The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

Images of Carolyn Converse taken from taken from Stanford Year Book 1928

Barney A Cogsdell and Alford R Burk (in the middle) are jointly awarded the outstanding Marine Athlete for 1929 - 1930, an award that considered all sports played by the Marines. Both men were huge talents in the rugby squad and would go onto play together in the United States 'All-Marine' American Football Team in 1931.

The US Sixth Marines from Tientsin visited Shanghai in the Spring of 1928 to play a series of 5 games, three against the Shanghai interport team. This is a photo of both teams in one of those matches, eithr 18 March 1928 or 6 April 1928. Captain Liversedge can be seen in the suit on the far right of the front row. I believe that Cogsdell is sat to the left of Liversedge.

The players in the teams were:


​Marines Team: Wendell Thomas Zimmerman, John Kirby,Alford Russell Burk, Everett W Standley, Paul E Brodbeck, Barney A Cogsdell,

Syril W Long, Frank N Woody, Theodore R Griggs, James F Hudson, PJoseph Costello, Adolph P Wingo, Edgar C Hughes, Jospeh A Wurzer, Vincent L Millins, Edgar C Hughes, Ivor J Williby, Walter Campbell, Horace A Smith

Shanghai Team (white): G S Dunkley, L Goldman, E C Hubbard, A J W Evans, G S McGill, V S Stanion, W D Neil, J C Stewart, E R Rodgers, A J Kane, P A Watkinson, D W B Murray, K G Stephenson, W R Meathrel, C E Fleury, L W Walkinshaw, W Webster, J G B Dewar

  The 1940 census shows Barney living in San Francisco with a wife named Elizabeth, hailing from Kansas, aged 23. Curiously, the same census asked for information about where they both were five years previously. They both listed themselves as being in Shanghai. 


  In 1941, three years after her divorce, Carolyn remarried. Her husband was Henry Francis Misselwitz, a newspaperman, foreign correspondent, commentator and author. He was a correspondent for the New York Times and the United Press in Japan and China from 1923 to 1936. As New York Times correspondent in the 1920s, he covered Chiang Kai-Shek's rebellion against the warlords of Peking. After returning to New York to work with the United Press, he was assigned to be the White House correspondent during President Herbert Hoover's administration. Henry and Carolyn first met in the late 1920s in Shanghai, becoming reacquainted some twelve years later, following Henry’s divorce from Ted Constance Lowrance in 1931. 

  Things did not go well Stateside. In April 1938, a San Mateo newspaper ran the headline ‘China Romance On Rocks Here’.  It went onto explain that 'A romance between a young marine corps officer and a pretty American school teacher which blossomed amid the fighting of the Shanghai war of 1932, had its climax today – in the divorce courts here.’ Cogsdell’s wife, who was described as, ‘well known on the Peninsula [and] was a brilliant student at Stanford, member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority’, had filed a suit for divorce citing a long list of alleged cruelties beginning in San Diego in November 1937 and climaxing mid-April 1938 when; her husband climbed to her second story apartment in Burlingame and broke a window over her bed. The plaintiff alleged she quit their San Francisco apartment on December 8 and went to live with her Aunt in San Carlos. On defendant’s promise to live an “exemplary life,” plaintiff said she fitted up an apartment in Burlingame at a cost of $200. Although he promised to help, defendant “left plaintiff with the bill.” she alleges. They separated on 9 April.

Previous Persons of the Month


Person of the Month 1 - George Michael Billings (with club 1902 to 1927)
Person of the Month 2 - Commandent Louis Guillaume Fabre (with club 1936 to 1941)
Person of the Month 3 - Victor Vause Winser Fretwell (with club 1927 to 1934)

Person of the Month 4 - Eric Byron Cumine (with club 1930 to 1934)

Person of the Month 5 - Francis Kingdon Ward (with  club 1907 to 1909)
Person of the Month 6 - Percy Martin Lancaster (with  club 1903 to 1913)

Person of the Month 7 - The Schlee family (with  club 1886 to 1950)

Person of the Month 8 - Henry Bluett Liversedge (with Tientsin and Shanghai rugby 1927 to 1929)

Person of the Month 9 - John William Henry Burgoyne ( with club 1881 to 1885)

Person of the Month 10 - Lawrence "Lolly" Goldman (with club 1921 to 1930)

Person of the Month 11 - Alford Russell Burk (with Tientsin and Shanghai Rugby 1927 - 1930 and 1933 - 1936)

Person of the Month 12 - Barney Allen Cogsdell (with Tientsin and Shanghai Rugby 1927 - 1931 and 1933 - 1935)


A source referenced copy of the text below is available on request

Marriage Certificate od Barney Cogsdell and Carolyn Converse

    He returned to Shanghai in November 1933 where he continued to star as a rugby player and on the athletic track. In the newspapers in America it was announced that: 


friends will be interested in news of the approaching marriage of Miss Carolyn [Maude] Converse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs, Asa F. Converse, of Wellsville [Texas], to Barney Allen Cogsdell, of Shanghai... Miss Converse spent three years in the Orient, one year as teacher in Shanghai university, and two years as an advertising representative in Shanghai, Hong kong and Japan.’  ‘Miss Converse will become the bride of Barney Allen Cogsdell at a simple home ceremony read by Dr. Frank White at his home. Dr. and Mrs. White of Shanghai College are friends of long standing of the Converse Family... Later the young couple will make their home in an apartment in Shanghai.


On 3 November they were married at Shanghai University. Barney played his last game of rugby in Shanghai in February 1935 but remained in Shanghai until January 1937 when he returned to America. 

The Fourth Marines Rugby Squad 1933 - 34 which features Cogsdell, in the second row from the front with the red marker on his chest. By this time, as can be seen by the two playing strips in the team photo, the Marines were running two squads, a Blue and a White team in the Shanghai Rugby League.They shared the league title between themselves both teams being undefeated in the season and having drawn against each other when they met.

1941 Census showing Cogsdell married to his second wife who he had met in Shanghai.

   In October 1928 Cogsdell, along with the other Tientsin Marines were transferred to Shanghai. He was part of a core of, by now, experienced rugby players, who formed a team in Shanghai and became champions of Shanghai earning the title the Thundering Herd. Cogsdell was one of the speedsters of the team, he could run the 100m in 10.9 seconds.  By way of comparison, in the finals of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics the final was run in 10.8 seconds.  


  As 1929 came to a close, the Marines decided to make an award for the most outstanding athlete of 1929, because, as they modestly said, ‘the Regiment has led in every branch of sport in which it has entered.’  A committee was formed to consider the possible candidates across all of the sports that the Marines played. In the end two winners were chosen, it being impossible to  separate them. Both of the men played rugby as well as starring on the athletic track. The men were Barney A. Cogsdell and Alford R. Burk. In the spring of 1931 Cogsdell was posted back to America. In that season, the All-Marine Football team was transferred to San Diego and Barney Cogsdell was selected to represent the Marines playing under Liversedge, his old
 rugby coach from Tientsin and Shanghai.  He also played for the All-Marine team in 1932 and 1933.

Player for United States Sixth Marines in Tientsin (1927 - 1928)
Player for United States Fourth Marines in Shanghai (1928 – 1931 and 1933 - 1935)
Player for All Marines American Football team in the U.S. (1931 - 1933)

  Cogsdell was born 9 July 1906 (1907 on some documentation) in West Point, Mississippi.  The son of Dr. Barney Churchill Cogsdell. He was an outstanding all round athlete at is elementary school and when he entered the Clay Count Agricultural High School, he was a member of their [American] football, baseball, track and basketball teams. While at school he broke the Mississippi state track record for the 220 yards’ low hurdles in a time of 25.2 seconds. He also played quarterback in the all Mississippi football team. He joined the Marines straight from High School on 12 January 1927 and was posted to Tientsin in May 1927.

  He started to play rugby when the US Marines, with no possibility of playing American Football, decided to form a rugby team. They had great success in Tientsin and also on a spring tour to Shanghai, where they amazed the local rugby community with their speed and raw skill.

THE big match of the 1929 - 30 season was against the Welch Regiment who had taught the Marines the game of rugby when they were based in Tientsin. Now undefeated in Shanghai, the Marines would face the mighty Welch Regiment who had traveled from Singapore to play their former students with the hopes of teaching them a lesson in how to lose - The Marines turned the tables winning a very hard fought match by 15:6 in front of crowd estimated at 10,000. There team was:

 F A Smith, Ivor J Williby, Alford Russell Burk, Clifford E Maris, Cyril O Lawless, Alfred Travres, Barney A Cogsdell, Joseph Lewandowski, Arthur P Fiese, Jurgens, Horace A Smith, Clark, Glen F Felt, John Stokes, James Maulding

‘The Marine’s Speedster 2’​
Barney Allen Cogsdell (1906 – 1967)

  Cogsdell died very young, the report of his death said that he was only 59 years on the day he died - 21 January 1967. The report listed him as being born in July 1907 whereas a photograph of his grave, showed his year of birth as 1906 which would have made in 60. Regardless, it was a young death.


  His occupation was recorded as a semi-retired realtor. He died of a heart attack on a golf course, Chapala Golf Course, in Jalisco Mexico. His next of kin was listed as Mrs Cornelia Cogsdell, his third wife, and her third husband, living in Sebastopol California. He remained in Mexico, buried at the in the American section of the cemetery of Chapala almost 2,000 miles away from his widowed wife.