Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Heffelfingers in:
 • Hawley Cemetery
 • El Maton
 • Matagorda County
 • Texas
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

William Heffelfinger
Birth: Dec. 20, 1867
Hennepin County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Apr. 5, 1954
Matagorda County
Texas, USA

Professional Football Pioneer. During his four-year college career at Yale University, he was a guard on the first ever All-American team in 1889, and named to the team again in 1890 and 1891. There were no limits on eligibility at that time and a campaign was led to get him to play a fifth season but he chose to play for the Chicago Pro Athletic Association instead. On November 12, 1892, Heffelfinger played a game for the Duquesne Athletic Club of Pittsburgh and was paid $500. This was the first time a player was known to be given money to play a game. He forced a fumble, picked up the ball, and ran 35 yards for the only touchdown as Duquesne beat the Allegheny Athletic Association. Thus pro football made its debut, athletic clubs began sponsored football team competition for profit, with he and other AAA players, receiving $50 to $500 a game. In 1893, he coached the University of California and launched a business career. He wrote and published an annual booklet, " Pudge Heffelfinger's Football Facts." In 1916, at age 49, he scrimmaged against the Yale varsity and in 1920, at age 53, he played 50 minutes for the East All-Stars against the Ohio State All-Stars at Columbus, Ohio. In 1930, age 63, he made his final appearance in a football uniform in an all-star game at Minneapolis. He also produced the first sports quiz show on radio and the first spy show, "Secret Agent K-7." He was inducted as a charter member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and recongnition in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1963. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) 
Family links: 
  Christopher B. Heffelfinger (1834 - 1915)
  Mary Ellen Totten Heffelfinger (1835 - 1916)
  Grace Harriet Pierce Heffelfinger (1879 - 1960)*
  Nancy Pierce Heffelfinger (1904 - 1980)*
  William Walter Heffelfinger (1906 - 1969)*
  Jane Lacy Heffelfinger Winston (1908 - 1986)*
  William Heffelfinger (1867 - 1954)
  Frank Totten Heffelfinger (1869 - 1959)*
  Mary Ellen Heffelfinger (1871 - 1955)*
  Fanne Heffelfinger Selden (1873 - 1954)*
  Charles E. Heffelfinger (1875 - 1948)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: h/o Grace Harriet Pierce Heffelfinger.
Hawley Cemetery
El Maton
Matagorda County
Texas, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
Record added: Apr 18, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13989501
William Heffelfinger
Added by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
William Heffelfinger
Added by: Chuck Taylor
William Heffelfinger
Added by: Chuck Taylor
There are 2 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Happy Birthday William
- Florida Boy 64
 Added: Dec. 20, 2012

- peggy
 Added: Dec. 20, 2012
Birthday Blessings
- Thelma
 Added: Dec. 20, 2011
There are 12 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.8 after 16 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service