Sunday, November 27, 2005

BREESE...with or without and "E"???

We spell ours with an E on the end, so in alot of my typing, I automatically attach an E. In my research I've found it both ways and have just learned to search one time with an E and one time without. We asked my husband grandpa Reuben Vern Breese "RV" years ago why the name sometimes was spelled differently. He said that his name was spelled BREES on his birth cert but he legally changed it to BREESE because he was a well known boxer back then and had alot of articles written about him and he thought it looked better to add the "E" on the end. That's just one explanation!


Anonymous said...

It is a long story, but I have a lot of information about Quentin Breese. I knew Quentin as a little girl till he died and would like you to have the info. I believe that Rueben was his brother and all of Quentin's immediate family is gone now, including his brother that lived here in San Diego.
Quentin Terrance "Baby" Breese was born July 8, 1918 in Leonardville, Kansas of Irish and English extraction. His father was Delbert Breese and his mother was Lucy Stone. He began boxing when he was a young boy in school and had his first professional fight in 1937 when he knocked out Al Freida in Kansas City in four rounds. He battled Lew Jenkins twice in 1939 and squared off again Sammy Angott the following year. Both Jenkins and Angott later wore the lightweight crown. Breese went on to become a local celebrity and earned the nickname Baby because he looked more like a kid than a fighter. Standing at only 5'6" tall and 137 pounds, he was ranked as one of the first ten light weights in the world. .
His fame brought him to Hollywood where he worked along side James Cagney in City for Conquest (1940) and Robert Ryan in Golden Gloves (1940) teaching them boxing moves and by being a stand-in for the fight scenes. He continued to work on film in Hollywood until World War II started. Many ring-wise veterans share the opinion that Breese might have battled his way to the top of the welterweight class had not the war interrupted his career.
He joined the United States Marine Corp on May 13, 1943 and was assigned to the USS Wilkes-Barre. He was present during the fire on the USS Bunker Hill in 1945 and when the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945.
On January 1, 1946 he was discharged from the Marine Corp and returned to fighting. A year later, in 1947, Breese realized that the war years had taken their toll on his legs. Fighting Eddie Hudson, a courageous campaigner but definitely not in Breese's class during the prime of the ex-Marine, Baby lost a 10-round decision, his second to the LA boxer. Immediately after the bout he announced that he would head east and if he couldn't regain his old zip he would hang up his gloves. Four fights later he met Juste Fontaine in Milwaukee and lost. Quentin kept his promise and retired, returning to San Diego to establish Breese Paint Company on Fifth Avenue.
From that time until he retired in 1947, Breese gained a reputation as a competitor. He plied his trade in 19 different United States cities and Mexico City, swapping blows with the best in the business during 125 bouts. During his fistic career he compiled 91 victories, 27 defeats and seven draws. The Baby's right was a lethal weapon and one half of those men whom he defeated ended up getting rocked to sleep by his punching prowess. His record might have been more impressive had he not insisted on meeting any and all comers. He often went in other rings as many as four times in one month.
Breese's business was doing well and he decided to buy land in the University Heights area of San Diego, California and have a house built. He also bought a Beauty Shop for Ila, named Juniper's Beauty Shop on Juniper Avenue and a white Thunderbird. Still considered a celebrity, Quentin and Ila, hosted many parties at their custom built house and attended many parties at the Mississippi Room at the Lafayette Hotel, where Hollywood's most glamorous stars came to dine and dance.
Quentin's health had become worse over the next 10 years, where the doctor's speculated that his boxing had caused him permanent injuries, and during a party he was hosting at his house, he became ill. The ambulance took him to Mercy Hospital and after 10 days he passed away. It was August 21, 1962.
San Diego remembered him by putting flags up and down the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue and inducting him into the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park in San Diego.
Ila sold the paint store and went back to work at her beauty shop. She drove herself there in the same white Thunderbird that Quentin bought in the 1960's for the next 35 years. Ila passed away in November 2001.
Ila never remarried and Quentin and Ila never had children.

Anonymous said...

On Quentin's birth certificate it has a E on the end and his father that is listed on the certificate has an E on the end, too.