Throwback Thursday 12/21/17: “Salute to Top Bowler”

“Hats off to Beulah Abbott of LeClaire, one of the first two members of the Iowa Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was organized last weekend at the group’s annual meeting in Cedar Rapids, with the first two members being named.

Beulah holds the distinction of being one of four women who have rolled a perfect 300 game in Iowa. She was the first, getting hers in 1932 in the old Hilson’s Alleys, now Capitol Lanes.

Mrs. Abbott has topped the 700 mark for series twice. She rolled a 711 the night of her 300 game and hit a 709 one month later at Midway Lanes.

Beulah has been bowling since the 1920s, before the State or Davenport-Bettendorf women’s associations were formed. She was instrumental in getting both organizations moving.

Thirty-four women attended the first meeting of the state group in Newton, in early April, 1931. The local association was formed later that same month.

Since Davenport had the largest representation at the state meeting, the first women’s state tournament was held here in 1932. Beulah won the singles, all-events and teamed with Ethel Methven to win the doubles.

Her all-events score of 1,761 for nine games, stood as a state record until 1958.

Beulah still uses the first bowling ball she ever owned. She has bought or won some others several times, but always returned to the old faithful. Her daughter, Audrey Dittmer, won the singles championship of the city tournament in 1962 using her mother’s “old” ball.

An outstanding career such as this one has produced many trophies and priceless memories. Beulah has a scrapbook full of her high points in the last 30 years.

Included are the tattered score sheet which she recorded her perfect game, newspaper clippings of her victories in state tournaments and others describing outstanding achievements, such as a 277 game.

The latest additions to her collection are a plaque, watch and pin which she received at last weekend’s meeting.

She was not told that she was to enter the Hall of Fame until the ceremony. She had been asked to take part in the unveiling of several pictures of past presidents of the state group, to make sure she would appear at the meeting.

Beulah, now 70, still is active, both in bowling and working. She bowls twice a week, in a women’s league on Friday nights and a mixed league on Sundays.

She holds a “part time” job at the LeClaire Quarry, but is looking forward to working something like 60 hours per week during the busy season for the quarry.

She also does her own gardening.

Mrs. Abbott plans to go to Memphis, Tenn. next month to bowl in the national tournament with her daughter.

Has all of this activity kept her healthy? “I think it has,” she states. “I have not had time to think about getting old.””

-The Daily Times
April 4, 1963

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