The Scottish American History Club Newsletter
Scots of Illinois have been doing a brave and good
thing. They have just completed their 119th Anniversary
Dinner in the Conrad Hilton hotel, and are looking
forward to the 120th next year.
A total of 1,200 persons ran their teeth into this Scot
victual at the last affair. It is estimated that these
Scots have averaged 500 persons at the 119 banquets
There was a half-ton of haggis imported from Scotland
for their affair just past. As this figures just short
of one pound haggis per person, the horrifying
conclusion is forced upon you that, over the years,
these Scots and their guests have gnawed away 59,500
pounds of haggis. This is based on an average of 500
guests per year.
This viewed by a non-Scot outlander, comes under the
head of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Had not
these fellows faced bravely up to the responsibility and
gnawed their way bravely thru this mound of goo, Chicago
would by this time be up to its ears in haggis.
Stone Park, which is sometimes under water, could easily
have been under haggis, and the natives would have had
to bare their teeth and gnaw their way to freedom. But,
thanks to the Scots, this victual has not been allowed
to pile up.
There are some non-Scots who share the feeling that this
haggis is not so much a food as a misfeasance. These
people contend the Scots approach the matter from the
It is their contention these fellows would do much
better to eat the bagpipe and play the haggis. This
haggis, if you wondered, is made up of the heart, liver,
lungs of the sheep, plus oatmeal, mint suet, carrots,
powered herbs and salt and pepper.
The only complaint of this department is that, after it
is cooked, it tastes a great deal like the heart, liver,
lungs of the sheep, plus oatmeal, mint suet, carrots,
powdered herbs and salt and pepper. This dish was to
Scotland what the potato was to Ireland, and, while they
do not acclaim it the greatest of delicacies, get from
it the reminder of the struggling days.
Be that as it may, the Scots are cheerful folk, and have
raised a great deal of loot for the old folks home thru
the Anniversary Dinner...”
From an article in the Chicago Tribune, “A Line
O’ Type or Two” December 10, 1964.
In Chicago, Pulaski Road is 4000 west and runs from 6360
north to 11458 south. This long street is of interest to
us because it was originally known as Crawford Avenue.
Peter Crawford (of Scottish descent) was an early
Chicago pioneer, real estate speculator, and lumber
dealer. He founded the settlement of Crawford, which we
now know as North Lawndale.
In 1933, Mayor Ed Kelly changed the name from Crawford
to Pulaski in order to please one of his supporters. For
the next twenty years, a battle raged in the courts and
the legislature to stop the proposed change. In 1952,
the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that the property
owners cannot control the naming of a street.
Casimir Pulaski was born in Lithuania and fought
courageously in the American Revolution. He was killed
in the siege of Savannah, Georgia, in 1779.
Orsemus Morrison, who descended from a Scottish family
of great antiquity, was born June 24, 1807.
He arrived in Chicago in 1833 and became the coroner.
His first case involved an inquest into the freezing
death of a man in a stretch of woods bounded by what are
now the streets of LaSalle, Washington and Randolph. He
once owned the Morrison Hotel, corner of Clark and
Madison, where many Scottish events were hosted.
Mr. Morrison died January 4, 1864. “In all my life I
never have injured anyone willfully and I died owing no
Note: The original hotel was the first four floors.
The upper four floors were added at a later date.
James Wilson Marshall
*Someone You Should Know*
James Wilson Marshall discovered gold in 1848 at
Sutter’s Mill, California, he couldn’t imagine the
long-range historical effect. California had only
recently been wrested from Mexico and the state needed
American settlers. The lure of gold brought thousands of
new settlers and helped bind California to the rest of
James W. Marshall was born of Scottish parents on
October 8, 1810, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. From
his father he learned his trade and became a skilled
wheelwright and wagon maker. At the death of his father,
he began a long journey west, living first in
Crawfordsville, Indiana, then Warsaw, Illinois, and
finally Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1844, he moved west again to Sutter’s Fort,
California, the present site of Sacramento. Here, he
began to farm, buying land and livestock. At the
outbreak of the war with Mexico, he joined the Fremont
Battalion. When the war ended, he was discharged, having
never been paid.
Returning to his farm, he found his cattle gone and was
forced to sell his land. With his skills as a builder,
he formed a partnership with Captain John Sutter to
build a mill. Sutter was to provide the money and
Marshall would provide the labor and skills.
In the process of deepening the mill raceway, Marshall
saw the glitter of California gold for the first time.
An effort was made to keep the discovery quiet; but, by
1849, thousands were moving into the area hysterically
searching for gold and sweeping aside Marshall, Sutter
and the mill operation.
The lawless invasion of his property once again made
Marshall penniless. In 1872, he was voted a pension by
the California legislature, but it was paid for only six
years. James Wilson Marshall died August 10, 1885. His
Coloma cabin ground is now a state park. A monument and
statue were erected in his honor in 1890.
Pictured: James Wilson Marshall
When Captain Scott O’Grady was shot down over Bosnia
recently, his only contact with the outside world was
his radio. The radio saved his life and finally brought
about his rescue. One of the components of that radio
was manufactured by the Grayhill Company of LaGrange,
Illinois, and one of the employees who assembled that
switch was Heather Seivwright of Brookfield, Illinois.
Using the parts numbers, the Pentagon was able to track
down the company and the persons who actually assembled
the switch. The President recently wrote the company and
Heather expressing his appreciation for a job well done.
Heather was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and has lived in
America with her family for the past ten years. She is
also an excellent piper. In addition, her sister, Diane,
is a champion swinging tenor and her brother, Neil, is a
champion snare drummer. All three play with the Chicago
Highlanders Pipe Band.
The Great Chicago Fire
In 1871 Chicago was destroyed by a great fire. The
Scottish population suffered greatly by losing both
their homes and businesses. The following excerpt was
written by a member of the St. Andrew Society who was an
eyewitness to the devastation. It has never been
“This was the sight by night. One fireproof building,
the Chicago Tribune Building, seemed likely to escape,
but by ten o’clock in the forenoon this remaining block
was in ashes. Now was to be seen the most remarkable
sight ever beheld in this or any country. There were
from fifty to seventy-five thousand men, women, and
children, fleeing by every available street and road to
the southward and westward, attempting to save their
clothing and their lives. Every available vehicle was
brought into requisition for use, for which, enormous
prices were paid, and the streets presented a sad sight
- thousands of persons and horses inextricably
co-mingled; poor people of all colors and shades, and of
every nationality, from Europe, China, and Africa, mad
with excitement, struggling with each other to get away.
During Monday, a renewal of the fires on the west side
was looked for, and a change of five degrees in the
direction of the wind, at any time, would have led to
that result. There would have been no refuge in the city
for any. Everybody had their clothing packed, ready to
start for the prairie at any moment, but God averted
this last possible addition to the disaster.”
Joan Hanson who lives in Franklin, Pennsylvania, has
sent more information about the golf course in Foxburg.
In 1884, Joseph Mickel Fox traveled to St. Andrew to see
the game of golf being played. Here he met Tom Morris,
Sr., who taught him the fundamentals of golf and also
sold him clubs and gutta-percha ball.
Back in Foxburg, he built a small 8-hole golf course.
There was such enthusiasm for the game that a larger
course was built and it became the Foxburg Country Club.
The game has been played there each year since 1887;
thus, the claim... “it all started at Foxburg... oldest
golf course in continuous use in the U. S.... since
Also located at Foxburg is the American Golf Hall of
Fame Museum. One priceless collection features “one club
from each of the six generations of McEwans (1770 - 1799
- 1830 - 1855 - 1890 - 1930).” If anyone would like a
copy of the brochure which Mrs. Hanson sent, please let
Golf, an Ancient Game in Savannah
“Congratulations were received yesterday by William
Harden, librarian of the
Georgia Historical Society,
upon the appearance in the January issue of Vanity Fair
of an article by him showing that Savannah was the home
of golf in America long before any other community in
the young United States thought of the pastime.
The article in Vanity Fair was the result of an odd find
by Mr. Harden among the old reports of the society. He
came upon an invitation by the Savannah Golf Club to
Miss Eliza Johnston, and under ordinary conditions would
have passed it by as somewhat recent, but Mr. Harden was
able to descry the date, and was startled to find that
the card was 105 years old.
This invitation of the year 1811 immediately caused him
to conduct a close investigation, with the result that
he learned that the club was managed by four Scotsmen,
all prominent merchants of Savannah at that time. The
researches were not easy, but with the interest Vanity
Fair showed in Mr. Harden’s find, the local historian
was requested to spare no expense to ascertain every
The files of the Columbian Museum published here in
1811, yielded up the following announcement... ‘Golf
Club... the members of the golf club are requested to
meet at The Exchange this evening at 7 o’clock, November
Miss Eliza Johnston was one of the belles of Savannah at
the time. She was the daughter of Colonel James
Johnston, one of the foremost citizens of Savannah. He
was a merchant, Colonel of the First Georgia Regiment of
Georgia Volunteers, and a trustee of The Exchange from
1804 to 1810.
The Golf Club Ball apparently was fateful for Miss
Johnston, as she did not remain single long after that
event, becoming the wife of James Morrison. According to
the Columbian Museum and the Savannah Advertiser, they
were married on April 28, 1812, by the Rev. Mr. Kollock.
No list of members of the club could be discovered, and
the invitation reveals the names only of the managers of
the ball and the treasurer of the organization. The
managers were George Woodruff, Robert Mackay, John Caig
and James Dickson.
That Savannah was the first golf city cannot be denied,
as the first authentic records heretofore show that St.
Andrew’s Golf Club and the Shinnecock Golf Club at South
Hampton in 1880. The period before that has often been
referred to as ‘the mystical period’ in the history of
From the Savannah News, December 26, 1916.
Only one person responded to our question about Andrew
Hallidie. Ian Lisk knew that he had invented the cable
cars of San Francisco. “Legend has it that Hallidie
sighted a heavily-laden horsecar, the only type of
public transport at the time, moving slowly up a steeply
graded street. As he watched in horror, one of the
horses stumbled and fell, the brake slipped and the car
rolled back down the hill, dragging the animals behind.
Hallidie set out to design a system that would prevent
It took four years for the Scottish immigrant to design
and build his system. It was called “Hallidie’s Folly”
but it successfully made the trip down Clay Street hill
and back again. With a few technical improvements, the
system remains basically unchanged. The cars are pulled
along at 9.5 miles an hour by 11 miles of 1.25-inch
cables buried beneath the city’s streets. An estimated
12 million people ride the cable cars of San Francisco
Bonnie Blair, the most gifted female athlete in U. S.
Olympic history, is Scottish according to Reverend
Newsletter Wins Third Place
Be it known that in the 1995 Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy
Library International Family Tree Newsletter Contest,
“Seeking the best there is...”that the History Club
Newsletter The Illinois St. Andrews Society in the
category of Societies Publications has, after their
publication being examined and critiqued and held to the
highest standards the publication has been judged Third
Place Winner on this 1st day of June 1995 in Moultrie,
With entries in this competition coming from all over
the United States of America and from four foreign
countries, this contest has now become truly an
international newsletter event. With the highest
standards of excellence being the goal, this entry has
been judged worthy of recognition and praise.
The Odom Library and The Family Tree are proud to be
affiliated with your organization, your editors and your
Congratulations on a job well-done!
Bert Harsh, Chairman
Odom Library Board of Trustees
Melody Stinson Jenkins, Director Ellen Payne Odom
From the Editor...
Last summer, a stranger approached me in Chicago and
asked if I would be interested in a Bible that once
belonged to a Scottish family. The question was directed
to me because I was wearing a kilt. The book had been
purchased at a flea market only because it once was very
important to a family and the stranger hated to see it
I indicated I was very interested in having the Bible,
but promptly forgot the entire episode. In a few days, a
package arrived from Springfield, Illinois, and inside was the
book. It was not exactly a Bible, but rather a book of
daily readings and scriptural writings. The front few
pages contained the following family history written by
hand and now difficult to read.
Consider that this family in the 1850s traveled by
sailing ship from Scotland to Australia and back to
Scotland again. Then one son, William, is born in
Scotland in 1865 and dies in Washington County, Illinois one
year later! What a family story must be hidden here. Do
any of our readers live in Washington County?
“John Robertson and Christian Douglas were married at
Dollar, Clarkmennarshire (sic) Scotland on the 24th day
of April, 1857. Births of our children: John was born in
Melbourne, Australia, on 24th of February, 1858.
Christian Hall was born Penttand Hills, Australia, on
16th of April, 1860. May... on the 15th of February,
1862. William was born at Ellemford, Scotland, on the
10th of March, 1865 and died in Washington Co., Illinois, 21st
of July, 1866.”