EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


HORSESHOE COMPENDIUM

Page 82

     Two interesting officers of two of these clubs were D. J. Cowden, of Adair, and Dr. J. H. Becker, of Des Moines, already mentioned.
     Cowden organized a mail league tournament on a nationwide scale and called his league the "National Horseshoe Pitchers' Athletic Association of America." He studied horseshoe scores as they were mailed in, spent hours on each one, wrote letters of eight to ten pages to the sender with what he called scientific criticism of the pitchers' score. And he had revolutionary ideas on how to completely change the game. His plans were so complicated that nobody but Cowden bothered to try to study them.
     Dr. Becker, although I said he used dictatorial methods in holding his office, was a practical horseshoe booster. Many times he personally canvassed the Des Moines merchants to get prizes for tournaments, and in a state meet here in 1927, he collected $275 in merchandise prizes. A fault lie had, but which did no harm, was to get enthusiastic about some plan, announce it to the press, and then discover it was unworkable. For instance, he once announced that the following year he was going to take America's best 50 pitchers on an exhibition tour of Europe. Becker began getting numerous applications, and he made promises to some, then he found out he couldn't do it.
     By August of 1924, Frank Jackson was again world's champion and came to the fair confident of regaining the title left vacant by Lundin's retirement. But he was disappointed, for Putt Mossman, a flashy 18-year-old boy from Eldora, swept through the tournament. Mossman had won fifth in the 1923 state tournament.
     A world's championship tournament was held at Minneapolis in September, 1924, and Mossman won first, Frank Jackson second, and Frank Campbell, of Waukee, Iowa, fourth. Emmett Mossman, age 13, won the world's junior title, and the oldest brother, Warren, took the world's amateur title.
     Putt Mossman was born in Hardin County, Iowa, July 8, 1906. Besides his brothers, Emmett and Warren, he had a younger sister, Dessie. The children all went in for sports with emphasis upon horseshoe pitching, almost total exclusion of education, and as much as possible also of work. In fact, Putt probably never did any work except a little on the farm, and none at all after he became world's champion.
     A few years after winning the world's amateur championship, Warren took up professional wrestling and once claimed the middleweight championship of his county.
     Emmett beat Frank Jackson at the Iowa State Fair at the

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