Wade Isaacs | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Wade Isaacs

Wade Isaacs, Mohawk athlete (born 1904 in the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, ON). Isaacs along with his father and brothers Bill and Lance became one of Canada’s most notable Indigenous lacrosse families.

A Lacrosse Legacy

Bill Isaacs was the son of Freeman Joseph Isaacs (1869–1937), also known as “Man Afraid of the Soap.” The elder Isaacs represented Canada at the 1904 St. Louis Olympic Games on the Mohawk Indians lacrosse team, which won a bronze medal. Another Canadian lacrosse team, the Winnipeg Shamrocks, won the gold medal. The two lacrosse medals helped Canada secure third place in the overall medals count, although only a few nations had competed that year. The only other time that lacrosse was a competitive sport at the Olympics was in 1908, while it was a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. Three of Isaacs’ sons, Wade, Lance and Bill became star lacrosse players for various teams in Canada and the United States.

Wade Isaacs

Wade was the oldest of the three lacrosse-playing brothers. He began his career with the Montreal Maroons in the International Professional Lacrosse League. After he played in only four games, the Maroons and the other Montreal team dropped out of the league and Wade transferred to the Atlantic City Americans.

The Americans were a barnstorming team that played against professional American and Canadian teams. They never lost an exhibition game. Wade was one of the team’s top scorers, scoring 20 goals and 10 assists during the 10 games he played. For the 1937 season, he played with the Toronto Marlboros for only seven games, apparently called up to replace his departed brother, Lance.


Lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports in Canada and originated in First Nations communities. Box lacrosse was developed in Canada in the 1930s to use hockey arenas left empty during the summer. Today, there are four versions of lacrosse played in Canada: men’s field lacrosse, women’s field lacrosse, box lacrosse and inter-crosse.