“Best way possible to straighten out a bit of history is to record it inaccurately to start with. This happened last Tuesday with the story of Eleanor Ackley’s momentous night at Highland Park Bowl, Moline, when she cracked out a powerful 695 series.
At the time, and after checking a couple of sources, it was believed Eleanor’s big count, brought into being on games of 161, 266 and 268, was the highest ladies’ series ever rolled in this area.
But a wonderful lady named Beulah Abbott, who was in her heydey when this writer’s Ivy League trousers still had three corners, holds the record. In fact has two scores higher than Eleanor’s.
We contacted veteran Davenport bowler Ethel Methven yesterday to learn of our error. Mrs. Methven was a witness to both of Beulah’s big counts in the year 1932.
Davenport’s women’s association had just been sanctioned in April 1932, over violent protest of some bowlers who didn’t want to belong to the Women’s International Bowling Congress.
Then on the night of Nov. 21, at Hilson Alleys, now Capitol Lanes, Beulah made more than one piece of bowling history and it made the alliance more agreeable to all concerned.
She started with a 222 game then came back with a perfect 300. This set the stage for a minon “letdown” in which Beulah shot “only” 189. But it was good for the all-time mark of 711.
Just a month later, Beaulah, who is still rolling in League play at Davenport’s “30” Lanes, cracked out a 709 at Hilson’s. At the time the lady, who now lives in LeClaire, was averaging 181.
Mrs. Methven also recalls that Beulah’s 300 was not the only one that season. In March of 1933, Bernie Thee of Davenport turned the trick.
So Eleanor Ackley, modern day Beulah Abbott most assuredly, does not have the record. But she joins a pretty select club and we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if some day she cracks that 700 mark. And when she does, we’ll be ready for it this time.”
December 9, 1960