A Brief History of the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club
In tracing the history of the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club (FWTS), I discovered that there were no written records available. I was able to gather the following recollections in tape recorded interviews with John and Francis Loffland, and Mr. J.D. Verner.
Francis Loffland and the Verners were able to recall that before World War II, a small group shot at Grace Riggs’ off Lake Worth. They then moved to Katy Lake off Hemphill Street and later on moved to the R.D. Evans Recreation Center.
The first official meeting was in the office of M. Woody on Hemphill and was attended by Chester Schneider, J.O. Bates, and Jack Loffland, Saul Fruendlich, Burdette Brants, Don Gearhardt, Ed Tynan, and Mr. Woody. Mr. Woody took responsibility for the club at the R.D. Evans Recreation Center. He furnished shells, targets and necessary help to keep the club operating until expansion forced him to give it up. Saul Fruendlich volunteered to run the club and did for about two years. Ed Tynan assisted with setting up the traps, picking up trap boys and got the shells to the gun club. Saul and Mr. Woody paid for the incidentals from their own pockets and purchased all the targets and shells. Three cases were usually ample in the beginning. Under Saul’s management, the membership grew and the shell requirements ran into the neighborhood of 10 to 12 cases at a shoot and the purchase was in excess of $2000.00. After the ammunition companies ceased to furnish the targets with the purchase of shells, targets had to be bought in carload lots to obtain a price they could live with. These targets were first obtained from Nash Hardware, Wolf & Klar and stored in Mr. Woody’s warehouse.
During this time the roster of FWTS increased to over 50 members. They were now on the Marvin D. Shooting Range (Z. Boaz Golf Course). Tom Loffland, John Loffland, Mr. M.J. Neely and Mr. Lightfoot, along with others, subsidized the purchase of shells and their money was refunded as the shells were sold. The group was in the process of putting in a skeet field at Z. Boaz, but a letter dated December 6, 1947 from the Recreation Department informed them they would have to move to make room for a golf course.
After much discussion about relocating and building, Jack Loffland, Chester Schneider, Saul Fruendlich, M.M. Woody and Ed Tynan decided to visit the Houston Gun Club who had made their third move in fifteen years, and profiting from the Houston Club’s experience, they returned and spent several months looking for suitable property before it was learned that Mr. Buddy Markum had purchased a large piece of land above the city which would be ideal for a gun club. It took much persuasion from a number of people before Mr. Markum agreed to sell one corner of his property to the club.
By this time the club had both trap and skeet shooters. It was agreed to call the new club the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club, and there would be at least four traps and two skeet fields erected. The charter number 17-94561, executed March 3rd, 1948, was signed by J.M. Loffland, Tom Loffland, and Burdette Brants as incorporators.
A proposed draft of the By-Laws was presented to E.J. Tynan on July 20th, 1948. There were to be regular and annual members with voting rights and control of the club in the hands of the regular members with voting rights and control of the club in the hands of the regular members. Regular membership dues for that first year were $10.00, and the annual membership dues were $1.00. It was also proposed that the regular membership be initially designated by John Loffland, Tom Loffland and Burdette Brants and could consist of any number up to 50. Warren Scarborough suggested that from the designated list of regular members a 10-man board of directors be elected to serve for one year until the annual board meeting.
The first ten directors were:
The above facts were compiled from my interviews with those members who were able to recall the early days of the club. I was also able to locate a few interesting documents in some old files from John Loffland, Jr. There is a copy of a letter written to Buddy Markum dated July 19, 1950. The letter makes reference to the sale that day of a tract of about 45 acres of land purchased by the Fort Worth Gun and Skeet Club, the land being about 1000 x 2000 feet on the old Bar-L Ranch about 5 miles west of the city limits. Also in the files was a promissory not dated October 14, 195, at the Continental Bank to John Loffland, for $21,000.00 at 4% interest to be paid in 11 installments. This note was for money advanced by J.M. Loffland Jr. to purchase the land and build a clubhouse. The money was to be divided as follows: $12,000 for land; $3,000 for house and facilities and $6,000 on house facilities. There is also the canceled note.
Many hours of hard work have gone into the formation of the Fort Worth Gun Club as we now enjoy it. It is in grateful recognition of these past efforts by our club founders that this first Roster of Members is dedicated.
-Francis Wallace, 1973