Friday, November 11, 2011

A Military Family: Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and Jean Livingston Hubbard Denig

Robert Gracey Denig was born in Columbus, Ohio on May 22, 1851. After high school, he attended and graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Robert Gracey Denig had a long and distinguished naval career which spanned thirty five years. During the Panama Revolution, Denig served on three different vessels, the Saranac, Tuscarora, and Benicia. Before that, when the U.S.S. Huron was wrecked off the coast of North Carolina on November 24, 1877, Denig was one of the few survivors.

Robert Gracey Denig's wife was the former Jane Livingston Hubbard, whom he married in 1878. Jane was the daughter of Lester Hubbard and Jane Livingston, prominent pioneer residents of Sandusky.

Mr. and Mrs. Denig had two children, a daughter Garcia, and a son named Robert L. Denig. Commodore Robert Gracey Denig retired from the Navy on June 30, 1908. He died on April 9, 1924, and he was buried with full military honors in the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington. D. C. Mrs. Denig died in 1945 in the same home in which she was born, at 134 East Adams Street in Sandusky.

Commodore Denig’s son, Robert L. Denig, who was born in 1884, became a Brigadier General with the United States Marine Corps. He served with the Fifth Marines, 3rd and 2nd Divisions in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One and in Nicaragua in 1930-1931.

Brigadier General Robert L. Denig was the first Director of Public Relations for the U.S. Marines in 1941. The September 2007 issue of the Leatherneck magazine features an article about “Denig’s Demons.” Robert L. Denig recruited hundreds of reporters, photographers, artists, and radio men to inform the American public about the role of the Marines during World War II. Brigadier General Robert L. Denig passed away in 1979.

Several members of the Denig family are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, including Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and his wife Jean; their son Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, his wife Maud, and their sons Charles Alfred Ely Denig and Robert L. Denig, Jr.

Another son of Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, a Marine tank officer named James L. Denig, lost his life during World War II.

To learn more details about the military careers of Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, see volume IV of History of Ohio, by Charles B. Galbreath, available in the section of genealogical books at the Sandusky Library. (Page 301-303 are devoted to the Denigs.) See Article 2 in Helen Hanson’s book At Home in Early Sandusky, for more information about the Hubbard and Denig families and their Sandusky home at the corner of Adams and Wayne Streets.

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