Did You Know #9

Chick Evans (right) and Robert A. Gardner
By Megan Hudgins-Cunningham

Sometimes it’s fascinating, seeing the kinds of people that come out of Edgewater. People who make a strong impact outside this little community. A while back, before starting this blog, I did a DYK post about none other than our current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. To reiterate from that, Clinton was born in Edgewater Hospital in 1947, and lived in the area with her family before moving to Park Ridge.

While the subject of today’s post isn’t quite as well known as the former First Lady, he might ring a bell for some of our readers.

Is the name Chick Evans familiar to you? If you’re interested in golf, it just might be. Chick Evans was one of the leading amateur golfer during the early 1900s. Evans made headlines as the first amateur golfer to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same year in 1916, then went on to win U.S. Amateur again in 1920. For the record, he was also runner-up 1917, 1918, and 1919. And his career didn’t stop there – Evans went on to compete in over fifty U.S. Amateurs over the course of his career, before finally retiring from the competitive golfing circuit in 1967.

Did you know that Chick Evans actually got his start as a golfer here in Edgewater? Though Evans was born in Indianapolis, his family moved to the North Side of Chicago in 1893, when he was just three years old. At age eight, he took a job as a caddy for the Edgewater Golf Club, which was his first exposure to the sport. It was the experience he gained and the contacts he met there that ultimately launched his golf career. It was also his time as a caddy at the golf club that inspired him to create the Evans Scholars Foundation in 1930, which allowed over 8,000 caddies to obtain college educations. It remains even now as the largest privately funded scholarship program in the United States.

For more information about the Edgewater Golf Club, please take a look at this page from Forgotten Chicago’s website.

[Also, click here to read a 2010 Scrapbook article about the Edgewater Golf Club.]