LIMA — Paul Steiner was a Wayne County native who worked for the Lima Securities Co. Thomas Pearman, born in Kentucky, was the general secretary of the Lima YMCA.
Steiner and Pearman, like many men in the 1920s, were avid golfers. Golf, once seen as a sport for the rich, had experienced a boom in popularity between 1916 and 1920. In August 1925, Steiner and Pearman combined to bring Lima a measure of fame in Ohio golf circles.
“The Y’s Men’s golf tourney for the state of Ohio is on this afternoon at Lost Creek course. The event is sponsored by the local Y’s Men’s club and will become an annual affair,” The Lima News reported on Aug. 27, 1925. “The tourney is open to all members of the organization and there will be teams here from all the principal cities of Ohio.”
The Y’s Men’s club was founded in Toledo in 1922, to support a local YMCA. Nineteen twenty-five was the first year for the organization’s golf tournament and drew quite a bit of interest, particularly in Lima because the first tournament was to be held at the city’s newest golf course.
The teams would be playing for the Roulet trophy, which had been donated by a Toledo jewelry store of the same name and which the News described as “a handsome silver cup.” In addition to the Roulet trophy for first place, the News noted that “the B.F. Repp Co., the Lima Sporting Goods Company and the Sealts company have donated useful prizes in the game of golf.”
“There are a whole lot of mighty good golfers from Canton and Lima, who are ruling favorites to win this tourney,” Lima’s Republican-Gazette wrote on Aug. 23, 1925, as the tournament neared. “It may be, however, that these delegates are counting without their host, for those from Toledo, Marion, Springfield, Dayton and Akron come as dark horses. Besides these there are delegates from Steubenville, Newark, Marietta, Tiffin and Alliance that are liable to spring a Hagen or a Macfarlane.”
Walter Hagen and Willie Macfarlane were, along with Bobby Jones, among the most popular professional golfers in 1925.
The Republican-Gazette, avoiding anything that looked like a prediction, concluded that “while the Columbus entries are coming bound to win the championship, it is safe to say that the other delegates are just as sanguine and so anything definite will not be known until it is all over.”
In the meantime, the newspaper reported that the visiting golfers and their wives would be entertained with a luncheon at the YMCA on Aug. 27, the day of the tourney. “A special musical program has been prepared for the luncheon while the visiting ladies will be entertained during the afternoon by the wives of the local Y’s men.”
The Lima team, selected by Steiner, Repp and H.F. Comstock, president of the Lima Y’s Men, was comprised of Steiner, Pearman, Repp, Comstock, B. McClain, C.E. Baker, Glenn W. Sealts, Carl D. Young, C.T. Lewis, Robert L. Johonot, Charles L. Bullock, Joe Gooding, Harold Krein, Neil Parmenter, Wilson Reis, Thurston Shreve, Melvin C. Wilt and R.R. Shryer.
Under the rules of the tournament, the players paired off into two-man teams. The two-man team with the lowest combined score won the trophy for their club. Thanks to Pearman and Steiner, that club was Lima.
“Tom Pearman and his teammate, Paul Steiner, didn’t have to go outside the city limits yesterday to garner up whatever honors may be attached to the title of champion of all Y’s Men golf players,” the Republican-Gazette reported Aug. 28. “They entered the tournament at Lost Creek and without being compelled for a single moment to look back at the other fellow, completely swept the field and walked away with a net score of 194, five strokes less than Wilbur Smith and Miles Hoover, Columbus, who were runners-up.
“In addition to copping second honors, Columbus likewise carried away third and fourth places in team play. Canton placed fifth, followed by three Lima teams,” the newspaper wrote. “The Lima men were awarded the Roulet trophy, presented by the Roulet company of Toledo, official jewelers for Y’s Men international. The Roulet trophy is to be awarded to the club that wins the team championship each year and must be copped three years in succession in order to become the permanent possession of any club.”
Lima’s chance to do that faded as quickly as the second annual Y’s Men’s tourney came around. The second tourney was held Aug. 13, 1926, in Columbus with eight teams — Lima, Columbus, Canton, Youngstown, Mansfield, Dayton, Toledo and Middletown — vying for the trophy.
“Friday the thirteenth proved too much of a handicap for the Lima Y’s Men to overcome and they lost the state championship to Columbus at the Scioto course in the second annual state Y’s Men’s golf meet,” the News reported on Aug. 14. Columbus, which again was considered the favorite, won this time around. Although Pearman was at the tournament, Steiner was not.
Steiner, a World War I veteran, remained in Lima until 1932 when he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1926, he married Marguerite Krein, of St. Marys, and they had a daughter. In 1927, Steiner was listed in the city directory as manager of Lost Creek Country Club.
While Steiner was getting married in 1926, his partner, Pearman, was getting divorced. “Thomas Pearman, general secretary of the local YMCA Wednesday filed for divorce against Eva Buel Pearman,” the News reported June 9, 1926. A week after the golf tourney, Pearman was granted a divorce and custody of the couple’s two sons, one of whom suffered from polio.
Pearman, who had been appointed to head the Lima YMCA in 1922 after serving in a similar position in Piqua, resigned the post in November 1926. “Pearman is leaving Lima to take up he work in a larger city than Lima which will offer a larger field for his abilities,” the News reported Nov. 10.
Reach Greg Hoersten at firstname.lastname@example.org.