James Croggon Articles (1906 - 1915)

Croggon's Picture Presented
Founder is Honored by Sons of Jonadab
Original of Portrait Responds to Tributes of Associates-
Tells of Origin of Order.

The Evening Star, June 19, 1909

James Croggon, one of the five founders of the Order of the Sons of Jonadab, was honored last night by members of Pioneer Council, No. 1, in the ceremonies attending the presentation of his picture to the council.

The picture, a large photograph embellished in water colors by an artist member of the order, heavily framed in oak, was presented by a committee and received by the worthy chief. Several speeches were made in opening meeting, and at the completion of the exercises refreshments were served. Members of Mr. Croggon's family and friends from other councils were present.

Mr. Croggon and Judge Samuel C. Mills are the survivors of the five men who founded the order September 13, 1867. There is a bust of Judge Mills in the council room above the seat of the worthy chief.

Committee Procures Portrait
Several weeks ago a movement was started to pay a similar tribute to Mr. Croggon. The matter was placed in the hands of a committee, composed of A.H. Ragn, B.F. Larcombe and Frank J. McKenna. They obtained an excellent photograph of Mr. Croggon, had it enlarged and embellished by Leopold Oljeska, an artist member of the council.

Worthy Chief C.F. Sudwarth presided at the meeting last night, and after an informal opening, the committee made its report and presented the picture. As chairman of the committee, Mr. Ragan, making the presentation, said in part:

"We are sure that as time passes this picture will be treasured as our tribute to an associate of Judge Mills in founding this, the Pioneer Council No. 1, Sons of Jonadab, which has proved to be a power in the emancipation of the drinking man. In the reconstruction period in 167-70 there was much drinking in Washington and especially about the city hall or council house, which was at that time a stamping ground for drinking men.

"Numerous saloons in the vicinity were well patronized. It was about the courthouse that there was the most need for temperance and missionary work. Among the parties concerned in correcting this evil were Brother Mills and Brother Croggon.

Foundation of Order
"The idea of the formation of a new temperance organization found favor. These two men with three others laid the foundation of our order in 1867.

"In a few weeks the numbers increased and a hall was hired. The first meetings were held Saturday nights, the time men usually spend in drinking. Since then the order has flourished."

In accepting the picture for the council, Worthy Chief Sudwarth declared that Mr. Croggon and the other founders of the order builded better than they knew, and that the superstructure that arose on their foundation far surpassed their original conception. He said that their plan had succeeded so well that they must have been guided by a Higher Power.

He told of the growth of the order and of the gratitude its members felt toward Mr. Croggon and the other founders. To show the work accomplished by the order he compared the conditions existing today with those that obtained just following the civil war, when, he said, almost everybody in Washington drank more or less.

Mr. Croggon's Response
Mr. Croggon was then called upon. As he arose to speak he was heartily applauded. He expressed his appreciation of the honor that had been conferred upon him by his brother members of Pioneer Council and then gave some personal recollections of the days when the order was started.

He told of how the five men who founded it met September 13, 1867, took the pledge and then entered upon the work of inducing others to join them. I order to organize the work and make it effective, each man offered suggestions and these were collected and compared.

From them a ritual for the newly formed order was evolved. Commonplace emblems and peculiar songs were adopted and ceremonies prepared which were calculated to make a lasting impression upon those who took the pledge and were initiated in the order.

Mr. Croggon explained that one of the characteristic features of the Son of Jonadah, which distinguishes it from other temperance bodies, is that a violation of the pledge works permanent expulsion. This, he said, ahs done more than anything else to help the members of the order in keeping their obligations.

The Sons of Jonadab, like all other orders, he said, had its ups and downs, but it was now flourishing and prosperous and had many noted reformations to its credit.

A letter was read from Judge Mills, who expressed regret that he was unable to be present. A verbal message from him was brought by Judge Nichols, who spoke of the lasting benefits of the order and of the gratitude due its founders.