“Splendid Golfers Were Developed:” the Newton Country Club

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Archivist/Curator

In 1903, golf was a new sport to people in Harvey County. One spring day, Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Murphy and E.A. Hoag went to Wichita to check out this new sport. The famous golf player Lieut. Richmond P. Hobson was scheduled to play and they wanted to see what all the fuss was about. They seemed to like what they saw and returned to Harvey County ready to learn golf.

Newton Country Club, 1903-1919

“Rustic . . Two-room House”

They leased 65 acres of land north of the city from the Tower estate, later purchased by Fred Tangeman, for a golf course. Al Musselman laid out the course and E.A. Hoag ordered the needed supplies including 20 or more sets of clubs, bags, and markers. Newton was ready to golf! Dues were $10 a year and at one point there were 75 members. After about five years it was decided to build a club house. A “rustic . . two-room house with wide porch on three sides” was completed in 1908.

Newton Country Club, 1912

In addition to golfing, the club house served as a place to hold dances, picnics and concerts.  The group leased the ground from year to year. By 1919 the price had gotten too high for the club to continue. Plus, the amenities were lacking with no water or lights. The club went out of business in 1919.

“Splendid Golfers Were Developed”

However, many¬†“splendid golfers were developed . . . many of them playing fully as good if not a better game” than earlier players. Many prominent Newton citizens enjoyed playing golf and were not interested in giving up on the sport. On Jue 22, 1920 a group of men gathered to discuss the matter. By July 7, 1920, they had organized and became known as the “Newton Country Club.”

Newton Country Club, 1920

A new location with 80 acres was established one-half mile south of 1st street on Kansas Ave. By fall 1920, the membership was at about 150. Wichita architect, Lorenz Schmidt, designed the club house and S.P. Merchant was the builder.

Newton Country Club, 1935.

The new club house has room for a “spacious dance floor, a grill room and kitchen, large locker rooms for both men and women with shower baths, a nice lounge and game room.” A favorite feature was the commodious porch which was capable of being enclosed with glass in the winter.

Newton Country Club Over the Years

1961

1980s

In February 2024, the Newton Country Club/Fox Ridge Club House building was torn down.

Source

  • Newton Kansan 50th Anniversary Ed, 22 August 1922, “The Newton Country Club- Original Club Was One of the Oldest in Kansas,” p. 82.