Loyal Legion Vignettes
Keith G. Harrison, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief,
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, and
Cary Randall Stone-Greenstein, Great Granddaughter of Henry Clay McIlvaine
Henry Clay McIlvaine was born February 20, 1838. He was the eldest son of John McIlvaine (1802 - 1865) and Elizabeth Rugan Matlack (1818 - ?). He was of Scottish decent from the Burns country; his ancestors having settled on Crum Creek, Ridley Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was educated at private schools (North West Grammar School in Philadelphia, Central High School, and the Philadelphia Polytechnic College). He served the full term of three years at the Pennsylvania Rail Road shops at Altoona; after which he entered the Baldwin Locomotive Works. During the same time, he was pursuing his studies at home in preparation for his admission to the Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy. He passed his examination and was admitted to the U.S. Navy as 3rd Assistant Engineer February 17, 1860 at the age of 22 years.
His first cruise was made on the sloop-of-war USS Powhatan in the Home Squadron, to which he was ordered in May 1860. He subsequently served on the USS San Jacinto, East Gulf Squadron, in 1862 - 1863; and on the USS Augusta, North Atlantic Squadron, and USS Ticonderoga, South Atlantic Squadron, during 1863 - 1865. From 1865 - 1868, he served as an Instructor in Steam Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy and also as Chief Engineer on the practice ship USS Winnipeg. His last service was on the USS Gettysburg as Chief Engineer 1868 - 1869. He resigned his commission on January 21, 1869.
Following his naval career, he entered the drug business in 1869 and was, at one time, President of the Drug Exchange of Philadelphia. He also was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, Undine Barge Club, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Army and Navy Club of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (Insignia #525).
On October 11, 1870, Henry C. McIlvaine married Fannie Nicholson Randall (March 19, 1848 - May 12, 1928). Before their first child, Alexander Randall McIlvaine, was born October 2, 1877, they had had seven miscarriages. When Alexander died on October 31, 1895, his mother went into mourning and wore black for the rest of her life. Henry and Fannie McIlvaine subsequently went on to have five other children:
(1) Elizabeth Randall McIlvaine (February 21, 1879 - November 13, 1959) [Elizabeth Randall McIlvaine (1879 - 1959) married Evertson Crosby Kindleberger (October 31, 1875 - August 6, 1950) on June 2, 1906. Evertson Kindleberger was the son of Rear Admiral David Kindleberger (September 2, 1834 - March 25, 1921). Rear Admiral Kindleberger served in the Civil War as a medical doctor. At one point in his career, Rear Admiral Kindleberger also served on the USS San Jacinto, although not at the same time as Henry McIlvaine];
(2) Frances Randall McIlvaine (September 1882 - 1965) [She married Roger Williams (1879 - 1959) on November 7, 1906];
(3) Katherine Wirt McIlvaine (1885 - 1963) [She married Thomas Wright Rudderow (1885-1942) sometime after 1910];
(4) Ellen Cheston McIlvaine (June 23, 1887 - 1969) [She married John Marbury Nelson (1884 - ? ) sometime after 1910]; and
(5) Henry Clay McIlvaine Jr. (September 3, 1889 - September 20, 1966) [He married Alice Celine Meunier (? -1953) on June 23, 1933. Henry Clay McIlvaine Jr. was a Navy officer, (Naval Academy Class of 1912). He retired in 1949 as a Captain in the US Naval Reserve].
Companion Henry Clay McIlvaine, throughout the U.S. Naval service and particularly within his own corps, was known as an ideal officer. His professional attainment, his readiness, and his scrupulous care in the accomplishment of what was required of him, made him beloved by all who knew him or who had the privilege of being his shipmate. He was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Companion McIlvaine died October 12, 1900 at the age of 62 at his residence in Philadelphia and was interred at West Laurel Hill.
Descendants of Henry Clay McIlvaine are eligible for hereditary membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS - founded by Civil War officers on April 15, 1865) and the Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (founded in 1899 as the auxiliary to the MOLLUS). For more information on either or both organizations, please visit each organization's national website:
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States
1) 1900. Memorial Tribute to Henry Clay McIlvaine, Chief Engineer, Pennsylvania Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
2) 2006. Photographs of USS Powhatan, Augusta, Ticonderoga and Gettysburg. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).
3) 2006. Personal communication from Cary Randall Stone-Greenstein to Keith G. Harrison.
Copyright © 2006 Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
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