Since his father believed more in work than education, he began working as an errand boy for Dennison & Co. located at 108 Broadway. The family also needed the money because the father was gone during the four years of the Civil War and his pay as a blacksmith was thirty dollars a month.
After the war, the family moved to Chicago in 1867. John Joseph would have been about 16 years of age. There is no indication that he received any additional education. In Chicago, he began working for M. Kronberg & Co., wholesale jewelers. In time, he became a traveling salesman for the company “and was among the pioneer commercial men and one of the first to cross the Rocky Mountains in that capacity.”
He married Clemence Ward in 1874 and they would have six children. In 1873, Mr. Badenoch established himself as a “commission merchant and shipper of hay, grain, and feed.” Several of his grain elevators dominated the skyline. (I have been told that one still remains along the South Branch of the Chicago River, but I have been unable to find it.) He was very successful and not only did well in business but in civic affairs as well. Here is a partial list:
- An alderman of the old 11th Ward
- President for three years of the Election Commission
- Board of Education president for three years
- General Superintendent of Police for two years - 1895-1896
- One of the founders of the Masonic Orphan’s Home
- Director of Working Women’s Home
- A member of the Union League and Illinois Club
- Foreman of the Coroner’s jury for the Haymarket Riots
Mr. Badenoch attended 50 consecutive Anniversary Dinners celebrating St. Andrew’s Day and the beginning of our society in 1845.
The Badenoch family took a European vacation in 1911. One of the places they visited was Italy and arrangements were made for an audience with Pope Pius X. The New York Times, April 16, 1911, had the following story: “The Pope has received in private audience with ex-Chief of Police John J. Badenoch of Chicago . . . The Holy Father asked Mr. Badenoch about the organization of the American police, and said he knew what an efficient body of men they were in the chief towns of the United States. Mr. Badenoch was accompanied by his family, who were charmed by the cordiality and fatherly bearing of the Pontiff.”
There is one remaining blog about the Badenoch family and then we will change to a different subject.