Saturday, September 10, 2022

1957 The Race: the Muntz Jet vs the Chrysler 300

After writing the stories about George Coleman, Jr. I cannot go on without sharing another one of George's influences in our lives in Miami. Both George and my dad loved to race cars and play golf. The early 1950's green Oldsmobile that dad bought when we arrived in Miami in 1954 came from George Coleman. That car alone, made many fast from Miami, Oklahoma to Santa Anita, California, where dad and his country club crew would play in a golf tournament then drive home. In the early days, it was Dr. Robert Baron who rode shotgun, later Doc Jackson was a regular. The shotgun driver had the responsibly of keeping an eye out for the Highway Patrol.  

Mad Man Muntz caricature on Steering Wheel

In 1957 Johnie bought The Muntz from Lou Newell, who at that time owned Sky Ranch and a famous stud horse named Johnny Dial  Lou had bought the car in Indianapolis. (Contrary to rumors this car was not a pace car for the Indianapolis 500, as reported in my childhood.)

The car was made in 1951 by Mad Man Muntz. In the late 1940's a nationally known race car wizard, Frank Kurtis, who eventually developed a number of Indianapolis 500 winners, designed and built about 20 aluminum-bodied two-seater sports cars. Kurtis, however, lacked production resources, so Muntz stepped in and bought the manufacturing right. Muntz redesigned the car that was soon dubbed the Muntz Jet. He stretched the wheelbase, put in a back seat, replaced the Ford engines with Cadillac V-8's, added padded dashboards and seat belts, painted the cars in bright Easter egg colors, and even installed liquor and ice cabinets. (Our center console  held beer, but I don't recall that it was a liquor cabinet, merely space between the bucket seats, where mom and dad could hide their beers on the way to Minnie and Milts Dinner Restaurant in Joplin.) 


Bob Hill retold this story recently. Your dad must have bought the car in 1956, and it was well known to be one of the fastest cars on the road with a Cadillac V-8 engine. Bob and his buddies heard a rumor that George Coleman, Jr. had challenged Johnie to a race. The Will Rogers Turnpike was not open to traffic in the spring of 1957, but the road was open and cleared for traffic. The holdup being the finishing touches on the Glass House over the turnpike near Vinita. 

George Coleman, Jr. bought a new 1955 Chrysler 300 with push button transmission and decided to drive it back to Miami and challenge his golfing friend and race car buddy, Johnie Stapp, to a race between his new Chrysler 300 and the Muntz Jet. 

The two men and their fast cars arrived at the turnpike intending to race full speed from Miami to Vinita. Without proof, I am sure there was a gallery of people present to see the pro and George race.  

Bob and his buddies decided to ride their bikes to the first over pass between Miami and Vinita, so they could watch the race. By the time they arrived the race was over.

In the end, the pair never even made it Afton. The Chrysler out performed the Muntz because of the newer faster engine and the push button transmission. It was made to travel. The Muntz was a dragster and drove well on the straight out fast track. 

Shortly after the race, during my fourth grade year in school,  we moved to 209 H. N.E. where dad had a two car garage. I'm sure it was during that year 57-58 that dad bought a Chrysler 300 engine and the guys at B & B garage worked many hours to install the new engine. Dad could always be found tinkering with his car in that old garage. My sister and I spent evenings watching dad or doing our best to help and yet, stay out of the way.

Letter Series
Chrysler first introduced the 300 back in 1955, and with the debut of that high-performance 4-seater some would say the idea of the muscle car was born. Over the next 10 years, Chrysler would bring to market a range of 300s now referred to as the “letter series,” starting with that first 300 and continuing on with the 300B, 300C, 300D — a new letter every year with the final 300L in 1965. These special Chrysler's were among the fastest production cars on the road, equipped with the latest in luxury features. Other 300 models followed the letter series, but none would ever be as special as those first versions.  Chrysler 300: a Brief History

1955 Chrysler 300* 

Jim Taylor, son of Gob Taylor, personal memory of riding in the Muntz on Highway 66.

This event occurred with Pat Temple when Johnie took the two of us on a little ride going to Commerce and back on Highway 66. I believe this was a 1951 Muntz and was well capable of speeds in excess of 120 mph. Johnie also was an experienced race car driver and that Muntz looked hot to Pat and me. We were always asking Johnie to drive us around. Hence, he finally succumbed to giving us a ride and off we went. 


Rolled and pleated interior

When we got to Highway 66, we were really riding him to show us something. He did, he drove that Muntz right between two cars at 65 mph or so and he floored that Muntz and we flew through them. Scared me thoroughly as it did Pat, and we did not ask again. However, it was evident that Johnie knew well how to drive a race car. That Muntz was a state-of-the-art car in the early 1950's.

Jim Burford, son of John and Lucille Burford,shared this personal story: 

Jim told me that my dad was always his hero, not for the golf but for his racing passion. Jim became fascinated with how dad modified engines, like the Muntz, to go flat out 160 down the turnpike or late night roads like the one that connected Ben Stanley's corner on Route 66 to the east and back to the Fairgrounds. It was a lonely dark road until the boys and men challenged each other to drag races. Once, again it was the mechanics at B&B Garage on South Main, who kept dad's car rolling along. 

Our Muntz Jet was originally a mustard color that I now see on some of the new smaller cars. The interior was also rolled and pleated mustard color leather. Later, dad painted it black, a shinny black. Next, it became baby blue and the interior was changed to match it. No matter which color the Highway Patrol found him on Route 66 or the Will Rogers Turnpike. They knew his car and his name personally. 

To me the car was always that vivid mustard color.

L.K. Newell went on to establish his now well-known Newell Coach .

L.K. Newell also was a noted Miami business man, who kept many Miami people employed over the decades:  L.K. Lou Newell, Business man


1955 Chrysler 300 image credit:

Monday, September 5, 2022


 Personal photo of Mickey Wright and Johnie Stapp April, 1958 at Miami Country club.

1958 March 9 "Ladies Ready for '58 Golf Activities" 

Weekly golf competition for members of the Miami Ladies Golf assn. will resume Wednesday at the Miami club, weather permitting. Officers for the year are: Mrs.W.L. Oliver, President; Mrs. Ed Badger, secretary, and Mrs. Lee Adkinson, treasurer.

1958 March 30  "Spring Fashion Festival Feature at Country Club"

Decorations appropriate to the Easter season set the theme for the Women's Division luncheon and spring fashion festival Thursday at the Miami Country club. Center of interest at the officer's table was an Easter egg tree and tiny birds made by Mrs. Bert Wall.

Mrs. William L. Oliver, commented on fashions offered by Ramsay's and Hub Clothing Co. Modeling the spring fashions were Mrs. Tracy G. Wright, Mrs. Henry Garwood, Miss Katie Murphy, Mrs. Kelso Berentz, Mrs.Charles Stansell, and Mrs. A.L. Commons. Door prizes were won by Mrs. Woodrow Painter, Mrs. Bill Carter, and Mrs. Warren Wilbur.

Bridge and canasta rounded out the social afternoon. Winner of the bridge prizes were Mrs. Albert Jackson, Mrs. Clarence Carselowey, Mrs. A.J. Poleet, Mrs. Orville Dahl, Mrs. A.L. Commons and Mrs. G.R. Hill. Mrs. Robert Reavis, Mrs. Emma Bayliss, Mrs. H.M. Kreiger and Mrs. R.E. Holland won the canasta awards.  

1958 April 13 "High School Golfers"

The Harding team, a pre-tournament favorite, took home the four-man team trophy with a combined low score of 318 on 18 holes of medal play. Miami War Dogs finished second with 323, followed by Bristow, Cascia Hall and Edison. Bob Hill was low for the local team and third low for the tournament with a 37-40=77. The other Miami scores were Dick Neel, 39-49=88; Philip Temple, 38-41=79, and James Emery, 38-41=79.

1958 April 27 "Mickey Wright to Conduct Golf Clinic Here on May 2"

Mickey Wright, one of the nation's finest golfers, will present a clinic at 1:30. The class is open to the public. Wright, a member of Wilson Sporting Gods is one of the longest drivers in the women's professional division. She turned pro in 1954 and ranked 12th among the leading money winners in women's professional golf 

(Personal Note) This event was one of the biggest events of my childhood, because dad asked my 5th grade teacher if I could miss school for a few hours. With a grudging consent, Miss Garman, said "Yes." What I honestly remember is having lunch with Mickey Wright and my parents at the Miami Hotel where the dinning room served it's meal on pink linen tablecloths. She was so gracious and kind to us and to the gallery who came out that afternoon to watch her exhibition. She never quit smiling. 

Mickey Wright and Johnie Stapp, standing on old Number 9 tee box with hole 7 tee box in background. Thank you Bob Hill for showing me the power lines in the background as the clue to the setting.



Miami high school golfers, winners of second place Tuesday with a 482 in the annual invitational tournament at Bristow, will compete Thursday against Kansas schoolboy teams on the municipal course at Coffeyville. Bob Hill carded a 116 to take top honors for Coach Bill Smith's Miami team. Dick Neel was just a stroke behind at 117. Phil Temple shot a 121 and James Emery 128.

1958  UPGRADING the Sand Traps (bunkers) 

Roger McCollum recalls that Johnie must have gone to play Southern Hills in a PGA qualifier. Upon his return he made the decision to take our old flat sand traps, that members rather liked because they could putt out of them, and upgrade them to deep bunkers that required a sand wedge and new golf skills to hit the ball out of the deep traps.

Within a couple of weeks the bunkers were lowered (deepened). They all had a foot to foot and half faces on them now. Oh, how the membership howled about that!. But to this day, I credit your dad for teaching me how to get out of the deep bunkers with GREAT success. 

Letty's personal memory of this event: I vividly recall watching my dad one day take a shovel to the south side sand trap on number nine hole. The fairway broke to the right and two sand traps were there to catch out rolling golf balls. Dad dug and dug on that facing. Over a few days he and the greens keeper placed a metal front to protect the wall, and lined it with wooden slates (that may have been railroad ties). Then the sand trap was extended outward. It became a bear in my lifetime.

I can even recall, thanks to Roger's memory, that the next few holes to have sand traps enlarged and deepened were hole #3 on the right and left side; hole # 5 on the right side; hole #7 on the front right; then hole # 8 on the left side. One by one over the next summer the sand traps grew in depth and width, thanks to dad's experience in Southern Hills. 

1958 May 8 WELCOME JAYCEES AND JAYCEE JANES to the BIG 1958 Junior Chamber of Commerce Convention, Miami, Oklahoma  May 9-11

1958 June 6  "Kids Golf Classes to Resume June 21"

The next golf training class for Miami youngsters will be on June 21. Classes for the next two Saturdays have been called off. Mrs. Stapp will be hospitalized this weekend and her husband will attend the National Open tournament next week in Tulsa. 

(Ha, ha,  I didn't remember this. I wonder who took care of the kids?)

1958 June 8 "Women's Handicap Tournament"

 1958 June 8 "Southern Hills hosts National Open"

Golfdom's great as well as some of its unknowns will stage the 58th renewal of the storied National Open over the well-manicured Southern Hills Country Club next week. The excellent condition of the course, coupled with it "untricked" layout, may put in sharp focus one of the age-old arguments of golf: Will the "old guard" such as Ben Hogan and Sammy Snead, hold sway over the up and comers like Ken Venturi and Arnold Palmer. (Tommy Bolt wins the Open.)

1958 June 9  "Sputnik III"

The Pentagon's chief space scientist has conceded that the Russians may be using their giant Sputnik III to spy on the United States. But he added, "My guess is they are not." 

1958 June 16 "Robinson Medalist in Miami Tourney"

John F. Robinson, former city golf champion, won medalist honors in qualifying rounds for the annual Miami Country club championship with an even par 72. One round will be played each week in the tournament. The finals are scheduled for July 13, second by June 29 and third by July 6.

Pairings for Championship flight: 

John F. Robinson, 72, vs Ray Mantle, 82.  Dr. R.E. Baron, 79, vs George Beck, 84.

G.R. While, 78 vs Joe Blockwitz, 83.  Dr. W.D. Jackson, 81 bye

Jack Myers, 74 vs Bob Temple, 83.   Kenneth Childress, 79 vs Bill Neel, 84.

Dick Lowry, 78 vs Mac Rupp, 84.   Phillip Temple, 82, bye

Pairing for First Flight:

James Emery vs Rex Painter. Roy McDonald vs Henry Kenreigh; Charlie Trussler vs Frank Hansford; DeArmon , bye.

Pairings for Second Flight:

Woodrow Painter vs John Burford; Buck Bagby vs Wayland Kelly; Joe Thompson vs Noel Wyatt; Blaine Dahlquist, vs Harry Dean; Ted Lowry vs Al Spaulding; P.J. Stephenson vs Bob Hill; George Wojcik vs Bernie Schaff; Dr. Harry Ford, bye.

 Pairings for Third Flight:

Bill Hirsch vs Ed Badger; Earl Fisher vs Bill Medcalf; Tom Barton vs Spencer Dawson; Marion Zajic vs Darrell Kissee.  Bill Carter vs Frank LaCalf; Harry Whitaker vs Chuck Holden; Henry Garwood vs Lee Adkison; Jack Schofield, bye.


1958 June 17 "Hill, Neel Qualify for State Junior Tourney"

Bob Hill and Dick Neel, who are due to be starts on the Miami High School golf team again next season, qualified for the state Jaycee junior tournament to be held in Ponca City, June 24-26 sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Hill, who will be a junior next fall at Miami high, paced the local contestants with a 27 hole total of 39,39,40=118. 

1958 June 24 mdnr  "Favorites Win in City Meet"

Leading contenders for the men's golf championship of the Miami Country club advanced in the first round of the annual tournament and will play their second matches not later than next Sunday.

Defending champion Jack Myers defeated Bob Temple, 3 and 2, and will met Bill Neel in the second round. Neel gained a default victory from Kenneth Childress of Webb City, Mo.

The Myers-Neel winner will play the survivor of the match between Dick Lowry and Phil Temple. Lowry won over McRupe of Vinita, 2 up, and Temple had a first round bye.

In the upper bracket of the championship flight, former city champion John F. Robinson advanced over Ray Mantle, 2 and 1. He is paired this week against Dr. R.E. baron, winner over George Beck, 1 up.

G.R. White had to go 19 holes before gaining a 1 up win over toe Blockwitz. His second-round opponent is Dr. W.D. Jackson, who had a first-round bye. 

FIRST FLIGHT; James Emery defeated Rex Painter; Roy McDonald shaded Harry Kenreigh; Charlie Trussler beat Frank Hansford; DeArmon of Vinita, bye.

SECOND FLIGHT John Burford beat Woodrow Painter; Buck Bagby bumped Wayland Kelly; Joe Thompson shaded Noel Wyatt; Blain Dalquist of Vinita defeated Harry Dean.


Bill Hirsch downed Ed Badger; Earl Fisher edged Bill Medcalf; Tom Barton won over Sencer Dawson; Marion Zajic defeated Darrell Kissee; Bill Carter bumped Frank LaCalf; Harry Whiteaker shaded Chuck Holden; Lee Adkinson dropped Henry Garwood; Jack Schofield, bye.

1958 June 29  "Miami Fans Will Ride 'Special' to Yank Tilt in KC"

The Frisco "Mickey Mantle Special" from Tulsa to Kansas City will be boarded by a number of Miami fans when it stops here at about 8:45 this morning. some 650 riders of the train will see this afternoon's game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas city Athletics.

The game holds special interest for northeast Oklahoma fans because Mickey Mantle of Commerce is expected to play with the Yanks and Ralph Terry of Chelsea, a former Northeastern A&M student, is slated to pitch for the Athletics. 

1958 July 6  "Fireworks Show"

 Rains failed to interfere with the Fourth of July four-ball golf tournament for husband-wife teams at the Miami Country club. More than 25 entries were caught in the afternoon downpour, seven of whom drew golf balls as extra prizes for getting so wet. 

The fireworks display at the club put on by Gob Taylor, was cut short when an explosive fell into the firing area, setting off a series of displays simultaneously. Personnel in the danger area escaped injury. No fans were injured. 

Personal Memory: Carol Cowles vividly recalled sitting on the wet grass ready for an evening of fireworks when suddenly all of the fireworks began to fire at once. She said it was the  biggest fireworks show she'd ever seen, and will remember it forever. 


"Junior Golf"

Members of the newly-organized Junior Golf league will compete Tuesday for low putts in rounds beginning at 9 a.m. at the Miami Country club.  A business meeting will be held at 12 noon, followed by sack lunches. Practice rounds were played at he club last Tuesday with mothers accompanying the beginners on their rounds. Members of the league are between the ages of 10-15.  Pairings for Tuesday's rounds are:

Bobby Baron, Judy Fullerton, Gayle Haralson

Gretchen White, Barbara Dahl, Dianna Oliver

Barbara Blue, Carole Luttrell, Katrina White

Susan Nunn, Phyllis White, Beverly Saft

Sandra Thompson, Ann Habeger, Letty Stapp

Tommy Brown, Bill Fullerton, Bill Oliver

John Robinson, Mike Juergens, Pat Wilson, Brian Elizando

Scotty Haralson, Geoffrey Scholfield, Tommy Spaulding

Charles Dawson, Chuck Habeger, Terry Johnson

Jeff Ranger, Jerry Johnson, Joe Thompson, Stephen Moore.

**What the newspaper doesn't list are the mothers and fathers who weekly walked the two holes (old #6 and #9) for the pee wees, the first five holes for the pre-teens, and the nine to eighteen holes for the older teens. Our parents and some grandparents proudly showed up to keep our scores and to teach us golf course etiquette. My father insisted that children follow the rules of etiquette at all times. I my case, I didn't know first names of many of the women and men who were members until I'd left home and in some cases read their full names in my research. Every man was a Mister and a lady Mrs. or Miss. We were never allowed to use first names. 

1958 July 20 "Downtown Parade Set Friday for Youngsters"

 Several hundred Miami boys and girls are expected to participate in a downtown parade at 10 a.m. Friday that will climax activities in the summer municipal playground program at local parks. Pets, dolls, and bicycles will be featured. First, second, and third prizes, along with ribbons, will be awarded in four divisions: best decorated doll buggies; dolls, and pets. 

All children of Miami are invited to take part in this parade, even if they have not been enrolled in the playground program, according to S.A. Robertson, general director and Mrs. Lawrence Zane, special events leader for the summer programs.

1958 August 3 "Junior Golf"

Junior Golf league winner in the matches for low scores last week at the Miami Country club were: Terry Johnson, Barbara Dahl ages 14-15; Charles Dawson, Diana Oliver, ages 12-13; Billy Oliver and Letty Stapp ages 10-11. 

1958 August 17 "Mantle Gets 34th But Red Sox Win"

1958 August 31 "Mixed Foursomes in Rounds Today at Country club"

Mixed foursomes will compete on the Miami Country club golf course this afternoon:

1:00 - Claire Oliver-George Wojcik; Nancy Johnson-Dan Heyburn

1:05 -Norma Lou Jackson-Rex Painter; Mary Whitaker-Bill Juergens

1:10 - Roma Dahl-Ed Badger; Yvonne Temple-Dr. Harry Ford

1:15 - Erin Wojcik-Orville Dahl; Helen Juergens-Bill Plumlee

1:20- Millie Carter- Joe Thompson; Virginia Campbell-Bert Wall

1:25 Dorothy LaCalf-Don Johnson; Forence Dawson-Corbin Shouse

1:30 Hattie Wall-William L. Oliver; Wilma Badger-Dr. W.D. Jackson

1:35 - Mary Van Beber-Pat Campbell; Helen Jones-Bill Cartr

1:40 - Barbara Shouse-Bob Temple; Norma Nunn-Harry Whitaker

1:45 - Letah Thompson-Frank LaCalf; Betty Plumlee-Td Vernon

1:50 - Glenna Vernon-Spencer Dawson; Lois Cowles-Bob Nunn

1:55 - Grace Painter-Claud Jones; Ruth Heyburn-Hance Van Beber

2:00 - Peggy Elizando-Claude Dale; Val Dale-Joe Elizando

2:05 - Louise Spaulding-Henry Garwood; Shirley Bomford-Kelso Berentz

2:15 - Lois Garwood-Tom Bomford; Faye Berentz-Al Spaulding

1958 August 31 "Junior Golf Results"

1958 August 31 "Twilight League Sharpshooters"

1958 September 7 "Mickey Wright in Dallas Open"

Long-hitting Mickey Wright, who recently gave a clinic here, turned in her best competitive round Saturday--a 5 under par 34-33=67-to wrest the lead from Beverly Hanson at the halfway mark of the Dallas Women's Open Golf Tournament."


"Afton School Chief Olvey Is Invitational Tourney Medalist"

Ed Olvey new superintendent of Afton schools and the newly-elected president of the Lucky Seven athletic conference, won medalist honors Saturday in the two-day invitation golf tournament at the Miami Country Club. Old man par was the real winner in Saturday's qualifying rounds as Olvey's three-over 75 was good enough to lead the field of 55 entries. Light rain started falling on the course at 4:30 p.m., with many out-of-town contestants firing away on the final nine holes at that time. 

1958 September 14 "PGA officers"

The new officers of the Oklahoma Section of the PGA are: Joe Dahlman, Tulsa, president; Cliff Calderwood, Little Rock, Johnie Stapp, Miami, and Dwight Travis, Bartlesville, vice-presidents, and Fred Kreyer, Wichita, secretary-treasurer. 


October 10, 1958

1958 October 23 "34th Annual Oklahoma Section PGA Championship"

Ted Gwin, Wichita, jumped out in front of of the Annual Sectional Championship with a 65-68 over the Burneyville Golf Course. Finishing with four straight 3's, Gwin, the 1951 champion, took a two-stroke edge over Jimmie Gaunt of Oklahoma City. Gauntt is seeking an unprecedented sixth Oklahoma Section title. Other players in the field include: Labron Harris 73-69, U.C. Ferguson 72-76, Dan Langford 74-77, Johnie Stapp 76-78.




Friday, August 19, 2022

1957 TIMELINE AND STORIES of the Miami Country Club by Letty Stapp Watt

 1957 Spring

Coached by Bill Smith on the left and Johnie Stapp on the right, the Wardog foursome from left, includes James Emery, Larry Parker, Phil Temple, and Bob Hill. In the foreground is the trophy won by the Wardogs at the Bristow Invitational tourney on Tuesday.

Spring 1957  "Wardog Golfers to Contend for State Diadem in O.C."

Oklahoma City next stop: Coach Bill Smith, left and Johnie Stapp, right, Miami country club golf pro, are working with Miami Wardog golfers preparing for the state schoolboy tournament in Oklahoma City Wednesday and Thursday. The Wardog foursome from left, includes James Emery, Larry Parker, Phil Temple, and Bob Hill. In the foreground is the trophy won by the Wardogs at the Bristow Invitational tourney on Tuesday. 

In preparation for the tournament Wardog golfers will participate in an 18 hole practice in Midwest City.


Bob Hill shares the rest of the story: In the 1957 State High School Championship our MHS golf team was in a good position after the first round to win another Championship. When we left the hotel to go to the golf course the next morning, the lady at the parking lot lost our car keys. She looked everywhere and we took that little building apart trying to find them with no luck.

We thought of all of our options and the last one was to call a locksmith. While we waited  for that to happen Coach Smith called the course to see if they would change our tee times, bu they refused. When we finally go to the course we learned that because we missed our tee times we were disqualified. It was just an unhappy adventure for all concerned.


1957 March 3 "Women Golfers Schedule First Club Gathering"

 The long winter layoff from golfing will end Wednesday morning for members of the Women's Golf Assn at the Miami Country club. Mrs. Faye Berentz, President, announced the women will meet for coffee and rolls to discuss the spring and summer golfing program. 

Johnie Stapp, club pro, will explain the free clinic which he will conduct on Wednesdays. Mrs. Berentz said new and aspiring members will be welcomed. 

1957 April 11  "Miami Golfers Win at Joplin" 

Miami High school War Dogs defeated Joplin 12-6 in a match at Twin Hills Country club. James Emery, Miami, was medalist with an 84. Other members of the War Dog squad are Bob Hill, Pat Temple, Larry Parker, Steve Hollerbach, and Mike Wilson. 

1957 April 14  "Pairings Given for Club Play"

Last week's winners in golfing action among the women at the Miami Country club included:

Championship flight: Mrs. Robert Temple; class A, Mrs. George Murphy; class B, Mrs. Hance VanBeber; class C, Mrs. Ruth Heyburn.

Johnie Stapp, Pro and M.C. Bagby Club President

1957 May 1 "Country Club Set to Resume Golf Program"

Mcc golfing events that were cancelled during April's rainy weather will be rescheduled for May and June, according to Johnie Stapp, golf pro.

May 17 has been set for beginning of play in the Twilight League (on Tuesdays), with competition in the circuit due to continue for the next 16-18 weeks. Eighteen teams of four men each participated in the competition last year. We have found  this type of play provides the most democratic form of golf, said Stapp. "During the season's round-robin scheduled, men of the club will tour the local course at least once with most of the other members. This results in more golfing enjoyment.

1957 May 1 "War Dog Golfers in O.C. for State Tourney Action"

Sharpshooting golfers for MHS were in O.C. today for preliminary round in the annual state schoolboy tournament over Lincoln Park golf course. They wer to play 18 holes today and 36 Thursday. 

The War Dog foursome consists of James Emery, Larry Parker, Bob Hill, Philip Temple, Steve Hollerbach went along as a possible replacement.

Coach Bill Smith accompanied the team. Johnie Stapp, golf pro of the Miami Country club, plans to watch the local linksters during Thursday's final rounds. He has taken an active part in the development of golfing talent of local students. 

Smith and Stapp were with the War Dogs last week when they won the championship of the Bristow Invitation schoolboy tournament.

The Miamians won the state championship in the sand greens division last year. The are competing for the grass greens title this year. 

1957 May 1 "100 Teenage Golfers (Boys and Girls)  Play in State Tournament at O.C."

This year's high school tournament will host about 100 teenage golfers from 30 schools. The tournament is divided into three divisions and trophies are given in both grass and sand green competition. The boys opened with 18 holes and will follow with 36 holes Thursday, while the girls play nine holes' today, and will play 18 on Thursday.  

Enid returns the most experienced team. It is headed by Jim Wright, who lost to Jim Loy of Northwest in a sudden death playoff last year for the tate individual title. Enid won the state team title last year. 

The girls division also finds itself without a defending champ since Beth Stone, Muskogee, titlist for the last two years. Beth Stone went on to become a leading Ladies Professional Golfer is in the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame Beth Stone

 1957 May 10 "Hot Springs Leaders"

Johnie Stapp, Miami golf pro shot an 80 in Thursday's first rounds of the Arlington Open according to information received here.  


1957 May 10  "Miami Golfers in Matches Sunday"

Twenty or more golfers from the Miami Country club are expected to participate in matches at Independence Country club Sunday afternoon. Thirteen men have signed up the Independence rip, according to announcement this morning the local club officials. Other members wishing to play in the matches have until Saturday afternoon to register at the pro shop. 

Those who have signed are Bill Hirsch, Pat Campbell, Bill Neal, Bob Temple, Jim Nowlin, Charlie Trussler, bob Baron, Jess Fronterhouse, G.R. White, Clarence J. Carselowey, Dr. W.D. Jackson, G.R. Scott, and Neel Wyatt. 

1957 May 13 "Miami Golfers Divide Honors"

 Independence men defeated Miamian's 38 to 31. Miami juniors almost made a clean sweep of the matches making 12 1/2 points of a possible 13 points. The Miami boys were Dickie Neel, Bob Hills, Philip Temple, and Jim Taylor.

1957 June 11 "Johnie Stapp Among Leaders in Bartlesville Pro-Am"

An entry list of 150 shot qualifying rounds today preceding the opening of the 45th annual Oklahoma Amateur Golf Tournament. The tournament begins Wednesday with 18 holes of match play over the Hillcrest Country Club course.

Don Sechrest (future course designer) of Stillwater shot a five-under-par of 66 to win the pro-amateur, playing with Art Hall and Ed Henderson of Tulsa, won $85 first prize. Oklahoma City pro Jimmy Gauntt and Labron Harris of Oklahoma State University golf coach from Stillwater tied for second with 67 and $50 each. Johnie Stapp, Miami with a 68 finished third. 

1957 June 11  "Two Showings Slated for Golf Playoff Film"

Motion pictures of the Snead-Middlecoff playoff in the Phoenix Open golf tournament will be shown tonight and Wednesday at the Miami Country club. 

Tonight's showing will be for the stag night dinner beginning at 6:30. Members of the Women's Golf Assn will be the film at noon Wednesday in connection with their golf day luncheon. "Even if it is too rainy for our weekly golf competition Wednesday, the motion pictures of the tournament will be shown," said Mrs. Corbin Shouse, chairman of arrangements. The women's handicap tournament scheduled to been Tuesday, has been called off. 


1957 June 23 NY (UP)  "Mantle Replaces Ted"

Mickey Mantle of the Yankees replaced Ted Williams for the Rec Sox today as the nation's most popular choice for any position on the 1957 major league all-star team. Mantle, who led both leagues in batting with a .381 average and was tied with Hank Aaron of the Braves for the home run leadership at 19 at the conclusion of Friday night's games, has attracted a total of 50, 591 center field votes from the fans. 

1957 June 23 mdnr 

1957 June 30 mdnr "Women Golfers Play for Best 6"

The Best 6 play this Wednesday on the front nine will be the last for the local women before the Tri-State Women's golf tournament here July 11-12. Mrs. Bert Wall won the championship for low putts the past week. Mrs. Bob Temple was the winner in class A, Mrs. Woodrow Painter in class B, and Mrs. W. D. Jackson in class C. 

Katrina White a personal story:

My family, Hattie, Al and uncle G.R. White, were grateful to George Coleman for building such a beautiful golf course and clubhouse. Through the years the country club hosted Sunday dinners, Happy Hours, Class Reunions, and special events like our engagement party and Daddy's retirement from Miami Savings and Loan. We were so sad when it burned and later when the course was closed. Can't take away those memories! Sorry it was not able to thrive. 

Johnie and MGCC were so important to my entire family. My daddy,Al White, loved the game so. He and uncle G.R. taught me the game by sawing off a wooden putter, then playing holes 1 and 3 on the near side of the creek. I still have that putter and all the great memories. Gretchen and I played in the Jr. Golf League (photo above) where one of our mother's would walk the 9 holes with us, teaching the game and the etiquette of golf. They kept score, too. My mother, Hattie had been a P.E. teacher, and loved the game and shared that love with Al all of their lives. 

Playing in the swimming pool was a wonderful baby-sitter for our parents when they could slip away for a game of golf. Pure joy and such happy memories of a free, carefree childhood. It is heart-warming to see so many familiar names. It's Bill JOE Newman to me.


1957 June 30 "Bartlesville Golfers Play in Miami"

Golf teams of the Miami and Bartlesville country clubs will compete in matches today at the Miami club. A team of 28 Miami men lost at Bartlesville two weeks ago by score of 75 to 59.

Bridge games will be featured this afternoon for wives of the golfers. Mrs. Pat Campbell of Miami was high scorer in bridge at Bartlesville. (On a personal note, I might add Virginia Campbell was a powerful bridge player according to the articles I've read. Virginia was in mother's bridge club group and frequently won. Of course, I have vivid memories of walking into our home on H st Northeast and smelling cigarette smoke, peppermint candies, creme d'mint cookies, and nuts on the Tuesday's when my mother hosted bridge club. The smoke was so disgusting I swore I'd never smoke. Luckily, that was a smart decision for a grade school child to make.) 

Personal stories:

James Taylor has shared many stories of playing golf, caddying, and swimming at the MCC. Thank you James for your help and support. I greatly appreciate everyone who has shared.

During the summer of 1957 some of my friends and I would sneak into the swimming pool and swim at night buck naked. Dad was a member, and I didn't have to sneak in, but the pool was closed and none of my buddies fathers were members, so I snuck in with them to be with them. We were seen from the veranda and someone had complained to Johnie. One night when we snuck in, we were raising cane and I was diving off that little wooden board buck naked springing up and down when suddenly there was a snub nosed 32 in my ribs and a rough voice saying, "What are you doing here?" 

Scared me to death, when I finally gathered myself, I could see Johnie laughing and he told us to get. That's all it took and I never did that again. That is the only time I recall of anyone holding a gun on me, but I still think many of the country club women were disappointed when our swimming ended as we all were fairly physically fit. 

1957 July 3 "Women's Tri-State Golf Tourney Here July 10--12"

 Practice rounds may be held this Wednesday. Medal play competition for championship honors in six flights will be conducted Thursday and Friday, July 11,12. The 18-hole qualifying rounds on July 11 will determine the medalist and assignments to the six flights. Some 100 golfers from 20 or more Tri-State area clubs are expected, according to Mrs. Henry Garwood who is heading this year's event.

Miami Country club has hosted this event in 1941 and 1948. Extra events in the tournament next week include putting and driving contests. The Carrothers trophy, inaugurated in 1937, will be awarded to the team with the low grow score. The Miami trophy, established in 1948 by the men's division of the local country club, will be presented to the team with the low net score. 


1957 July 12 "Joan Thomas Medalist"

Mrs. Jim (Joan) Thomas of Webb City, Mo., winner of the women's golf championship for the Puerto Rican Isle in 1955, captured medalist honors Thursday afternoon in the Tri-State event by shooting 40-42, six strokes better than an competitor. (Thomas wins the title this year,) Mrs. Bert (Hattie) Wall and Mrs. Jack (Pat) Horner, the 1956 city champion, were the only other Miami entries to qualify for the championship flight. They had scores of 100 and 101, respectively.

While admiring the beauty and excellent condition of the Miami Country club course, most out-of-town entries agreed that it was one of the toughest, if not the most difficult golf layouts they ever encountered. 

1957 July 13  "Bartlesville Golfers Lose"

Miami golfers defeated a team from Bartlesville by a score of 45 to 39 Sunday afternoon at the local links course.  Jack Myers of Miami was the low scorer of the day, shooting an even par 72. John F. Robinson was next with a 73. Ed Hinds, with a 75, was low for the Bartlesville contestants.

1957 July 21 "Miami Youths to Play State Tourney"

Four Miami youths, Bob Hill, James Emery, Philip Temple and Dick Neel, will leave Monday for Duncan, where they will compete in the annual state junior golf tournament, Tuesday through Thursday. They will be accompanied by Johnie Stapp, professional of the Miami Country club.

The high school quartet earned the right to represent the Miami area in the state tournament when a junior meet was held June 25 at the Miami Country club under the sponsorship of the Miami Junior Chamber of Commerce, is co-operating with the Miami Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Hill won the top honors in that meet for the second year in a row. 

The Jaycees and Carl Hilliard, owner of the local Coca-Cola plant, are aiding in expenses of the local group to the tournament at Duncan. Darrell Kissee is furnishing the Ford Station wagon transporting the boys. 

1957 July 25 "Miami Entries Post Excellent Scores"

Miami's delegation made an excellent record in the first 18 holes of the state Jaycee teenage tournament at Duncan. In addition to finishing third from the top with a two-over-par 74, Bob Hill won the driving contest with pro-like distance of 241 yards. 

Johnie Stapp, Miami golf pro, who accompanied the local boys, reported that Dickie Neel shot a 77, Phil Temple 78, and James Emery, 81 in the first round. 

1957 September 22 "Mrs. Dawson is Tourney Winner"

Mrs. Spencer Dawson has added the championship of the Miami Women's Golf Assn, annual match play tournament to her list of golf honors this year. She defeated Mrs. Robert Temple, 6 and 5, in the championship round. She won over Mrs. O.R. Westfall in her first match and defeated Mrs. Joe Thompson in the semi-finals. 

Mrs. Kelso Berentz won over Mrs. Claud Jones, 5 and 4, for championship of A flight. In Thursday's B flight final match, Mrs. William L. Oliver defeated Mrs. W.D. Jackson, 3 and 2. 

1957 September 23 "Myers Captures Invitational Title"

Jack Myers won his second golf championship within a week by capturing the crown in the second annual invitational tournament Sunday afternoon. Myers won the Club Championship last Monday.  Kenneth Childress of Webb City, was the runner-up. 

In the A flight competition identical winning cars of 83-85 were posted by Rex Painter and Bill Neel of Miami. Painter won the title when Neel three-putted on the first extra hole. Visiting contestants from cities of the Tri-State area praised the excellent condition of the local course and described the greens as the finest they had played this year. 

Personal notes on dad, Johnie Stapp from Jim Taylor:

I don't know which tournament Johnie defeated Ben Hogan but he did (I think in was in California in the late 1940's after the war.) However, he did not win the tournament. Johnie was playing in southern California and elsewhere as a professional golfer on what became the P.G.A. tour. He was an accomplished golfer and had significant athletic ability.

He like my father lived during a different time and place. Much of what he learned was self-taught, and he received very little help. I can not help but marvel at their accomplishments and think of the disgust they would feel at many of the things occurring in our society today. While many things in the past were unfair, the American Dream was always a reality with the freedom to pursue it.

1957 September 30  "Miami Golfers Play Pro-Am"

The Miami Country club will be represented by four men in state golf competition and meetings this week at Oklahoma city and Tulsa. Club pro, Johnie Stapp, Dr. W.D. Jackson, John Robinson, and Kenneth Childress were to leave today for Oklahoma City. The three amateurs will team with Stapp in "best ball" pro-am rounds Tuesday. 

The local men will represent this area Tuesday night at a meeting in Tulsa to prepare preliminary plans for the National Open tournament that will be held next summer at Tulsa's Southern Hills course.

Stapp will finish out the remaining 54 holes in the tourney at Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Thursday and will attend the annual meeting of the state PGA in O.C. Stapp is tournament chairman for the Oklahoma PGA which serves all of Oklahoma and Arkansas and a part of Kansas. 


"Quarterbacks in City to Meet MHS Group"

Miami Quarterbacks will meet members of the 1957 Miami high school football squad at Monday night's meeting, Dr. Rex Graham, President announced. The prep candidates will be introduced by Bo Bolinger, new MHS coach. 

Another feature will be showing of the 1956 Oklahoma-Colorado game movie, obtained by Bolinger from OU athletic film library.  The meeting will be held at 6:30 in the Little Theater at NEO. Backers of War Dog and NEO college athletic groups who were unable to attend the inaugural meeting may plunk down $5 for club membership cards tomorrow night.  The club has dedicated itself to a wholesome development of interest in local sports, especially football, among patrons and youths. 

1957 saw Eagle-Picher suspending mining operations, costing 500 their jobs.

1957 saw actor Joel McCrea pay a visit to the Coleman Theater when they debuted his film "The Oklahoman."

Follow this link to learn more about the history of Miami, Ok. Miami History

* The book Miami Forever in our Hearts is available for purchase if you click on the blue link. 

** If you are interested in pictures of Miami in the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's consider purchasing one of Ron Enderland's Hand Drawn Miami, Ok. Calendars.  2022 Historic Miami, Ok. Calendar

Friday, August 12, 2022

George Coleman, Jr. Miami Years 1950-1996, part 2


Coleman family crest found in carpet of the Coleman Theater.

1950 January 11 MDNR  "George Coleman, Jr., Re-elected by Bank"

George L. Coleman, Jr., was re-elected president of the Miami First National bank at an annual meeting of stockholders and directors. Other officers include: C.H. Mullendore, executive vice-president; R.J. Tuthill, vice-president; D. F. Ogden, cashier, and C.V. Ayres, J.B. Lehmer, H.S. Maupin and W.S Vanatta, assistant cashiers.  

Members of the board of directors are Richard Beck, George L. Coleman, Jr., V.D. Cooper, Sam Fullerton, Jr., J.H. Griffin, M.K. Hutts, Ray McNaughton, C.H. Mullendore, J.A. Robinson, John F. Robinson, R.J. Tuthill, C.P. Williams, Richard F. Wills, F. L. Wormington and C.E Youse. 

(Mr. Coleman was a director of Florida Sun Incorporated and a director of Pennzoil Company, and its predecessor companies for 33 years. Former corporate directorships included Detroit Baseball Company, and Chris Craft industries.)

1950 May 16 "Thirty-two Americans in British Open"

Thirty-two yanks are entered in the British Amateur golf championship starting next Monday.....For the most part, including Bing Crosby, the roundup at historic St. Andrews in Scotland is strictly a rich man's holiday. Among the competing Yanks are socialites, tobacco wholesalers, a bank president, a steamship executive, a Wall Street broker, an oil man, and a dozen more who no longer have to work for a living. 

Auto Dealer, Ed Lowery of San Francisco, who caddied for Francis Quimet when the Bostonian won the U.S. Open in 1913 will try again as will Quimet. Other entrants include: George L. Coleman, Jr, a bank president from Miami, Oklahoma.

1950 August 22 The Ardmoreite "National Amateur Results"

 Defending champion Charlie Coe of Oklahoma City, was impressive in his 5 and 4 victory over Tom Jamison of Greensburg, Pa. Coe was one of a few who trimmed par, being one under for the 14 holes needed. In other first round results George L. Colman, of Miami, Ok. def. Emerson Carey, Jr. of Hutchinson 7 and 6. Today's pairing George Coleman vs. Marshall Trammell.


1953 January 2, San Mateo Times "Gala List of Golfers Ready to Play in Crosby Tourney"

 Pebble Beach (UP) More than 100 top-flight amateur golfers, including scores of motion picture, radio and sports celebrities have been invited to play in the $10,000 Bing Crosby national pro-amateur golf championship of 1953. The tourney will be played January 9,10, and 11 on the Monterey Peninsula golf course.  

In addition to the old crooner himself, the player list includes such entertainment names as Leo Durocher, Phil Harris, Bob Hope, Gordon McRae, Randolph Scott, and Johnny Weismullier.  Other players include George L. Coleman, Jr., Pebble Beach and  Eddie Lowery, San Francisco. (List abbreviated)


1955 May 26 MDNR  "Scholarships to 100 Here"

More than 100 scholarships have been contributed by Miami business firms, civic groups, and individuals for students entering Northeastern A & M College next autumn. 

Dr. Bruce G. Carter noted that Eagle-Picher will contribute 10 scholarships, and B.F. Goodrich, Walter Head confirmed that Goodrich will add it's fair share to the scholarships. Other firms and individuals offering one or more scholarships include the following: Milner-Berkey, by H.A. Berkey; Miami News-Record; Lowry Ford; Charles Burtrum; Neil Norton; Stephenson Pontiac; Mrs. and Mrs. Charles M. Harvey, Jr.; John A. Robinson; John F. Robinson; Miami Floral Co. by Lance Duff; Charles A. Neal, Sr, Charles A. Neal, Jr.; B&K by Tom Barton; Wiley Rexall drug John Wiley; C.R. Durham; Bomford Insurance Co, Tom Bomford; O.K. Plumbing Co, Lisle Torbert; Warren Wilbur; Coca-Cola Carl Hilliard; Meadow Gold, Ed Jones; Miami Savdings and Loan; Cooper Funeral Home; Plannett Cleaners;Owens & Wallace legal firm; AAUW, Mrs. David Steele; Junior Chamber of Commerce;  Miami Lions club; Miami Rotary club.

Dr. F.L. Wormington; R.J. Tuthill; Dr. Rex Graham; M.K. Hutts, George L. Coleman, Jr.; Sam C. Fullerton, Jr.; Joe S. Thompson; C.E. Youse, Elmer Isern, Al White;Miss Nellie Dobson and S.B. Dobson; Gordon Walkers, Merrill Chaney, George Walbert. 

** This is the community which makes me proud. Everyone stepped in to help others.


In 1956, a casual bet between two millionaires eventually pitted two of the greatest golfers of the era -- Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan -- against top amateurs Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi.

The year: 1956. Decades have passed since Eddie Lowery came to fame as the ten-year-old caddie to U.S. Open Champion Francis Ouimet. Now a wealthy car dealer and avid supporter of amateur golf, Lowery has just made a bet with fellow millionaire George Coleman. Lowery claims that two of his employees, amateur golfers Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi, cannot be beaten in a best-ball match, and challenges Coleman to bring any two golfers of his choice to the course at 10 a.m. the next day to settle the issue. Coleman accepts the challenge and shows up with his own power team: Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the game's greatest living professionals, with fourteen major championships between them.

My words can't begin to share the delight and suspense of reading this story. I encourage anyone who can related to golf history and our storied past to check out the book from the nearest library and read it, purchase your own copy.    

1958 July 10 MDNR "SOCIALITES' GEMS STOLEN--$100,000"

Theft of jewelry from the Pebble Beach, California home of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Coleman, Jr., of Miami rated BOXCAR headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle's July 2 final edition, a copy of which has reached the News-Record. Across the top of page one and measuring three and one-half inches in depth were there lines:



Details of the theft was accompanied by a picture of the Coleman's. 


1959 March 24, San Mateo Times "Duke and Wally Get Lost on Visit"

The former King of England and his American-born duchess, playing the role of ordinary tourist, ran into a typical tourist snafu last night when they asked direction of three young girls on the Monterey Peninsula: They got the wrong directions and spent half an hour driving around the tree-lined byways of 17-Mile Drive, while a dinner party waited patiently for them.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, accompanied by a chauffeur, secretary, maid, valet and three pug dogs, slipped into Monterey after a long drive from Southern California, looking like many a tourist in their baggage-laden station wagon, trailer, and sedan. At last they pulled into the estate of Mrs. George L. Coleman, Jr. where they will be house guests. After a stay in Pebble Beach they will continue their journey of parties and social engagements in California.

1959 November 1  AP George L. Coleman, Jr. Weds Dawn L. Soles


Description: Photograph taken for a newspaper owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Company. Caption: "Wedding vows were exchanged here today between George L. Coleman, wealthy industrialist and part owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team, and Mrs. Dawn L. Soles, Montecito, CA., socialite."
Date: November 12, 1959
Creator: Associated Press

1962 October 10 "Registrations Lag at Election Board Here"

Absentee voting interest is thriving here, but there is a surprising lack of registrations for the Nov. 4 general election, according to Secretary Jim Reed of the Ottawa County Election Board.....Seventy-one applications for absentee ballots have been filed up to mid-morning today, including these 43 not listed previously:

Miami: George L. Coleman, Jr., Dawn L. Coleman, Mary Poe, Mary Viola Sims, Grace Woodall, Ronda Kayleen Thomas, Don Coulter, Bernice Coulter, Ruth Watters, Rosemary Russell, George G. Russell.  


1963  The Coleman Ranch was sold, ending an era.


A view of the Coleman Mansion from the back side. Thank you Bob Poole for sharing this photo.

1963 November 27 "The Local Scene"

Mrs. Helen Johnson, who is employed in the Miami office of George L. Coleman, Jr, and Mrs. George L. Coleman, Sr., left Tuesday to join Mr. and Mrs. George L. Coleman, Jr., in Palm Beach, Florida.  


In the late winter of each year Ben and Valerie Hogan go to Palm Beach, where Ben began preparing for his first tournament appearance of the season—the Masters. This had been an unvarying custom for fifteen years, and it began because of his admiration and affection for The Seminole Golf Club, which he considers the equal of any in the world, both in design and condition.

Super-social Palm Beach may not seem the place for a man like Ben Hogan to find friends, but he has found them there. Claude Harmon was the pro at Seminole when Hogan first started going to Palm Beach. He was succeeded by Henry Picard, who was a staunch friend of Ben's in his very early days of tournament golf. The maitre de at the club and the man who was largely responsible for the excellence of the course, was Chris Dunphy, an old companion of Ben's. One year Ben and Valerie spent their holiday at Dunphy's house, where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were frequent guests. Another of the wealthy Palm Beach gentry whom Ben and Valerie have visited was George Coleman, a man who has long been a patron of athletes. 

(George L. Coleman, Jr. was an investor in Ben Hogan's Golf equipment company in Ft. Worth. )

Ben Hogan and George Coleman 

1968 December 3 San Rafael Daily Independent Journal  

"Socialite Sues Artist Husband"

Mrs. Ann Coleman Woolworth Carmack, San Francisco socialite, filed a complaint yesterday in Superior Court for annulment of her marriage to John Carmack, landscape artist.

The complaint alleged Carmack "knew he is incapable of functioning as a husband over any sustained period of time" and had "moved into plaintiff's home intending to be supported and use plaintiff's social and family contacts to foster and finance his own speculative projects, thereby practicing a fraud."

The Carmack's were married Oct. 6, 1967 and separated Thanksgiving Day this year. Mrs. Carmack is the daughter of Mrs. W.W. Crocker, Pebble Beach and George L. Coleman, Jr, Palm Beach, Florida. She married Robert Frederick Woolworth, New York in 1954 divorced him in 1959. She has two children. 

1977 Ben Hogan visits George Coleman at his Florida home.

     In 1977, at age 65, Ben Hogan made one final trip to Florida to enjoy time with his good friend George Coleman and to play a little bit of golf at Seminole where for many years he had loved to practice in the winter months leading up to the Masters. George Coleman had a home on the water and, according to James Dodson’s biography Ben Hogan: An American Life,  Coleman and Hogan often hit balls into the ocean from that backyard. At the time of what appears to be Hogans’ last trip to Seminole Coleman had just purchased a new video camera and wanted to test it out. This led to one of the most important pieces of film ever made of Ben Hogan – The Coleman Video. Magnum184 on the Golfwrx Thread pointed out to me that you can actually see the balls land if you pay attention.

Hogan video link

1997 July 23 

George L. Coleman, age 85, of Hobe Sound, Florida, died July 23, 1997...Two of his closest friends were Bing Crosby and Ben Hogan.  

Mr. Coleman was a member of the Board of Governors of Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Florida since 1959 and served as President from 1981 to 1992 and then became President Emeritus. A yearly amateur tournament is now held in honor of George L. Coleman, the prestigious George Coleman Invitational. 

Mr. Coleman had the longest membership (60 years) in the Cypress Point Club at Pebble Beach. Other memberships include the Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, Brook Club, NYC, NY, Castle Pines Golf Club, Castle Rock, CO, and Jupiter Island Club, Hobe Sound, Florida. (obit)


PERSONAL NOTES from emails and FACEBOOK "You Know You Are From Miami, when..."

I recall being at the Miami Airport about 1970. I asked the manager, Nelson Malochay, why the employees were busy dusting and straightening up. Nelson replied that George Jr went to OU and learned to fly, so his dad bought the land and built the airport so George Jr. could fly home to visit. That was a happy trip for me to the airport. 


(February 18, 2018 from Debbie East)

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who worked for the Coleman's and here is the information given. He swears it is true because he was there.

Jessie married the much older George L. Coleman. George died in 1945 at the age of 87.  She died at the age of 92 in 1972. Jessie had a cook named Mrs. Shaffer from Afton, a nanny and cook named Anna and a chauffeur and gardener name Louis. All lived in the Coleman Mansion servant quarters. Coleman's daughter, Ann, who bought the house after Jessie's death, kept the servants on until their deaths.

Jessie's car was a black Cadillac but Ann's was a Bentley and her tag was OT-1. It was taken away from her so the city could use that number as a prize for employee of the year. The Coleman's were so furious that they dropped their Country Club membership. 

Jessie gave most of her estate to her three granddaughters. She didn't give her son, George Jr., any money because he was independently wealthy. Helen Journeycake was the secretary of the trust and also for Ann. 

George Jr. married Elizabeth Fullerton. When they divorced, Elizabeth married a banker from California. When he died she married a Duke and became Duchess of Manchester. **

George Jr., then married Dawn and they lived in a home in Palm Beach but continued to fly back to Miami to visit. 

Richard Neal:
Ann and I were friends and kept in touch til her death. I remember one day in high school, Mrs. Coleman (Jessie) was in her late 80’s. Louis was off and I needed to go to the country club. She insisted on driving me. She rarely drove and could barely see over the steering wheel of that huge Cadillac. When we got to the country club she ignored the “new” circle drive and drove up the middle of the lawn to drop me off at the front door and returned across the lawn ignoring the new drive I could barely see her head above the wheel. Exciting ride. Mrs Coleman was a great lady.
Her sister, Jenni, was a most wonderful lady who worked the ticket booth at the Coleman Theater for life. Jenni lived in a home, owned by George Jr. It was located by the Cooper Funeral Home.


Footnote on Elizabeth Fullerton Fullerton Obit 


Fascinating woman. Born in Oklahoma to a lawyer, who later became a District Judge. This part of Oklahoma was in the heart of the oil empires and she met and married, George L. Coleman, a multi-millionaire oil magnate. Her new husband had an estate in Pebble Beach, California, where they spent much of their time. On July 1, 1958, the Sheriff's Department was investigating the theft of Elizabeth's jewels valued at between $62,000 and $100,000. By 1959, Elizabeth and George were divorced. 

She became fabulously wealthy from the divorce, receiving millions plus the Pebble Beach estate that George Coleman had owned. Quite quickly, she met William Willard Crocker, scion son of the famed transcontinental railroad builder, Charles Crocker. His wife had just died and soon they were off to Europe. They married in a civil ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, followed by a church wedding in Paris. Returning from their wedding, they moved into Crocker's 53 room estate on several hundred acres in Hillsborough, San Mateo Co., California. It was named "Sky Farm." Rumors had it the marriage was one of convenience. They maintained separate bedrooms and when there was a social function, William Crocker usually attended with a woman other than his wife. The marriage lasted only four years and William died.

 Elizabeth, already a wealthy woman, inherited one half of the Crocker estate with a monthly allowance of $12,500 for personal needs. A quarter went to each of Bill Crocker's children. When the children attempted to visit the house, Elizabeth refused them admission and turned them away at the front door. Irate, the children took Elizabeth to court claiming they had been cheated out of their legitimate inheritance.

With black handkerchief in hand to dab her tears, she testified that, since Bill's demise, she had cut down on her expenses and was existing with a skeleton staff of a cook, a butler, a maid, a cleaning man and a gardener. She could no longer afford a chauffeur to drive her 1964 Rolls Royce. Yes, she had recently gone east for "health reasons" and while there had purchased a $4,000 mink coat. Otherwise, she had acquired "nothing" for herself.

An unsympathetic Judge told Elizabeth Crocker she was a fabulously rich woman even without Crocker money, and cut her allowance by $5,000 a month. After the lawsuit was finalized, Elizabeth heard about the death of a former neighbor at Pebble Beach and she became the first to offer the grieving husband condolences. Understanding each others losses, the couple soon married. In February, 1969, Elizabeth Fullerton, the girl from Miami, Oklahoma, married Alexander Montagu, the 10th Duke of Manchester. Thus the Oklahoma girl became a Duchess.


Research and writing by Letty Stapp Watt