Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Harold Washington Mayor of Chicago Part 2

Continued from yesterday’s story about Harold Washington, the Mayor of Chicago and researched by Larry C.
Rev. Mack and Arbella Washington’s son Roy, graduated in the senior class of 1917 at Lawrenceville Township High School. In the 1917 Lawrenceville yearbook there is a senior photo and Glee Club photo of Roy Washington. 
Roy Washington 1917
LHS Glee Club 1917
On July 29th, 1916, at the age of 19, Roy Washington married Bertha Jones, age 18 in Carrier Mills, Illinois. After his marriage, Roy completed his high school education from Lawrenceville high school in 1917.  At the same time Roy was finishing high school, Bertha was starting their family. Their first son, Roy Jr. was born in 1916 and daughter, Geneva, was born in 1918.

With high school behind him, Roy took Bertha and their two children to Cook County where he enrolled in Chicago's Kent College of Law. Their third child, Edward, was born in Chicago in 1920, and the fourth child, Harold, arrived on April 15th, 1923,the same year that Roy graduated from law school. Roy passed the Illinois State Bar examination on April 12,1923.

Roy and Bertha were divorced in 1928, with Roy receiving the custody of the children. Roy Jr. and Geneva were sent to southern Illinois to live with their grandparents, while Edward and Harold remained with their father. Roy and the children moved near the south side of Chicago, where Roy became active in the Democratic Party, serving as a precinct captain.

Five years after his divorce, Roy married Arlene Jackson on June 30th, L933. Roy continued the study of law and in1937 he was awarded his second law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Roy accomplished another lifetime goal on September 20th,1942 when he was appointed Evangelist of the A.M.E. Church by Bishop J.A. Gregg. ln 1942 Roy also became a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. At the height of his career as an attorney, Roy was stricken with cancer of the pancreas. He died on November 7th, 1953 at the age of 56 and was buried in Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago.

Harold Lee was the youngest son of Roy and Bertha Washington and he grew up on the  south side of Chicago. Harold attended DuSable High School where he was active in Track, Baseball, and Boxing. In 1939 Harold joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) and spent time at Camp Bitely, Michigan and Camp Stockton, Illinois.  In 1942 Harold passed a Civil Service Exam and became a clerk in the Chicago office of the U.S. Treas. Dept.

On July 22nd, 1942, Harold married Nancy Dorothy Fitch in Chicago. At the time of their marriage, Harold was 20 and Nancy was 17. On February 8th, 1943 Harold was called to active duty in the U.S. Army. Rising through the ranks from private to first sergeant, he received three Overseas service Bars, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and WWll Victory Medal. He left the military with an impressive record and was discharged on January 20th, 1946. After the military, Harold enrolled at Roosevelt University under the GI Bill. He majored in political Science, served as president of his senior class and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1949.


Harold Washington 
In 1950, Harold and Nancy's marriage ended in divorce. They had no children. Later Harold entered Northwestern University and earned a Law Degree. He formally entered politics in 1954 and rose thru the political ranks serving the public like his father. He was an Illinois State Representative from 1964 -1976. He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1976 to 1980. In Novernber, 1980 Harold was elected to the U.S. Congress. On April 12th, 1983, he was elected Mayor of Chicago. He was re-elected on April 7th, 1987. 

During the four years and seven months that he served, he left the city of Chicago a remarkable record of leadership and accomplishment. He accomplished many goals that his father, Roy, a Lawrenceville High School graduate and his grandfather, Mack, a pastor of Pinkstaff,  had dreamed about. Mayor Harold Washington collapsed at his desk with a heart attack on November 25th, 1987 at age 65. He was buried at Oak Wood Cemetery in Chicago.