Buchanan History – Berrien History

Buchanan History from Blogger Jennifer Gardner

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

Jennifer Gardner, is a history writer who resides in Berrien County. Recently, she started a blog on Berrien History. In future issues of The Buchanan Chronicle, she will be contributing some Buchanan history from her blog. This article that we have chosen for this issue is about Jackson Scholz, who was born in Buchanan and went on to become an Olympic gold medalist. Keep Reading Below!


The New York Thunderbolt, Olympic Gold Medalist, Born in Buchanan, Michigan

Writing and Photo shared by Berrien Jen (Jennifer Gardner) from her Berrien History blog

“When Jackson Scholz was born to Zachary and Susan Scholz in Buchanan, Michigan on March 15, 1897, nobody knew that he’d someday win two Olympic gold medals for the United States and be featured in a movie that won an Academy Award for Best Picture 57 years later. But Jackson wouldn’t so much as watch Chariots of Fire and he had his reasons.

Jackson Volney Scholz (pronounced Shoals) only lived in Buchanan until he was ten years old. His parents moved to St. Louis and Jackson enrolled in the University of Missouri, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. It was while he was on the track team at Missouri that he attracted the attention of the New York Athletic Club, which ended up sponsoring him at the Olympics.

His first Olympic Games were at Antwerp, Belgium in 1920, where he won his first medal (gold) on the American 4 x 100 meter relay team. He just missed winning a bronze in the individual 100m race, but later in 1920, he tied the world record for his time running the 100m, 10.6 seconds. A hundred meters is about 328 feet, so imagine running the length of a football field in 10 seconds. Is it any wonder why Scholz’s nickname became the “New York Thunderbolt?”

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Finish reading the full article here!


Continuing reading more from Berrien Jen’s History blog here.


Berrien Jen is a local historian writing and researching about the History of Berrien County MI; she will at times submit Buchanan-specific blog articles to be featured in The Buchanan Chronicle.

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