Oil City Athletic Club

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Oil City Athletic Club
Founded 1893
Folded 1903
Based in Oil City, Pennsylvania, United States
League Western Pennsylvania Circuit
Team history Oil City Athletic Club (1893–1903)
Team colors Unknown

The Oil City Athletic Club was a professional football team based in Oil City, Pennsylvania from 1893 until 1903. The team was the intrastate rival of the Franklin Athletic Club. The team later folded as a result of a series of bidding wars with Franklin over the era's best football players in Pennsylvania in 1903.

1902 bidding war

Franklin and Oil City had a lot of money tied up in their football teams. In 1902, during the teams' third meeting however, Oil City signed the entire team from the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, seven of the Philadelphia All-Stars, some players from a team located in Steubenville, Ohio and from Grove City College for that one game against Franklin. Since there was a large amount of hometown gambling on football games in 1902, this action resulted in all of the Franklin fans losing their bets to Oil City. However while losing the game, Franklin did manage to hold Oil City's all star team to a 10-0 score.

1903 Pre-season

To avoid being out bid again by Oil City for football talent, Franklin's manager Bill Prince recruited every star player inside of Pennsylvania to play for Franklin. After the team's loss against Oil City, Prince attended the first National Football League championship game between the Pittsburgh Stars and Philadelphia Athletics. Immediately after the game, Prince signed every important player in sight to Franklin.

After seeing what Prince had done, Oil City forfeited their season due to a lack of players. All of the money that was to be gambled on the 1903 football contests between Franklin and Oil City, sat in a bank escrow account and was later returned to the gamblers.


  • PFRA Research. "Franklin's Hired Guns: 1903" (PDF) (Annual). Professional Football Researchers Association: 1–3. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Johnson, Pearce (1987). "When Did They Start?" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 9 (6): 1–5.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>