Great Scots

Scottish Name List



Visit our Blog




The Scottish American History Club Newsletter
October 1994


James Earl Fraser

James Earl Fraser died on October 11, 1953, at the age of 76 at Westport, Connecticut. Born in Winona, Minnesota and raised on the plains of the West, he had become one of America's most noted sculptors.

At the age of eight, James Earl started carving things out of stone from a nearby quarry. His father wanted him to be an engineer, but he received such praise from railroad officials about his art that his father finally relented. At the age of 15, James Earl was sent to study at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Before he was 17, a model of one of his most celebrated works was completed. His "End of The Trail" statue showing a weary Indian slumped down over his rack-ribbed horse had been copied around the world. It is often regarded as the best-known sculpture in America.

In 1895, James Earl Fraser won a scholarship to study in Paris. It was here that he attracted the attention of Augustus St. Gaudens, with whom he immediately began to work.

On the north pylons of the Michigan Avenue bridge across the Chicago river is the large limestone depiction of The Pioneers and Discoverers by Fraser. Other works include the statue of Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His statue of Alexander Hamilton, for the Department of the Treasury in Washington is regarded as one of the best works of those practicing in the Saint-Gaudens tradition.

In 1913, James Earl Fraser designed the Indian head and buffalo nickel.

More information can be found at the Bronze Gallery.


Naper Avenue

In Chicago, Naper Avenue runs 6600 West from 5900 North to 6258 North.

The street was named for Captain Joseph Naper, a man of Scottish descent. He founded Naper settlement in 1831, now known as Naperville, Illinois.

Joseph Naper and his brother sailed to Chicago to deliver a sailboat and then moved on west to the Naperville area where they ran a sawmill. During the Black Hawk War in 1832, he took command of the first militia in DuPage County. The women and children of the settlement had previously been sent to Fort Dearborn in Chicago.

In the 1830's Naper Settlement was larger than Chicago and actually became the first town chartered in Cook County. In 1839, while serving in the Illinois General Assembly, Joseph Naper proposed legislation that created DuPage County, separating it from Cook County. Naperville was the original county seat, but it was later moved to Wheaton.

Does anyone in Naperville know of the burial place of Joseph Naper?

More about the history of DuPage County can be found at A History of The County of DuPage Illinois

Highland, Illinois

Highland is located just 30 minutes from St. Louis and is one of the oldest Swiss settlements in the U.S. The city was founded in 1831 by hardy Swiss pioneers from Sursee, Switzerland. The town was platted in 1836 by General Joseph Semple, a Scot, who convinced the settlers that the area resembled his native Scotland and, thus, the name Highland was chosen. Starting in 1884, it was the home of Pet Milk.

Daniel P. Cook
Someone You Should Know

Daniel Cook was born in Kentucky in 1795 of Scottish parents. He came to Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 1815 and began to practice law. Believing his future lay in the nation’s Capitol, he moved to Washington and in 1817 was sent to London to bring back John Quincy Adams. Adams was being requested to serve as Secretary of State under President Monroe.

He soon tired of Washington and returned to Illinois where he purchased a newspaper from another Scot by the name of Matthew Duncan. Cook became an ardent supporter of statehood and using his newspaper, The Western Intelligencer, began to influence the Territorial Legislature. When the legislature convened on December 2, 1817, there was an immediate move to make Illinois the twenty-first state. Not only would Illinois be ratified as a state through the efforts of Daniel Cook, it would be a slave-free state.

In 1819, Cook was elected to Congress as the sole representative from Illinois. He served four terms being finally defeated by Joseph Duncan, another Scot. In Congress, Cook served on the committee on Public Lands and later on the Ways and Means Committee. He secured a grant of government lands to aid in the construction of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. In 1824, he had as sole congressman from Illinois cast the vote of the state for Adams, thus practically deciding the decision.

Daniel Cook always suffered from poor health and died October 16, 1827, at the age of 33. Four years after his death, a county in Illinois was named in his honor. He probably never visited the area we call Cook County.

Ninian W. Edwards, the son of the first territorial governor of Illinois said “...it should be a matter of pride with the citizens of Chicago that so eminent and illustrious a man as Daniel Cook is thus honored. In respect of his high character, his great ability, his honorable name, and of the inestimable service he rendered to our great commonwealth, the County of Cook should erect a monument in his memory.”

Not only did Chicago never build a monument to Daniel Cook, it is doubtful that many have ever heard his name. The location of his grave remains unknown, but is thought to be somewhere in Kentucky. His legacy lived on through his son, General John Cook, who fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War.

The Memoirs of the late Daniel P. Cook can be downloaded or read at the American Libraries site.

Whatever happened to the 1967 Heather Queen Laurie Drummond?

Have you ever visited Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.; Glasgow, Illinois; Glasgow, Kentucky; Glasgow, Missouri; Glasgow, Montana; Glasgow, Pennsylvania; Glasgow, Virginia; or the Glasgow (Abbottsingh) Airport?

Would the person from Naperville who sent the copy of The Arbroath Herald please call me.

We have a partial copy of The British News November 26, 1938, “the only British society news medium in Illinois.” It was published semi-monthly in Chicago. Do you have any information as to where the archives are stored, or does anyone have other copies?

Does anyone know John Logie Baird and what he is famous for inventing?

Thomas McDonough, Captain in the U.S. Navy, achieved success on Lake Ontario against the British. His accomplishments are said to equal those of Oliver Hazard Perry. The opposing commander was another Scot, Robert H. Barclay. This significant victory ended fears of a British invasion and is said to have been the first time since its creation that Britain had lost an entire squadron. (Ancestor of Mary Ellen McDonough Rethford).

John Rodgers, born in Maryland, 1771, son of a Scots colonel of militia, fired with his own hand the first shot in the war with Great Britain in 1812.

Edinburgh’s Scottish-American Memorial

John McLean emigrated to America from Scotland as a young man and settled in Chicago. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as private in the 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Sergeant-Major, but his health was broken. Returning to Scotland, he married and soon had a family of three children. The times were difficult, his health was poor, and the family was never properly supported. When he died he was buried in a pauper’s grave.

In 1890, his widow approached Wallace Bruce, U. S. Consul in Edinburgh, for help in getting his pension. Bruce, a sensitive man best known for his poetry, was appalled to learn that John McLean was buried in a potter’s field.

Returning to the United States, he began to raise money for a proposed memorial. Donations came from such men as Waldorf Astor, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, William Rockefeller and J. Pierpont Morgan. The Illinois Saint Andrew Society made its contribution through Robert Clark, Jr., President.

The monument was dedicated on August 21, 1893. It was a rainy, windy day. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders marched from the Castle to Waterloo Place at the east end of Princes Street. This Guard of Honor numbered 250 persons. It was to be an impressive ceremony in spite of the inclement weather.

The monument was draped in the Union Jack, the Scottish Standard and the Stars and Stripes. Around the platform was an edging of heather. The highest officials from Edinburgh were present including the Lord Provost. Many American veterans from both sides of the war were in attendance.

Mr. Lincoln stands life-size on a large pedestal with a freed black slave kneeling at his feet. Carved in Aberdeen granite are the words of Lincoln, “To preserve the jewel of liberty in the framework of freedom.”

The remains of John McEwen and five other veterans are buried beneath the monument; their names and regiments are also recorded in the Aberdeen granite. Just to the left of Lincoln stands the circular tower designed by Robert Adam and is the burial place of David Hume, the great historian and philosopher. Others buried in this small cemetery include: John Haig, William Blackwood, and Robert and Thomas Stevenson, grandfather and father of Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Calton burying ground is located 500 yards east of the General Post Office at the junction of Waterloo Place and North Bridge, very near to the railroad depot. Few people know about the Memorial and sometimes the gate is locked, but it is well worth the visit when you are in Edinburgh.

It was the first statue of Lincoln across the Atlantic. The second statue of Lincoln is located in London, England.

Several of you have sent pictures recently of both statues, including Muriel Gelonese who has just returned from a visit to Scotland and England.

You can read more at the American Civil War site.


Several people responded to the questions in the last issue about golf courses. Joan Hanson, of Franklin, PA wrote to say that Foxburg, Clarion County, PA, claims to have the first golf course started in 1887. Clyde M. Clark of Bradenton, FL, called the PGA who did not want to get into the debate. However, they also indicated that Foxburg was the first golf course and that St. Andrews golf course in Yonkers, NY is the second started in 1888. Perhaps Joan Hanson will send us the entire story of the Foxburg Golf Course. I note The Highland Games and Gathering Committee of Sarasota, Florida, advertised that Sarasota is the “home of the first golf course in America.” We may never know.

No one sent information about Donald Ross or John Gillespie. Donald Ross was born in Scotland and designed 385 golf courses in the U.S. The third hole at Pinehurst #2 is considered his masterpiece. John Gillespie was born in Moffat, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, and in 1886 developed “the first golf course in the Southern U. S. at Sarasota, FL, and was six times its mayor.” The great golfer Bobby Jones was also a Scot.

This 'n That

On June 10, 1994, the Buick Motor Company of America placed a plaque on Green Street marking the birthplace of David D. Buick. Colin Ferguson of The Bank of Scotland sent along The Scotsman, a newspaper published in Edinburgh, which carried the story. If you own a late-model Buick you will find the story of Mr. Buick in the owner’s manual.

Several years ago Don Buik gave me the story of the Buick automobile and said that his father always believed that David Buick changed the spelling of his name when he came to America. Don is Chairman of the Board of The Roscoe Company and owns a prize-winning 1921, 6-cylinder Buick. It is an opera coupe with a Fisher body.

William Arrott of Chicago wrote to say that his family came from Arbroath and that his great-grandfather, James West Arrott, founded the Standard Sanitary Company (now American Standard). He had also discovered a process for binding porcelain to iron to make bathtubs. He was wondering if there was a connection between his great-grandfather and David Dunbar Buick, whose family also discovered a process for making porcelain tubs.

Arlene Auld who was “Queen of the Heather” in 1965 is now Mrs. Robert L. Kuiken of Tinley Park, IL. She was a student of Margaret Baikie Johnson.

From the Editor...

This is the third edition of what has become a project for the entire family, including my grandson, J.R. Almost every room in our home now contains historical papers of some description. The dining room table is the collection point for this mass of information and the location of my working computer.

There are now 300 subscribers. Cards, letters and telephone calls have arrived from states as distant as California, Florida and Arizona. What started out as a local effort to dispense Scottish information has now taken on a greater emphasis.

It has been my pleasure this year to speak to several historical groups in the Chicago area. I have spoken to groups in Irving Park, Matteson, Midlothian and Frankfort. The last event this year is in November at the Lombard Historical Society. It has been most enjoyable to have had the opportunity to tell the story of Scots in Chicago and the nation.

We are trying to answer all the mail, but please be understanding if our response is a little slow. We do hope you will continue writing and sharing your Scottish stories. In the process, one letter has been misplaced. I hope the person who sent the Arbroath Herald will please call me at (708) 447-5092.

The next edition is January, 1995. Our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!


Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546