Grover Cleveland Bergdoll
Anonymous drawing of Grover Cleveland Bergdoll
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Free Library

Bergdoll--The Fighting Slacker
NEA Service Writer
Newsclipping courtesy of Karen Bush, 4-25-06
     Grover Cleveland Bergdoll had a country once. But when it needed him he ran away. Now he can never return to it except in handcuffs.
     Instead he lives in the little town of Weinsberg, Germany, not far from old Heidelberg. His mother lives in the Bergdoll family home in Philadelphia. If he should come back to the United Stares, he could still be arrested as a deserter. And a blot of the contempt in which the government holds him is conveyed in the fact that the regular reward of $30 for apprehension of a deserter still applies to him.
     To read the rest of this fascinating newspaper article, click on:
Bergdoll--The Fighting Slacker

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright Brothers Field
Plaque with 119 Names of Flyers Who Trained at Wright Brothers Field
Photo courtesy of J. N. Parmalee

     The name of Grover C. Bergdol is found on the plaque pictured above among the 119 names of pioneer flyers who trained at the Wright Brothers field at Huffman Prairie. To visit the page which lists all of the flyers, and which displays several photographs of the memorial, just click on:

     If you search the internet, using the Google search engine on "Grover C. Bergdoll", you will find about 10 links. One of the more interesting ones is the following.

The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies
of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
     This page offers a short biography of the Bergdoll family, including Grover. It does include a number of important details of his life and career. It states that the collection contains some 300 photographs of "Grover's auto racing and airplane piloting adventures," many of them taken by G. C. Berdoll. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

The Neighborhood of Fairmount, Philadelphia's Art Museum Area
     On this page, entitled Brewery Town, you will find an amusing anecdote referring to Grover, the son of the founder of the Bergdoll & Psotta Brewery.
"     Grover C. Bergdoll, son of the founder, spent his time flying planes, racing cars and chasing women. When the U.S. started drafting men into the service during the First World War, Grover asked to be assigned as a flight instructor. The government turned him down, and Mr. Bergdoll disappeared, refusing to enter the military. He was eventually found and arrested in 1920."
     You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

     If you search the internet, using the Google search engine on "Huffman Prairie", (3-27-04), you will find about 2,620 links!!
     If you search for "Huffman Prairie" +Bergdoll, you will find just five, two of them being on this website. Each of them refer to the fact that Grover bought the Wright Model B aeroplane and offer some interesting facts as to its history.

     This page is largely devoted to telling the story of the Wright Model B aeroplane, which is very interesting in its own light. It does mention the fact that Grover bought the plane when he came to the Huffman Prairie Flying Field for flight training. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.


Orville's Aviators
Outstanding Alumni of the Wright Flying School, 1910-1916
John Carver Edwards
Product Details
Paperback: 200 pages; 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
Publisher: McFarland (May 13, 2009)
List Price: $45.00
Used Price: $33.33
# ISBN-10: 0786442271
# ISBN-13: 978-0786442270
  Product Description
The six pioneers profiled here were promising graduates of the Wright Brothers' School of Aviation, which flourished in Ohio from 1910 to 1916. These airmen fairly represent their 113 fellow alumni in their all-consuming love of flying.

The pilots are Arthur L. Welsh, a Russian immigrant who rose to become Orville Wright's chief instructor; Howard Gill, heir to an international tea dynasty; Archibald Freeman, whose flour-bag bombing of Boston Harbor won him attention as an early exponent of the supremacy of air power; Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, whose promise as a pilot quickly soured; George A. Gray, whose marriage resulted in an extraordinary husband and wife exhibition team; and Howard Max Rinehart, aerial mercenary, international racing competitor, Wright test pilot, South American explorer, and co-owner of one of America's premier charter services.

About the Author
John Carver Edwards served as university archivist at the University of Georgia before retiring in 2000 as special projects archivist. He has authored dozens of historical articles and scores of book reviews. He is a book reviewer for Library Journal. He lives in Cleveland, Georgia.


Roberta E. Dell
Product Details
Cloth: 262 pages; 6x9 inches
ISBN: 0-498-02070-3
     What is it like to be a handsome millionaire playboy, brilliant and carefree, on hte eve of the First World War?
     Grover Clevelqnd Bergdoll of Philadelphia could have qanswered this question, for he was all of theses things when h3e redceived his draft notification in 1917. His decision to ignore his summons was to change his life permanently. He was to become the wildest and most notorious draft dodger in American History.
     The United States Against Bergdoll is the true story of a man who thought that he could talk, charm, or buy his way out of anything. It is the adventure-packed saga of the chase, of the government's relentless pursuit of Bergdoll across two continents for two decades, of the confiscation of his entire fortune, and of it dictatorial attempt to exile him permanently from his native America. It is also the story of the darker side of the average American, wo at best criticised Bergdoll and at worst tried to lynch, kidnap, or murder him.

       Grover Cleveland Bergdoll was born in Philadelphia on October 18, 1893. He died in Richmond, Virginia on January 27, 1966.
Personal communication from Peter Higham, 6-14-05

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