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Midlothian Country Club, Midlothian, IL (1898 to present) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Midlothian Country Club, Midlothian, IL (1898 to present)

Historical Note:

This 1898-organized golf club, named for a Scottish location (well-known for a novel by Walter Scott), was formed in the first decade of Chicago golf, south of the city of Chicago, on a special (unique) club-owned railroad spur to the Rock Island Railroad (18 mil. south of the Loop, today this is two stops beyond Blue Island).  The desirable rolling location was on the Tinley moraine. It was the first golf course south of the city (following especially Chicago Golf, west at Wheaton, and Onwentsia, north at Lake Forest).  It appealed to residents of ca. 1900 fashionable south side neighborhoods such as Drexel Blvd. (Shedd), Hyde Park (Charles Atkinson, brother-in-law and neighbor of architect Howard Shaw), and Kenwood (George W. Blossom, William O. Goodman).  Thorne lived in Kenwood at 1309 E. Forty-Seventh St., next door to the Reuben Donnelleys, at 1339. 

George Thorne was the first club president and "one of the prime movers" in its founding (Outing), along with John G. Shedd of Marshall Fields and some others. Thorne retired in 1905 from his role in the Montgomery Ward Co., which he had founded with his brother-in-law Montgomery Ward in 1872.  It is not known the date of his retiring the club's debt, the occasion for this presentation reflecting his fellow members' gratitude.  Thorne died in 1918 at Lake Forest, IL, where his sons Robert (president of the company then) and James Ward Thorne had country places.


"Midlothian, IL," Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Chicago Blue Book... (1909), 149.

Coleman, Alexis J. "The Golf Clubs of Chicago," Outing v. 34, 354-

Coventry, Kim, Daniel Meyer, and Arthur H. Miller, Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest.... New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. 

Grand Rapids Furniture Record, v. 37 (1918), 227.

Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections, amiller@lakeforest.edu

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