• Walter Goss - Oregon tennis pioneer
    Walter Goss – Oregon tennis pioneer

    Born in Rochester, New York in 1877.

  • His family moved to Spokane when he was a youngster where he graduated from Spokane High School. Went to work as a bookkeeper in a commission house.
  • Came to Portland in 1898 where he graduated from the Portland Academy. Spent 14 years in the milling business. In 1912 entered the insurance business with Mutual Life of New York, for 35 successful years.
  • Very active in YMCA In 1907, cooperated in effort to raise money for new YMCA building. In 1910, elected to YMCA board of directors and served continuously for many years.
  • Taught Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church for 40 years, 1908-1948. His uncle Charles Frederick Goss was pastor there. In 1907, joined Westminister Presbyterian Church board of trustees. Chairman of committee to purchase property for new church.
  • Advisor to HI-Y clubs at Washington and Grant High Schools.
  • Wife Rebecca C. Sons John and Walter Alling. Daughter Mary
  • Portland’s best tennis players in early days.
  • Won Oregon State men’s singles 1900, 1906, and 1918 to retire Fisk Trophy, now in Irvington Club trophy case.
  • Won Oregon State men’s doubles with Brandt Wickersham 1909, with Carl Lewis 1900.

    Walter Goss
    Walter Goss
  • Irvington Club secretary in 1899.
  • Irvington Club president in 1905.
  • Irvington Club president in 1931-1935, during depression years.
  • Very active in Irvington Club children parades.
  • Through his negotiations with the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association in 1916 and following, the Pacific Northwest Lawn Tennis Association became a sectional member.
  • In an anniversary book by the Westminister Presbyterian Church, it says about Walter Goss: “The entire Irvington area owes him a debt of gratitude. He was always willing to devote his time and money for the area which he loved, for his Sunday school class, and for his promotion of tennis for boys and girls”.
  • He was also one of incorporators of the Irvington Improvement Association in 1905 to buy property and build new courts and clubhouse.
  • Esther Kelly Watson Westminister Church 1889-1979 OHS
  • Walter Goss Scrapbook – Irvington Club Historical File.


  • Charter member of USTA/PNW Hall of Fame

Framed picture of Walter on display at the Irvington Club and the Multnomah Athletic Club.

Document Source: Sam Lee, 1997