BEN LEIGHTON, Hibbing, Minnesota

Inducted 1980

Organizer: Ben Leighton is often referred to as the founding father of the NHPA.  He certainly was there and involved but may need to share that recognition with a handful of others.  He was elected President of the NHPA in 1921 as the NHPA was just forming after replacing the two previous organizations (The National League of Horseshoe and Quoit Players and the Grand League of American Horseshoe Pitchers).  Ben’s efforts brought the World Tournament to St. Paul, MN in 1921, to Minneapolis in 1924, and to Duluth, MN in 1927.  He had a great sense for innovation and developed such as: the first-round robin schedules, the first ringer percentage chart, and wrote a booklet “How to Organize a Horseshoe Club and Promote the games” which was copyrighted by Diamond Horseshoe Company and distributed with pitching shoe sales.  He was the catalyst in bringing blue clay into the game.  Ben served the NHPA for many years serving as Secretary and joining other committees to promote the World Tournaments well into the 1930’s.