A gift to Dayton for the “happiness and prosperity of all the people”

Community Golf Club is commemorating 100 years

Community Golf Club is commemorating a 100-year-old gift made to the City of Dayton by industrialist John H. Patterson.

Patterson, the founder of the National Cash Register Company, donated 294 acres of land along Dorothy Lane a century ago. Today, the club is still a hub for outdoor recreation.

A story in the April 28, 1918 edition of the Dayton Daily News heralded the news: “The Community Country Club and its nearly three hundred acres will always be regarded as a testimonial to the generous feeling of John H. Patterson toward his home city,” wrote Howard Egbert, the city editor.

“Dayton now becomes the first municipality in the nation to have its own country club, controlled by its citizens and open to their use. This, in itself, is a distinction which the community may well feel proud of.”

Patterson had outfitted the acreage, described by the newspaper as an “Eden of beauty and color,” with numerous recreational activities.

The community now had access to a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a wading pool and playgrounds for children. A polo field, club houses for men and women and dancing pavilions were also among the recreational gifts.

“It is a great source of pleasure to myself to see the increasing interest in Dayton in the furtherance of public parks and playgrounds,” said Patterson.

Today a memorial to Patterson, sitting on a horse, overlooks the 36-hole golf course from Hills & Dales MetroPark.

The City of Dayton Division of Golf will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the city’s first municipal course with special events June 1 and 2.

A Throwback Golf Day will be held Friday and golfers dressed in knickers or using golf clubs from the early 1900s will get the 1918 greens fee of $1. A tee time is required.

On June 2 the annual George Klockson Memorial Tournament will be held with an 8 a.m. shotgun start, and a 100th-year reception will be held from 4-7 p.m. in the Michael Solomon Pavilion. Guest speakers will talk about the club’s history.

When Patterson contributed the land, many in the community thought the acreage should be named for him, but he declined.

“My chief hope is that this park will serve the largest possible service for the good of all the people of Dayton and surrounding country. This is all the recognition I deserve,” said Patterson.

“Let the park serve the cause of community betterment, the upbuilding of a city in all that makes for civic righteousness, for good government, for the health and happiness and prosperity of all the people.”


HISTORY EXTRA is a weekly pictorial history feature showcasing the Miami Valley’s rich heritage. If you have a unique set of historic photos found in your parents’ or grandparents’ attic that depicts the past in the Miami Valley, contact Lisa Powell at 937-225-2229 or at Lisa.Powell@coxinc.com.

About the Author