Archive ID: FIC-0000-022

Bonivirs football game at Indiana State Prison

Date Created: 1968-10-22

Donor: Southeast Chicago Historical Society

Media Type: Photograph

Language: English


The Bonivirs were a Social and Athletic Club from the East Side. The group was founded in 1917 at Bowen High School, although not officially incorporated until 1924. The team had its origins in the Italian section of the East Side (the word “bonivir” comes from the Latin word “bonum” meaning good or brave and the word “vir” for man). Many social and athletic clubs existed throughout the Southeast Side neighborhoods. Some were ethnic or geographic in origin, others were social or athletic. The clubs sponsored many team sports, including baseball, softball, bowling, basketball and football, as well as dances and parties. The Bonivirs were best known for their long and storied history as a men’s football team which played full equipment, senior league, tackle football at Calumet Park. In the 1960s, one of the teams in their league was the Indiana State Prison (ISP) in Michigan City. This photo is from a game between the Bonivirs and ISP in 1968 in which the Bonivirs won, 42-0. Team sponsor George “Gizmo” Yaksic owned Gizmo’s Bar.

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