DeWitt C. Van Court

From Wooljersey

Brother of Eugene Van Court


Acme Wheelmen

The early history of the club is as interesting as its later development into the fore most athletic organization in Alameda county. Way back in the fall of 1881 a handful of young men living in the vicinity of Sixth and Alice streets with nothing to occupy their time after school rigged up a swinging trapeze in an oak tree in De Witt Van Court's back yard, and this broomhandle trapeze, together with an ancient pair of boxing gloves, were the only apparatus the club owned.

The members of the club at that time were: DeWitt C. Van Court, Eugene Van Court, O. C. Musser, George Faulkner and J. M. Polk, all being neighbors and living within a few blocks of the Van Court residence. The early meetings of the club were held in the Van Court back yard whenever the rain permitted. In course of time the boys obtained permission from Mrs. Dr. Lafevre [Lefevre] to use the loft of a barn close by. The roof of this barn was so low that but one member could exercise at a time, and while he was busy swinging clubs or two others were boxing the rest of the club sat down and did their best to keep out of the way. From this early stage the club progressed by steady growth until it was able to rent an old China washhouse at the corner of Eighth and Webster streets. Here the membership was increased by the admission of Tim Scanlon, Ed Merwin, Rufus Hepburn, Ross Hardy and John F. Conners. Those, with the original members, afterwards became charter members when the Acme Athletic Club was formed.


The Acme Bicycle Club has done its part to keep up the record of the club. The club has over one hundred members, and has the following officers: De Witt C. Vancourt, Captain; George F. Neece, First Lieutenant; Theodore Schleuter, Second Lieutenant; O. L. Pickard, Bugler.

HOME OF THE FAMOUS ACMES - Born in a barn and matured in a Chinese wash-house, the Acme Athletic Club - The San Francisco Examiner, 02 Dec 1893

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