring to fight for the heavyweight championship for the world .
Tim McGrath took Munroe in toe and prepared him for the fight with Jeffries, the bout taking place in mechanic’s Pavilion at San Francisco on 26 August 1904. McGrath brought Munroe to a pitch where he thought he really had a chance to win the worlds title. His efforts however were like those of a baby.
Munroe was completely outclassed and went out from a punch on the jaw In two rounds. He fought after that several times, his best performance being against Tom Sharkey in Philadelphia, on which occasion the bout was stopped inside of six rounds.
Harry Hastings -the man to whom Munroe addressed his letter, was a well known bookmaker the time Munroe floored Jeffries In Montana. When Jack came East he went into partnership with Hasting in a book on the race track.
With this money and his end of the mining and timber land. He made money quickly, and when he left for the front with the famous "Pats" he was rated a wealthy man.