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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1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed following your research story on JJB - congrats on your in-depth research :-) Jo (AKA Scottish Genealogist)