Thursday, May 26, 2011

General George Patton - A Memorial Day Tribute

There are books written about the General, so what do you write about this man in a thousand words? Patton is a member of the Scottish American Hall of Fame in North Riverside, Illinois, so let me first quote from his plaque.

George Smith Patton, Jr. is widely acclaimed as America’s most aggressive and resourceful field commander of World War II.  He liberated more territory in less time that any commander in history. General Patton was an able tactician and the leading American exponent of hard-hitting, fast moving tank warfare. The height of his career came in 1944 when his armor slashed across France in a campaign marked with great initiative, ruthless drive, and disregard of classic military rules.

Patton was born November 11, 1885, in San Gabriel, California. He was the fifth generation descendant of Robert Patton who came to Virginia from Scotland during the American Revolution. Robert Patton had a son John who served in Congress and was governor of Virginia. John had eight sons. Six fought on the side of the South in the Civil War and two were killed. One of those killed was Brigadier General George Patton, the great-great-grandfather of the World War II general.

Always aware of the warrior tradition of the family, George S. Patton early opted for a military career and was graduated from West Point in 1909. He studied the great cavalry leaders of the Civil War and became addicted to the importance of mobility and surprise. Due to his experience in World War I in which he was badly wounded, he shifted emphasis from cavalry to tanks.

He was chosen by General Dwight Eisenhower to lead the invasion of North Africa. Patton was censured at war’s end for his outspoken distrust of the Russians. He predicted World War II because he felt the World War I peace was poorly handled. He hoped to die in battle, but the end was more prosaic. He died December 21, 1945, of injuries suffered in an auto accident in Germany.

Friday, May 20, 2011

John Joseph Badenoch , the Final Chapter

John Joseph Badenoch had a limited education in the public schools of New York City and after working as an errand boy for Dennison & Co. “the Western fever struck him” which I assume to mean the gold rush. If he was 16 when he arrived in Chicago, it means that as a very young teenager, he made his way out west. This travel would have given him some background for his career with M. Kronberg & Co. wholesale jewelers, as he “became one of the first to cross the Rocky Mountains” as a traveling salesman.

Traveling west, he learned to play cards as he traded diamonds for gold. He apparently became very good at the game. But if he wanted to marry Miss Clemence Ward she said he had to stop, and he did. Clemence was only sixteen when they married, so that must have been in 1874. John Joseph would have been about 23. I could find no other information about Clemence Ward or her family.

Mrs. Clemence Badenoch died on October 10, 1924, at the age of sixty-six. She died at their home, 502 Washington Blvd., Oak Park. Children living were: Joseph W., Edward C., David A., Earnest W., her daughter, Mrs. Percy W. Stephens and eleven grandchildren. One son, John J. Jr., died May 24, 1899, at the age of 22. The family at the time of his death lived at 391 W. Randolph St.

I found several addresses for the Badenoch family but the most interesting one is 2956 Washington blvd. I have driven by that location several times in the past and saw a deserted stone house. It has three stories with a turret. I always thought it would be interesting to buy that house and bring it back to its former glory. Apparently someone else had the same idea. (You can see the house on Google Earth.) It is across the street from the Boys & Girls Club with a vacant lot to the south fronting on Sacramento Blvd. Their summer home was Brown’s Lake, near Burlington, WI.

Mr. Badenoch was a republican and a member and trustee of the Second Baptist church for 25 years. This magnificent church was located at Wabash and Washington. There are pictures on the Internet, but I have unable to trace its history. Northern Seminar located in Lombard, Illinois, appears to be a ministry of the Second Baptist Church of Chicago.

I have previously mentioned Geoff Badenoch who lives in Montana and is the great grandson of Mr. Badenoch. He recently mailed me the membership certificates for his great-grandfather; one when he became a member in 1885 and the second when he became a Life Member in 1888. They are large, 20 X 24, and had yellowed with age. The certificates had been rolled up in a container for many, many years. Thanks to Mrs. June Steele and the Halverson Fund, I was able to take them to Joel Oppenheimer, The Natural History Art Gallery, where Jennifer completely restored both certificates. At the History Club meeting on Saturday, May 14, 2011, these beautiful documents were displayed

“A scion of staunch Scottish ancestry and claiming the land of hills and heather as the place of his nativity, Mr. Badenoch has shown forth in his character and achievement the admirable attributes that have been significantly exemplified in the race from which he sprang and the loyalty and ability that have made him an honored and influential citizen of Chicago.”  Board of Trade, 1917

John Joseph Badenoch, a successful, kind, dedicated father and citizen, died April 27, 1933, at the age of 82. He is buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. Little wonder that I visit his grave as often as possible.

Wayne Rethford

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Monday, May 16, 2011

John Joseph Badenoch, President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society, Has a Private Audience with Pope Pius X

John Joseph Badenoch was president of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society and served three terms, 1893, 1894 and 1895. He was born in Fyfeshire, Scotland, April 19, 1851 and came to America with his parents when he was five years old. They lived in New York City and he was educated in the public schools. (Please read the previous two blogs for more family information.)

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   
When Mr. Badenoch was president, the following statement was read at the Anniversary Dinner, November 30, 1895.  “The St. Andrew’s Society is purely and strictly a benevolent society, and was the first charitable organization in this state. It is intended to be of help to Scotchmen and their families, and never attempts any other work. Any Scot in trouble or sickness, whether a member or not, is aided and is given employment until he proves unworthy. In sickness, a Scotchman is given medical aid, and in case of death he will receive a decent burial in the society lot in Rosehill.”

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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joseph Badenoch, Scotland to Chicago, His Life and Death

When Joseph Badenoch arrived in Chicago in April of 1866, he knew not a single person. He arrived alone, leaving the family in New York City until he was settled. He brought a letter of recommendation to the foreman of the Illinois Central’s repair shops, but they were discharging good men. Times were hard. So he reverted to his old practice and opened his own shop. On Desplaines Street he bought a lot and built a shop with living quarters above. The family arrived in the autumn of 1866.

On Desplaines Street he began shoeing horses. He did so well “that in a little time he had a reputation which spread over the city.” At first there was a single forge, but soon he had a dozen. Joseph was at work by 5:00 in the morning and worked until late in the evening. Because of his location, he caught the draymen and teamsters of the wholesale houses in the downtown area.

When the Great Fire came in 1871, Desplaines Street was spared. Hundreds of other shops were burned and he said in his broad Scotch “Tis an ill wind that blaws naebody good.” His business doubled and tripled. He not only worked with horses, but could do all kinds of wrought-iron work. Joseph Badenoch was a very skilled workman. “If he did not grow rapidly rich, he surely accumulated money, and need it be said that this true Scotchman took good care of his money?” I could find no indication of how long he worked, but for many years he and his wife continued to live above his shop. The sound of the anvil was pleasing to him.

Mr. Badenoch and his wife were deeply religious. They “are Christians of the order of Alexander Campbell.” His belief in working was almost as strong as his religious belief. “Fathers should send their sons to learn manual trades or send them to farms,” rather than institutions of higher learning." His house was near the Chicago University and he once said: “...there is Chicago University; it is making beggars.” He went on to say, “the millions contributed toward its rich endowment would be better expended making farms for the unemployed people...”

The obituary for Joseph Badenoch was published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1897. “He died at the residence of his daughter, 751 S. Albany Ave. Beloved husband of Helen Badenoch and father of Mrs. David S. Jaffray, Joseph Badenoch, Jr., and John J. Badenoch, He was 83 years and seven months old. Funeral Friday, Oct. 12, 12:30 p.m., from his late residence, to Rosehill Cemetery by carriages.” The pallbearers were all grandchildren. Helen Tough Badenoch died January 20, 1907, at the same residence and is also buried at Rosehill. Thus ended a long journey. There is no evidence they ever returned home to Scotland.

Gus Noble and I often visit Rosehill Cemetery and always stop at the large Badenoch burial plot. Twenty people are buried here and there is room for more. On either side are two large plots owned by Scottish-born families. On the right, is the plot belonging to the McArthur family. The principal owner is General John McArthur. I have not made a connection between the McArthurs and the Badenochs, except they fought in the Civil War and were members of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society. John Joseph Badenoch and General John McArthur both served as President of our Society.

On the left is the plot belonging to the Mason clan. Major George Mason is the principal owner. He is the nephew of General McArthur and served under his command during part of the Civil War, especially at Shiloh. In the museum, we have his officer’s sword, pictures and letters. Vickie Dandridge, who lives in California, inherited the George Mason collection which included furniture, pictures, books and letters. She has given to our museum many of his pictures and letters. She once found a letter to George Mason from his mother in Scotland addressed to “George Mason, Blacksmith, Chicago, Illinois.” (I doubt he would get the letter today - no zip code.) Later, he and his father, Carlisle, owned the Excelsior Iron Works. They would always need a good blacksmith.

In the next blog, I will write about John Joseph Badenoch who rose to prominence in Chicago and served as President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society.