The other “Native”
Smedley D. Butler is one of only 19 men to be awarded the Medal of Honor twice. He was in five campaigns as a marine and was in the U. S. Marines service for 34 years and retired as a brigadier general. When he retired he bought a house in Newtown Square and lived there till he died in 1940 at age 59. When everyone talks about Delaware County heroes, Butler’s name is always at the top of the list and rightfully so. BUT, Butler was NOT a Delaware County native, he was born in West Chester in 1880. There are several Delaware County Medal of Honor winners born and raised here, but only one “native” who was nominated for the Medal of Honor twice, George W. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was born in Chester in 1844, and was a third cousin of Theodore Roosevelt. His parents, Solomon and Elizabeth ran a small store in Chester. He enlisted in 1861 when he was just 17 years old. He served in the army and was first nominated for the Medal of Honor on August 30th 1862 at the battle of Bull Run and Roosevelt was nominated a second time at Gettysburg on July 2nd, 1863. He was severely wounded at Gettysburg and lost a leg and had to resign from the service. He became a U. S. Consul and served all over the world beginning in Sydney, Australia in 1877. While serving in Bordeaux, France in 1887 he received his Medal of Honor. There was no big celebration, it just arrived in a box. Many Civil War Medal of Honor medals were not given out till well after the war was over and Roosevelt’s was no exception. He continued to serve as a consular and became the counselor general of Brussels, Belgium and died there in April of 1907 at age 63. But he was a Delco “Native”!