Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Greetings

Some of you will remember Mike Copperthite who brought fresh-baked pies from Washington, D.C. to our History Club meeting this past year. Just getting the pies to Chicago was its own adventure that took the cooperation of the TSA, pilots and passengers.

We have remained friends and have shared good times and bad. Mike quite suddenly lost his Mother this year so Christmas will be different for his family. It will be different for many families especially those in Sandy Hook, but comfort in God brings hope.

I don't know anyone who works harder at keeping his family heritage alive than Mike does. He has begun making pies again in memory of Henry Clayton Copperthite. The proceeds go to his community. What you see below is a full page advertisement in the local newspaper advertising Christmas Eve. I wish my family was closer so we could take part in the ceremony.

Mike not only is giving honor to his own family by this Christmas Walk, but to the hundreds of veterans buried at Oak Hill. Please read the story and let it be my Christmas greetings to all of you who regularly read our postings. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Mike Copperthite and my family.

Monday, December 17, 2012

They called it the Wigwam

They called it the Wigwam, that wooden building that stood at the corner of Lake and Wacker in Chicago. It was a temporary building and thus perhaps the name; a one-purpose building that stood for a while and then was gone.

It was made entirely of wood and lighted with gas. There were no seats, except on the platform. The more than 10,000 guests all stood and were in constant danger of fire. The Chicago Tribune said it was “strong, compact and weatherproof.” The floor and galleries “to be a series of broad stairs or platforms on an incline which will allow short men every advantage.”

It was built for a tall man, a future President, who stood 6 feet and 4 inches, but he would never visit the building. Later, a short man, only 5 feet and four inches, would give his final address to the American people here. Once its mission was completed, the old Wigwam moved along like the Indian tribes before it.

You probably have already guessed that a Scottish man built the building. It cost $5,000 in 1860 and the money was donated by friends - mostly Republicans. On one side of the building was a large eagle and shield supporting a flagstaff. A banner was to fly with the statement “Irrepressible and Undivided.”

The Wigwam was built to hold the 1860 Republican convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. On the appointed day, the Wigwam was filled with the supporters of Lincoln and, when Norman B. Judd placed his name in nomination, the building shook with cheers. The state of Indiana seconded the nomination and the Governor did a “comic, capering dance with hat and cane.” Cannons were fired from the tops of buildings and thousands cheered in the streets. The nomination was complete and as the Wigwam rattled from the cheers - its mission was now fulfilled.

The Wigwam was also the place where Senator Stephen Douglas made his last address to the Nation.  He said, “I express it as my conviction before God that it is the duty of every American citizen to rally around the flag of his country.” Thirty days later Douglas was dead and buried in Illinois’s smallest state park on 35th Street on the south side of Chicago.

The old Wigwam died a few years later on Sunday, November 14, 1869. It was then described as the worst building in all America. The Tribune reported that “Dense clouds of smoke obscured the moon, while at the same time angry flames illuminated the nearby streets.” Crowds of people came to watch the old building die and when it was over all that remained were “blackened beams, crisped rafters and charred cinders.” The President was dead. Douglas was dead. The Wigwam folded and now only a small plaque marks the spot.

The carpenter who built the building was John McEwen (sometimes spelled MacEwen). Born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1823, he came to Chicago in 1849 and married his wife Elizabeth in 1857. Elizabeth was ten years younger than her husband and the union would produce four children - John J., Paul, Alfred and Mary. McEwen was “well known as an early day builder and contractor” or so the paper said.

Putting McEwen’s life together from the sources that I have available has been difficult. We know that Elizabeth died July 2, 1901, at their residence, 512 LaSalle Ave. The short announcement does not say where she was buried. John McEwen died in 1909 but the Chicago Tribune does not carry any notice of his death or any comments.

John McEwen, like the old building at Lake and Wacker, just folded his tent and left.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society

One of our members and a reader of our postings owns a bed and breakfast in Appleton, Wisconsin. The web site is The direct number is 866-803-7814 and speak to Tom. Beautiful. You might want to visit sometime.

History Club Meeting Dates and Subjects:

January 5, 2013 - “Our Society’s History, 1875-1885", Wayne Rethford, speaker

February 2, 2013 - “Sir Winston S. Churchill, The Greatest Statesman of the Twentieth Century.” Daniel N. Myers, speaker

March 2, 2013 - “Remembering Marshall Field’s”, Leslie Goddard, speaker

Friday, December 7, 2012

Something in Common

The Latin School of Chicago and McClurg Court have something in common

Alexander McClurg’s grandfather came to America from Northern Ireland in 1798. The family probably came from Scotland but I have been unable to trace them. He was an Ulster-Scot which we Americans often, erroneously, refer to as Scots-Irish. His father was Alexander and his mother, Sarah Trevor, was born near Chester, England. His family settled in Pittsburgh and the father built the first iron foundry. Our subject, Alexander C. McClurg was born in Philadelphia, 1832.

Alexander spent most of his early life in Pittsburgh where he attended the public schools. He attended college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then began a study of the law under the Honorable Walter H. Lowrie, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. Unable to complete his training because of health reasons, he came to Chicago in 1859 and became a clerk in the book store of S. C. Griggs and Co.

When the Civil War began, he enlisted, but his unit was not called to active service immediately. He used the time to study military tactics and to help raise a unit called the “Crosby Guards.” The Chicago Tribune reported that on April 29, 1862, at the home of Mrs. Franklin on Washington street, Capt. McClurg was presented with a “splendid sword, sash, belt, revolver and uniform. A cotillion followed after with a hop, which reached far into the small hours.” (Not sure about the definition of “a hop.”) I wonder what happened to the sword, belt and gun?

The Guard was made part of the 88th Illinois infantry and McClurg was advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He later became the Acting Assistant Adjutant General and Chief of Staff of the Fourteenth Army Corps. “He acquired a reputation for fearlessness to the point of rashness.” He had an extensive military record including Sherman’s march to the sea and became a brevet Brigadier General before he was discharged on September 19, 1865. Returning to Chicago, he became involved in the book business.

The McClurg book store was cursed by fires. It burned in the Great Fire of 1871 and the second store burned in 1899. The new store was built on Wabash near Adams. They sold stationary, books, office supplies and fishing tackle. The General even took time to publish The Dial a literary magazine of note. (Most issue can now be be read on the Internet). The company also published Tarzan and Zane Grey. Business records can be found at The Newberry Library.

In 1870, General McClurg married Eleanor Wheeler.  Her mother was a sister of William B. Ogden, the mayor, and she was from New York City. One son, Ogden Trevor, was born to the union. In the 1890s they built their residence of 25 rooms at 1444 Lake Shore Drive. It was designed by Francis Whitehouse, and modeled after a French chateau. Their son occupied the house for several years and in 1935, it was occupied by the Polish consulate. The beautiful old home was demolished in 1954 and replaced by a condominium.

McClurg Court in Chicago is named for the General.

In politics the General was independent. He was a member of St. James Episcopal Church and died without a will. Don Campbell, or members of the Cameron family, may know about the Ogden Trevor McClurg Memorial Trophy at the Chicago Yacht Club. “It was presented to the club in 1940 by his widow. Mr. McClurg was a book publisher and racing yachtsman.” The trophy is somehow connected to the Race to Mackinac.

There are descendants still living somewhere. In 2006, an article appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business about the sale of McClurg Court Center for $127 million. Only the complex was sold. The land was leased for 62 years from the descendants of Alexander C. McClurg - no names given. The son, Ogden died in 1926.

I spent some time reading about (and trying to make her Scottish) a lady named Mabel Slade Vicker. I failed to discover her heritage but in the process came across the names of General and Mrs. Alexander C. McClurg. Miss Vicker was brought to Chicago by a group of parents who were interested in the “educational principles of Francis W. Parker.” For the first two years, she taught 12 boys in the home of Eliphalet W. Blatchford. After which the school was moved to the home of General and Mrs. McClurg, located at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Scott St. Their son was also a student and later attended Yale.

In 1899, the school was incorporated and named the Latin School of Chicago. The school presently has some 1,000 students. Notable alumni include: Roe Conn, Lisa Madigan, Brooks McCormick, Nancy Reagan, Adlai Stevenson III, Bill Wirtz and William Wrigley, Jr. II.

General McClurg died from Bright’s disease in Florida, April 15, 1901, and is buried at Graceland cemetery in Chicago. Click here for a picture of his Celtic Cross designed by Tiffany (bottom row, third from left.)

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Thousand Faces of Frank Campbell

In the mid-nineteenth century, a family by the name of Campbell emigrated from Scotland. Like other pioneers they brought a Bible, a rifle, maybe some seeds but not much else. Most of their possessions, if they had any, were left in Scotland. This family settled in New Florence, Pennsylvania, in the Allegheny mountains.

Like so many other families the oldest son, Frank Campbell, moved on west to East Tennessee where he taught school in the mountains. He later attended Maryville College near Knoxville. Founded by a Presbyterian minister, Issac L. Anderson, Maryville, is the twelfth oldest institution in the South. (Today, it has about 1200 students and its mascot is the “Scots.”)

Frank Campbell received a call the ministry and moved to Cincinnati where he attended Lane Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1912 and by then had married Gertrude Doling, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife served in a “number of missionary Presbyterian churches in Tennessee and Illinois.”

The Reverend Frank Campbell was also a stand-up vaudeville comedian. He loved impersonations and “The 1000 Faces of Frank Campbell” became a regular feature in the small towns where he was pastor. The advertising read “Frank Campbell, Preacher, Lecturer and Entertainer. A man with a Message. Born in Pennsylvania, reared in east Tennessee and worked his way through College and the Seminary. Combines native ability with scholastic attainments and pleasing personality.”

Perhaps his most successful ministry was at the First United Presbyterian Church in Rochelle, Illinois, where he was pastor for 19 years. The church grew, he raised money and paid off the debt, refurbished the building and stayed until 1943. His wife was also highly regarded both in the church and the community.

Those were difficult years for this family of five. They lived in the manse at 420 North Sixth Street but it was not a great house. They had little money to spend. However, the family had a large garden and “some days all the food they had was spinach and root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes and radishes.” But, it was a happy home and Mrs. Campbell was an excellent mother. The Reverend Frank Campbell would move on to other churches until he finally retired in 1969. I do not know when he died or where he is buried.

The two boys, John and Jim, once built a vegetable wagon and tried to peddle spinach to their neighbors with little success. Dr. Jim would later refuse to eat spinach, claiming he could get more “iron from sucking on a nail than eating spinach.” Many years later, this same Dr. James Campbell would live in Lake Forest, Illinois and drive a Mercedes, but he never forgot those difficult years in Rochelle. He also had his father’s gift for acting and humor.

Here is why I like this story. This family had almost nothing. In today’s society they would be below the poverty line and eligible for food stamps. But, all the children became highly educated and successful and they did it through had work and sacrifice.

The oldest son, John D. Campbell, attended Knox College and then Harvard where he earned a Ph.D in psychology. He served in WWII and wrote a book entitled “The Men of Company K” about his war experiences. (I recently bought a copy on e-bay and if you want to know what war is really like read this book.) Eleanor went to Monmouth College and then the University of Illinois where she earned a master’s degree in education. “Her husband, Dr. Frank Scharletzki, became the head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. “It was both remarkable and a tribute to the Campbell family that all the children were able not only to receive a college education, but to go on to graduate school as well.” Dr. James A. Campbell became a distinguished physician, educator and the modern day builder of Rush University Medical Center.

This story and all the family information comes from a wonderful book written by Malachi J. Flanagan, M.D. called “To The Glory of God and the Service of Man”. It is the story of James Allan Campbell and the history of Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Flanagan practiced at Rush his entire career but sadly passed away in September, 2009.

I have read the book twice and recently gave a copy to Dr. Jacob Rotmensch who is Mary’s cancer doctor. If you like Chicago history, especially its history of medical care, you will like this book. The book store at Rush told me it was out of print but I did find copies on the Internet.

The family story of the Reverend Frank Campbell is illustrative of the people Senator Jim Webb wrote about in his book “Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” He called these people “poor but proud and stubborn as hell.” Wesley Pruden of The Washington Times calls it their “Mountain Pride.” These independent pioneers who traveled through Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri were “poor but proud and stubborn as hell.” My family on both sides made that same journey finally settling along Panther creek, east of Springfield, Missouri, where I was born and where we lived in a log cabin.

I don’t mean this to be a political statement because I know we all have different philosophies but are we losing that “Mountain Pride” that makes us independent and hard working? Jack Cafferty of CNN reports that almost half of Americans get some kind of government aid. Cafferty says: “With fewer than half of Americans paying federal taxes - and just about half get government aid - this country is headed down the drain and fast.” (I have waited until after the election to post this article, lest it be wrongly interrupted.)

Maybe we need a good dose of Mountain Pride - “poor but proud and stubborn as hell” much like the Campbell family.                   

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

The Scottish American History Club is part of the Arts and Culture Division of the Illinois St. Andrew’s Society/Chicago Scots.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1986 to 2012

The Illinois Andrew Society has just completed its 167th Dinner in honor of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. It was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue and was an excellent event - good food, haggis, and excellent music. Anika Strolle, Heather Queen, is a beautiful young woman. The Haggis children belong to Sally and Rob Johnston. Mr. & Mrs. Bill McLeod of Brookfield were the Clansman and Clanswoman.

One unplanned event was the introduction of Robert Cameron who has just celebrated his 100th birthday. (To our present knowledge he is the oldest member of the Society.) His father, William Cameron, was president of the Society in 1934. The Cameron family, who haven’t attended in a long time, occupied an entire table next to mine. Thanks to Jim Bell for making this exception. Good job.

 President Gus Noble presented an inspiring address as he talked about the future of the Society.

I started working for the St. Andrew’s Society in January, 1986, so my first Dinner was at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on November 8 of that year. The entertainer was James Nicol and the Master of Ceremonies was Jim Ruddle of Channel 5 news. The Marshall was George M. Wood and the Color Bearers were David J. Cameron and Edward C. Rorison. The Heather Queen was Lisa Noble and the Haggis Child was John Michael Lawless. Ian Swinton was the Pipe Major for The Pipes and Drums of the Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band. James Sim, Jr., was the Drum Major. The Lone Piper, (which we didn’t have this year, I think because of time constraints) was Tom Ogilvy.

The awards were given by Donald A. Gillies, President, Illinois Saint Andrew Society. The distinguished citizen was Frederick G. Jaicks, Chairman of Inland Steel Company. The Clansman was Peter Georgeson and Helen Georgeson was the Clanswoman. The “Humanitarian Award for 1986" was given to the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell. It was given as a “special citation for humanitarian services for the less fortunate in society.” (Does anyone remember what that was about?)

The Banquet Committee in 1986 consisted of: Robert J. Black, David J. Cameron, C. Robert Douglas, Francis Gillan, Donald A. Gillies, Vilma Martin, Angus J. Ray, Jr., June Steele and Shelia Wilson. (To our knowledge four of these people are now deceased.) June Steele was in charge of decorating the tables and she always managed to have heather.

The biggest change, I suppose, is in the music. For years the Society had brought over a singer from Scotland. It was the big decision! There was never a question about the location. That hadn’t changed for 50 years. It was always the Chicago Hilton. I am sometimes sorry we don’t have a singer now because we are raising a generation who have never heard the great old songs of Scotland. Songs like, “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen” as sung by Kenneth McKellar or the Alexander Brothers.

Having said that, I enjoyed the music this year. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Hass were terrific. Then, to have them joined by Rachel Barton Pine made the event even more spectacular. They were also joined by another young man, whom I met but can’t remember his name. I do remember that he was a champion fiddler. In my opinion, it was excellent entertainment.

I didn’t get home with a program so I can’t list the members of the committee for this year but they did a great job and our table thoroughly enjoyed the event. The Thistle & Highland Dancers under the direction of Nancy Strolle are always enjoyable and the Pipe Band was a grade one band - you can hardly say more.

One more year gone. Next year we will celebrate 168 years and planning is already underway!

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew Society

The Annual Meeting and Christmas Party of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society will be held on December 9, 2012 (3:00-5:00 p.m.) in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home, 28th and Des Plaines, North Riverside, IL. Please RSVP to Kristen Guthrie or call 708-426-7127.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alan L. Bain

I had the honor of presenting the Wallace Award to Alan Bain on November 9, 2012. The Gala Dinner and Celebration was held at The University Club of New York City. The presentation follows:

Good Evening:

Dr. Alan Lind Bain was born in England of Scottish parents. He received his formal education at Edge Grove, Mill Hill, and St. Catherine’s College of the University of Cambridge. He is also a graduate of Columbia Law School.

In 1959, Alan married Linda Miller and that union produced two children, a son Ian, and a daughter, Heather. Both are present tonight. Ian and his wife Jill have two children - Andrew and Emma, and they are here as well. I am sorry that Linda is not here tonight, I know she would be extremely proud of her family and especially of her husband. Perhaps she knows we are celebrating.

Alan started traveling the world for a computer leasing company and in those travels began to form the idea for a company. In 1970, he launched World-Wide Business Centres to help meet the needs of those who travel and need office space, meeting rooms and conference facilities with secretarial support. Today, there are office locations on every continent and in dozens of counties worldwide.

In 1993, the Board of Directors of the American-Scottish Foundation elected Alan Bain as their President. The American-Scottish Foundation was formed in 1956 in New York City by Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton. The Foundation’s charter gives it a broad mandate that includes building social, cultural and commercial ties between the United States and Scotland. In selecting Alan, they could not have made a better choice.

One of his initial objectives was to determine what role the Foundation should play in the American Scottish community. It has been an increasingly active role. In fact, the role that Alan and the Foundation have played has been the key element in the progress and development of the American Scottish community.

His regular trips to Scotland and his close personal relationships with business and governmental leaders have built a strong bridge between the two nations and its people. Both America and Scotland are indebted to this man for his continued efforts to strengthen relationships between our countries. Today, Heather Bain carries on that tradition as the present Chairman of the Board.

In 1996, Alan Bain and the Foundation met with seven other Scottish organizations to form the Scottish Coalition, an informal body consisting of representatives from these national groups. Alan became one of the unofficial leaders of this national effort. He gave them the concept of a national organization that included a paid professional staff.

He helped introduce the concept of a National Tartan Day in the United States. The date chosen and now approved by Congress is April 6th. No single person has done more to advance the cause of Tartan Day than has Alan Bain.

In 2000, Alan and the Foundation were asked to sponsor a National Tartan Day in Washington, D.C. He took on the challenge and it was a huge success; but it also incurred a large financial loss. By his own effort the loss was fully covered by gifts and contributions. The American-Scottish Foundation is a Founding Member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee which organizes the parade and many other events during Tartan Week.

In 2002, The American-Scottish Foundation and the Illinois St. Andrew’s Society in Chicago formed the Scottish North American Leadership Conference, a nation-wide event which brings together Clans, Scottish societies and other cultural organizations to explore and discuss themes of interest and issues of common concern. Alan has been a tireless worker in this effort. The tenth successful conference has just concluded in Detroit, Michigan with Gus Noble as the moderator.

Alan has been a most effective leader for the Scottish community. By the force of his own will, he has saved organizations and created new ones. There is nothing that concerns the American Scottish community that does not interest him. He supports everything that advances the cause of our two great countries. He is a visionary who often leaves people asking, “how can that possibly be done?” But, he never forsakes his vision or his work.

I have been privileged to know Alan since about 1996. We first met in Florida at a Scottish Coalition meeting. Over the years, we have worked together on various projects. We have become friends, not only because of our common interests, but also because personal events and family tragedies have molded our relationship.

I greatly admire him for his love of family and his loyalty to friends.

We are privileged tonight to honor Alan Bain for his vision, his generosity, his integrity, his love of family, his determination and courage. The Scottish community is forever indebted to him. He richly deserves the honor.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Dr. Alan L. Bain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New York! New York!

I traveled last week (November 8-11, 2012) to New York City and because of my age and other circumstances it was probably my last trip. I have a lot of memories connected to New York, especially relating to World War II. During the war, I spent time at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and Sheepshead Bay. When the war in Europe ended, my company made its way through Grand Central Station to board a troop train for a long train ride to California. The train was pulled by a steam-powered locomotive with those great sounds that my generation will never forget and coming generations will never hear.

This trip was at the invitation of the American-Scottish Foundation to present the Wallace Award to Alan Bain. I stayed at The University Club of New York located at 54th and 5th Avenue. It was built in 1899 and designed by Charles McKim, William Mead and Stanford White. They were all members of the Club and all Scottish Americans.  They designed a wonderful library modeled after the Vatican Apartments with ceiling murals by H. Siddons Mowbray. Most of my free time was spent doing research in the library. (If you visit their web site you can see pictures.) Next year, Alan Bain will celebrate 50 years of continuous membership. Quite an accomplishment!

The American- Scottish Foundation started the Wallace awards in 1970. It was designed to recognize individuals of Scottish descent “for outstanding achievement and significant contribution in their field of endeavor.” Sen. Trent Lott was given the Wallace award in 2000. He was the Republican Senate Majority Leader and was the sponsor of Senate Resolution 155 “that adopted April 6, in perpetuity, as National Tartan Day.” Other recipients include: Duncan A. Bruce, The Rt. Hon. Lord Smith of Kelvin, The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson, Euan Baird, the Forbes Family and Sir Sean Connery.

This year the Honorees were:

    Sir Ian Wood, CBE, John Wood Group PLC - Chairman
    Miss Duncan MacDonald, The Scottish Coalition USA - Trustee
    Dr. Alan L. Bain, The American-Scottish Foundation - Pres. Emeritus

The Gala Dinner was held at The University club of New York City. It was a spectacular event! I was at table 15 with Gus Noble and Bob McWilliams along with seven other individuals. It was nice to have President Gus Noble, representing The Chicago Scots at the event, as we continue to have a very close working arrangement with the American Scottish Foundation. We are indebted to Heather Bain and Gus Noble for preserving this relationship.

 Saturday morning, I had breakfast with the Bain family and then made my way to Grand Central Station and the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd street. After a few hours, I made my way to Times Square and coffee at McDonald’s. That evening, I was the guest of Alan Bain for dinner at Cellini’s on 54th street.

Sunday morning, I left the Club early because 5th Avenue was being closed for the Veteran’s Day Parade. A taxi to Grand Central Station and the bus to LaGuardia allowed me to take an early flight home. Part of my expenses were paid by the American-Scottish Foundation and the remainder by Mrs. June Steele of Lake Forest and the Halverson Fund. Thanks.

Tomorrow, I will post my remarks in presenting Dr. Alan L. Bain for his Wallace Award. This will place the presentation on the Internet where 24,656 have read our posts since January 2012.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

The Annual Meeting and Christmas Party of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society will be held on December 9, 2012 (3:00-5:00 p.m.) in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home. Please RSVP to Kristen Guthrie or call 708-426-7127.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Celebrations in 1871 and 2012

The Chicago Fire occurred 141 years ago in 1871. The city was destroyed on October 8 and 9 and the banquet honoring St. Andrew was scheduled for November 30. The President of the Saint Andrew Society was General John McArthur, a Civil War hero. The two vice-presidents were William Stewart and A. M. Thomson. Wm. M. Dale was the Treasurer with John Stewart serving as Secretary. These men could have cancelled the event, but they did not.

Men who once were wealthy now found themselves with nothing. Everything they had owned was destroyed; only their spirit and integrity remained. The smell of smoke permeated everything, even to the clothes they wore. “Still, 120 guests managed to show their support...”

The Chicago Tribune, as it always did, carried the story. (Dec. 2, 1871, page 4). It began, “We do not remember who it was who said that the Scotch were always leaving their native land, and always singing in her praise. The last part of the statement is undoubtedly true, and the first does not admit of much question. The land of the lake, mountain and heather is well remembered by her sons, no matter what part of the world, like their own thistle down, chance may have blown them. The St. Andrew’s Society will hold their regular annual banquet at the Briggs House, and celebrate the occasion with becoming hilarity.”

The walls of the banquet room were bare. All pictures, signs and membership records had been lost when the Court House fell in flames. There is no mention of pipers, music or Highland dancers. In fact, it was almost like the first dinner held in 1845. The menu is not given - food was in short supply, but there is mention of “hot scotch.” There were speeches and toasts as usual and General McArthur spoke of charity and generosity but it must have been a quiet and subdued evening. The paper also goes on to report: “Before sitting down to meat, each member adorned himself with a sprig of heather, imported from Scotland for the occasion.”

Near the close, George Anderson was called upon to recite Tam O’Shanter. “He declined, saying after the great calamity he had no heart to recite a poem abounding in such tender associations.” He did however present to the Society a ram’s head, “handsomely mounted, and ornamented with many Scottish devices.” The Ram’s Head is now the beloved mascot of the Society and will have a place of honor at the event this year scheduled for November 16.

The closing paragraph of the article reads: “After the customary toasts and responses, the assembly broke up, having spent a delightful evening.”

In 1871, the Society celebrated its twenty-fifth gathering. In 2012, we celebrate the 167th annual gathering to celebrate St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. Chicago is now a vibrant city of skyscrapers; quite different from 1871. I wrote this article last year and run it again because I think it is an important story. Chicago did rise, and the Saint Andrew Society did continue, and the Ram’s Head will again be our honored guest. Our clothes will not smell of smoke and there will be ample food.

Each year the Society recognizes a Distinguished Citizen. This year it is Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart of Northwestern University. He has built a program around molecular nanotechnology. Professor Stoddart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. Mr. and Mrs. Bill McLeod will also be honored for their volunteer work. Anika Strolle, who spoke at our History Club meeting this past Saturday, will be officially welcomed as our Heather Queen. Good food, Highland dancers, Pipers and outstanding entertainers await you on November 16, 2012.

Click here for more information and to order tickets.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Patron Saint of Scotland - St. Andrew

St. Andrew was from Galilee, a native of Bethsaida and a fisherman by trade. He was a former disciple of John the Baptist and was the one who introduced his brother Peter of Jesus. It is said that he was martyred at Patras in southern Greece on a cross in the form of an “X” on 30th November, A.D. 60. This type of cross is known as the “St. Andrew’s Cross.” The Feast of St. Andrew marks the end of the church year. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30.

Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia and Romania. Tradition says that some of his bones were taken to Scotland and buried under the chapel at St. Andrews that was consecrated by Robert I after Bannockburn.

As Scots moved to American, they began to form organizations which they called St. Andrew Societies, perhaps because of their Patron Saint. The first was Charleston, South Carolina in 1729. Soon major cities along the coast would have societies including New York and Philadelphia. Along the route west, Scots would also find Societies in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

By 1845 a group of Scots in Chicago traveled this western route and knew of the name associated with good works. We don’t know when they started meeting but by November there was a formal structure that included officers. Their first project was to plan and hold a dinner on St. Andrew’s Day. The Lake House was reserved, a menu planed and announcements made. The day fell on Sunday and so the dinner was scheduled for Monday, December 1, 1845. The event was never held on Sunday.

James Murray, Esq. of Buffalo, New York, came to occupy the Chair. He was assisted by two vice-presidents: George Steele and Daniel McElroy. “The Chair was supported by Judge Thomason on the right, and the Rev. Mr. Giles on the left.” They planned nine toasts followed by appropriate music. There were toasts to: “The President of the United States; The Queen of Great Britain; The Memory of George Washington; The Army and Navy of the U.S. and The City of Chicago.” These were followed by some 25 additional toasts and comments. It is unclear what kind of music they had but it may have been a piano. There were no Highland dancers, pipers or haggis. The first piper may have played in 1847. I am not sure when the Haggis was first served.

The Chicago Daily Journal reported on December 6, 1845 that “between 50 and 60 set down to a sumptuous dinner.” The menus is not given. Women did not attend until 1917.

The dinner that started in 1845 continues today after 167 continuous years. The date this year is November 16, 2012. The location is the Hotel Inter-Continental on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, just a few steps from where the original dinner was held in 1845.

Around 450 people will sit down to a sumptuous dinner and there will be a few toasts. Highland dancers will perform and a pipe band will play. It will be “an evening of live Scottish music and dance featuring acclaimed musicians Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.”

The Dinner Committee consisting of Marcia Bremner, Leslie Gillan, Charles Gonzalez, Calum MacLeod and Emily Patee invite you to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day with them and an evening you will not soon forget.

Learn more and Reserve your space today.

Wayne Rethford, President
Scottish American History Club

Molly McNeal will speak to the Scottish American History Club on November 3, 2012. The meeting will be held in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home, 2800 Des Plaines Ave., North Riverside (3 blocks from the Brookfield Zoo). She will talk about her stay this summer at an Orphanage in Africa. Lots of pictures! Scones and coffee, free admission. Museum opens at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 10 o’clock. Reservations are helpful. Call 708-408-5591.

Special guests will be Rosie Johnson and Anika Strolle.                   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

W. W. Kimball - Music For The Millions

When the administrator of the Scottish home wanted to buy a piano, she talked to James B. Forgan, President of the First National Bank in Chicago and a world renown banker from St.Andrew’s Scotland. He said, “She should talk to the Kimball piano people.” She did and they made an offer she couldn’t refuse

I am not sure that W. W. Kimball was of Scottish heritage. Most sources I found on the Internet spoke of the Kimballs as English. However, his full name was William Wallace Kimball which makes me a little suspicious. I also found several references which said that Kimball was a corruption of the name Campbell. I have yet to find any records that William Wallace Kimball was associated with any Scottish organization in Chicago. However, The Kimball Piano Company is part of the legacy that belongs to Chicago and so the blog.

Mr. Kimball was born March 22, 1828 in Rumford, Maine. His father’s name was David and his mother was Lucy Wheeler Kimball  He later moved to Decorah, Iowa (1853) where he sold insurance and real estate. He moved to Chicago in 1857 and traded his property in Iowa for four pianos. At the time Chicago had a population of 30,000 and he sold his four pianos from a second story office building. When the first four were sold, he ordered more from back East and thus the legacy began. He married Evaline M. Cone in 1865.

The great Chicago fire of 1871 wiped out all his assets, estimated to have been more than one hundred thousand dollars. But he was shortly in business again selling pianos out of his home at 611 Michigan Avenue. The basement was his salesroom, the billiard room the office. His barn was the shipping department. Nine years later, his company sold 12,000 pianos. In 1881, his company began the manufacture of organs and in a short time they were turning out 40 instruments a day. That number continued to increase and by 1890, they were producing 50 organs a day and 50 pianos a week and had a work force of 500 men including 50 to 60 family members.

The original Kimball piano factory was located at 26th and California. Destroyed by fire, a new factory was built in Melrose Park at Armitage and Cornell. “It was one of the largest manufacturing operations in the world with rail lines running through the facility dropping off raw materials and picking up finished pianos for shipment.” They were the largest piano manufacturer in the world from the late 1800s until the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1959, the company was acquired by The Jasper Corporation and they have continued using the Kimball name. Today, Kimball International is a global corporation involved in commercial office furniture and contract electronics.

The Kimball’s built their home on Prairie Avenue across the street from the Marshall Field mansion. Prairie Avenue, from 16th to 22nd Street was the “Fifth Avenue” of the Midwest. Nearly 20 millionaires once resided within a six-block area. They included people such as George Pullman, John J. Glessner, Samuel Allerton, and Philip Amour. George Pullman was the first to move into the area and the others followed. The Kimball house, located at 1801 South Prairie Avenue, still exists. It is built of Bedford limestone and has a sleek roof with an exterior of numerous large and small gables, balconies and iron-railed galleries. It is now occupied by the U.S. Soccer Federation and is not open to the public.  

Mr. Kimball died at home “after a lingering illness” on December 16, 1904. His funeral was held in his home and the Rev. William O. Waters followed the Episcopalian ritual. The honorary pallbearers included: Marshall Field, Robert T. Lincoln, Lambert Tree, Robert H. McCormick, Watson F. Blair, Charles H. Deere and J. J. Glessner. The active pallbearers were all employees of the company.

The total amount of his estate is not given in the newspapers but he left more than $2 million to his wife, Eva Kimball. They were no children. He made no charitable bequests. Mrs. Kimball died in 1921 of pneumonia and was described as “feeble minded.” She left her collection of paintings to the Art Institute valued at the time at more than one million dollars. Would someone familiar with the Art Institute tell me if there is still a gallery known as “The Mr. and Mrs. W. Kimball Room?” 

The Kimballs are buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. The architects for their tomb was the well know firm of McKim, Mead and White. It was Stanford White’s final design before he was killed by Harry Kendall Thaw.

Wayne Rethford, President
Scottish American History Club

History Club meeting - November 3, 2012. Museum opens at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 10 a.m.
Our main speaker is Molly McNeil who will talk about her trip to Africa this past summer. We will also hear from Rosie Johnson and Anika Strolle. Reservations are helpful but not necessary. Call 708-447-5092.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Money Flowed Like Water

This time of year, I usually think about the great Chicago fire which occurred October 8-10, 1871. In the Scottish American library there is a large book (10 x 14) with gold edges. The title, “Chicago 20 Years After” traces the progress and growth of Chicago for the next two decades. The book printed in Chicago by The Chicago Times Company was published in 1892 and is filled with pictures and advertising. It is now in the Public Domain and the quotations in this article are taken from this book and the records of the St. Andrew's Society.

Chicago was a city mostly composed of wooden buildings and streets that were paved with wooden blocks. It had been a dry summer and a strong wind was blowing from the Southwest. The fire started in the vicinity of a small shanty on DeKoven Street. Within three hours the fire had crossed the Chicago River at two points nearly a quarter mile separate and three quarters of a mile from the starting point.

One of the more interesting characteristics of the fire was the almost total absence of smoke. The combustion was complete. “Heat like that of the most intense furnace was generated, which swept across the city, leaving nothing in its wake but here and there a blackened and tottering wall, or chimney.” Before morning the waterworks were burned cutting off water for the whole city. The flames were so fast that many were overtaken as they fled and some 42 were burned to death at the Chicago Avenue bridge.

“The immediate results of the fire were 17,450 houses destroyed; 104,500 persons rendered homeless; 2,104 acres of the city burned over, comprising a tract 3-3/4 miles long, by 1-3/4miles wide; 2400 stores and factories were burned; 121 miles of sidewalk; eight bridges; the waterworks; 1,642,000 bushels of grain; vast quantities of lumber, and stocks of merchandise.”

At 8:00 p.m. on the second day, less than 24 hours after the fire began, a train carrying provisions arrived from Milwaukee. By nine o’clock the next morning 50 trains had arrived from every possible direction and this continued until officials requested that communities stop sending supplies. “Money came in like water from all over the civilized world. The public subscriptions amounted to $4,200,000 within three months, while the private contributions were considerable, although the amounts will never be known.” Within five weeks more than 4,000 small homes had been built and furnished with cook stove, mattresses, bedding, and a half a ton of coal, all at the cost of $110 for each house.” The work of rebuilding began immediately and by October 17, the pumping machinery had been repaired and by the next day an abundant supply of water was again furnished to the city.

It was estimated that about 8,000 Scottish residents lived in Chicago at the time of the Great Fire. They suffered the loss of homes, possessions, businesses and jobs. Robert Fergus lost his printing house. John Alston lost his glass and paints business valued at $200,000. William Henry, a watchmaker lost his entire stock. Thomas Hastie, who sold boots and shoes on Randolph Street, lost his building and stock and $60,000 in US bonds. William M Dale, druggist, lost his store. James Sims and Charles Glenn both operated saloons and lost their building, stock and equipment. Peter McFarlane, who at the time of the fire was in Montreal, lost furniture “and a valuable collection of knickknacks.” The Caledonian club lost its building, library, pictures and property valued at $4,000. When the court house fell, the St. Andrew’s Society lost all of its membership records, pictures, flags, etc.

Aid for the Scottish sufferers began to arrive almost immediately from all parts of the United States and Scotland. Donations came from the New York Caledonia club, from the St. Andrew’s Society of Albany, and from the Boston Caledonia club, just to mention a few. We often mentioned the donations sent by the city of Glasgow but others contributed as well such as: Greenoch, Cumnock, and Dunfermline. From the Scotch Presbyterian Church on 14th St. in New York City came a gift of $250.00. The Fourth Presbyterian Church also in New York City contributed $290.00. Even the Scotia Lodge (#634) sent two hundred dollars to the Scottish sufferers.

What did they do with the money? They bought railroad passes for 61 people to various parts of the country and Canada. They “sent 10 persons, mostly women and children, to their friends in Scotland.” Some of the money was used for “the necessaries of life, such as groceries and provisions and some under-clothing, and in a few cases of old, infirm, and bedridden applicants, we have paid rent of their rooms for a month or two to prevent their being turned into the street, and also procured admittance for 10 into the County Hospital, where two of them died and were buried by the Society.” (Taken from the Society minutes of the managers report - 1871.)

This statement appeared in the Chicago Tribune on February 20, 1872, and was sent as part of a resolution to Sen. John A. Logan of Illinois. “Resolved, that the citizens of Chicago do not ask any donations from the General Government to enable them to rebuild their burned homes and places of business, but they respectfully represent that the government should obtain its revenues from the profits and prosperity’s of the Country, and not from its losses and calamities; and inasmuch as the property destroyed in the unparalleled conflagration of the seventh, eighth, and ninth of October last had not once paid all the taxes lawfully imposed there on, we hold that it is unjust to require the payment of those taxes a second time for the restoration of that property.”(I wonder how that turned out?)

The Great Chicago Fire had a major impact on the Illinois St. Andrew’s Society, but they continued their work of charity and never lost track of their original vision to help those in need. On November 16, 2012, you can join others in a celebration of our history and accomplishments over the past 167 years. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

The next meeting of the History Club will be November 6. All are welcome and there is no charge. Reservations are helpful so please call 708.447.5092 to make yours. The main speaker will be Molly McNeil. Molly is a second grade teacher and a visit to Africa this past summer had a major impact on her life.

We are also pleased to announce that Annika Strolle will be present along with Rosie Johnson.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The First to Die

There is an old church located in Musselburgh, Scotland, that was opened in 1838. It is a simple building designed by William Burn. Inside, there is an “all round horseshoe gallery under a high vaulted ceiling.” The church has seven stained glass windows, and a brass eagle lectern. It also contains an Abbott and Smith two-manual pipe organ from 1904. This is the Northesk Church located on Bridge Street in Musselburgh.

I am particularly interested in a World War One Memorial plaque located at the entrance of the church. The first name on this Roll of Honor is Nurse Helen B. Wood and the last name is PTE. William Wood. In the 1901 census the Wood family lived at 34 Hircus Loan, Musselburgh. Nellie (whom I will assume is Helen) was 12. Her mother, Frances, is 33 years old and her father, John, is 52.

Sometime after the 1901 census, Helen emigrated to Evanston, Illinois with her sisters: Annie, Janet, and Mary. William was 4 at the time of the census and would later die as a member of the Royal Scots on June 28, 1915, fighting at Gallipoli. Frank was only 1 and he would be seriously wounded fighting in France. In total there were 7 children, 4 girls and 3 boys ranging in age from 1 to 12. All of the girls came to America - all the boys remained in Scotland.

The girl’s life in Evanston is somewhat unclear but we know that Helen attended nursing school at Northwestern and became a nurse at Evanston hospital. In Evanston, Helen and her sister Janet lived with Mr. and Mrs. James Hall at 2044 Sheridan Rd. Mrs. Mary B. Miller, a great aunt lived at 1578 Sherman Avenue in Evanston.

While working at Evanston hospital, Janet met and cared for Mrs. James A. Patten. They became personal friends and after Janet’s death, Mrs. Patten gave an address at the First Methodist Episcopal church about Janet’s life and work. Mrs. Patten was so affected by her death that she refused to allow newspaper men into the hall where she spoke.

As America drew closer to war in 1916, medical units were formed across the country. Northwestern University Medical School formed what officially was known as U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 12 (Chicago Unit.) The unit was composed of 23 doctors, 2 dentists, 65 nurses and 153 enlisted men. Northwestern students formed 75% of the enlisted men. After the war, most of the Northwestern students returned to the University. Some were pre-med students who would later graduate from the University’s Medical School. “Two of the unit’s commanding officers became Surgeon General of the U. S. Army.” Base Hospital #12 would form again for World War II.

Unit 12 left Evanston for New York City on May 16, 1917. The Tribune reports that “The enlisted men marched away from Patten Gym with baggage, suitcases and all kinds of bundles, amid great singing, Rah! Rah’s and goodbyes from the students. They all piled on the Evanston El and got off at Union Station and then headed by train to New York and the SS Mongolia.” On May 19, 1917, the SS Mongolia sailed for Europe, “so quickly and secretly that the enlisted men boarded the transport ship in civilian clothing. Uniforms were issued at sea.”

When they were 100 miles at sea a tragedy happened that would make Miss Helen B. Wood the first American casualty of the war. Helen and her friend Edith Ayers, along with many others, were seated on the upper deck watching the gun crews practice firing. One of the guns exploded and Helen and her friend Edith were instantly killed. The ship returned to New York.

At Union Station in Chicago, her body was met with a delegation and she was escorted to her home in Evanston. (Edith Ayers was taken to her home in Attica, Ohio.) “Friends requested that rather than flowers donations be sent to her aging parents in Scotland.”

On May 26, 1917, the body was escorted to the church by the Navy band, 50 blue jackets from the Great Lakes training Center and 50 automobiles. (I don’t know the significance of the number fifty.) Services were held in the First Presbyterian church in Evanston. Outside the church stood an honor guard of 50 nurses dressed in white, 50 students from Northwestern University wearing black gowns and black caps, 50 nurses from Evanston hospital and 25 uniformed members of the Grand Army of the Republic. (These veterans of the Civil War would be getting quite elderly by 1917.)

After an impressive service, her body was escorted to Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago for burial. The procession contained 50 automobiles. She is buried not far from The Rock of Chickamauga Memorial which some of you may remember from our history tours. There is a small marker on her site. A distant cousin who lives in the U.K. has recently contacted us about his desire to raise money for a monument to Helen B. Wood. There is no known evidence that Miss Wood was a citizen of the U.S. A

A Scottish girl, serving from America, becomes the first official member of the military killed in the line of duty in World War I. Rest in Peace.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

Next meeting of the Scottish American History Club is November 3, 2012.

The Scottish American History Club is part of the Arts and Culture Division of the Illinois Saint Andrew’s Society/Chicago Scots. Click here for more Society information.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Robert Kenneth Cameron is 100 years old

Robert Kenneth Cameron is 100 Years old. This blog honors him and his father, William Cameron, as “Great Scots.”

William Cameron was born October 11, 1873 in Charleston, Nigg outside of Aberdeen, Scotland. His father was a crofter and the family of ten lived in a small stone house, constructed in an L shape with three fireplaces to withstand the cold winds off the North Sea. “From this humble beginning he rose to be included in a list of 8,000 prominent Scots worldwide and President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society.”

In 1896, at the age of 22, he left for America with his friend, David Mackie. They traveled in steerage. In 1903, William Cameron, with his wife and first son returned to Scotland, traveling second class. Before the stock market crash in 1929, he traveled again to Scotland with his family, this time in first class. His method of travel is indicative of his success in America.

In 1910, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron built their first house at 174 N. LeClaire Ave. (Chicago), not far from their plant at Ashland and Fulton. He bought his first automobile in 1914. In 1924, they built a larger house at 824 Bonnie Brae in River Forest, west of Chicago. In 1926, he bought 1,300 acres of land on the Kankakee River in Indiana. By 1927-28 he had built a house, garage and barn and dredged channels to create a “game preserve returning the land to the old Kankakee river beds and marshes.” The property is still owned by members of the Cameron family.

Mr. Cameron belonged to the Medinah Temple and was a 32nd Degree Mason. He was Past Chief of Clan Campbell, No 28. He was Director of two banks which failed in the stock market crash of 1929, In one bank, all the company money was lost. The Harris Bank came to his rescue with loans and assistance.

“In the 1930's William Cameron, by setting up a Will and Trusts leaving all his assets in Trust to the four children and Mother, he again showed foresight and wisdom considering his untimely death in 1934 at the age of 60 years when he had reached the height of his career as President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society.” His death was caused by pneumonia, and poor medical care may have been a contributing factor.

(Let me pause here and refer our readers to the family website “Our Cameron history.” Here you can trace the family history and a complete summary of the life of William Cameron written by his son Robert Kenneth. There are many pictures. The quotations in this article come from the family web site.

William Cameron spent almost his entire life in the canning business, especially in can-making machinery. He rose quickly in this business and we know him as the President of the Cameron Can Machinery Company. His building still stands on Ashland Avenue and has recently been renovated into office spaces and stores. The name CAMERON engraved in large letters remains above the front door. (We have driven by this building several times on our various history tours.) A six-story tower and clock that once chimed makes the building visible to the community. Its assessed value is presently $1,500,000.

Mr. Cameron owned a total of 48 patents before his premature death in 1934. He was a prolific inventor. “It was his custom when living in River Forest that after dinner he would retire to the living room, sitting in an easy chair in semi-darkness smoking a cigar, thinking and with his dog Queenie lying at his feet. He got a box of cigars every week from Cuba.” Not only was Mr. Cameron a prolific inventor, he was also an outstanding businessman. The Cameron Can Machine Company had offices in Paris, London, Hong Kong and New York with agents around the world.

In 1989, I began a search for the oldest son, Allan W. Cameron, whose last know address was in Naples, Florida. Unable to find a telephone listing, I wrote to every person named Cameron with a Naples address. Allan W. replied and I had one short conversation with him before his death.

Shortly after, I become acquainted with the youngest son, Robert K. Cameron who in now 100 years old. His wife, Gertrude M. is celebrating her 99th birthday as I write this article. Mr. Cameron is probably the oldest Life member of the Society. If someone is older, please let us know.

In 1935, the sons, Robert and Allan presented to the St. Andrew Society a check with the following comments:

 “We have always felt that our father, William Cameron, would have made a contribution to the Scottish Old Peoples Home had it not been for his sudden death. We would like to have a room in the Home dedicated to his memory. In the belief that the Board of Governors will set aside a room for that purpose, we are enclosing a check for $10,000 made payable to the Illinois Saint Andrew society. We trust to be in a position in future years to make further contributions to this worthy cause.”

On June 9, 1989, I first visited the family plot located in Forest Home Cemetery. It is in Section 12, lot 34 and contains an angel hovering over a beautiful monument. We also visited the family plot one of our History Tours.

This coming Saturday, September 29, 2012, the remaining son, Robert Kenneth will have a birthday party at the Chicago Yacht Club. He is also the oldest member of the Yacht club. I have been invited to attend and honor this outstanding man, his father, and the entire Cameron Clan in Chicago.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society

The last day to reserve your place on our History Tour is September 30, 2012. Go to our secure store to make your reservations.

November 6 - History Club meeting featuring Molly McNeil who spent a month in Africa. Also, our reigning Heather Queen, and Rosie Johnson.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Billy Graham Visits Scotland

In 1955, Billy Graham held a campaign in Glasgow, Scotland. It lasted six weeks and more than 2.6 million people attended the services. The meetings were held in Kelvin Hall which was opened in 1927 as an exhibition hall. During World War II it was a factory used to produce barrage and convoy balloons. In 1964, Jerry Lee Lewis held a rock concert in the Hall. In 1985, the building was modernized and turned into an indoor sports facility.

During his campaign, Billy Graham preached virtually every night for 6 weeks. The Hall was filled and Mr. Graham would go outside and address the people who could not get in the building. There was usually a cold rain falling. Near the end of the campaign the services moved to Ibrox Stadium where 50,000 people attended. The final night was held in Hampden Park where the estimated crowd was 100,000. “Mr. Graham preached to thousands of steelworkers and dockers at the John Brown shipyard and other mills and factories as well as at colleges and universities.”

On Good Friday, BBC radio and television carried his message and later, it was learned, the Queen had watched the broadcast on television. At the Renfield Street Church 1,000 ministers met to hear his message. St. John’s Renfield Church is a member of the Church of Scotland and serves Kelvindale which is in the west end of Glasgow. The church was built between 1927 and 1930. It was dedicated in 1931. (There are pictures on the Internet.)

Billy Graham returned again to the homeland of his ancestors in 1991. Fourteen denominations issued the invitation. This time meetings were held in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and also in Glasgow. Using television extensively the services were transmitted to 58 venues throughout the United Kingdom.

In Edinburgh, they used Murrayfield Stadium. In Aberdeen, he was welcomed by the Lord Provost and the meetings were held at Pittodrie Stadium. So many were attending the meetings “in spite of the cold winds sweeping in from the sea, that Scott Rail added extra trains from Perth and Inverness."

Bill Graham held a campaign in Chicago in 1962. He was here for 19 days and the services were held in McCormick Place. The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that “the closing rally was held on Sunday in Soldiers’ Field.” Attendance was estimated at 116,000. Traffic was blocked for 20 miles. An average of 37,000 persons a day attended the meetings from May 30 through June 16. “The total attendance was estimated at 704,900.”

The Billy Graham Center Museum opened in 1980 and is the largest building on campus. Please join us as we visit Wheaton College, the Billy Graham Center and the Wheaton Center for History. You can register here...........Deadline is September 30.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus

November 6, 2012:  History Club meeting will feature Molly McNeil and her journey to Africa this past summer. Also, Rosie Johnson and our 2012 Heather Queen. More information to follow soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Most Important Invention of the Nineteenth Century?

When I was a child, someone decided I needed a tonsillectomy so my parents took me from our cabin in the foothills of the Ozarks to Springfield, Missouri, for the operation. I have a few memories of that day, like I couldn’t have a drink and it was raining. But what I remember most was the sedation. A mask of some kind was placed over my face and I was forced to inhale a terrible gas. My mother always said it was ether but it may have been chloroform. It was a very frightening experience.

Recently, I had an angiogram at Central DuPage Hospital, now called Cadence Health. I guess I don’t understand the name change because it will always be Central DuPage Hospital to me - like the Sears Tower in Chicago. Why give up years of great history for a name that no one understands and one you have to explain? Regardless, it’s a great hospital and they have just opened a new wing which is certainly more opulent than I need.

When the time arrived, I was wheeled into the operating room and under bright lights where everyone was introduced. I was quickly asleep without knowing exactly when it happened. No mask, no pain - it was quite a change from 80 years ago.

Can, you image having surgery without anesthetics? (Read the blog for December 2011 “Dr. Ephraim McDowell and His Christmas Miracle.”)

The following statement was found in the Cambridge Sketches by Frank P. Stearns now in the public domain.

“A distinguished American called upon Charles Darwin, and in the course of conversation asked him what he considered the most important discovery of the nineteenth century. To which Mr. Darwin replied, after a slight hesitation: ‘Painless surgery.’ He thought this more beneficially in its effects on human affairs than either the steam-engine or the telegraph. Let it also be noted that he spoke of it as an invention, rather than as a discovery.”

It was not until the 1840s that a process had been invented for the use of ether or chloroform. If you search the Internet, you will find such names as: Dr. Samuel Guthrie, Sir James Young Simpson and Crawford Williamson Long as connected to the use of ether and chloroform.

For this discussion, I would like to concentrate on William Thomas Green Morton. He was born the son of a farmer and represented the fifth generation of the Morton family that came from Scotland. Historian James C. Thomson wrote: “The Morton’s were in the vanguard of the first thin stream of Scottish emigrants flowing steadily for the next 300 years from the Highlands and Islands, the Lowlands, and Ulster to the New World.”

William Thomas Green Morton was born August 9, 1819, near Charlton, Massachusetts. He moved to Boston and took up the study of dentistry and was a graduate of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. He drifted into the practice of making artificial teeth but the pain suffered by his patients was a constant concern to him. He began to experiment with ether, first on animals and them on himself.

On September 1, 1846, he put Gilbert Abbott to sleep using ether and extracted a tooth without pain. He called the substance “letheon” and was given a government patent. He jealously guarded the process and would only issue a license personally for its use. He later explained that it was ether and was thus unable to protect his patent. He spent 20 years and his entire fortune trying to protect his invention.

In 1862, Morton joined the Army of the Potomac as a volunteer surgeon and used ether on more than two thousand injured soldiers during the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness. I have read that ether was widely used on the battlefields of the Civil War.

By 1868, the life of William Morton was a complete shamble. His health was gone and he had no resources. Trying to protect his invention had taken his health and his wealth. In July of that year, he was in New York City and it was unbearably hot and humid. Like other New Yorkers, he went to Central Park to find relief from the heat but it was not to be. He never returned. William Thomas Green Morton is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, Massachusetts.

A friend said: “Like many another benefactor of mankind, Doctor Morton’s reward on earth was a crown of thorns.”

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society
Scottish American History Club

Please register for the History Tour scheduled for October 6, 2012. First stop is Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center. Second stop is at the Wheaton History Museum. Cost is $25.00 per person. You can register and pay at our store or call (708) 447-5092.

November 6, 2012, History Club meeting. Main presentation is by Molly McNeil and her trip to Africa. Rosie Johnston will also talk about her work and we will have a visit from this year’s reining Heather Queen.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



The Scottish American History Club will meet this coming Saturday, September 8, 2012,  in Heritage Hall at the Scottish home located at 2800 Des Plaines Ave. North Riverside, IL. The program will be conducted by the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. 

On Saturday, July 24, 1915, 7000 people gathered at the Chicago River for the annual employee picnic of Western Electric. Many of them boarded the Eastland and within five minutes, 20 feet from shore, 844 people perished. Most of them lived in the Cicero and Berwyn area not far from the location of our meeting on Saturday.

The Eastland Disaster Historical Society is dedicated to keeping memories alive with stories, pictures and presentations. This is a program you will enjoy and is a part of Chicago’s history. There is no charge but reservations are appreciated. The program is made possible by a generous donation from June Steele and the Halverson Fund. Call 708-447-5092 for reservations and travel information.


The first Fall History Tour is scheduled for October 6, 2012. The chartered bus will arrive at the Scottish home at noon and we will leave promptly at 12:30 PM.  Our first stop will be at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois. This magnificent building is located on the campus of Wheaton College. The first floor is a mseum dedicated to the life and ministry of the Rev. William Franklin Graham,Jr. The Museum notes that he had a strong Scottish heritage

Billy Graham met his wife, Ruth Bell, while both were attending Wheaton College.  Mrs. Graham was born in China to missionary parents who also had a Scottish heritage. Ruth Bell Graham died June 14, 2007 at their home in Montreat, North Carolina.


The second stop on our fall tour will be at the Center for History, a facility of the Wheaton Historic Preservation Council. This beautiful mseum, designed by the same firm that designed the Georgeson wing and our mseum, is located on Front Street in downtown Wheaton, Illinois. Alberta Adamson, CFRE, is the President and CEO. 

The exhibits are: War of the Rebellion, 1861-65,  Frames of the Eastland Disaster, Wheaton’s Link to Golf, and Wheaton’s National Hall of Fame. I can almost guarantee that you will learn something new,especially about golf!

Cost is $25.00 per person which includes transportation and admissions. Call 708-447-5092 for reservations before September 30 or visit our store.  Special discounts are available for teens and families. Call me at 630.629.4516 or send me an email for more information.

NOVEMBER 6, 2012

Molly McNeil goes to Africa.  Mark your calendar - more information later! 

Wayne Rethford
Scottish American History Club
(630) 629-4516 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

Neil Armstrong is dead at 82. He was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio and was of Scottish descent. When he was two, his father took him to the Cleveland Air Races and at six, he had his first ride in a Ford tri-motor often called the “Tin Goose.” At the age of 15 Armstrong had earned his flight certificate. He was an Eagle Scout and when he was on his way to the moon he sent greetings to all his fellow Scouts.

His naval career started on January 26, 1949, when he reported to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida for flight training. Two weeks after his 20th birthday he was a fully qualified naval aviator. Armstrong attended Purdue University with a GPA that rose and fell. He was awarded a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1965 and in 1970 a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering.

He first saw action in the Korean War. While making a low level bombing run at 350 mph, Armstrong collided with something at a height of about 20 feet which tore off parts of the right wing on his Panther aircraft. He flew the plane back to South Korea but the only option was to eject from the aircraft. He flew 78 missions over Korea and received the Air Metal for the first 20 combat missions. After 20 more missions he received a gold star and the Korean Service Metal. He left the Navy at the age of 22 and became an officer in the United States Naval Reserve. He also returned to Purdue where finished his education and also wrote and directed a musical.

At Purdue he met Janet Elizabeth Sheron and they were married at the Congregational Church in Wilmette, Illinois. (She was a graduate of New Trier High School.) The couple had three children. One daughter, Karen, died on January 28, 1962.

Armstrong next became a test pilot which led to several adventures that could have taken his life. He flew the X15 to a height of 207,000 feet and a top speed of 4,000 mph. During his career as a test pilot he flew more than 200 different models of aircraft.

He will always be remembered for his voyage to the moon in Apollo 11. The object of Apollo was to land safely on a particular spot. When Armstrong saw that they were in danger of missing their landing area he took manual control of the module and found a safe spot for landing. Many of us remember the landing on July 20, 1969 and the first words to Mission Control, “Houston, the Eagle has landed.” When his left boot touched the surface of the moon Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In 1972 Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, Scotland, which is the seat of Clan Armstrong. He declared the town to be his home. The Justice of the Peace read an unrepealed law which required him to hang any Armstrong found in the town. The law was 400 years old.

 “My pleasure is not only that this is the land of Johnnie Armstrong, rather that my pleasure is knowing that this is my hometown and in the genuine feeling that I have among the hills, these people” (Four hundred years earlier in the days of Johnnie Armstrong, the clan could put 3,000 men on the battlefield, each with the name of Armstrong.)

The astronaut came to Chicago on August 13, 1969 for a giant parade down Michigan Ave. More than a million people lined the streets and 100,000 jammed Civic Center Plaza for the official welcome. There have been numerous stories that he carried a swatch of Armstrong tartan with him on the Apollo 11 mission but this has never been confirmed and is probably not true.

American has lost another quiet, unassuming hero.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus

P.S. Armstrong was invited to become a member of the Scottish American Hall of Fame but he respectfully declined.

The next meeting of the History Club will be September 8, beginning at 10 a.m. The program will be presented by the Eastland Society. Admission is free. Reservations are helpful. 708-447-5092.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The General Who Might Have Been President, Part II

Please see the previous post for Part I. These letters were written by General William Tecumseh Sherman before and after the death of General James Birdseye McPherson to his fiancee Emily Hoffman.

Military Division of the Mississippi
Acworth, Ga.

June 9, 1864

My Dear Young Lady,

I hardly feel that I should apologize for intrusion, for I can claim an old acquaintance with your brother and sister in California, and feel almost that I know you through them, and others of your honored family. It has come to my knowledge that you are affianced to another close friend and associate of mine Maj General McPherson, and I fear that weighing mighty matters of State but lightly in the Realm of Love, you feel that he gives too much of his time to his Country and too little to you.

His rise in his profession has been rapid, steady and well earned. Not a link unbroken. Not a thing omitted. Each step in his progress however has imposed on him fresh duties that as a man and a soldier, and still more as a Patriot, he could not avoid.

I did hope as he returned from Meridian, when his Corps the 17th was entitled to go home on furlough, that he too could steal a month to obey the promptings of his heart, to hasten to Baltimore and I so instructed, but by the changes incident to General Grant's elevation, McPherson succeeded to the Command of a separate Army and Department, and could not leave.

There is no rest for us in this war till you and all can look about you and feel there is Reason and Safety in the Land. God purifies the atmosphere with tempests and storms which fall alike upon the just and unjust, and in like manner he appeases the jarring elements of political discord by wars and famine. Heretofore as a nation we have escaped his wrath, but now with the vehemence of a hundred years accumulation we are in the storm, and would you have us shrink?

But I will not discuss so plain a point with one who bears the honored name of Hoffman, rather tell you of him whose every action I know fills your waking and sleeping thoughts, him so young but so prominent, whose cause is among the gallant and brave, who fight not for oppression and wrong but that the Government bequeathed to us by your ancestors shall not perish in ignominy and insult: but which shall survive in honor and glory, with a power to protect the weak and shelter the helpless from the terrible disasters of a fratricidal war.

I know McPherson well, as a young man, handsome and noble soldier, activated by motives as pure as those of Washington, and I know that in making my testimony to his high and noble character, I will not offend the girl he loves.

Be patient and I know that when the happy day comes for him to stand by your side as one being identical in heart and human existence you will regard him with a high respect and honor that will convert simple love into something sublime and beautiful.

Yours with respect
W. T. Sherman

This letter was written by General Sherman less than 6 weeks later after the death of James Birdseye McPherson on July 22, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS, Military Division of the Mississippi
In the Field, near Atlanta Geo.

August 5, 1864

My Dear Young Lady,

A letter from your Mother to General Barry on my Staff reminds me that I owe you heartfelt sympathy and a sacred duty of recording the fame of one of our Country's brightest and most glorious Characters. I yield to none on Earth but yourself the right to excel me in lamentations for our Dead Hero. Why should death's darts reach the young and brilliant instead of older men who could better have been spared?

Nothing that I can record will elevate him in your mind's memory, but I could tell you many things that would form a bright halo about his image. We were more closely associated than any men in this life. I knew him before you did; when he was a Lieutenant of Engineers in New York, we occupied rooms in the same house.

Again we met at St. Louis, almost at the outset of this unnatural war, and from that day to this we have been closely associated. I see him now, so handsome, so smiling, on his fine black horse, booted and spurred, with his easy seat, the impersonation of the Gallant Knight.

We were at Shiloh together, at Corinth, at Oxford, at Jackson, at Vicksburg, at Meridian, and on this campaign. He had left me but a few minutes to place some of his troops approaching their position, and went through the wood by the same road he had come, and must have encountered the skirmish line of the Rebel Hardee's Corps, which had made a Circuit around the flank of Blair's troops.

Though always active and attending in person amidst dangers to his appropriate duties, on this occasion he was not exposing himself. He rode over ground he had twice passed that same day, over which hundreds had also passed, by a narrow wood road to the Rear of his Established Line. He had not been gone from me half an hour before Col. Clark of his Staff rode up to me and reported that McPherson was dead or a prisoner in the hands of the Enemy.

He described that he had entered this road but a short distance in the wood some sixty yards ahead of his Staff and orderlies when a loud volley of muskets was heard, and in an instant after, his fine black horse came out with two wounds, riderless. Very shortly thereafter, other members of his staff came to me with his body in an ambulance. We carried it into a house, and laid it on a large table and examined the body. A simple bullet wound high up in the Right breast was all that disfigured his person. All else was as he left me, save his watch and purse were gone.

At this time the Battle was raging hot and fierce quite near us, and lest it should become necessary to burn the house in which we were, I directed his personal staff to convey the body to Marietta and thence North to his family. I think he could not have lived three minutes after the fatal shot, and fell from his horse within ten yards of the path or road along which he was riding. I think others will give you more detailed accounts of the attending circumstances. I enclose you a copy of my official letter announcing his death.

With affection and respect,
W. T. Sherman

Maj. General Oliver Howard, wrote in his report, "We were all made sad yesterday by the death of General McPherson - so young, so noble, so promising, already commanding a department! His death occasioned a profound sense of loss, a feeling that his place can never be completely filled. How valuable, how precious the country to us all, who have paid for its preservation such a price."

Wayne Rethford, Past President
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society
Scottish American History Club

Don’t forget the History Club meets September 8. The program will be presented by the Eastland Historical Society. Reservations are helpful. Call 630-447-5092.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The General Who Might Have Been President

This blog is about General James Birdseye McPherson who was the second highest ranking Union officer killed during the Civil War. I could find little information about the family except that his father, William, was born in Scotland. His Mother was Cynthia Russell McPherson and I assume she was also born in Scotland. I did find one source which said his father was an unsuccessful blacksmith and became ”mentally unstable.” We also know there were four children in the family and James B. was the oldest.

Because his father was unable to support the family, it was necessary that James find a job and help his mother. His employer, Robert Smith, took an interest in the young man and helped him spend two years at the Norwalk Academy. In 1849, again with the aid of Robert Smith, he entered West Point. He was now twenty years old. A gifted student, he graduated in 1853 first in his class. Included in his class were men who fought on both sides of in the Civil War including Philip H. Sheridan and John Bell Hood. Eleven years later it would be Hood’s battle order at Atlanta which would result in the death of Gen. McPherson.

After West Point, McPherson was commissioned a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and at the outbreak of the Civil War he was in San Francisco supervising the fortification of Alcatraz Island. It is said that no Union officer “had a more meteoric rise than McPherson.” In August 1861, he was a first lieut. and by October 8, 1862, he was a major general and in command of a division in the XIII Corps. He participated in the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson as did many men from Illinois. He was also at Shiloh.

One of his finest moments as an officer came during the siege of Vicksburg. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant cited him for “conspicuous skill and personal bravery” and promoted him to Brig. General. On March 26, 1864, he assumed command of the Army of Tennessee which he led in the campaign of North Georgia.

After a meeting with Gen. Sherman on July 22, 1864, McPherson and one orderly were riding back to a battle which had just started. They entered a grove of woods and had traveled only about 100 yards where a cry of “halt” rang out. He stopped for a moment and saw a line of gray skirmishers. He raised his hand as if to tip his hat and made a quick turn to the right. The skirmishers let go with a volley. Gen. McPherson staggered in his saddle for a short distance and then fell to the ground. Only one bullet had found the General but several found his horse which was probably put down.

His troops soon recovered his body, tore a door from its hinges and improvised a bier. Gen. Sherman came to see his friend and it was reported that “tears rolled through his beard and down on the floor.” There are those who believe that his death was one of the heaviest individual losses suffered by Union forces during the war. Many believed that had he lived, he would have been elected President of the United States. Gen. Grant said “the nation had more to expect from him than from almost anyone living.” James Birdseye McPherson was only 35 years of age when he died. Among his friends were: Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Ulysses S, Grant. His body was taken back to Clyde, Ohio for burial.

 McPherson was engaged to be married to Emily Hoffman of Baltimore. While serving at Vicksburg, he was given leave to be married but before he reached Baltimore, he was returned to active duty. After his death, Emily mourned for a year and it is said she never left her room. She remained a spinster for the rest of her life. But, in 1876, she made an attempt to have her soldier buried in Washington, D.C.  A group of strangers arrived in Clyde, Ohio to remove the body but were met with fierce resistance that included the use of firearms. No one was going to take their hero from his home in Ohio.

Miss Hoffman, unable to have the body of her hero soldier began working to have a statue erected in his honor. She called on two of his closest friends for aid, President Ulysses S. Grant and General William T. Sherman. Her brother-in-law, one of the founders of Wells Fargo offered to pay for the statue. Congress provided the location and the granite base. McPherson Square and the Metro rail station in Washington are named in his honor. At the center of the square is the statue of McPherson on horseback. Thousands of people pass the statue every day, yet I wonder how many know the story?

In Chicago, the James B. McPherson Elementary School located in the Ravenswood area was named in his honor. The school has a website but nothing is written about its history. I wonder if the students know the story?

Here are just a few other honors for this outstanding SOLDIER

  • Fort McPherson near Atlanta, Georgia named in his honor.
  • McPherson, Kansas named in his honor. There is also a statue of him in the park across from the McPherson County Courthouse
  • McPherson County, South Dakota, named in his honor
  • McPherson Road in Ayer, Massachusetts was named in his honor.
  • In Clyde, Ohio, there is a school, a cemetery, and State Route 20 are all named for the General

There is more to the story but this is all the space left. I will publish tomorrow and the next day, two letters from General Sherman to Emily Hoffman. One letter was written before his death and another written after his death. They add a great deal more information to this story.

Wayne Rethford, Past President
Illinois St. Andrew’s Society
Scottish American History Club

Don’t forget the History Club meets September 8. The program will be presented by the Eastland Historical Society. Reservations are helpful. Call 630-447-5092.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dr. Moses Scott

Moses Scott, a Remarkable Man and a Great American

(The following article was written by Margaret Teiwes who is a member of our History Club.  She, and her husband, Harry, live in Wheaton, IL. and almost always attend the history tours.  She shared with me her family history and I said if she would summarize the information we would publish it as a blog.  Moses Scott has earned the right to be remembered and we are happy to place his story on the Internet.)
Moses Scott (1738-1821) was a remarkable man. He was a leader of men, soldier, physician, judge, patriot, church elder and trustee, friend, husband and father of eight. He was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and was the eighth of nine children born to Scottish parents John and Jane Mitchell Scott.
John Scott, a weaver by trade, emigrated from Scotland to Ireland and then in 1722 sailed for the Pennsylvania colony. In his new country he was a farmer but continued the weaver's trade and trained his eldest son, Robert, to work the loom. Little is known of his wife, Jane Mitchell, except that she was the mother of his nine children.
The Scott family attended the Neshaminy Presbyterian Church in Warwick, Pennsylvania which was founded by the Rev. William Tennent, a Scotch-Irish clergyman. Rev. Tennent also established the Log College which is considered to be the forerunner of Princeton University. He invited Rev. George Whitefield, the great English preacher and evangelist, to preach at his church at least twice during the time the Scott family attended. Surely, Whitefield's preaching had a spiritual impact upon the Scott family. Moses was instructed in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church and was a faithful Christian to the day he died.
He was about twelve or thirteen when his father died leaving him and his younger brother, Matthew, orphans. It's assumed his older, adult siblings cared for them after their father's death in 1749. When Moses was seventeen years old he left home and joined the military. This was during the time of the French and Indian War.
He was among the Pennsylvania Provincials who joined the army of General Edward Braddock. The General had as his personal aide, Colonel George Washington. The army set out to attack the French held Fort Duquesne in southwest Pennsylvania and to drive the French out of the Ohio Valley. Unfortunately, Braddock's army was ambushed by the enemy and many were slaughtered, including General Braddock. A few years later another attempt was made to capture the fort. This time the Pennsylvania Provincials joined the British army under the command of General John Forbes. They took the fort, rebuilt and renamed it Fort Pitt- Pittsburgh.
Scott, who by now was an officer, resigned from Provincial Service in order to study medicine. The only "medical school" at that time was the Pennsylvania Hospital which was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1751. However, the primary manner for training doctors was through an apprenticeship with another doctor. Young men would reside in their mentor's homes and were expected to do menial tasks apart from their medical studies. Most likely, this is how Moses Scott received his medical training.
He married Anna Johnson in 1765 which was the same year he commenced his medical practice in the Brandywine area of southeast Pennsylvania. Their first five children, all girls, were born during their ten year stay in Brandywine. Eventually, they had eight children - seven daughters and one son. Shortly before the start of the Revolutionary War, the family relocated to New Brunswick, New Jersey where they remained the rest of their lives. The family attended the New Brunswick Presbyterian Church where Scott served as Elder, Trustee, and Treasurer. In 1815 the church organized its first Sunday School and their daughter, Hannah, was its first Superintendent.
At the outset of the war, Scott joined the 2nd Regiment Middlesex Militia as a surgeon. A few months later, July 2, 1776, he was commissioned by the Continental Congress to be Physician-General of Military Hospitals. His rank was Surgeon, and in 1777 he was appointed Surgeon of the Hospital and Assistant Director-General. He was in charge of General Hospitals in Morristown and New Brunswick. Scott was present at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Trenton and Princeton.
Surgeon Scott had his war stories too and here is one among several. During the winter of 1776, the British General Howe made a surprise attack on New Brunswick. Dr. Scott was at home and about to sit down to dinner when he was warned that British soldiers were about to storm his home. They wanted to seize the rebel doctor. He narrowly escaped, but instead they seized his dinner, plundered his home and confiscated all his medical supplies and equipment for their own use. A Tory neighbor warned the soldiers the doctor may have poisoned the medicine in order to kill the enemy. All the medicine was taken outside and dumped into the street in front of his house.
Once more he resigned from the army and returned to civilian life and to private practice. He continued to be active in the medical profession and earned accolades and appointments: He was President and Treasurer of the Medical Society of New Jersey (the first in America), Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City, founding member of Somerset District Medical Society, Judge of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Somerset County; Justice of the Peace, Middlesex County; Elder, Trustee, Treasurer of New Brunswick Presbyterian Church.
During the Howe's winter stay in New Brunswick, the church was used by British soldiers as a barracks and stable. It is said the church was desecrated and torched when the troops left and could not be used as a house of worship again. The congregation was scattered and did not meet for several years. In 1784 Scott was part of a group of men who helped to reestablish and reorganize the church. Eventually, a new and larger building was erected on a different site. The New Brunswick Presbyterian Church still exists, but again, in a different building. When the church celebrated its 225 anniversary in 1951, Moses Scott and Hannah Scott were among the few early members who were especially honored.
Moses Scott died December 28, 1821 and was buried in the church cemetery. One hundred years later his and Anna's remains were removed and interred in Van Liew Cemetery in New Brunswick.
Moses Scott was, indeed, a remarkable and industrious man who contributed much to his country and to those who knew him. He needs to be remembered. 

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus

Illinois St. Andrew's Society

The next meeting of the Scottish American History Club will occur on September 8 in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home, North Riverside, IL.  The program will be given by the Eastland Disaster Historical Society.  The Eastland, a passenger ship, rolled over while docked in tfhe Chicago River.  A total of 844 people lost their lives that day and it is the largest loss of life from a single disaster on the Great Lakes.  Members of the Eastland Society will have stories, films, and personal testimonies about the disaster.  Reservations are requested, please call lthe Scottish Home 708-447-5092.

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