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Erwin F. Dygert

Erwin F. Dygert was an importer of horses into the United States. He brought the last Belgian horses out of Europe before the beginning of the second world war. [1]

He was also involved in harness racing, first at Aurora, Illinois, then at Hawthorne Race Course. He is the namesake for the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot, run at Hawthorne.[2] [3]

His first wife died and he later remarried Beulah Dygert (Farmer) of Danville, Illinois. She continued to work at the Hawthorne Race Course until her late eighties.[4]

Erwin Dygert was of the family that owns the farm on Elk St. in Springville, New York that was home to the first Erie County Fair.

Erwin Dygert married and had 3 children: Mary (Dill), Erwin William "Bill", Marjorie (Wallace), and Gloria (Morrison).


  1. "Belgian Horse History". Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070222233122/http://www.kyhorsepark.com/imh/bw/bel.html. "The last imported Belgian was purchased by E.F. Dygert, an Iowa importer, and landed in New York on January 15, 1940. This was just four months after World War II had started and four months before the German invasion of Belgium." 
  2. "Trot Info". http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20060617/ai_n16494924. 
  3. "Dygert Horse History". Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. http://www.ustrotting.com/hoofbeats/stan-au.htm. "The race is named for Erwin Dygert, who started and ran the old Aurora Downs meeting at Aurora, 35 miles west of Chicago, in the late 1940s. The race later was transferred to Hawthorne at Suburban Downs." 
  4. "Erwin as "patriarch of Illinois harness racing"". http://www.harnesstracks.com/2002_DRF/DRF_August_1_2002.htm. 


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