His Oriole farm was the site of some of the finest horses, especially Hackney horses, in the world. His father was a friend of Chauncey Andrews, Youngstown’s first millionaire, and he came to Youngstown to run Andrews’ Carbon Limestone Company in 1884. In 1887 he married Andrews’ daughter Edith. He led a National Guard Unit, formally Company H, 5th Infantry but informally known as “Logan’s Rifles.” He died in the Spanish-American War, in San Jacinto, the Philippines, receiving the Medal of Honor. Logan Avenue and Logan Way in Liberty Township, where Oriole Farm was located, bear his name.
John A. Logan, Jr. was born Manning Alexander Logan on July 24, 1865 in Carbondale, Illinois. His father was Major General John A. Logan who is most known for introducing a bill into Congress, at the suggestion of his wife, designating May 30 as Memorial Day, remembering America’s war dead, especially from the Civil War. John A. Logan was a candidate for Vice President in 1884, on the losing Republican ticket with James G. Blaine.
John A. Logan, Jr, already living in Youngstown, followed his father’s military footsteps, attending West Point in the class of 1887. In 1887, he married Edith Andrews at the Andrews estate, the location of the present Ursuline High School, in a gala wedding. The Logans acquired the Oriole farm and three others, Oakhill, Vienna, and Austintown. But Oriole farm was the center of their life and the breeding of Hackney horses, which won top honors at some of the major horse shows in the country. They built a 10,000 square foot mansion on this site.
Besides his work with the Carbon Limestone Company and his horse breeding, Logan formed a militia group that became known as Logan’s Rifles. For a time, its armory was at Phelps and Front Streets, at different times being used by a couple churches and as a dance hall. Later, Vahey Oil Company purchased the building for $80,000.
When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, fighting occurred on two fronts, Cuba and the Philippines. Logan’s Rifles, a group of 82 men, served as part of the Ohio National Guard, departing from the Erie Station to be sworn in, in Cleveland. Further training occurred at Camp Bushnell, in Columbus, from which they departed May 21, 1898 for Tampa, and then on to Camp Fernandina, in Cuba. It is unclear what action they saw, and it appears their only casualties occurred due to typhoid fever, attributed to the unsanitary conditions that characterized this war. They returned to the U.S. on September 8 and mustered out in Cleveland, November 5.
That was not to be the end of Major Logan’s service. He went on as a battalion commander in the 33d United States Volunteer Infantry, during the revolution in the Philippines in 1899. His battalion faced a much larger force in the Battle of San Jacinto on November 11, 1899 and he was fatally wounded. Howard C. Aley writes, “The military funeral marking the occasion of Major Logan’s death was a local event long to be remembered. In the line of march was the Major’s mount, Bonfire, in whose saddle were the Major’s empty boots reversed.”
Since it had taken several months to return his body to the States, he was buried on February 7, 1900 in Oakhill Cemetery. The Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded May 3, 1902, its citation reading: “For most distinguished gallantry in leading his battalion upon the entrenchments of the enemy, on which occasion he fell mortally wounded.”
Major Logan did not live to see 35. The language of “the crowded hour” is often associated with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, who fought in the same war. While Logan was not part of this group, his life, in a sense, was a crowded hour: West Point, leadership of a nascent Youngstown industry, marrying a wealthy tycoon’s daughter, establishing a premiere horse breeding farm, fathering three children with Edith, forming and leading a volunteer militia, fighting in two different parts of the world, and making the ultimate sacrifice.
The Logan name lives on, and the estate, later known as the Sampson estate, is beginning a new life as a winery, according to a recent Business Journal article. Edward J. Stieglitz said, “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.” There are few for whom this could be more true than Major John A. Logan, Jr.
To read other posts in the Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown series, just click “On Youngstown.” Enjoy!