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 Murray County Museum  

William E. "Bill" Fincher
College Football Hall of Fame

Bill Fincher was born in Spring Place in 1896, the son of Samuel and Laura Fincher. The family was enumerated in Murray County in the 1900 Census as Samuel H. Fincher, age 33; Laura T. Fincher, age 27; Genie A. Fincher, age 5; and Willie E. Fincher, age 2. The father's occupation was listed as merchant.

A grave marker in Spring Place Cemetery honors Joab Elias Fincher, 1899-1900, son of S. H. and Laura Fincher.

The 1910 Census listed the family living in Fulton County, Atlanta Ward 9, where the father worked as a city mail carrier. Family then consisted of S. H. Fincher, age 43; L. P. Fincher, age 37; Davis Fincher, age 15; Wm. E. Fincher, age 13; J. I. Fincher, age 9; S. R. Fincher, age 6; Pearl Fincher, age 4; and S. W. Fincher, 8 months.

Bill graduated Tech High School, Atlanta, in 1915, then entered Georgia Tech. He played football for Tech as an end and tackle Wikipedia indicates that Bill Fincher, while a freshman, played in a remarkable football game in which Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland by a score of 222-0. In his senior year, 1920, Bill was named an All-American lineman.

The 1920 Census listed William E. Fincher, head of his own household, with wife, Lulu Fincher, age 21. Occupation was listed as none. He was in fact a senior at Georgia Tech when that Census was enumerated.

A photo in Georgia Tech Digital Portal website features a photo of "Bill Fincher, All American 1920 Ga. Tech Tackle, World Champion Goal Kicker, 65 out of 68 attempts."

In 1930 the Census listed William's occupation as Football Coach College. That census listed his wife's name as Anne L. Fincher. They had a daughter, age 5, named Laura S. Fincher.

A biographical sketch referred to Bill as "Georgia Tech's legendary one-eyed lineman," though it offered no explanation for that description. The sketch also stated that Fincher had admitted that he removed his porcelain eye before every game.

Fincher was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

This writer found no information about Bill Fincher between the time that he ended his Georgia Tech coaching career in 1931, and his death in Atlanta in 1978. If any museum visitor can provide details of this span of Fincher's life, the museum would welcome the addition of such material to follow this write-up.


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