Scout Honor Societies

The following information was provided by J. St. Clair Mendenhall's daughter Helen during a phone interview on July 6, 1999. At age 84 she is the sole surviving family member as neither she or her sister had children and her sister died 5 years ago. In 1917 when they built the first building at Camp Miakonda in Toledo, her father wrote the two girls nicknames in the wet exterior plaster (Dutch and Irish). The building and names are still there. Helen is "Irish". The other sister was Elizabeth. He was not a college graduate but was apparently very creative and had a lot of enthusiasm for his work. They did not go directly from Toledo to New York. There were a number of stops in between. It appears that it wasn't a pleasant parting in Toledo although she did not know circumstances. They went back to Kansas City for a while. He took a sales job with the Alexander Hamilton Correspondence School. They lived in Nebraska for a while then lived in South Bend, Indiana where he worked for White Castle Hamburgers (before it was well known) doing publicity and real estate selection. They moved back to Toledo in about 1926. He somehow hooked up with the fledgling Junior Achievement organization which was a very local thing in Springfield, Massachusetts. They moved to Springfield where he became the National Director and was the one that created the National organization. They moved to NYC in about 1930-31 where it became headquartered nationally. The man who started it funded it in Massachusetts. When her father took it national he had to come up with funding. She said there were two years where he didn't get paid. The stress led to a nervous breakdown in 1942-43, when he left. They went to Lake Sacandaga in New York for him to recover. After that he was able to get a job teaching industrial arts and did that until he retired. Where he is buried was where his wife's family was at. He was born in Paris, Kentucky and grew up in Kansas City. His wife was born in Salt Lake City (maiden name of Grant). Her father was the postmaster there when it was a territory. They married in Kansas City. Elizabeth was born in Kansas City and Helen in Toledo. His first name was John. Too common a name so he went by St. Clair. Must have had some marketing blood in him. Nickname that he went by was "Mendy or Mendie".When he died Helen sent all his scout items to the Toledo Council; merit badge sash, patches, everything. Anyway that is the the story. She was very much aware of Gimogash and said former scouts were in contact with him most of his life. I guess he made a difference.

-Dave Eby

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