History of the Game in Minnesota


   Shortly before June 1st, 1919, there appeared in the daily papers of Minneapolis accounts of the summer plans for the Park Board Playgrounds. In these newspapers, casual mention was made of an attempt to revive the old game of Horseshoe. This notice brought many inquiries and so much interest was shown that soon plans were under way to organize a city Horseshoe Club under the auspices of the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners. Horseshoe enthusiasts held several meetings and interest seemed to spread like wildfire to all parts of the city. The game began to be played on all the Park Playgrounds and on vacant lots, back yards and alleys everywhere.

   A summary of the Horseshoe activities of the first season shows the interest that was taken in the game:

   Two city tournaments were held with more than 1,100 entries. Sixty medals and one hundred eighty ribbons were awarded. Fifty-one of these medals were presented by the Minneapolis Daily News and nine by the Board of Park Commissioners.

   Minneapolis players won the Hennepin County Horseshoe Tournament in singles and doubles at Hopkins. Two representatives, Murray Johnson and E.O. Nordstrom, went to Kansas City and took part in the National Horseshoe Tournament held there. It is estimated that at least 2,000 men pitched Horseshoe during the season in Minneapolis.

   In St. Paul, the game of Horseshoe was revived and interest grew in like manner. Two tournaments were held, one under the St. Paul Horseshoe Club, and the other under the auspices of the St. Paul Daily News. In October, a state section meet was held at Dunning Field, St. Paul, with fourteen four-men teams entered from the Twin Cities and ten suburbs. Hopkins won the Singles and Doubles Championship and Minneapolis won the Team Championship.

   The Hopkins Horseshoe Club conducted a tournament at the Hennepin County Fair, which was a great success. Other towns nearby organized clubs and conducted tournaments. Among these were Stillwater, Norwood, St. Louis Park, Lake Marion, Hutchinson and Hopkins.

Interest in the game had developed so strongly by fall that at a meeting held in Minneapolis a State Horseshoe Club was organized. The following officers were elected:
President, E.L. Finney, St. Paul
Vice President, A.L. Feudner, Hopkins
Secretary, B.C. Leighton, Minneapolis
Treasurer, E.O. Nordstrom, Minneapolis
Directors, J.R. Batchelor, Duluth; I.C. Christlieb, Hutchinson

   This new State Association immediately began to plan for the 1920 season - a brief summary of which follows:

   In Minneapolis, St. Paul and suburbs:
   17 Thousands of men were organized into Horseshoe Clubs.

   27 The Park Boards, Business Houses, and groups of men installed official Horseshoe courts in the parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, backyards and alleys in all parts of the Twin Cities. Approximately 300 official courts were installed.

   37 Horseshoe teams of four men each were organized into leagues the same as baseball leagues. About 75 such teams were organized in Minneapolis alone representing Industrial and Commercial houses. Parks, Communities, Clubs etc.

   47 Numerous tournaments are being planned for communities and on a city-wide basis.

   In the State, Through the Minnesota State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association.
1. Issuance of Official Hand Book.

2. The organization of Horseshoe Clubs in all parts of the state.

3. In cooperation with the State Fair Board at the Minnesota State Fair:
A Twin City Tournament
A State Tournament

4. Besides developing interest in the game of Horseshoe in all parts of the State of Minnesota and conducting city an state tournaments, it is planned to send representatives to the National Horseshoe Tournament to be held the week of August 8th at Akron, Ohio. At this time it is hoped to recognize the National Horseshoe Association, as well as the rules, for the purpose of standardizing the game in all parts of the country.