1919 - 1923

The History of Motor Sports in Hibbing and Northern Minnesota - A Timeline

                                                                                   1919           Mr. Elmer T. Shannon from Chisholm enters his Duesenburg in the Indy 500.
                                                                                                       It is the first 500 to be held after world War 1. Mr. Shannon finishes in 13th place.
                                                                                                       But, he was nearly killed in a freak accident involving Louis Chevrolet.
                                                                                                       Races held at the county fair are local events only.
                                                                                                        1920           Major automobile race held on July 18th. Tommy Milton and Louis Disbrow are
                                                                                                        among the contenders. Race is won by Disbrow. Local drivers compete in county
                                                                                                        fair races. Special exhibition race held between an aeroplane and a race car. The
                                                                                                        race is part of the Flying Circus performing at the fair. Auto Polo event is held.
                                                                                   1921            Emil “The Whip” King, of Hibbing, is campaigning the Duesenberg race car that
                                                                                                         he purchased from Elmer Shannon last year. 10,000 people see him break the Iowa
                                                                                                         state record during their state fair. Automobile and motorcycle races held for local
                                                                                                         drivers at the county fair. Native Americans were in attendance to perform as was
                                                                                                         their custom.  
                                                                                  1922             Races held for local motorcycle and automobile drivers at the county fair. Largest
                                                                                                        attendance ever with over 20,000 people passing through the gates on Sunday.
                                                                                  1923             “Speed Demons” at the fair on Labor Day. Sig Haugdahl bringing his record 
                                                                                                         setting “Wisconsin Special” to Hibbing. It is powered by a 766 cu. in. aircraft
                                                                                                         engine and has run over 180MPH at Daytona Beach. Also here is Les Allen who
                                                                                                         will be driving the “Golden Submarine” car built for Barney Oldfield. Races are
                                                                                                         sanctioned by the IMCA. Haugdahl sets new track record with his “Wisconsin
                                                                                                         pecial” with a time for 1 mile of 1:01.40 Huge crowds. On Sunday, 17,600
                                                                                                         people arrived in 3,000 cars to attend the fair and had to park up to 2 miles away

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© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.