The Man Behind Kalamazoo’s Westnedge Avenue
Football player, Manager at the Kalamazoo Paper Company, Military Colonel and the man behind the name Westnedge.
Some have found the road a difficult one to pronounce, Chicagoans have called it West-Nedge, like there is also an East-Nedge.
Born in 1872, Joseph Burchnall Westnedge, played football for Kalamazoo College and led them to an undefeated season. He was a manager for the Kalamazoo Paper company and fought in World War One.
According to the Kalamazoo Public Library,
He commanded the 126th Infantry, an integral part of the famous 32nd "Red Arrow Division". One of the earliest American units to be sent overseas.
He was sent to a hospital in France just a few days before the armistice was signed, now known as Veterans Day, where he later died from complications of tonsillitis. The story went on to conclude,
Thousands of people lined the streets for his funeral procession. West Street was renamed Westnedge Avenue as a tribute to the city's fallen hero.
He was subsequently buried at Riverside Cemetery.