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Post Smedley Butler's Great-Nephew
Created by John Eipper on 03/04/17 4:23 AM

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Smedley Butler's Great-Nephew (David Duggan, USA, 03/04/17 4:23 am)

General Butler's great-nephew, the Rev. Wes Smedley, is the rector of St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church in Chicago's "Gold Coast" neighborhood.

JE comments: The Marines and the Church sound like strange bedfellows for one family, but traditionally this was not the case.  In the days of primogeniture, second and third sons of respectable families had only two career choices:  the sword or the cross.

How did the Rev. Smedley end up with his great uncle's first name as his last?  Doesn't it usually work the other way around?

Have any of you read Butler's 1935 book, War is a Racket?  The complete text is available on-line.


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  • Rev. Wes Smedley and Gen. Smedley Butler (David Duggan, USA 03/06/17 4:38 AM)

    In my brief conversation with the Reverend Wes Smedley (see my post of March 4th), who like his relative was from the Philadelphia area, he acknowledged the relationship but did not know much about his great uncle. To answer John E's question about the "Smedley" name, I suspect it was his uncle who was given a family name as his first name.

    JE comments:  The "D" of Smedley D Butler stands for Darlington.  The General was named after his grandfather, Smedley Darlington (1827-1899), a member of the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.  Mystery solved, sort of:  we still don't know how the "Christian" name of the Congressman became the Reverend's surname.

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