On April 7 one of the most notable influencers in U.S. curling history will be inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame as Elmer Freytag (Lake Forest, Ill.) is honored posthumously with the highest international curling honor. Freytag, was one of the founding members of the International Curling Federation and drafted its original Constitution. He also founded the Chicago Curling Club and was on the advisory board for the Scotch Cup and Air Canada Silver Broom – now the World Men’s Curling Championship.

Freytag served as a representative to the International Curling Federation for the U.S. Men’s Curling Association, which is now the United States Curling Association, from 1966 up until his death in 1976. The Elmer Freytag Award was introduced after his death in 1978 and is now known as the World Curling Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 7 prior to the start of the second semifinal game at the 2018 361° World Men’s Curling Championship at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Exmoor Member Inducted Into The World Curling Hall of Fame

Elmer W. Freytag has been awarded the highest honor in international curling – membership in the World Curling Hall of Fame. Freytag was an Exmoor member from 1942 until his death in 1976. His second wife, Blanche, remained an Exmoor member until 1997.

The formal induction ceremony will be held in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in conjunction with the World Men’s Curling Championship. Freytag’s daughter, Dorothy (Dotti) Freytag Beck von Peccoz Howe, and her son, Stephen Beck von Peccoz, will participate in the induction ceremony on behalf of the Freytag family. Larry and Ann Hartman Brown, who knew Elmer and his first wife, Mary Louise (MaryLou), will attend as Exmoor representatives.

Elmer –A Very Unusual Man

According to current Exmoor member Warren Peterson, “Elmer piloted his own plane and was the center of a spy scare, when he made an emergency landing inside the grounds of Inland Steel. He climbed the fence and took a cab home on a stormy night in the winter of 1942. The authorities knew only that the plane belonged to a German.”

Now, here is the curling story of this fascinating person.

Globalizing Curling

Freytag had a major influence in developing international curling. He was a founding member and early leader of the International Curling Federation (ICF), the predecessor to the World Curling Federation (WCF). The ICF was founded in 1965 as a vehicle to expand curling throughout the world, from its historical curler bases of Scotland, Canada and the United States. The WCF now has 60 member associations, spanning the globe.

Freytag was instrumental in creating the ICF. A 1928 graduate of Wisconsin and an attorney by profession, Freytag provided legal advice to the ICF organizers, drafted the original ICF constitution, and served as the United States Men’s Curling Association (USMCA) representative to the ICF for more than a decade. The USMCA was founded in 1958, and later became the United States Curling Association (USCA).

Freytag helped initiate and then expand participation in the World Men’s Curling Championships, which began in 1959. He served on the advisory boards of both the Scotch Cup (1959-1967) and its successor, the Air Canada Silver Broom. The Swedish Curling Association recognized Freytag as the first American for merit in curling.

Freytag was Co-Captain of the first USMCA team to travel to Scotland in 1952 to compete for the Herries-Maxwell Trophy. This was the first major international exchange of curlers between these countries. He was Captain of a USMCA tour team to Switzerland in 1960. In 1962, he was again Captain of the USMCA tour team to Scotland. The participants on these tour teams were selected for their contributions to building curling and their curling prowess.

In recognition of Freytag’s exceptional contribution to international curling, the ICF named its highest honor the Elmer Freytag Award in 1978. In 1994, the ICF’s highest honor was renamed the World Curling Freytag Award. In 2012, it became the World Curling Hall of Fame. Each honoree was designated as either a builder or as a curler, depending upon where his primary contributions to world curling were.

Forty-four individuals (six posthumously, including Freytag) have received the highest honor in international curling, including seven Americans. Freytag was honored as a builder. He is the first American inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame since 2003.

Don Duguid, the brother of former Exmoor Curling Professional, Gerry Duguid, was inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame in 2013.

Strengthening American Curling

Freytag also helped strengthen organized curling in the United States. His work as USMCA President was particularly valuable. In addition, Freytag led the establishment of the American Curling Foundation and Museum (ACFM). At the time of his death, he was an honorary USMCA Vice President and President of the ACFM. In 1955, he received the first award of merit ever presented by the North American Curling News for outstanding devotion and service to curling.

Freytag also helped create the Chicago Curling Club in 1948. The plans for this first indoor curling facility in Illinois, and its funding, originated from curling leaders at Exmoor, Indian Hill, Skokie, and Glen View. Freytag was a member of the Organizing Committee.

Eighteen Exmoor members, including Freytag, were Founding Members of the Chicago Curling Club. The new facility would supplement curling at the other Illinois clubs and a league, with teams from each club.

Competitive Curling

Freytag was a strong competitive curler. He won the Exmoor Men’s Club Championship four times from 1945 to 1957. He competed successfully in curling bonspiels throughout the United States and in Canada. Freytag especially loved playing in the Quebec International Bonspiel, where his regular teammates included other Exmoor members, including Warren Peterson, Sr. and Horace Vaile.

Freytag was a keen student of curling and an excellent coach to world-class competitive teams. He was the Coach of the Bud Somerville rink of Superior, WI (which also included Bill Strum, Al Gagne, and Tom Wright). This team won the World Men’s Curling Championship in 1965. It was the first American team to win this award.

Ironically, an Exmoor rink representing Illinois, skipped by Bob Warner, lost to Somerville in the finals of the United States Curling Championships that year. Somerville’s team was inducted into the USCA Hall of Fame in 1994, and into the World Curling Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1945, Freytag upset Canadian Ken Watson in the St. Paul, MN Men’s Bonspiel. Watson was the first person inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame, and was then one of the highest-ranking curlers in the world.

Freytag was several times Chairman of the Illinois State Playdowns Committee. At that time, the Chicago Tribune was a major sponsor of curling. It reported the results of the curling playdown competitions daily.

A Strong Personal Life

Elmer and his first wife, Mary Louise (MaryLou) had three children. MaryLou was an ardent curler. She served as President of the United States Women’s Curling Association (USWCA) in 1957-58.

Only two other Exmoor women have served in this role – Ann Ferguson Brown (1986-87) and Georgia West (1998-99). Both subsequently served as a USCA President. Brown was inducted into the United States Curling Hall of Fame in 1993.

Both Elmer and MaryLou were heavily involved in community and charitable organizations. They believed strongly in helping people, and building stronger communities.

Freytag’s and his family had very strong ties to Chicago’s North Shore communities. The family originally lived on Green Bay Road in Highland Park. They moved in 1950 to 700 N. Green Bay Road in Lake Forest. Blanche moved to Winnetka almost 30 years later, following Elmer’s death.

Their first son Richard, a Son of the American Revolution (SAR), served in the U.S. Air Force and then had a distinguished business career with Citicorp. He attended Lake Forest Academy, Trinity College, Harvard Business School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Richard remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and retired as a Major General in 1993. He died in 2005, at the age of 71.

Their daughter Dorothy (Dotti) Beck von Peccoz Howe attended Ferry Hall (later merged into Lake Forest Academy) and Wells College. She had a wonderful career as an actress, supporter of the arts and community organizations, and volunteer for the Lake Forest Academy. She received the 2013 Ferry Hall Woman of Distinction award.

Their second son, Donald, also a SAR, attended Lake Forest Academy, Yale, and Harvard Business School. He was a senior officer and Board member of many corporations, a philanthropist, and a parachute intelligence officer with the 18th Airborne Corps.

None of Freytag’s children were curlers. MaryLou died at 56 in 1962. Elmer remarried to a non-curler, Blanche Nanini, in1966. They were married until his death in 1976. She died in 2005, at age 86.

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https://www.labula.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/img_Elmer-Freytag-to-be-inducted-into-World-Curling-Hall-of-Fame-in-Las-Vegas.jpghttps://www.labula.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/img_Elmer-Freytag-to-be-inducted-into-World-Curling-Hall-of-Fame-in-Las-Vegas.jpgBobby SotoUncategorizedOn April 7 one of the most notable influencers in U.S. curling history will be inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame as Elmer Freytag (Lake Forest, Ill.) is honored posthumously with the highest international curling honor. Freytag, was one of the founding members of the International Curling...