LOCAL HISTORY FEATURE
By Peter Becker
HAWLEY-Visitors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA can find the resting place of a Hawley son, Patrick Henry McAndrew, who served as an Army surgeon in the Spanish American War.
A career military man, his life spanned the American Civil War to the end of World War II. His brother, also from Hawley, was Major General James W. McAndrew, who served as Chief of Staff to General Pershing in World War I.
Homestead still stands
Patrick came into this life on August 4, 1864, the son of John R. and Eliza (Kane) McAndrew. The homestead on Highland Street (then known as Third Street) still stands, with a front yard marker noting his celebrated brother, the general.
He also had a brother Richard, who was ordained as a priest in 1877 and became Monsignor in the Catholic church in Wilkes Barre.
Patrick also had five sisters, Jane, who was wed to Scranton merchant M. J. Healey; Mary, a school teacher; Harriet, an Ursaline nun of Youngstown, Ohio; Eliza, wife of Thomas F. Howley, superintendent of locomotive construction and living in Dunmore and Kathryn, wife of John Creighton, agent of the Erie Railroad at Caldwell, NJ.
His father John was born in Ireland in 1828 and immigrated to America in 1851. The next year he left New York and settled in Hawley, where he was an office worker for the Pa. Coal Company. When the company began to retail coal in the community, he was put in charge of retail sales. John served on the Hawley School Board for 12 years and on Borough Council for three years.
The 1912 Hawley street directory lists John McAndrew of Highland Street as a glass worker.
A seperate account of his mother Eliza's life was not found, but it is evident she had the noble call as keeper of the home, mother to seven children.
We lack much information about his upbringing. As a Hawley lad of the late 1860's and 1870's, Patrick would have known a very busy community of workers and celebration of life. The D&H Canal was in full swing, with thousands of tons of coal and other cargo passing through Hawley yearly. Levi Barker was making canal boats next to the D&H Canal Basin in what is today Bingham Park. Pa. Coal Company coal cars rolled down the gravity rail system to Hawley regularly, to load onto waiting Erie steam trains.
Doctors in town
How he was inspired to become a physician, we can only speculate. There was no hospital in Wayne or Pike County. The 1872 Hawley map and business directory lists two doctors. One was George B. Curtis, a physician and surgeon. His office was on First Street- what we know as Hudson Street, a few doors west of the "S" curve. Next door was a drug store; the street predates Main Avenue as Hawley's commercial district.
Another doctor, A. C. Dingman, was a physician, surgeon and druggist, with an office on 18th Street (Main Avenue). This was near the middle of the 200 block, east side, about where Joe & Lorenzo's restaurant is now found.
Young Patrick, walking down Seventh Street (Spruce Street), would have seen at the foot of the hill, Curtis & Evans general merchandise on the left and the large Ewen House hotel on the left. The latter burned down in 1876.
Perhaps he witnessed the craft at the feet of Dr. Curtis or Dr. Dingman and sensed his own calling.
We know that he graduated from Manhattan College in New York and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, class of 1893.
In 1898 he was young and struggling physician in the City of Scranton, when the Spanish American War broke out. He was willing when the call came to serve his country.
We can only suppose that his brother James, two years his senior, may have served as an inspiration in Patrick's decison to follow a military career. James, who would one day serve as an Army general, had graduated from West Point in 1888, ten years before. In 1898, James was serving in the Santiago campaign in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
Like any soldier knows, his decision to enter the Army would send him far from familiar surroundings of home.
Patrick obtained a contract from the Surgeon General of the Army, who asked him if he would like to go to "the front." Desirous to aid and save the lives of the Spanish and Americans, he took a train to Tampa.
His first assignment was to the 4th Army Corps in Florida. He was transferred to duty in Puerto Rico under the command of General Theodore Schwan.
The 1927 Hawley history, written by Michael J. McAndrew, records that Lt. Patrick McAndrew and the other newcomers slept peacefully the first night under a tropical moon, only to be surprised by a cloudburst in the morning. Heading west, the expedition encountered a body of Spanish soldiers at Hermigueros. A battle ensued, but with few American casualties. Soon afterwards, the war was ended.
Still stationed in Puerto Rico, Lt. McAndrew, as Acting Assistant Surgeon, witnessed an outbreak of typhoid fever at Las Marias. The troops were mired down in the much and heavy rain, and sickness prevailed.
Upon returning to the States, after a leave he departed from Scranton to Fort Slocum, and then in March 1900 sailed to the Philippine Islands. He and other recruits sailed on the US Transport "Sumner." He was on duity in Manila with the Eight Army Corps. Afterwards he was on duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Another record states he left in 1905 to the Philippine Islands although it is not clear if this was a second journey abroad.
About this time, he was married to Amelia Genevieve McDonald, of Syracuse, NY. She was born on Aug. 14, 1877. They raised four children, Jane (Mrs. Greeley of Honolulu), Thomas Richard, Mary and Catherine. Presumably, the family had a wide varierty of scenery as the father marched along in his military career.
In 1906, he was promoted to Captain and Assistant Surgeon.
He was also stationed at Fort Slocum, NY; Fort Mackenzie, Wyoming (March 1909) and Fort Terry, NY.
He was promoted to Major in 1910 and held this rank until 1917, when he was made Lieutenant Colonel.
Following service at Fort Terry he as stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and was there when Villa made his memorable raid into Columbus, New Mexico. Afterward, Lt. Col. McAndrew served briefly at Fort William H. Seward, Alaska and then Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco, California. He then proceeded to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1923.
In June of 1927 he was promoted to full Colonel and assigned to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The author of the Hawley history book published that year speculated that Col. McAndrew would likely be retiring soon. Information about his later years is lacking.
As of 1946, daughter Jane was wed to L. J. Greeley and lived Spokane. His son Thomas was a Major, and was stationed in Manila. Miss Mary E. McAndrew lived in Washington DC. Lieutenant Catherine K. McAndrew, was on terminal leave having served in France as an Army dietitian.
Their mother died on Dec. 28, 1945.
Colonel McAndrew died February 28, 1946 at his apartment in the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia. He was 78. His grave at Arlington is found at Section South Site 4128-A. His wife was laid to rest at the same plot.
The McAndrews were among numerous Irish families that settled in Hawley and made their mark.