Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twenty Years After the Fire

One more blog about the dinner being held on November 18 at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Chicago.  You can get full details by clicking here.

The date is December 1, 1891 and the location is the Sherman House in Chicago. It is now twenty years since the disastrous fire in 1871.  The headlines in the Chicago Daily Tribune read “St. Andrew’s Night Celebrated.”  It was the 46th anniversary of the event.  “Before the banquet the members and guests assembled in the upper halls of the hotel and for an hour the corridors were crowded with bonny Scots, each of whom wore a sprig of Stewart plaid on his coat lapel.”  There is no explanation of why they wore the Stewart plaid instead of a sprig of heather.

The annual business meeting and elections occurred before the actual dinner and the newly elected President and Board of Governors were then introduced.  The mayor of Chicago, Hempstead Washburne, made an appearance at the business meeting and returned later for the meal.  Not sure if the Mayor was a Scot but he certainly felt at home in their presence.  He lived at 1448 Astor street where he died on June 6, 1927.  He was said to be a loyal Republican and was a member of the Chicago Club, the University Club, and the Saddle and Cycle Club. His grandson, 2nd Lt. Richard P. Washburne was lost in a raid over Germany during World War II.  His parents lived at 608 Arbor Vitae Rd. In Winnetka.

Here are some of the people who attended:  Inspector of the police department, Alexander Ross;  U. S. District Attorney, Thomas E. Milchrist; Bishop McLaren represented the clergy; Clarence S. Darrow also attended and actually gave the toast to the City of Chicago.  I wonder if he had Scottish connections?

At 8:30 the guests started for the dining room walking two abreast.  They were led by Inspector Ross and Lieut. Adam Fyfe.  “Following them were two pipers, who set the marching time with the stirring music of bagpipes.”  Following the pipers was the last surviving charter member, John Alston, and Bishop McLaren.  The dinner took an hour and then the speeches began. 

Here is part of the Menu:   Blue Points - Deep shell, Green Turtle and Celery.
Blue Fish, Burgundy Sauce, Roast of Premium Hereford Beef.  Mashed Potatoes, French Peas, Oyster Patties, Claret Punch, Quail, Scotch Haggis, Tutti Frutti, Assorted Cakes, Fruit, Stilton Cheese, Water Crackers and Coffee.  (It is obvious they ate well.  It is also the first mention of haggis being served.)

There were a number of toasts as usual.  The first being “The Day and a’ Wha Honor it”, followed by a toast to the Queen, followed by one to the President of the United States. Clarence Darrow offered a toast to “Internationalism.” Rev. John Rouse gave “The Land We Left and the Land We Live In.”

“Then the sound of pipes was heard and stalwart men, arrayed in the full costume of Highland pipers, marched into the room playing “The Campbells Are Coming.”  When a moment later the face of Gov. Campbell of Ohio was seen closely behind the pipers, there were the loudest cheers.”  The reporter said he made a “facetious speech.”

There is a long list of names of those who attended.  Some of the names I recognized are: William Kirkwood, C. W. Morris, Dr. McArthur, James McVicker, Geoffrey MacDonald, Hugh Ritchie, and George Sutherland, The number attending is not given.

1 comment:

  1. Wayne, my research didn't reveal Darrow having any specific Scottish roots but given his recent forebears had settled in Southeastern Ohio, I'd say it is likely. At this 1891 dinner Darrow was an up- and-coming 34 year old lawyer decades away from the Scopes Monkey Trial and Leopold & Loeb murder trials that made him nationally prominent.