Monday, February 8, 2016

Dr. Franklyn Bliss Snyder

(Please read the previous blog for background information)

Dr. Snyder was the eleventh president of Northwestern University located in Evanston, Illinois. He started as a teacher in 1909 and never left. He was very much a conservative with strong independent ideas, and was often concerned about the role of government in education. He would not be comfortable in today’s environment. In fact, many of his thoughts and ideas would not be acceptable as politically correct.

In addition to being a strong conservative, he was a determined leader at Northwestern. War was on the horizon in 1939, so he appointed a committee to study how the University would function. When war was declared, his plan was ready for implementation. By 1942, Northwestern had given 125 faculty members, 400 students and 3,000 alumni to the military. Twenty-two were already reported dead or missing in action. By the end of the war, 50,000 men and women had received training, three hundred had died in battle and two had received the Congressional Medal of Honor. ( Please click here to read about nurse Helen B. Wood who was the first to die in WW I.

He was a leader both on the campus and in the community. Often a guest speaker, unafraid to speak his mind, he was in demand from all groups. The public trust in his leadership was shown in how the community responded to the growth and needs of the University.

In 1944, Col. Robert R. McCormick gave a donation of property at the N. W. corner of Lake Shore Drive and Pearson Street to the university. “The property is to be used for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a fund, the income from which is to be spent for research in the medical school.” It was to be called the Irving S. Cutter Fund for Medical Research. This was one of three property gifts in downtown Chicago that Col. McCormick gave to the school. General Dawes, Vice President from 1925 to 1929, gave his mansion to the university. It was to become the Northwestern Historical Center.

If you read the quotations you can get a feel for the man, his views and thoughts.

QUOTATIONS

 “I do not think we overemphasize football at Northwestern. We deal with college men who want to play football, not football players who want to go to college.”

“We make no apologies for treating an athlete as well as a flute player.” The primary aim of the university is to provide an education whether the education is for an athlete or a musician.”

“There is no bonded indebtedness on Dyche stadium. The university built it. Interest and principal if eventually paid from athletic receipts will constitute only a refund to the university. No outsider has any voice in our athletics.”

 “Northwestern is seeking additional scholarships and does not wish to be known as a rich man’s school. Northwestern wishes to educate any youngster deemed worthy of the opportunity.”

 “Too many young men and women go to college now. Too many assume that the only approach to a happy life lies thru a college.”

“The American educational system was built on two principles: local responsibility and local authority. If we go on the dole from Washington, the ultimate authority will be in Washington. No man is bright enough to have that authority, and if he were, I wouldn’t want him to have it.”

“God didn’t intend everybody to be a PhD or to have a $20 hospital room without charge.”

Graduating class in 1941 - “alert in observation and vigorous in protest if you see freedom of thought and speech ever in danger.”

“If endowed schools, hospitals and other non-governmental institutions are to survive, the federal government must cease confiscating the incomes and estates of wealthy men.”

“Northwestern’s retiring president is acutely aware that privately endowed universities are threatened by confiscatory federal tax policies. Society won’t let it be killed by a group of theorist who want to take everything in. I am much opposed to federal control of education. If we get that, we’ll soon have a police state whether we like it or not.”

“Dr. Snyder said that at the founding of the university in 1853, two themes appeared - a belief that church and university have a common purpose, the development of educated Christian citizenry, and second, a belief that the university could best work toward this purpose in an atmosphere of religious and intellectual freedom.”

“Today the arch foes of humanity are not Hitler and Stalin, Naziism or communism,” he said, “but sin and ignorance. I have no fear that our American way of life will fall a victim to the 20th century black death that is ravaging Germany and Russia.”

(Dr. Franklyn Bliss Snyder was born 26 July, 1884 in Middletown, Connecticut. On June 15, 1908 , he married Winifred Perry Dewhurst. They were both 24 years of age. Dr. Snyder died 11 May, 1958. They had 2 sons: Franklyn Bliss Snyder, Jr. and Peter Miles Snyder.)


Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630.629.4516

Friday, January 22, 2016

Northwestern University

Dr. Franklyn Bliss Snyder was born 26 July, 1884, in Middleton, Connecticut. He was once described as “quick moving, a lover of books and of outdoor sports.” He married Winifred Perry Dewhurst, July 25, 1909, and they had two sons. She was well known in Chicago and university circles, her father being the pastor of the University Congregational church. When Mr. Snyder died in 1958, he left a widow, two sons, two brothers and five grandchildren. It is possible that descendants are still living.

Dr. Snyder was a graduate of Beloit College (1905) and obtained both his master’s and a doctor of philosophy degree from Harvard. In 1911 he became an assistant professor at Northwestern and a full professor in 1919. He succeeded Dr. Walter Scott Dill in 1939. He was followed by Dr. J. Roscoe Miller upon reaching the age of sixty-five. Dr. Miller was recognized as the Distinguished Citizen of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society in 1966. If Walter Scott Dill is Scottish that means that three successive presidents of Northwestern had a Scottish heritage.

At the St. Andrews’s dinner, December 3, 1932, Dr. Snyder was the principal speaker. The Toastmaster was Rabbi Garson Levi a native of Greenock and Distinguished Citizen in 1975. Also on the program was the Rev. Dr. John Timothy Stone. The surprise of the evening was an appearance of Scots comedian Willie Fyfe and his wife. They had been brought over from the Palace theater by their old friend, Robert Black, who owned a construction company.

When Dr. Snyder was introduced, he spoke about his German name and that he was born in New England. Then he mentioned his grandmother who was born in Skye. In his possession was a table that “stood beside her bed on which stood the lamp and Bible.” He said he owed to her several things. “First of all I owe her much more than those material things...I owe her an abiding confidence in Scotland and Scottish men. I have said many times to my students that if they could choose their ancestries, and did not choose to sprinkle a few Scotsmen there, they would be stupid beyond words. For I know of no nation that has made as large a contribution to human welfare as has Scotland.”

“Another thing I owe to my grandmother is an interest in and better understanding of the man who most of us would consider greatest of all Scotchmen, Robert Burns. I know of no one else who is Burns’ equal when it comes to the difficult task of thinking the thoughts of the wise and speaking the language of the humble.” Dr. Snyder was considered a Burns scholar and had published two books about the national poet of Scotland. One of his books, The Life of Robert Burns, I was able to purchase on eBay. His second book was Robert Burns, His Personality, His Reputation and His Art.

He gave the commencement address at Northwestern in 1949. “In that address, he warned that the United States would be a sorry place in which to live in 50 years if the unjustified demands of labor or the unchecked greed of the tax assessor, or the theorizing of the planner stopped men from saving and investing in agriculture and industry.”

Dr. Snyder led the university through the years of World War II when it trained 50,000 for the military and also through eleven additions and building programs. After the war, the university was jammed with returning veterans. (If memory serves, Don Buick attended something at the University. I don’t remember if it was before or after the war.)

I need to stop because this is getting too long but there is much more. Dr. Snyder was one of a kind. He was blunt, fearless and certainly not political correct by today’s standards. I have collected a number of his statements and if there are 100 requests, I will make them the next blog. You can see how much we have changed in the last 50 years.

Wayne Rethford, Past President
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630.629.4516

Upcoming Events

January 30, 2016 - Chicago Scots 18th Annual Burns Supper: Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago. Cocktails, dinner, toasts, music and dancing beginning at 6:00 p.m. Dinner seating, toasts and program at 7:30 p.m. Music and dancing at 10:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Carey Smith, Director of Programming, at 708.426.7149 or visit their website. (Sponsored by the Illinois Saint Andrew Society)

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Scots of Chicago Celebrate Robert Burns

As we approach the Birthday of Robert Burns on January 25, I find it interesting to look back and see how the Scottish population of Chicago celebrated this event. These stories have all been taken from the Chicago Daily Tribune and cover the period up to 1900. Not every event is listed and often several events were conducted at the same time by different Scottish organizations and clans.

1857 - 96th anniversary of birth of Robert Burns. The Chicago Highland Guard, “one of the most beautifully uniformed military companies, celebrated a Burns Anniversary Ball.” It was held at the German Hall, corner of Wells and Indiana. The Guard was presented with a beautiful silk flag by a number of female friends. It was painted by William Mackie. “A finely gilded Eagle, carved by Power & Farel of State Street, surrounds the flag staff. It is to be presented in front of the Briggs House."

1859 - In the afternoon there was a parade composed of the Saint Andrew Society’s Highland Guard and other military companies. In the evening an address by ex-Governor McComas, followed by a concert. “After this, comes the Banquet and Ball at the Tremont House, where beauty and mirth will predominate. Large deputations from the cities and towns along the lines of railways centering here are coming to join with the citizens of Chicago in the affair. It promises to be the most magnificent affair every gotten up in the West.” The paper reported that “tens of thousands waited along the streets.” The parade was delayed three hours by a ferocious snowstorm.

1860 - “The Sons of Auld Scotia gave their brilliant and attentive Caledonian Festival at the Briggs House in honor of the Birthday of Robert Burns.

1864 - A dinner was given for Colonel A. Raffin, of the 19th Illinois, at the Briggs House on January 25, 1864. About 30 attended. Present were Robert Hervey, Capt. James, John Alston, and other “whole-souled Scotchmen” who were there and participated. Colonel Raffin was home on a short furlough during the Civil war.

1866 - Robert Hervey, who was President of the Caledonia Club, gave a series of talks on the “Genius and Character of Robert Burns.” He had also been President of the Saint Andrew Society. Proceeds from the lecture were given to the benevolent fund of the Society.

1875 - The Caledonian Club of Chicago celebrated with a dance and supper. There were over 100 couples present. Pipe music was furnished by Neil McPhail and Joseph Cant. Nevins and Dean furnished the music for dancing. “The supper was a sumptuous repast and many toasts were drank...” It lasted until the early hours of the morning.

1889 - Gov. Thomas Moonlight of Wyoming Territory spoke at the Central Music Hall to honor Burns on his birthday. He was in Chicago at the invitation of the Burns Monument Association. There was also an event at Farwell Hall. Every available space was occupied and more than a thousand were turned away. The Rev. Robert McIntyre gave the address.

1890 - The Highland Association hired the biggest hall in Chicago to celebrate the birth of Robert Burns. “Well-to-do Scotchmen - and there are scores of them in Chicago - bought boxes for themselves and their families. Middle class Scotch men and Scotch women occupied the vast parquet. Thrifty Scotch men bought every seat in the balcony.” The orator was The Rev. Dr. Lorimer. Mayor Creigier was present and said to be a Scotchman.

1891 - The Auditorium was again filled to capacity for the celebration. (There is a long list of names present at the event listed in the paper.) The Honorable Benjamin Butterworth was the speaker. The organist was from Edinburgh and he also brought his choir A grand chorus of 300 voices sang Scottish songs and 250 girls and women took part in the Highland Fling. The event lasted two days and the Auditorium was filled for all performances.

1896 - “The birthday of Burns, the Scottish bard, is generally well honored in Chicago, where there are probably more Scottish national societies than in any other place on earth.”

1896 - “A dramatic and spectacular entertainment in honor of Robert Burns, under the auspices of the Scottish Assembly of Chicago, will be given in the Auditorium on Thursday, January 23, under the direction of Mrs. Cora Scott-Pond-Pope. Over 500 characters appear in the sketches.” Among the patrons were: Mr. And Mrs. Harry G. Selfridge.

1896 - The Chicago Scottish Club held a military and civic ball at Battery D the evening of January 24. The Mayor of Milwaukee attended. He was entertained by: Mayor Swift, Capt. A. F., Campbell, Comdr. William R. Kerr, Police Chief Alex. Ross, Dr. E. P. Murdock, and Mr. Wm. Hannerman. Special attention was given to the boxes occupied by Governor Altgeld and other visiting officials. “A luncheon will be served and Major-General Wesley Merritt will lead the grand march at 9.30 p.m.”

(The first class to graduate from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, had nine members. In that class was Jonathan Spillman who wrote the music for a song which became a classic, “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.” The words were by Robert Burns - the music by Jonathan Spillman.)

1896 - The Caledonian Society will honor Robert Burns at Steinway Hall, January 26, 1896. Robert T. Lincoln presiding and Wallace Bruce speaking. (Wallace Bruce was the Bard of Clan MacDonald and lived in Brooklyn, New York. He had also been the Ambassador to Scotland.) To the left of the stage was a bronze model of the statue of Burns now being cast in Edinburgh. “The Campbells Are Coming” was the best thing on the program, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. Clan leaders were marched down the aisle headed by the bagpipers. “Scottish patriotism manifested itself in applause which did not cease until an encore was given.”

Those who sat on the stage were: Robert T. Lincoln, Gen. J. A. MacArthur, T. B. Livingston, F. D. Todd, Hugh Shirlaw, Col. James A. Sexto, George Bain, Peter Brice and William Gardner.

As I said in the opening paragraph, this is only a sampling of events listed in the paper. In those early days of Chicago, the Scottish population was quite prominent. They were mayors, governors, entrepreneurs and successful business people. Chicago was indeed a Scottish city much like Lake Forest, Illinois. Not sure that any community or city in the USA can match either of these two.

Wayne Rethford, Past President
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630.629.4516

Announcements:

Nicht Wi Burns Annual Dinner: Saturday, January 23, 2016, at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn, 9333 S. Cicero Avenue, Oak Lawn, Illinois. Beginning at 5:45 p.m., the Stockyards Kilty Pipe Band will play at 6:15 and the program begins at 6:30. Contact: Sally Johnson, 630.515.1997 or nichtwiburns@gmail.com

Chicago Scots 18th Annual Burns Supper: Saturday, January 30, 2016, at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago. Cocktails, dinner, toasts, music and dancing beginning at 6:00 p.m. Dinner seating, toasts and program at 7:30 p.m. Music and dancing at 10:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Carey Smith, Director of Programming, at 708.426.7149. (Sponsored by the Illinois Saint Andrew Society)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tragedy at Stornoway

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1919. The Armistice has been signed and the “Great War” is finally over. Scotland had paid a high price. Almost 150,000 Scots lost their lives between 1914 and 1918. A generation was gone, the country’s brightest and ablest young men.

For an example, look at the Isle of Lewis. The Isle of Lewis is the largest island in the Outer Hebrides, the only settlement is Stornoway. The population was about 30,000 when the war began. More than 6,000 from the Isle and Lewis and Harris served in the war and more than a thousand died before the war ended.

Now the war is over and the warriors are returning home. In London, two trains headed north carrying troops. They were dressed in full uniforms, with heavy shoes and backpacks. Everyone was joyous and happy. There was singing and drinking because at last they were going home, back to the Isle of Lewis and Harris.

Waiting for them at the Kyle of Lochalsh was the Iolaire. (The Iolaire was an Admiralty yacht built in 1881.) The ship was not equipped for its next and final journey. There was a shortage of lifeboats and jackets and the ship would be overwhelmed with soldiers and sailors. The Captain hesitated to leave, but it was New Year’s Eve and the soldiers were anxious to get home. No adequate arrangements had been made for them to have a safe journey.

Back on the Islands, the celebrations had already begun as homes were decorated and bunting had been hung along the streets. It was going to be a joyous event. Some families had walked to the quay side in order to be there when the boat docked at Stornoway. The ship never arrived.

“Making its final approach into Stornoway Harbor on a dark night and in a strong gale, it changed course at the wrong point. With the lights of the harbor in sight, the ship struck the rocks at full speed and began to tilt. The reef was called the “Beasts of Holm.” It was 2:30 in the morning.

Out of a crew of 27 there were just 7 survivors. Among the dead 174 men from Lewis and 7 men from Harris. Only 75 of the 280 passengers survived. Families gathered to claim the bodies but more than a third were never found and six were never identified. One family that had already lost three sons in the war, lost a fourth on the Iolaire. It is said that women wore black for two generations. No one spoke of it, a “veil of silence” descended on the Islands. It was forty years before a memorial was built.

Not a family or village escaped. Lewis never recovered.

The Glasgow Herald on the 4th of January, 1919, wrote: "An old man sobbing into his handkerchief with a stalwart son in khaki sitting on the cart beside him, the remains of another son in the coffin behind --- that was one of the sights seen today as one of the funeral parties emerged from the barrack gate. Another, an elderly woman, well dressed, comes staggering down the roadway and bursts into a paralysis of grief as she tells the sympathizers at the gate that her boy is in the mortuary. Strong men weeping and women wailing or wandering around with blanched, tear stained faces are to be seen in almost every street and there are groups of them at the improvised mortuary”

Thirty-one men with the name MacLeod died. The mother of Donald Trump was Mary Anne MacLeod born on the Isle of Lewis in 1912. She would have been seven at the time. For more information about Mary Anne MacLeod, click here.

There was an official inquiry but they did not find a satisfactory explanation for the disaster. (The report was not made public for seventy years.) The last survivor died in 1992. Fifteen days after the tragedy, the Iolaire was put up for sale by the Admiralty even though eighty men were still missing. The ship’s bell was recovered from the bottom of the sea in 1971.

          “Two hundred more were plucked from us with home almost in reach.
          New Years dreams and Christmas presents washed up on the beach
          Now the winds will blow and the waves will break upon this lonely shore
          Where the ghosts of those young men that died must roam forevermore.”                                            
A memorial was dedicated in 1958 at Holm, just outside of Stornoway. A stone pillar sticks out of the water at the site of the wreck, which can be seen today on the right side as the car ferry approaches the harbor entrance.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630.629.4516

Friday, December 11, 2015

Your Loving Mother

I don’t know much about her early life but her maiden name was Ella B. Slocum and she was born in Rhode Island around 1847. Her father was a salesman and at some point in her young life they moved to Chicago.

The next event in her life of which we are certain occurred in 1867. She was 23 and an attractive woman with blond hair. She fell in love and married a Scottish man prominent in Chicago history. (I will not use his name.) He was 30 and a Civil War hero who fought both days at Shiloh.

The marriage did not go well because I have divorce papers dated September 20, 1880. The hearing was held in open court before the Honorable William H. Barnum. The husband did not attend but was represented by O. H. Norton, Esq. The charges were “extreme and repeated cruelty toward his said wife.”

The husband was given custody of the child until he was fourteen. The husband was also “charged with the full support, maintenance and education of said child, but said child shall not be removed by said defendant beyond the limits of the United States without the further order of this Court.” .

The child involved was twelve years of age and there is no explanation as to why the father was given custody except it was by mutual agreement. The mother was given full access to the child through visitation rights. No alimony was awarded to the wife but she was given “certain real estate and personal property.” The son later graduated from Notre Dame with an engineering degree.

By November of that same year (1880), Ella was married to Baron Ernst von Jeinsen, which may explain the divorce and the custody of the child. (The mother would later explain that they had been separated for more than a year.) The Baron’s estate was located about two miles from Hanover, Germany. They spent the winter (1880-1881) at the Commonwealth Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. He was 46 and Ella was 33.

In 1904, her first husband was sued by Charles Mackie for “alienation of affection.” It seems that he and Mrs. Mackie had made trips to Cuba, Philadelphia and Washington. The case was dismissed by the judge. This article dated January 12, 1904, states that his first wife divorced him for cause and married “an Italian nobleman.” We could find no other references to her life with the Baron. The next event occurred in 1892. Ella is now 45and perhaps the Baron has died.

Franklin Simmons, the sculptor, lived and worked in Italy and in 1892 married “...the beautiful and distinguished Baroness von Jeinsen, who was an accomplished musician, a critical lover of art and the most graceful and delightful of hostesses. Mrs. Simmons drew about her a very charming circle in Rome, and made their home in the Palazzo Tamagno, a notable center of foreign social life.” Ella also maintained a home in Chicago at 181 Park Avenue for more than 25 years.

She died at her home in Rome, December 21, 1905 of pneumonia and is buried in the Swan Point cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island. She was 58. Her sister was Mrs. Charles W. Clingman, 4748 Kenwood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

The following is a letter Ella wrote to her son:

Palazzo Tamagno
83 Via Agostino Depletes
Roma

June 26, 1902

My Dear Son:

In the past twenty years I have written more than twice that number of letters to be given to you in the event of my death. The first were documents defending myself, so that you might know from me (despite anyones version) that I had right on my side when I left your father, also that I did not live with him for nearly a year before the final parting.

The last letter also contained words I feel better unsaid (at this time) for I would not disturb any good feeling that may and I sincerely hope does exist between you. I will only say that I did the best in my power.

My last prayer dear is for you - that you may be led to know how to live up to the highest ideas of your highest moments. My heart goes out to you. I have never wavered in my affection for, and my trust in you, my Son.

May God bless you ever and ever.

                               Farewell,
                               Your loving Mother.


Enclosed in the letter was a lock of his mother’s hair. It has faded in color, in a circular shape and bound by a blue ribbon. You will find it in an envelope in the three ring binder of her first husband’s documents.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630-629-4516

PS. My thanks to all of you for your interest and support during my recent illness. It has been a slow process recovering from heart surgery, but I am gradually regaining my strength. Your phone calls, emails, cards and letters were much appreciated.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Scots in the Revolutionary War

As many of you know Wayne Rethford had open heart surgery on August 20. After 16 days in the hospital, he is recovering nicely at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois. As of today, his scheduled release date is September 23.

Please join us on September 12 in welcoming Dr. James E. Davis. Now retired and living in Michigan, he is the former William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College. His latest book is Frontier Illinois. His subject will be Scots in the Revolutionary WarPlease welcome him to the Scottish American History Club!

Gus Noble has been kind enough to host the meeting. As usual, the museum will open at 9:00 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. Coffee, tea and scones will be available. The meeting takes place in Heritage Hall, The Scottish Home, 28th & Des Plaines, North Riverside, Illinois.

PLEASE NOTE:  The October and November meetings in 2015 will be cancelled.
Elaine Rethford Moore for
Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Scottish-American History Club
Illinois Saint Andrew Society 

Friday, July 31, 2015

3 Tong, Stornoway, Scotland

Harris and Lewis make up the largest and northern-most island of the Outer Hebrides. It has a northern part called Lewis and a more mountainous southern part called Harris. The only town is Stornoway. There are two coastal “settlements” about a mile apart known as Tong and Aird Tong. The area now has modern housing, a primary school and community center. The former post office is used by the Scottish Episcopal Church. There are no shops in Tong.

Life was difficult in the 19th century in Tong. Most of the men made a living by fishing and having a small plot where potatoes could be raised and perhaps had a cow. The staple diet was a gruel-like porridge and potatoes. They may have had some beef but the primary diet was fish.

Housing was extreme. One observer described it as “sordid huts.” They were filthy, with doors so low it was necessary to “crawl in and out.” There was no wood so the huts were made of turf having no windows or chimneys. The huts housed both people and their livestock. Living here in the 1800s were Alexander MacLeod and his wife Anne. They spoke Gaelic and perhaps a little English. They were both illiterate.

Alexander and Anne had a son in 1866 whom they named Malcolm. Malcolm, like the other before him, was a fisherman and crofter. He also served as the “compulsory officer” to enforce attendance at the local school. His wife was Mary Smith, born in 1867 in Tong, Stornoway. When Mary was a baby her father was killed in a tragic accident. The four children were raised by their mother. Mary Smith lived until she was 96, dying in 1963 following a fracture of her right leg and subsequent pneumonia.

Malcolm MacLead and Mary Smith were married in the Free Church of Scotland just a few miles from Stornoway. The Rev. Murdo MacLeod performed the ceremony. The marriage produced ten children, one of whom was named Mary Anne MacLeod. She is the one we will follow.

Mary Anne MacLeod was born at 3 Tong, Stornoway on May 10, 1912. She was the youngest child of Malcolm MacLeod and Mary Smith. Apparently, she was raised in a house at 5 Tong. (There is a picture on the Internet.) In the 1930s she visited New York City. How could a fisherman’s family with ten children afford to sent one child to America? Perhaps some of you can help with the story but we know that she met a man named Fred C. Trump while visiting in New York. He had a strong German heritage. They married in 1936. She became a citizen in 1942.

Fred Trump was a builder of homes for working people who wanted a little more quality. His houses had a brick veneer, tudor facades and mansard roofs. His apartment houses had English names. He never promoted himself. He didn’t like putting his name on things. He looked German which was not a good idea during the war years so people were led to believe that he was Swedish or Dutch. Fred Trump was a successful multi-millionaire businessman. Here is something I found on the Internet.

“The old man's office in Brooklyn is left just the way it was when he had to stop working last spring. There's humble shag carpet and industrial-grade steel trim, and the walls are crowded with emblems of 80 years of building: faded pictures of the Highlander and Edgerton, a photograph of Fred meeting Ronald Reagan, three of his beloved cigar store Indians. But there's only one picture of Donald, a framed 1986 cover of Fortune. That was just before ''The Art of the Deal,'' just before Donald became a household name. Just before it became clear that Donald had eclipsed his father's noble achievement forever. They say that when pictures were taken of father and son, Fred would rise just a little on his toes -- so he would look taller.” He was married to Mary Anne for 64 years and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease before his death.

Mary Anne MacLeod Trump was the “mainstay” of the Women’s Auxiliary of Jamaica Hospital. She and her husband were also active in the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America and the Lighthouse for the Blind. They also gave buildings to the National Kidney Foundation of New York and to Community Mainstreaming Associates of Great Neck, New York, which provides homes for the disabled. She spoke perfect Gaelic and returned frequently to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides as did other members of the family.

Mary Anne Trump, born at Tong, died at the age of 88 on August 7, 2000. Her husband had died the year before. Her funeral was at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York. She was described as a philanthropist who supported charities near her home in Queens and elsewhere. Her obituary said she was survived by these children: Robert, president of his father’s property management company, Maryanne, a Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge, Elizabeth, a Chase Manhattan Bank executive, and Donald John Trump.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
630-629-4516

Upcoming Events

August 5: I will be speaking to the senior’s group at the Palos Park Presbyterian Church.

September 12: The History Club will resume meeting. Our speaker will be Dr. James E. Davis, now retired and living in Michigan. He is the former William and Charlotte Gardner Professor of History and Professor of Geography at Illinois College. His latest book is Frontier Illinois.