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Bill Thayer

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The following text is reproduced from (the report of the) Fifty-First Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 14th, 1920.

[image ALT: A head‑and-shoulders photograph, left profile, of a man in early middle age with a pleasant but somewhat serious and intense expression. He has a moustache and sideburns, but no beard, and is wearing a forage cap. He is John F. C. Hegewald, the subject of this webpage.]

John F. C. Hegewald

 p101  John F. C. Hegewald
No. 2714.º Class of 1877.
Died, at Louisville, Ky., Dec. 11, 1919, aged 63 years.

Hegewald was born in New Albany, Indiana, April 3, 1856, and died in Louisville, Kentucky, December 11, 1919.

Of German parentage, he was sent to a private German school until thirteen years of age when he entered the New Albany high school, from which he graduated just after receiving his appointment to West Point, in June, 1873.

During his entire course at the Academy he kept up his German which later materially assisted him in a prosperous business career.

Graduating June 14, 1877, he was commissioned an additional Second Lieutenant in the 11th Infantry, and a Second Lieutenant of the 15th Infantry, on August 25, 1877. He joined the 15th at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, and was on frontier duty there and in its vicinity until October 8, 1879, when he went out on the Ute Expedition to January 3, 1880, and then to Fort Lewis, Colorado, scouting, map making, etc., until he resigned May 22, 1880, to enter business with his father at New Albany, Ind., where he was especially useful in making drawings of machinery, steamboats, etc.

In 1884 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and became the Secretary and Treasurer of the Conrad Tanning Co. In 1906 he organized the Falls City Tanning Co. (of which he was President) retaining also the vice-presidency of the Charles Hegewald Foundry and Machine Co. of New Albany, Indiana. This Company is well-known in the central west for the thorough efficiency of its work and its square deals. During the World War he came to Washington and offered the use of his shops at New Albany to General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Goethals for the construction of such boats as they could build and which might be wanted by the Government. He was a patriotic American and his sympathies were entirely with the United States during the World War.

Hegewald was of a lovable disposition, full of life and fun. He was most generous and hospitable and nothing pleased him more than to entertain graduates in his own home. His visits to West Point were almost of yearly occurrence. Everything he did was on a big scale. For instance, at the union of the class in 1912 (35th anniversary), he brought with him twelve large scarf pins (gold swords) suitably engraved, which he presented to twelve classmates as souvenir. When Hegewald was still in the service, General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sherman (inspecting Western posts) admired some petrified trees. Hegewald shipped him a large section of one, which now can be seen in the National Museum in Washington.

 p102  November 15, 1881, he married Miss Mena Conrad of Louisville, Ky., who, with his children, Nellie (Mrs. Ferrell Burton) and Margaret E., survive him.

The photograph (which is a favorite one with his family) reflects the "Sunny Jim" disposition which was one of his marked characteristics.

A. S.

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Page updated: 10 Feb 16