KNICKERBOCKER, Charles Kennedy

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KNICKERBOCKER, Charles Kennedy (1874-1940) was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 28, 1874 to Henry M. and Rose Knickerbocker, who were married on Feb. 22, 1871. His father died on Oct. 30, 1882 at age 39 when Charles was about 8 years old. Knickerbocker lived with his mother, Rose E. Masters (Canadian English) in Chicago Ward 6, District 325, Cook County, IL in 1910 [1910 census]. She died 11/14/1923, after which he lived with his older widowed sister, Marian, in Chicago, Cook County IL [1930 census].

Knickerbocker was a life-long Chicago resident, active in local businesses and private clubs, including the Chicago Club, Chicago Athletic Association, Old Elm Club, Chicago Golf Club, and the Saddle and Cycle Club. He served as first vice-president of the Griffin Wheel Company, and was a director in numerous Chicago business enterprises. Knickerbocker’s father, Henry, died in 1882 at age 39 when Charles was eight years old. He lived with his Canadian-English mother, Rose, until her death in 1923. Knickerbocker never married.

When in his early 30s, Knickerbocker visited southern California, joining fellow ornithologists Ozora Howard, Harry Lelande, and J. L. Childs on an excursion to San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands. On April 6, 1906 Knickerbocker collected a set of Bald Eagle eggs on Santa Barbara Island, now in Chicago’s Field Museum [FMNH 2983].

Knickerbocker died at age 65 on January 7, 1940 in Chicago.

  • April 1-6, 1906 Knickerbocker, Ozora W. Howard, H. J. Lelande and J. L. Childs were on Anacapa
  • April 4, 1906 Knickerbocker, Ozora W. Howard and H. J. Lelande and J. L. Childs were on SMI
  • April 5, 1906 Knickerbocker, Ozora W. Howard and H. J. Lelande and J. L. Childs were on SCRI
  • April 6, 1906 Knickerbocker, Ozora W. Howard, H. J. Lelande, and J. L. Childs were on SBI
  • April 7, 1906 Knickerbocker, Ozora W. Howard and H. J. Lelande and J. L. Childs were on Anacapa



In the News~

January 8, 1940 [Chicago Tribune]: “Charles Kennedy Knickerbocker, first vice-president of the Griffin Wheel company and a director in numerous business enterprises, died yesterday in his home at 900 North Michigan Avenue. He was 65 years old. Born in Chicago, he was the son of Henry M. and Rose Masters Knickerbocker. Surviving Mr. Knickerbocker, who never married, are a sister, Mrs. Marion Wood, and two brothers, Harry R. and Guy R. Knickerbocker. He was a member of the Chicago Club, Chicago Athletic Association, Old Elm Club, Chicago Golf Club, and the Saddle and Cycle Club. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. James Episcopal Church. Burial will be private.”


1943:Charles Kennedy Knickerbocker, a Life Associate of the A.O.U. (elected 1922), died on January 7, 1940, of pneumonia after suffering from partial paralysis for several years. He was born in Chicago, September 28, 1874, the son of Henry M. and Rose Masters Knickerbocker. He never married and was survived by a sister, Mrs. Marion Wood, and two brothers, Harry R. and Guy R. Knickerbocker. He entered the employ of Griffin Wheel Company in 1894 as a shipping clerk, was promoted to sales agent in 1895, general sales agent in 1909, and to first vice president and director in 1914. He was a member of the Chicago Club, Chicago Athletic Association, Old Elm Club, Chicago Golf Club, and the Saddle and Clyde Club. Except for periods of travel, he was a lifelong resident of Chicago and was buried there. His interest in ornithology was awakened through association, in visits to California, with O. W. Howard, G. Frean Morcom, and other members of the Cooper Club to which organization he belonged from 1905. In California, he began a collection of birds' eggs to which he added later especially by purchase. An important lot was that assembled by Gerard Alan Abbott, a well-known Chicago oologist. These accumulations were bequeathed to his nephew, Kenneth K. Knickerbocker, who donated them to Field Museum of Natural History.” [Condor 60:633, 1943]