Hinman Ashley Bigelow

b. 29 April 1900, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
d. 3 April 1961, Richmond County, Georgia

Hinman Ashley "Ted" Bigelow was born at home to George Ashley and Anna E. (Colston) Bigelow on 29 April 1900, in Philadelphia PA, twenty four years after their first child (Jane Ashley, b. 7 June 1876). Hinman's father, an insurance broker, suffered kidney trouble for many years and died on 26 August 1910 of chronic interstitial nephritis, when Hinman was only ten years old. His mother had become very deaf after Hinman's birth, so his sister, Jane, helped to care for Hinman. Jane never married and later blamed it on her mother and young brother. Hinman had two brothers that died before he was born: William, born on 4 July 1878, drowned when he was 12 years old (18 October 1890); and George Jr, born 19 April 1892, died of Diphtheria when he was just two-and-a-half (26 October 1894).

Hinman was a very difficult child. According to Jane, "he was much indulged and never taught to control his temper or have any regularity of life, in the matters of daily routine for a small child, ate what he pleased, when he pleased and was put to bed where he fell asleep".

As a teenager, Hinman attended Mercersburg Academy (1917-1920), a boarding school for boys in Mercersburg, PA. He was on the school's track team, excelling in pole vaulting and running high jump, and was a member of the gun and literary clubs. Despite all this, he was constantly in trouble. He collected many hours of guard for things like swearing, visiting, and even making threats. His grades weren't bad, he had the ability to be a good student, but his inability to behave caused him to frequently have to retake classes. In one of the many letters sent home to Hinman's mother, Mercersburg Academy headmaster, William Mann Irvine, wrote, "[Hinman] has been with us for a number of years and I feel humiliated that a boy who knows Mercersburg as he is supposed to know it should act in this way... he acts like a boy who is eight or ten years of age and who had not yet learned the lesson of self-control". He was scheduled to graduate in the spring of 1921, but dropped out before his final year. His only involvement during the 1921 school year was participating on the school's track team.

In the early 1920s, Hinman spent some time at Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia as a result of his "ungovernable temper".

Hinman was an excellent athlete and a member of The New York Athletic Club. He enjoyed the high jump and competed in various track events during the 1920s.

On 23 April 1923, Hinman married Lillian Marie Chance in Elkton, Maryland ("the elopement capital of the East Coast"), but their marriage lasted only a few years. His wife, who went by Marie, complained that Hinman would squander money on things he enjoyed, namely gambling and alcohol, rather than things the couple needed. In a letter to Hinman's mother, Marie wrote, "he promised to take care of me and stop drinking but he has not been sober one single night".

In the late 1920s, Hinman found himself in trouble with the law. After acquiring a large gambling debt, he stole nearly $2,000 (about $25,000 today) from his mother's savings using forged checks. His family hired Attorney Harold Goodwin in an attempt to keep Hinman out of prison. They believed it would be best to have him sent to a mental facility instead.

In August 1926, Hinman enlisted in the army and spent three years in Corozal, Panama, Canal Zone in the 11th Engineer Battalion. He later enlisted again on 4 October 1932, just three months before his mother died (January 1933), and spent three years in Hawaii.

In the 1930s, he married his second wife Alice W. (b. 1909). They lived together in Wilmington Island, Georgia until his death.

He died on 3 April 1961, just a few weeks before his 61st birthday, in Richmond County, Georgia. He's buried at Hillcrest Abbey East Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.


Father George Ashley Bigelow b. 02/12/1848, d. 08/26/1910
Mother Anna E. Colston b. 01/25/1858, d. 01/05/1933
Sister Jane Ashley Bigelow b. 06/07/1876, d. 05/15/1939
Brother William L. Bigelow b. 07/04/1878, d. 10/18/1890
Brother George Ashley Bigelow, Jr. b. 04/19/1892, d. 10/26/1894
Wife Lillian Marie Chance b. ??/??/????, d.??/??/????
Wife Alice Bentley Walls b. 03/29/1909, d.09/08/1992


 

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