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 William Henry MacLachlan

William Henry MacLachlan

Death 16 Dec 1951
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section 212, Lot 10
Memorial ID 18892568 · View Source
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William didn't get to know his father very well. He was the last child and only son born to William and Angeline (nee Leister) McLachlan. William's father died in 1874, just after William had turned five years old. The father -- a Civil War veteran -- had been confined to bed from consumption for two years before dying at age 39. This lack of a father may have left William cold and distant with his own family in later years.

William's parents were living at 2016 Brown Street when he was born. At the time of his father's death, the family was living at 2022 Bodine Street.

William's mother remarried in August 1875 to William Moyer, a bricklayer. In 1872 Moyer had lost his first wife Anna (Angeline's half-cousin) to consumption and their four year old son Willy to scarlet fever. This left Moyer to raise two daughters alone unless he remarried.

The new couple went on to have two daughters of their own providing William with two half-sisters. William grew up with a total of eight females (including his mother) in the house and a stepfather. The 1880 census shows the family were living at 1928 Warnock Street. The 1882 and 1883 directories show the family at 1208 North 8th Street with Angeline's widowed mother Mary Cox Leister.

In 1885, the family moved to 2536 Columbia Ave. A ballpark was located at 24th & Columbia. The Phillies had just arrived from Worcester, Massachusetts and made their home here until 1887. Baseball played an important part in William's life.

During the 1890s, William was a milk deliveryman. Milk was delivered by horse-drawn wagons in those days. Those that made the wagon deliveries were called "driver" or "teams" or "teamster." They were the origins of the Teamsters labor union.

On September 14, 1892, he married Martha McArthur, the daughter of a contractor and driver, at the Hebron Memorial Church by Rev. Robert Graham and the couple went to live with her parents at 2720 Oxford St. Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team lived at 2932 Oxford St. William was friends with Connie Mack. From 1900 to 1909, Connie Mack's Athletic League (Philadelphia Athletics baseball team) was at the Columbia athletic field, 29th and Oxford Streets.

1895 directory: "Wm MacLachlan, milk, 2720 Oxford St."

Martha and William's first child Bessie was born December 1, 1897. She died of enteritis (bacteria in milk) on January 18, 1898.

By this time, the couple had moved with her parents to 1941 Ridge Ave. It was a full house. Also living here at the time was his infant sister Frances who was born June 1899; Martha's brother Bill, a teamster; her unmarried and sickly sister Abigail; her sister Helen, a hat trimmer; her widowed brother Joe, a teamster; and Joe's toddler daughter Grace. Abigail died November 23, 1902 of a heart defect and was buried on Thanksgiving Day.

By the time his son William was born in June 1904, they moved out of her parent's house and lived at 2404 W. Thompson St. with a lodger named George A. Terry. Terry never married and boarded with the family for about 13 years. His brother had a drugstore at 24th & Thompson. George was a foreman at Freihofers then became a Kolbs manager. The Kolb Baker Company had three bakeries; Tenth & Reed, Broad & Butler, and 56th & Market. Kolb started Bond Bread. Terry had sisters, including a Dorothy Terry, that were close friends with William's sisters.

William was very tall and handsome. He was about 6'4". Connie Mack hired him for local sandlot games and may have done some Athletics work, too. The Philadelphia Inquirer articles show that he umpired the following baseball games:

*June 18, 1904: Haddington defeated Germantown at Haddington ball park, 60th and Vine Sts. Score: 9 - 3.

*July 17, 1904: Highland Suburban League of West Philadelphia beat Haddington at Highland Suburban League club, 17 - 3.

*August 10, 1906: Philadelphia Giants beat Haddington at Haddington ball park, 5 - 2.

*September 15, 1906: North Wales beat Ambler, 15 - 2. "Big Bill McLaughlin, the International League umpire, who was sent here by The Inquirer to umpire the game, did not have one kick registered against any of his decisions. It was one of the best umpired games ever played in Landsdale." The article also identified the umpire as "William McLachlan."

*July 3, 1909: Pitman beat Irvins, Dietz & Magee team of Philadelphia, 5 - 0. Pitman, NJ.

William "retired" from umpiring around 1910 because he didn't like to travel all the time. This was also when Columbia Park, 29th and Oxford closed and Connie Mack moved to 2119 West Ontario Street to be close to his new Shibe Park stadium, 21st and Lehigh Streets.

William and Martha were still living at 2404 West Thompson St. for the 1910 census. He was working as a foreman for William Freihofer's Bakery, 20th and Indiana Streets. This was three blocks north of Shibe Park and four blocks south of Connie Mack's residence.

By 1912, they were living at 2411 N. College Avenue and he continued to be a foreman for Freihofer's. During 1921 and 1922 they lived at 2403 N. College Ave. William and his wife never owned a home. They always rented.

William's son remembers visiting his father sometimes in a hotel room downtown where he and other men played cards all day. He also used to often hang out at the American Store (early name for ACME Markets) at 29th and Columbia. He used to talk to people there.

About 1924, he was living at 1229 N. 29th St. and was helping his son get started making deliveries of milk and bread. From 1925 to 1927 he and his wife lived at 1431 N. 29th St. Beginning in 1927, he and wife lived at 1642 N. 29th St. In 1947 they moved to 5330 Bayton St. to live with their daughter Frances.

Helen (Ridge) Garretson remembered that "Uncle Will" was obnoxious but she really only met him once on December 8, 1934 when he got off work at Abbotts Dairy to accompany the family to the funeral when her grandfather Wesley Ridge died. He was making jokes and talking alot, seemingly to take the family's mind off their grief. However, Helen, who was 20 at the time, chose to not see him again.

William worked as manager of Kolbs bakery and steady for Freihofers Bakery. Even into his seventies, he was restaurant delivery manager for Freihofers, managing the bakery's deliveries to all the restaurants. All the downtown restaurants got special deliveries of fresh hot bread at 10 AM and 2 PM. Freihofer also had bakeries in New York and on Mediterranean Avenue in Atlantic City.

William McLachlan often umpired games in Atlantic City and may have umpired games for the Bacharach Giants - a black baseball team of the 1920s. Shown is an early 1920s photo of William wearing a Connie Mack uniform standing in front of the Million Dollar Pier.

In the late forties, William would often travel by bus to New Jersey to visit his son William at his bowling alley. William loved his son William who remembered that his father, "never was really sick a day in his life". He remembered that his father's legs were enlarged from diabetes and he walked slowly. He wore specially-made shoes made for his big feet. He also had big hands and big bones. His grandson Bill remarked that he always wore a white shirt and tie whenever he did visit him at his residence.

Wiliam had a very droll sense of humor. Very little got past him. William used to pronounce Russians "Roosh-ins".

Grandchildren visiting him got the feeling they were imposing on him. He mostly favored his daughter Virginia who lived with him and called him "Pop Pop." The other grandchildren did not live with him and he didn't have much to do with them. Virginia was the only grandchild that seemed to have gotten presents from William and Martha. Train sets were set up around the tree for her.

My mother, his grand-daughter, remembered him as being "cold", or distant. He never called my mother by her name. He would simply call her "daughter." William and Martha mostly kept their residence dark, or dim-lit with very little electric lights used.

MacLACHLAN, - Dec. 16, 1951, of 5330 Baynton S., WILLIAM H., beloved husband of Martha MacLachlan. Relatives and friends are invited to services, THURS. 2 P.M., from Mulford Showers Funeral Home, 1407 E. Washington La. (at Stenton Av.) . Internment Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Friends invited Wed. evening.

  • Created by: Researcher
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  • Find A Grave Memorial 18892568
  • Researcher
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry MacLachlan (17 Dec 1869–16 Dec 1951), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18892568, citing Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Researcher (contributor 46902961) .