Glenwood Cemetery Wash DC

Job Winans Angus (1821-1909) and Lincoln’s lost inaugural ballroom

Smithsonian Headquarters Building, 1847; Architect:

Smithsonian Headquarters Building (“The Castle”), 1847-1855; Architect: James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia – public domain image)

Job Winans Angus (1821-1909) was the younger brother of James Winans Angus (1810-1862), a second great grandfather of mine; the former born in Elizabethtown, NJ, and the latter in New York City. Job was 11 years younger than James but outlived him by some 36 years, attaining the ripe old age of 88. Job’s life was replete with extraordinary experiences, something one would never guess looking at the simple marker that adorns his grave* in Glenwood Cemetery, where he rests alongside his wife Antoinette G. Hopper and their three daughters.

James and his wife Wealthy Jaques Angus, who settled in Elizabethtown, NJ, went on to name one of their seven sons after Job**, and their son James W. Angus Jr. (1841-1897) is actually believed to have gone to work in Washington for Job prior to the start of the Civil War, remaining there  until 1867 when he (James-age 26) was stricken with a stroke that tragically left him permanently paralyzed.

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus

James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia - public domain image)

James Renwick, Jr. (Wikimedia – public domain image)

Job, who came to Washington DC with the Odd Fellows to help lay the cornerstone of the Washington Monument, was the construction superintendent for the Smithsonian Institution’s main building (“The Castle”, 1847-1855) which was designed by famed architect James Renwick Jr. Other projects Job supervised included Washington DC’s Metropolitan Hotel and Trinity Church, Lake Winnipesaukee’s Governor’s Island Club, a building in San Antonio, TX, and a number of government buildings throughout the US. He was architect of the American Mosaic Company Building in Washington DC, which has since been torn down, though this photo remains. At the time of his death, on July 1, 1909, he resided at 11 Ninth Street NE in Washington.

Job’s Washington Times obituary notice of July 2, 1909, stated that Job “was a friend of President Lincoln, and had charge of the Executive Mansion during that administration.” It also mentioned that he was present at the Washington Monument ceremony (December 6, 1884), celebrating the placement of the monument’s capstone.

Regarding Job’s relationship with President Lincoln, the following newspaper clipping*** shows that he participated as an Assistant Marshal in the inauguration of President Lincoln on March 4, 1861 (see bottom of third column).

National Republican newspaper, 4 March 1861

national_republican_2

national_republican_3

And, evidently, the inaugural ballroom in which celebrations took place that evening was built by none other than Job Winans Angus. The fate of the ballroom is described in detail on the Greater Greater Washington website which ran a fascinating article in June 2011 by David Rotenstein: Lincoln’s Lost Inaugural Ballroom. Click the link to go to the article which includes some great images.

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

It’s a true honor to have had a very distant uncle who had a friendship with President Lincoln, and who worked so diligently to undertake such impressive projects. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the Angus family’s home in Elizabethtown to listen in the family’s conversations about Job’s experiences and accomplishments if and when he ever managed to visit. It really must have been quite a thrill.

*Find a Grave: Job Winans Angus; Antoinette G. Hopper Angus; daughters Emma, Louise, and Nettie are also buried at Glenwood and are linked to their parents on the Find a Grave site.

**Job Winans Angus, 1856-1936

***National Republican newspaper, 4 March 1861, from a Montour Falls, NY, paper (retrieved on 10/30/13 from http://www.fultonhistory.com)

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Categories: Angus, Glenwood Cemetery Wash DC, Lincoln, President Abraham, Washington DC | Leave a comment

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