Augusta Schultz Hobart
Born: July 28, 1871
Died: September 30, 1925
Town: Hillsborough Township
Augusta Louise Schultz was born July 28, 1871 in the Murray Hill section of current-day New Providence. She was one of seven children born to Carl and Louise Schultz, an affluent New York businessman. Her family joined the New York Tennis Club, which was located at 147th St. and St. Nicholas Avenue.
An accomplished player, Augusta entered the US Lawn Tennis Championship in 1893 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Wissahickon Heights. She reached the all-comers final, which was the de facto championship match, as the reigning 1892 champion, Mabel Cahill, announced she would forfeit to the winner of Augusta’s match against Aline Terry. There were reports that Cahill had fallen ill, but the 29-year-old Irish immigrant was viewed as an interloper who had taken the title from Ellen Roosevelt. Cahill—who also won the 1892 US Mixed Doubles championship with Clarence Hobart—felt she did not get the respect she deserved and quit tennis in 1894 and later returned to Ireland.
As for Augusta’s match with Terry, it was played in foul conditions, with intermittent drizzle making the court slick. Terry won, 6–1, 6–3.
Augusta continued to compete at the top tier of tennis and got to know Hobart during the social events that surrounded the various tournaments. Hobart was a superb doubles player. He was the US champion in men’s doubles in 1890, 1893 and 1894 and runner-up at Wimbledon twice. He also won the US Mixed Doubles crown in 1892 with Ellen Roosevelt. Augusta continued to enter events at various clubs in the New York Metropolitan area after their marriage.
Augusta and Clarence played and traveled extensively together. In 1899, Clarence won the German Championship and reached the doubles final at Wimbledon. In 1905, Augusta and Clarence entered the US Mixed Doubles Championship. They reached the final and defeated Bessie Moore and Edward Dewhurst, an Australian star, who would win the mixed title in 1906 with Sarah Coffin. On this day, however, Mr. and Mrs. Hobart prevailed, 6–2, 6–4. It marked the first and last time a husband-and-wife team won the US championships.
The Hobarts took up winter residence in Clearwater, Florida and spent summers in Asheville, North Carolina, where they were active in tennis and other activities at the Asheville Country Club. They won the mixed doubles tournament there in 1916 and Augusta also won the ladies golf championship that summer. She competed for the club championship in tennis and golf into her 50s. She managed the club tennis tournament for many years and, in 1912, Augusta and Clarence organized the event that became known as the North Carolina Open. In 1919, Clarence entered and won the US senior tennis title, which was called the “Veterans’ Championship.”
Augusta passed away in 1925 at the age of 54 from intestinal cancer. Clarence also died fairly young. He died following a swimming pool mishap in Asheville at the age of 60. He was attempting a back dive at night when he slipped and his head hit a pipe below the surface, and was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He had remarried in 1927.