Not all readers may take keen interest in today's annual conventions, let alone read the minutes from a convention 81 years ago. But for those interested, this may have been one of the more unusual conventions, bizarre in some sense, and probably the only convention chaired by a woman officer. This article from the March 1925 Horseshoe World (provided from the files of Gary Kline, NHPA Historian), presents a close up view, of the NHPA in its infancy. These are not the minutes as taken by a NHPA member, but reprinted from the local newspaper's accounting of the proceedings. How many of our modern-day conventions have garnered this much ink in the local news?

The conventions of yesterday must have had more pomp and hoopla, evidenced by the fact that delegates wore badges of identification. The badge worn by a delegate from Kansas is pictured in this article. The ribbon showed up on e-bay last year and was on display at the World Tournament in Gillette.


Owing to the fact that the Horseshoe World has been unable to get a full version of the happenings at the convention held in Lake Worth in connection with the tournament, the following story of the election of officers as given by the Lake Worth Herald:

Tightening up on loose ends of the organization preparation to handling a largely increased volume of business caused by unprecedented growth and enthusiasm in horseshoe circles, the National Horseshoe Pitchers' Association reorganized Thursday night at a regular session of the convention in the Town auditorium. A new constitution was adopted providing for a two-year term for all elected officers, and Al Michler, of Lake Worth, was made president. D.D. Contrell, of North Cohocton, N.Y. and St. Petersburg, treasurer of the old organization, was made first vice president, and was also appointed national statistician, a position which he held for many years. Alex Cumming, of Minneapolis, was elected second vice president, succeeding Mrs. Thomas Heenan, of Minneapolis. Ralph Spencer, of Picher, Okla., formerly first vice president, was made treasurer, and Edward M. Twynham, of Akron, was elected secretary. All officers were elected by unanimous ballot.

President Michler was escorted to the platform by a committee of delegates and Jack Francisco, of St. Petersburg, led the cheering which continued for several minutes after Mr. Michler had taken his seat. Election of the vice presidents, secretary, and treasurer followed and committees were appointed to draft important measures to be presented to the convention for consideration at its session next Tuesday evening.

The constitution committee named by President Michler is composed of Harry Born, of Atlantic City, NJ; T.C. Reed, of McKeesport, PA.; Al F. King, of Akron, Ohio; J.C. Behling, of New York, and C.S. Walters, of Lake Worth. The rules committee is headed by Frank Jackson, of Kellerton, Iowa, the other members being C.A. Lanham, of Bloomington, Ill.; Clark Wallis, of Akron, Ohio; W.J. Martin, of Cleveland, Ohio; Al F. King, of Akron, Ohio; T.C. Reed, of McKeesport, PA.; Jack Francisco, of St. Petersburg, and Wm. P. Yocum, of Zanesville, Ohio.

A committee to recommend rules and regulation under which women shall play at national tournaments was organized and Mrs. C.A. Lanham, of Bloomington, Ill., Mrs. Mayne Francisco, of Florida, and Mrs. George Brouillette, of Minnesota, were named to take charge of the work.

Acting upon the request of the retiring treasurer D.D. Cottrell, the president appointed an audit committee composed of Mrs. Thomas Heenan, Minneapolis; M.R. Nicholson, of Lake Worth, and J. Snedaker, of Asbury Park, NJ, Al F. King, Of Akron, was appointed head scorer, a position he has held with the national association for years.

The meeting developed a real "kick" when President Al Michler, who was elected to office at the convention in Minneapolis last September, announced his resignation after making the statement that he was unable to handle the office with any degree of efficiency, owing to the laxity in the business end of the organization. He expressed his appreciation of the honors that had been shown him and the co-operation extended to him by national pitchers since he has assumed office. He said he would continue to do what he could as a booster, but that he did not care to assume the responsibility of the presidency as things stood. His resignation was accepted and Mrs. Heenan, vice president took the chair.

The delegates took up the cry of: "We want Michler! He's the best president we ever had!" which continued until Mrs. Heenan rapped for order. Mr., Cottrell took the floor and explained the statement previously made by Mr. Michler that the organization should be put on a business basis to warrant continued growth of the sport.

The convention agreed that if they had a constitution and by-laws, they did not know where the document was at that time, and the motion to re-organize followed. The roll call was taken by states, all delegates present voted in favor of the plan.

J.C. Behling, of New York, then presented a constitution and by-laws, clipped from the Horseshoe World, and purported to be the constitution and by-laws of the National Horseshoe Pitchers' Association, although the original was not before the convention or in the hands of any of its officers, and moved its adoption with two changes. He proposed that the officers be elected to serve two years instead of one, giving them an opportunity to accomplish some real constructive work for the organization.

He also proposed the elimination of a section which he said "throttled" the delegates in presenting amendments at regular sessions of the convention. The constitution and by-laws were adopted by unanimous vote and the reorganization proceeded.

Delegates to the convention declared they were highly pleased with interest being manifested in the association and said that the convention in Lake Worth this year had resulted in bringing many new states into the organization.

Words of commendation were spoken in favor of Mrs. Thomas Heenan, retiring vice president for her services to the association and a committee composed of Jack Francisco, H.J. Born and Alex Cumming was appointed to draft a telegram of appreciation to be sent to secretary B.G. Leighton , of Minneapolis, whose resignation was tendered by telegraph and accepted by the association.