History of the Coffeyville Country Club

Coffeyville Country Club’s inception began with a group of businessmen chatting over coffee at the New Castle Cafe in downtown Coffeyville in the early 1950’s. To name a few of those in the group: Harry Strasburger, Clare Ford, and Richard Seaton.

Clare Ford and Richard Seaton were in charge of raising funds for the construction of the Club and golf course. The founders of the Club decided in order to avoid payment of approximately $14,000 in taxes, construction funds would be made available to the Club in the form of non-taxable loans rather than direct payments. Two classes of Trust Certificates were issued. Class A for $900 each plus $100 for dues. Class B certificates were for $200 each plus $100 for dues. Forty-nine shares of Class A and 150 shares of Class B were sold to raise funds for construction.

Several sites were considered:

1. Property surrounding Brown Mansion

2. Acreage three miles east of Quality Motors

3. SE corner of Inglewood and Woodland (Bob Esch property)

4. Acreage a quarter mile south of the Club on Inglewood

5. Ford’s south eighty acres (present location)

The present site was chosen because of the inward slope of the land. This was beneficial for the potential lake site. Eighty-two acres were purchased from Clare Ford’s father for $100 per acre. An additional eight acres were purchaed in 1994 for expansion of golf facilities and water resources.

May 1951, Harry Strasburger contacted William Diddle, a golf architect from Indianapolis, to consult with the group on the design, location, and actual construction of the golf course. Pres Maxwell was also a consultant on the project. Construction cost $27,500. Bell Construction of Kansas City built the golf course. According to a newspaper clipping, the course was opened March 27, 1952. The news article stated it was a nine-hole course with a pro shop operated by C.P. “Mose” Neis.

In 1952, Rex Lucas – county engineer, began plans for a lake of twelve surface acres of water. The original pond was only a half acre. Engineering costs were $350. Water supply for the course, at this time, was three wells. Construcion costs for this project was $5,000. The work was performed by M & N Construction under the direction of Lee Miliken. Today this same lake, after some modifications, waters the greens plus providing fishing accommodations for the Club members.

Homer Hastings was hired to begin construction of the original Clubhouse. Many area industries contributed materials and labor for this project. Construction costs were $79,000. A bar and lounge followed by a pro shop were later added to the original structure.

The Club was dedicated on July 4, 1954 in a ceremony at the Club complete with fireworks. Don Myers was the first President of the Club and Clare Ford was the Secretary.

Construction costs for the original swimming pool was $20,000. A redesign of the swimming pool to the present style was completed in 1991 at a cost of $185,000. The Club Swim Team has spawned many of the local high school swimmers. More than a few have gone on to college with impressive swimming records.

In 1997, the membership voted to replace the existing Clubouse with a new design more suited to the members needs. Members only dining, business meeting rooms, new kitchen facilities, and men’s/women’s locker rooms update the Club’s capabilities. Also, an additional 9 holes of the original 9 holes. It was planned to start construction on the recently purchased 80 acres north of the original 9 holes. It was planned to start construction in 1998 with a “links” style design to keep maintenance costs down. Tree addition and landscaping will take place over time much as the original course developed.

The original concept of a pricate country club has not changed. A golf club with food service and the addition of swimming, tennis, and fishing allow members to have quality recreation and social functions. The membership gets quite a bargain for their dues dollars. Coffeyville Country Club is one of the “jewels” of Southeast Kansas.