Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Scottish American History Club and years 1876-1886

The History Club started many years ago with the residents of the Scottish Home, it was discontinued during the construction of the Georgeson wing but started again in 2003.  The Residents no longer attend but the meetings continue to be held the first Saturday of each month in Heritage Hall at the Scottish Home.  No meetings in July, August or December. 

Often at the meetings we have special guests and on February 6, 2013, we will have a presentation on Sir Winston Churchill. Our presenter will be Daniel N. Meyers.  Mr. Meyers is the Chief Operating Officer of The Churchill Centre. (Churchill had a slight Scottish connection through his American mother.)  There is no fee, all are welcome, reservations are helpful.  Call (708) 447-5092 or (630) 629-4516.

I sometimes have a power point presentation.  All of my presentations are filmed by Robert Peterson, edited and placed on a computer disc for future reference.  Bob and his daughter Katelyn are faithful volunteers. They have the latest and best equipment so if you ever have need of a photographer please consider their services.

At our January 5, 2013, meeting we studied the history of The Illinois Saint Andrew Society between the years 1875 and 1886.  Starting with the date of our founding in 1845, we have been working through the history in ten year segments.  Here is a short summary of that meeting.  This is important because it will now be on the Internet and hopefully some family member will contact us with more information.

                                                                                                        # # #

Six men served as President of the Society.   Here is a summary of what we know presently about each individual.

- (President 1876 & 1877) He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1829.  His father taught anatomy at the University of Edinburgh.  At the age of 22, he moved to Canada and became involved with the railroads.  Later, he moved to Lodor, Illinois, and soon to Chicago.  In Chicago, he married and was the General Passenger Agent for the Lake Shore railroad.  His wife was Margaret (Mary) Blackwell. In the 1900 census there are 2 older sons still living at home along with two granddaughters, Janet (16) and Frances (14). One of his sons, Charles Blair MacDonald was the famous golfer.  Mr. MacDonald died in 1910 and is buried in the Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Canada.

DANIEL ROSS CAMERON - (President 1877- 1878) He was born in Glengarry, Canada, August 19, 1836.  Came to Chicago in 1863 at the age of twenty-seven.  In Chicago, he formed a printing company with William A. Amberg.  Their business was destroyed in 1871 by the Great Fire but they quickly rebuilt.  In time, they would have 200 employees, 22 large printing presses and offices in New York and London. Mr. Amberg invented the Amberg Letter Filing System which was used around the world.

Mr. Cameron served 21 years on the Board of Education and has a school named for him in Chicago.  The Cameron Elementary School is located at 1234 N. Monticello Ave., in the Humboldt Park area.  He died in 1918 in Los Angeles County, California and one year later his body was returned to Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.  His wife was Emma L. Grange. They were married October 9, 1884.  There is no mention of children.

ALEXANDER KIRKLAND - (President 1879-1881) Born September 24, 1834 in Renfrewshire, Scotland.  Father may have been a retired army captain who had been wounded at Waterloo.  Graduate of Glasgow University with a degree in architecture and engineering.  In 1861, he moved to London, then to New York and finally to Chicago.

His first wife, Jane Hewitson, died in Scotland leaving two small boys.  He then married his second cousin, Eliza Maria Kirkland.  One daughter was born to this marriage who later married William Edgar of Chicago.

In 1879 was appointed Commissioner of Public Buildings and was the Superintending Architect of the new City Hall built in 1881.  Mr. Kirkland died in Jefferson, Wisconsin, August 21, 1892.  The Pallbearers were: John Alston, Daniel Ross Cameron, Hugh Ritchie, Alexander Watson, James Steele and William Gardner.  In 1901, his body was brought back to Graceland where other members of the family are buried, including his mother.

RICHARD BIDDLE ROBERTS (President 1881-1882)  - Born August 25, 1825 in Pittsburgh, PA.  His grandfather was a prominent judge and said to have been the first to cross the Alleghenies in a carriage.  R. Biddle Roberts attended college in Washington, D.C. and was admitted to the Bar in 1850.

He was a Colonel in the 32nd Pennsylvania Reserve Corp. and fought under McClellan in the Peninsular Campaign.  He was the last of Civil War veterans who served in a leadership role for the St. Andrew’s Society.  During the war, he saw action at: Antietam, Charles City, Second Bull Run, Malvern Hill, South Mountain and the Second Manassas Campaign and others too numerous to mention.

After the war, he moved to Chicago and began the practice of law. He was said to be an eloquent speaker and a favorite of judges.  Elected as President of the Bar Association.

Mr. Roberts died at the Sherman House in Chicago on April 19, 1886.  He was taken back to Pittsburgh for burial in the Allegheny Cemetery.  His wife was Mary Anderson a relative of Robert Emmet.  She died in 1913 and is buried by her husband.

ANDREW WALLACE - (President 1883-1884) Born in Wigtownshire, Scotland, September, 1825.  He came to Chicago in 1865 and married Jeanie (Jane) Anderson. She was also from Wigtownshire and died August 4, 1915 at the residence of her son-in-law H. B. Kilgour of 800 S. Watola Ave., LaGrange, IL.  The children were: Michael, Agnes, Andrew and Mrs. H. B. Kilgour

Mr. Wallace was a member of the Chicago Curlers Club and his death certificate indicated that his occupation was manufacturing.  He was the manager of J. H. Bass Mfg. and a banker.  He and members of the family are buried at Oakwoods on the South side of Chicago.

ROBERT CLARK, JR. (President 1885-186) His father was born in Forfar, Scotland and his son was born in Arbroath. They came to Chicago in 1849.  The father died in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and his body was never found.  He was a stalwart Reformed Presbyterian Elder.

Mr. Clark was a partner in the firm of Clark and Raffen.  The had a large foundry and owned a block of land on Ohio Street next to the Chicago River. The company furnished iron for most of the major buildings in Chicago.  He was the largest donor for the erection of the Robert Burns statue in Garfield Park.

Served on the Board of Education, 1870-1874.  Was Chief of the Caledonian Club and Alderman of the old Sixteenth Ward.  He was a Republican.  Lived in Lake View where he was very active in local politics.  He married Miss Ester McNeil of Canada in 1854 and they had one child, Grace D. Clark.  She married Edwin H. Welch, July 2, 1897.

Mr. Clark died on July 12, 1909 at his home, 2505 Kenmore Ave.  He had been ill for several months.  The family is buried at Rosehill cemetery in Chicago, Section 2, lot 44.

During this period the Society continued to hold its Annual Dinner in honor of St. Andrew’s Day.  They also held each year a Charity Ball which we will write about in the future.

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

January 26, 2013 - The Nicht Wi’ Burns Dinner will be held  in the Grand Ballroom of the Oak Lawn Hilton, Oak Lawn, Illinois. Email Sally Johnson or call 630-515-1997. The Tribute to Robert Burns will be given by Wayne Rethford.

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

February 9, 2013 - The 2013 Chicago Scots Robert Burns Supper will be held at the Union League Club. Email Julia Witty for more information . To purchase tickets, click here

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

No comments:

Post a Comment