Parents Prostrated with Anxiety

Son Was On The Maine


The parents of John Henry Shillington, one of the Chicagoans on the Maine were in deep grief yesterday. They live at 216 Indiana street, next door to the livery office of the father, Isaac Shillington. They have three daughters. Another son, Charles J. , is on the training ship Newport, preparing to enter the Navy.

Mr. Shillington heard from his son last week and at that time the young man who was 20 years old, was enjoying the life and expecting no trouble. Both Mr. Shillington and his wife were prostrated by the news of the disaster.

"My boy enlisted last August." Mr Shillington said in the afternoon, when he had despaired of hearing anything definite as to the fate of his son. "Lieutenant Commander Hawley was in Chicago and Harry was ambitious to see more of the world than he could find in Chicago and we reluctantly agreed to let him go in the Navy. He was one of the first to enlist here and Commander Hawley selected him at once to assist him by doing clerical work. When my boy went to Brooklyn, they put him in charge of a squad of men on the trip. After remaining awhile at Brooklyn he went to Fortress Monroe. From 2,000 men five were chosen and Harry was one of them.

"He was made navigator's writer and served in that position on the Maine. If he is lost it will be a terrible blow for all of us. He was a splendid boy and gave promise of being a fine man. Harry was born in Chicago and has lied here all his life. He got his first education in the Thomas Hoyne School and went from there to Notre Dame University where he stayed two years. When he left Notre Dame he took a commercial diploma and was given a gold medal for elocution.

He was a good athlete and if any chance had been given him to swim ashore when the Maine sank, I am sure he would have saved himself. He swam often while he was in Chicago. At Notre Dame he was a shortstop on the baseball team and played basketball and was strong and healthy from the exercise he had in these games.

"I don't know how the notion came to enter the Navy. At Notre Dame he took a course in electrical engineering and when he came back, helped me in my business. He attended the Holy Name Cathedral."

"All the time he has been away we have had none but encouraging letters from him. He spoke in high praise of the kindness of the officers of the Maine and of the boat itself."

From The Chicago Tribune, Thursday February 17, 1898