Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mystery History -- Solved

Cybele wins! She got it right on the money (she was savvy enough to follow her hunch and double-check here).

In the photo above, 1941 Rose Queen Sally Stanton pins E.O. Nay, who was grand marshal that year.

He was the chairman of the Board of City Directors* at the time. He served as chairman longer than anyone else in Pasadena history -- from 1932 to 1941.

He was proclaimed Pasadena's #1 citizen in 1938 when he was presented with the Arthur Noble Award.

This is from the Pasadena Post:

Three hundred fifty friends, including county and city officials, applauded the public-spirited man who has headed the municipal government for the past seven years as his boyhood friend, Judge Edwin F. Hahn, presented him with the burnished gold medal, signifying outstanding public service.
A huge plaque with the names of Arthur Noble Award winners hangs in the council chamber at Pasadena City Hall.

In accepting the award he said, "I owe everything I am and expect to be to Pasadena. This city is very dear to me. I have watched it grow from a country cross-roads to a modern city. While I haven't acquired a great deal of worldly goods, I have acquired a wealth of friends, which are to me life's greatest treasure. What more could a city do for any man?"

Born in Minneapolis, Edward Oscar Nay came to Pasadena with his family in 1884 when he was 11 years old and lived here the rest of his life.

He was proprietor of a major plumbing and heating firm that he founded in 1896. He was first elected to the Board of City Directors in 1931 and again in 1933 and 1937.

His civic leadership included serving on the committee that helped establish the Metropolitan Water District and pushing the Morris Dam project forward.

His passing was felt greatly.

From the Feb. 24, 1941, Pasadena Post:

Edward O. Nay, Pasadena's No. 1 citizen, chairman of the Board of City Directors for the past nine years, and grand marshal of the 1941 Tournament of Roses, is dead. The end came to the widely-esteemed man early yesterday morning while he slept at his home, 745 South Oakland Avenue. He was 68.

His wife, Mrs. Mae K. Nay, went to his bedside about 8 a.m. to wake him. She telephoned the Emergency Hospital and the city ambulance, with Dr. Paul Osiek in charge, and the fire department inhalator squad were dispatched, in vain. The physician estimated Mr. Nay had been dead three or four hours. He had been ill in the past few months with a heart ailment...

...It was during Mr. Nay's chairmanship that Pasadena became known as America's No. 1 city in "goodness of life." This point was brought out recently when a group of citizens urged through petitions that Mr. Nay run again this year for the office of city director. He had declined, at least partly because of ill health.
Here is his photo on the wall in the inner sanctum.

On Feb. 24 and 25, 1941, city flags were flown at half staff and municipal offices closed at 2:30 p.m.

* The Board of City Directors had previously been called the City Council, a name that would not be resurrected for another 50 years.

** In 1924, retired attorney and businessman Arthur Noble (1851-1936) endowed the award to be given for "notable service promoting the beauty or general welfare of the city."


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Cybele.
I would have been way off with rose queen Marion Brown.

altadenahiker said...

Does this mean I have to give my crown to Cybele?

Cafe Pasadena said...

Congrats to Cybele! I think PIO's prize is a year of free parking in Pasadena!

Cybele has a nice blog. Hopefully she'll update it more often.

Petrea said...

Cyebele is one smart cookie.