Forest Shipman “Blackie” O’Bannon

alias “R. F. Dutton”

1903 – 1929

 

           

 

Above and below are photos of Blackie O’Bannon in his #45 Chevrolet special in Arkansas City, Kansas.  Russell D. Hill built this car for O’Bannon while both men were residing in Arkansas City.

Photos from the Russell D. Hill collection

 

 

Blackie O’Bannon was born July 6, 1903, the younger of two sons born to a young farm couple, Haywood Abiatha O’Bannon (1869-1906) and his wife, Erie Jane (Files) O’Bannon (1874-1949).  After the death of Blackie’s father, his mother remarried and moved with her family to Inola, Oklahoma.  By 1920, the family was living at Arkansas City, Kansas.

          For some, as yet, undetermined reason, O’Bannon occasionally raced using the alias “R. F. Dutton”.  O’Bannon’s incomplete racing record follows:

 

July 4, 1927 – ˝ mile dirt oval – Cushing Speedway Park at Cushing, Oklahoma

            Car:  #4 Fronty Ford special

Finish:  2nd in the 1st 6-mile heat race behind Earl L. Hovenden of Duncan, Oklahoma.

              2nd in the 2nd 6-mile heat race behind Roy Rinehart of Arkansas City, Kansas.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Arkansas City, Kansas driving a Chevrolet special

 

July 30, 1927 – ˝ mile dirt oval – Cowley County Fairgrounds at Winfield, Kansas

            Car:  O’Bannon’s own #45 Chevrolet special built by Russell D. Hill of Arkansas City, Kansas

Finish:  O’Bannon’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Arkansas City, Kansas driving a #2 Chevrolet special owned by George Dwight Moody of Arkansas City, Kansas

 

September 5, 1927 – ˝ mile dirt oval – Cushing Speedway Park at Cushing, Oklahoma

Car:  #4 Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

July 28, 1928 – ˝ mile dirt oval – Cowley County Fairgrounds at Winfield, Kansas

Car:  O’Bannon’s own #45 Hutch special built by Russell D. Hill of Arkansas City, Kansas.

Finish:  2nd in the 6-car, 8-lap consolation race behind Phineas Comador “Dad” Harrier of Hiawatha, Kansas driving a #5 Ford Frontenac.

 4th in 6-car, 12-lap “Grand Final” race behind James Floyd Pickens of Arkansas City, Kansas in the #440 Ford special owned by Joe Hutchinson of Arkansas City, Kansas; Marvin Wesley “Mack” McAnally of Winfield, Kansas in the #1434 Superior special owned by Wendell Arthur Sparling of Winfield, Kansa and Ducky Scott of Topeka, Kansas in a #571 front-wheel-drive car.

Feature Race Winner:  James Floyd Pickens of Arkansas City, Kansas in the #440 Ford special owned by Joe Hutchinson of Arkansas City, Kansas.

 

Blackie O’Bannon came down with typhoid fever and passed away on January 22, 1929 at Arkansas City, Kansas.  He is buried in the Riverview Cemetery on the north edge of Arkansas City.  He never married and has no descendants.