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Leigh Hadley Irvine
LEIGH HADLEY IRVINE, 1st child of James Clarke Irvine and Ann Keturah Johnson, was born in Oregon, Mo., 28th Nov., 1860. Uncle Leigh as we shall call him, was educated in the public schools of Oregon, and studied Law at Columbia Law School, University of Missouri.
Married early in life in 1885, first to Katherine McClintock, daughter of Major Adam Kale McClintock - an early northwestern territory fur trapper and trader for the Hudson Bay Company - and Katherine D. Laidlaw whose father was Capt. William Laidlaw, likewise an early northwestern fur trader for the Hudson Bay and later the American Fur Company - and whose mother was Taw-a-dut-tah, the daughter of a Sioux Chieftain. One child resulted from this union - Thomas McNab Irvine.
Uncle Leigh was a much drawn to the imaginative possibilities in writing - reporting, editorial, or books - as he was repelled by his restless nature from the confinements of his legal practice. Among numerous news publishers with whom he was associated he is listed in "Whos Who in America" as having been city editor of the Kansas City News, staff members of the Philadelphia Times, served several New York papers, was assistant manager of the San Francisco Examiner, editor of the Maritime World, Sunday editor of the Sacramento Union, and editorial writer for the San Francisco Call. Also he was a well recognized author, publishing some 20 books, and a host of historical and informative and propagandizing pamphlets on western coastal towns and the islands of the South Seas. Among his formally published books are:-
The Struggle for Bread.
Uncle Leigh was possessed of a fine 200 pound physique, and a consuming desire to be on the move. Until his later years he could never be content within the confines of any city, state, or country. A friend-making manly type, he was known in newspaper circles from coast to coast. Among his intimates were Col. Robt. G. Ingersoll, Henry Ward Beecher, and Eugene Field. Reportorial highlights were the murder of Jesse James and the over-throw of Queen Liliuokalani. According to our Great Aunt Matt, no mean judge of human ability, Uncle Leigh presented " a most magnificent figure of a man, and was without doubt the most convincing speaker I have ever thrilled to".
That such a character could fare as sell in family matters seemed beyond the reach of Uncle Leigh. The urge to be up and doing was too strong within the heed the necessities of his dependents. The first marriage was short-lived, the 1/4 Sioux wife and son Mac were unceremoniously left to their own devices - the Oregon home of his father offering a temporary harbor to Katie. A second marital venture fared no better, for - 'tis said, this choice was of such a nature that he was moved to again take "French leave" - - - but Tahiti is French Soil, and Leigh received a stiffly formal reminder from the State Dep't. Late in life a 3rd venture was most unfortunate, for it was to a woman on the verge of needing institutional care. Perhaps to make amends for his earlier dereliction's in family obligations to the end he did not shrink this responsibility.
The last years were spent in San Francisco - in a rooming house of the Westchester Hotel, across the street from the Examiner where formerly he was assistant managing editor. Death came 17th June, 1942, while in the midst of compiling another book. Masonic burial ritual in Los Angeles, Calif.
First wife of Leigh Hadley Irvine, was born near Henry, Mo., 1st Nov., 1860.
Recollections of Aunt Katie are rather dim but as I recall it must have been in 1903-4, during one of my fathers occasional visits to the old home town of Oregon that she endeared herself to me. This feeling was renewed when I saw her in 1907 at the time of Grandfather James Irvines (James Clarke that is) funeral services. It was some 10-12 years later I learned with a shock that she had been divorced from Uncle Leigh for a number of years. The little that was said within my hearing, aren't the "hand to mouth" ways of all Indians, left no doubt in my mind that but a minor part of the blame for a divorce fell on Aunt Katie.
She was of medium height and frame, straight as a ramrod and super-agile, coal black hair and a "tanned" complexion I very well remember I loved to touch. She was almost too silent and self-contained, but had a way with us kids such that we literally were eating out of her hand.
It was sometime after 1907 that Katie removed to Kansas City and was employed for many years by the telephone company. She later married a Mr. Tinkelpaugh and spent her last years in a private home for the aged in Kansas City. For a short time she was cared for in Los Angeles by her only son Thomas McNab Irvine, but death occurred in Kansas City, 19th April, 1947.
Aunt Katies parentage makes an intriguing story - the sort of tale that makes it doubly plain that much of interest and instructive worth is missed by a record of mere "names and dates".
Katies father was Major Adam Kale McClintock , born in Staunton, VA., 18th Nov., 1821. By 1840 we pick up his trail in Missouri City, Clay Co., Mo., one of the early day westward emigrants from the then old Virginia. In 1846, as a volunteer during the Mexican War in the 1st Missouri Mounted Volunteer Regiment of Col. Alexander W. Doniphan, Capt. Oliver P. Moss Company, he partook of the famous march from Fort Leavenworth to Santé Fe, Chihuahua, Saltillo, Matamoros, and was in the Battles of Bracitos and Sacramento.
In 1874, the McClintocks moved to Lexington Junction, Ray Co. Mo. In 1896 the Major came to Kansas City to enjoy the nearness of his daughters - Mrs. Annie Cole, Mrs. Louella Darnell, and Mrs. Katherine Irvine - who was later to become Mrs. Tinkelpaugh.
The major was a unique character of early western life, and from its dangers and turmoil's he escaped, as he ha lived, a simple deist.Katherine Laidlaw Lurty Second wife
On 26th Aug., 1848 ** NOTE ** (this date was originally transcribed in Adrian's notes as 1848, However, this is not possible since Tom was not born until 1860. Due to the fact that Tom and Katherine were divorced around 1903-4, I will assume that this 2nd marriage date has to be 1898. End NOTE of WHK Irvine**) he was married to Mrs. Katherine nee Laidlaw Lurty, widow of a noted merchant of Liberty, Mo., as Katherine Laidlaw she was daughter to Capt. William Laidlaw (mentioned in Caitlin's book of Army Campaigns and early frontier life), an educated Scotchman in the service of the Hudson Bay Co. and later the American Fur Co., in all spending 30 years in the northwest Indian Country. The Captains wife was Taw-a-dut-tah, daughter of a Sioux Chieftain. In 1836 the Laidlaws settled 9 miles northwest of Liberty, Mo., establishing a plantation and building thereon a veritable mansion. For many years this residence was the center of royal hospitality, enlivened by music and the very finest vintages from far away France. The Captain died in 1851.
As the tale is told, in his early years at the headwaters of the Des Moines River, the Captain had incurred the enmity of some of the Indian trappers. While in his cabin one day the door was suddenly flung open and an Indian girl threw herself over him as she cried out that some men were coming to kill him. Before her meaning and his own peril could be grasped a noise drew his glance to the window where stood an Indian with drawn bow. The girl, Taw-a-dut-tah, threw herself into the path of the speeding arrow, receiving its point in the upper arm. The would-be assassin ran away. The Captain then cut the jagged flint-point from the flesh of the stoical maiden, bound up the wound and returned with her to her fathers teepee. In due time the two were married with full tribal ceremony.
In the years after the death of Capt. Laidlaw, Taw-a-Dut-Tah was a lonely a solitary figure. She had willingly followed her husband wherever he had wished to go, but had been unable to partake of the social life he was fit to create for himself and his daughters. She longed for her people, but after a separation of but a short sixteen years she had completely forgotten the language. This occasioned one of her saddest experiences. A Sioux Chief, returning from a POW wow with the Great White Father in Washington, stopped by to see her. She could not talk to him - nor he to her. She could only cry - and he was said to very near do likewise.
Taw-a-dut-tah bore but one regret - that only two of her daughters possessed the "pretty blue eyes" of their Scotch father.