Frank Longtoe ( 1871-1949), Abenaki, was known as “The Masked Marvel”


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Frank Longtoe, also known as the “Masked Marvel,” was a Pocket Billiards Player of Abenaki decent, who always wore a mask and was never photographed without his mask. The masked Marvel accepted all challenges including Ralph Greenleaf.

In 1931, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not featured him as “The Best Player in the World,” winning 1500 out of 1512 games over a 3 years period.

The masked marvel was known to keep company with “Kid Sheehan.” Frank Sheehan (1885-1952) was another Abenaki, who was a Bantam weight Prizefighter. His boxed in 409 bouts from 1900-1925, winning many if not most of his fights in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Nova Scotia and Quebec, often accepting matches as a way to visit his Abenaki relatives.

Early Life

Frank Longtoe was born in 1871 in Swanton, Vermont, to parents who were both of Abenaki descent. Unfortunately, not much is known about his early life, including the names of his parents or any siblings he may have had. Longtoe grew up in a time when the Abenaki people were facing significant challenges to their way of life, including the loss of their land, language, and culture.

Marriages and Children

Frank Longtoe was married three times and had several children. His first wife was named Mary, and little is known about her or their children.

Longtoe’s second wife was named Alice, and she was also of Abenaki descent. Together, they had at least one child, a son named Frank Longtoe Jr. who was born in 1917. 

Longtoe’s third wife was named Elizabeth, and was also of Abenaki descent. They had several children together, including a son named Leonard Longtoe who was born in 1919. Elizabeth passed away in 1936.

Genealogy Resources

If one is interested in pursuing Frank Longtoe’s family lineage further, there are several genealogy sources that can be consulted. The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration has a collection of vital records that includes birth, marriage, and death certificates. The Abenaki Nation also has a genealogy department that can assist with research into Abenaki family histories.

Contributions and Achievements

Frank Longtoe is most famous for his billiards skills, but he was also a skilled wood carver and made many traditional Abenaki items such as snowshoes, baskets, and masks.

Longtoe was a traditional Abenaki dancer and musician. He performed at many events and gatherings throughout his life, sharing his culture and traditions with others. 

Despite his success as a billiards player, Longtoe’s personal life was not without challenges. He struggled with alcoholism, and his career suffered as a result. He had strained relationships with his family.

In later life, he changed his last name to LaFlamme, and later to Lanctan, in order to distance himself from his family, who he felt he had brought shame upon.