A. D. Helm, one of the oldest and best known racing men in the country, who has been a prominent figure on the track for over forty years, was born at Huntington, Ind., Nov. 5, 1847, a son of George and Nancy (Carter) Helm. His father was a distiller and a horseman who spent his life in the Hoosier State. His maternal grandfather was a well known Virginia horseman, who imported some good trotting horses, so that Mr. Helm inherits his love of horses from both sides of the family. Nancy Carter was born and reared in Loudoun county, Virginia, but spent her married life in Indiana. Being around horses it was but natural that Mr. Helm should learn to ride, and when only fourteen he began to ride in races, as both running and trotting contests were made under the saddle at that period. Neither the old-time high-wheeled sulky nor the sulky of today, weighing only a little over thirty pounds, had come into use at that time. While still living at home Mr. Helm began his life as a trainer, then moved to Fort Wayne, where he remained about six years, meeting with great success. From Fort Wayne he moved to Elkhart and then to Kalamazoo, Mich. Subsequently he was in South Bend, Ind., for a short time and, in 1888, came to Kansas and located at Hutchinson, where he has continuously resided, with the exception of two years. In all the cities of Indiana and Michigan Mr. Helm had well known training stables and public stables, where he worked outside horses. During his early career as a trainer he had charge of the following horses: Lucy, 2:16 3/4, who held the world's record for pacing; Capt. Crapo, 2:19 1/4; Toledo Girl, 2:15; Freestone, 2:18 1/4; Gray Ellick, 2:21 1/4; Badger Boy, 2:19 1/4; Polka Dot, 2:21 1/2; Ewing, 2:11 1/4; and Lady Middleton, 2:24 1/4. These were among the fastest racers of that period, but later he trained Baldy, 2:15; Vasco, 2:17 1/4; Frank H., 2:23 1/4, who broke the world's record in the three-year-old class; Don Pedro, 2:24 1/4; Beatrice, 2:20 1/4; Lucas, 2:19 1/4; Mambrino Bell, 2:19 1/4; and Richard Second, 2:19 1/4. Besides this exceptionally fast string of horses Mr. Helm has trained thousands of trotting horses. During the forty years he has been in the business it is probable that he has trained more horses than any other one man in the country. He has driven in races all over the United States, against drivers and horses of note, that have been on the track for the last half century, and gained many a purse through skill and courage. He still drives and has one of the finest training stables in the state, as well as the best stable of promising young colts. During the years on the race track Mr. Helm had many exciting adventures and narrow escapes, incident to the race track. He had one leg broken twice and his knee dislocated and was in several other accidents in which he was fortunate enough to come out unhurt. In 1888 he came to Kansas to take charge of the training stables on the stock farm of F. H. Shelby, at Kiowa, but within a year went to Newton to train horses for Sam Freeman. Since 1890 he has run a public stable in Hutchinson, with the exception of one year, when he was in Denver and a second in Salt Lake City. He trains as high as twenty horses at a time, including his own.
Mr. Helm was married in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1881, to Ella Ward, and they have two sons: Frank, a traveling salesman for Armour & Company, who lives at Jackson, Kan., and R. P., a master mechanic in the United States navy, who graduated in Notre Dame College, at South Bend, before entering the government service. Mrs. Helm died some years ago and, in 1894, he married Anna Todd, of Hutchinson. Mr. Helm is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Anti-Horse Thief Association, and the Knights and Ladies of Security. Since coming to the Salt City Mr. Helm has been held in high esteem and today is regarded as one of its most prosperous and progressive citizens. At the present time he has in his stables two colts, two and three years of age, respectively, that can beat 2:20a thing no other Kansas man has ever doneand much is expected of these colts on the track in the near future.Pages 856-857 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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