University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The University of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

McCormick, Bart E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 28, Number 3 (Jan. 1927)

Alumni in the news,   pp. 98-99


Page 98


7anuary, r927
,98
Alumni in the News
W    HEN    the American    doughboy
     yells "Good-bye, old dear, see you
again soon," to the Statute of Liberty
as he sails out of New York harbor for
        .. ....          .'k h m r
can Legion
convention
,in Paris next
fall, he will
be led "over
there" , by
Howard P.
Savage, ex
'4, national
commander
of the Le-
gion.
   Savage's
 election to
 the coveted
*position at
the. Phila-
delphia Convention in October, is one
of the most dramatic in the history'
of the Legion. In a hotly contested
race 'with   four candidates running
neck and neck, a deadlock at the end
of the 'twentieth ballot,, with no re-
lief in sight,   one candidate finally
withdrew and the others followed in
quick succession. The fourth candidate
Jay Williams.of Aberdeen, S. D., ran
forward and shouted, "I'm through
also; count me out. But I move that this
convention unanimously elect Howard
Savage as our national commander."
His motion was put to a vote and passed
unanimously. Thus did the new chief
enter upon his office with the entire
backing of the Legion-an auspicious
beginning for a year of intense activity
and a fine tribute to Mr. Savage's
popularity.
   The American Legion News supplies
 us with the information     that Mr.
 Savage Was born in Boone, Ia., but that
 his family moved to Chicago when he
 was fourteen years of age. "His father
 was an engineer on the Northwestern
 railroad. There were seven other chil-
 dren in the family."
   He may be described at this period as
   the typical American boy, full of fun
   and good spirits, good in his studies but
   not brilliant, with a keen interest in all
   forms of outdoor activity. He was
   captain of the football team, basketball
   team, baseball team, indoor baseball
   team and track team during his prep
   school days at Lewis Institute, Chi-
   cago. "He could put a baseball across
   the plate like a bullet." And this ability
   stood him in good stead when condi-
   tions- made it impossible for him to
   finish his four year course at the Uni-
   versity of Wisconsin and he found a job
as :pitcher for the Chicago Cubs one
year, and later for several semi-profes-
sional teams.
  Then as rodman in a surveying gang
of the Northwestern railroad- he en-
tered the field of engineering. Later he
became junior -engineer with the Chi-
cago Rapid Transit Co., the elevated
lines, and to-day, he is superintendent
of maintenance of'_ways for the same
company.         -
  Savage could have claimed exemption
when the United States entered the war
-he was married and beyond the mili-
tary age. Instead, he enlisted with the
55th Engineers, was commissioned a
lieutenant and saw one: year of active.
overseas service.
   Upon his return, he helped organize
 Chicago Elevated Post No. 184, com-
 posed of employees of the company,
 and raised its' membership from 49 to
412, serving twice as its commander.
   "'In 1922 Savage was elected president
 of the Cook county council of the Legion.
 He found that the Legion service office
 in Chicago was about to be closed be-
 cause of lack of funds although hun-
 dreds of veterans needed aid and took
 the lead in raising $9,000 which enabled
 the bureau to continue its work.
   "As vice commander of the Illinois
 Department in 1923-24, Savage raised
 the membership in ,Cook county 3,500,
 and organized a huge mass meeting in
 Chicago which turned the tide in favor of
 national adjusted compensation. Elected
 department commander, he placed the
 Illinois Legion on a firm financial and
 membership basis.    More than $i,-
 ooo,ooo in benefits for ex-service men
 and women of the state were obtained
 during 'his administration.
   "Bringing the Army-Navy football
 game to Chicago is another achieve-
 ment in which Commander Savage had
 a part. He took charge of the move-
 ment as general chairman when nearly
 everyone believed failure was certain.
 Refusing to be told that it couldn't
 be done, he worked tirelessly until the
 historic game was assured for the Middle
 West."
   "The rail-splitter of the Department
 of Illinois" is a becoming title to the
 man who has done so much for the
 Legion. A thick shock of gray hair,
 rugged features, little wrinkles around
 kind eyes that bespeak "a heap of
 livin," a big, strong frame, able to
 shoulder others' burdens as well as his
 own, that is Howard Savage at 42.
 The typical American boy has developed
 into the typical American man..
    One of the stories that touched us
 most revealing his human side was this:
 "While Illinois department commander
GERHARD M. DAHi-., '9'
with headquarters at Bloomington, he
frequently could be found at a soldiers
orphans' home near there with his arms
full' of youngsters." And another: "A
story is told of a visit to a blind veteran
in a hospital at Jacksonville, Illinois.
After listening to his deep, full-chested
voice, the sightless man sighed:7
   "Mr. Commander, I wish I could just
 see you.
   "Well, old man," the. commander
 comforted, "you aren't missing a whole
 lot."
   Gee, wouldn't you like to be. an
 officer, or, a doughboy, or something,
 just to-go to France on the same bpat
 next fall, with Commander Savaged?
 The Chicago Alumni Club is having
 him as their guest on January 7th. Bet
 there won't be standing room.
FROM small town lawyer in Waupaca
    about twenty-fivre years ago, to
 street railway commissioner of. the city
 of Cleveland, to vice-president of the
 Electric Bond&     Share Co., vice-
 president of the Chase National., Bank
 and a partner in-Hayden, Stone & Co.,
 New York City, to chairman of the
 Board of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Tran-
 sit Corporation, represents the business
 career of Gerhard I"Jerry" Melvin
 Dahl, LL.B., '96, M.A. Hon., ' 1, in
 about fivejumps with a few little "hops"
 and "skips" inbetween.


Go up to Top of Page