WHEN I resigned as Bishop of Spokane, the Clergy of the Convocation passed the following resolution:
Right Rev. L. H. Wells, S.T.D., D.D., D.C.L., L.L.D.,
Dear Bishop Wells:
We, the undersigned Clergy of the Jurisdiction of Spokane, holding you in affectionate regard, and believing that a history of your early missionary experiences would be of permanent value to the Church, respectfully request that you put these experiences in permanent form, that they may show the beginning of missionary work here, and as we believe, be a source of inspiration to those who shall take up your labors.
This was signed by eighteen of the Clergy and now, after all these years, I am complying with their request.
The delay has arisen because all this time I have been as busy as though I had been doing something. But now I have only a Mission and two Bible classes a week, and two other services once a month.
I lately had a hint that I had better hurry up if I were going to write at all. I went to New York and as I am a little deaf I consulted an eminent specialist about it. He examined my ears carefully and said, "Why, there is nothing the matter with your ears; they are all right. How does your deafness show itself?"
"Why, I can't hear very well over the telephone."
Then he asked me some questions very rapidly, but I could not understand him. Then he spoke more slowly and I understood perfectly.
"There, your brain works slowly; that's the trouble. It is stiffer than it used to be and as you grow older it does not respond so quickly to impressions."
"Well, doctor, will this increase?"
"I am afraid so."
"What will be the result?"
"Oh, if you live long enough you will be an idiot. Ten dollars, please."
On my trip home I went into the smoking room of the pullman and as I pulled the curtain aside I saw men playing poker with stacks of money and glasses of whiskey beside them. In front of me, with his back to the wash basin, was a man with a glass of whiskey in his hand. When he saw my clerical collar he exclaimed, "Say, how old are you?"
I answered good naturedly, "Oh, I am eighty-six."
Then looking all around he said, "Wh-Whoo has charge of you?"
I saw that I was not wanted and left.
After returning home one day I was driving in from Steilacoom and overtook an old cripple hobbling along. I stopped and said:
"Are you going into town?"
"Want to ride?"
He looked me over from head to foot and shaking his head said, "No, I rode once with an old fellow like you and that was enough for me."
On my return to Tacoma a young woman friend of Mrs. Wells, Mrs. Glen Darling, kindly urged me to begin my book and offered to typewrite it upon my dictation. Thus I am entering on the long-delayed task and have the encouragement of her little girl who nestles up against me and rests her head upon my shoulder and listens to the story as I dictate.
I was born in Yonkers, New York, December 3, 1841. My father was Horace D. Wells, and my mother Mary Barker Wells, both earnest Christian people who had me baptized and brought up in the Church and I thank God for it every day of my life.
On my father's side we were descended from Thomas Wells who came over to England with William the Conqueror and received Wells Manor on condition that each year he should present to the King on the point of a spear a loaf of brown bread to show his fealty. In this country we descended from Thomas Wells, the last Royal Governor of Connecticut, and in consequence I have never been able to join any of our patriotic societies. When the Yankees turned him out, he did not return to England but settled in Connecticut.
On my mother's side we were descended from a Dutch family by the name of Barker, which emigrated in the early days to New York City, and were always people of wealth and influence. My grandfather, James Barker, was a New York merchant who bought a tract of land in Rye, New York, and built a beautiful residence where he entertained lavishly. I remember hearing him say that he had fourteen horses in his stables so that his guests could entertain themselves in any way that they wished.
I was dedicated to the ministry before my birth and grew up with that expectation. When I had done something very bad my parents would admonish me of my destiny, and urge me to live accordingly. They certainly set me a good example, for I never heard an angry word or heated argument or impatient expression between them or to us children or to the servants. My brother and I slept in a bedroom next to that of our parents and had to go through their room to get down stairs. In the morning I had frequently, in passing through, found them on their knees, and heard them praying for me and my brother by name.
We lived in a fine old mansion on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. Sometimes when my father and mother would go to New York or elsewhere they would leave me at the Mansion House with my great uncle who owned it. It was built about a hundred years before the Revolution, of brick and timbers brought from Holland. It had forty rooms and was ministered to by thirty black and twenty-six white servants. I faintly remember lying in my bed or cradle and listening to the story of Joseph which was depicted in tiling around the fireplace. Fireplaces provided the only heat for the house.
On my uncle's death it was sold. After I was grown up I was staying with a Mr. and Mrs. Cochran in New York, who were friends of the family in Yonkers. At the breakfast table she told me to look under my plate. I found there a deed of the old manor house to the Daughters of the American Revolution. My friend said she had paid fifty thousand dollars for it for my sake. It is used as a museum of antiquities.
I had a brother James who was seven years older than I and when I was eighty-seven years of age still felt it his duty to guide the steps of his younger brother. I owe a great deal to my brother James. My well-developed lungs and strong voice are due to him. My mother, when I was a child, used to put me into the baby carriage and send him out to give me an airing. Boy-like he would take me out to the pasture back of the barn and leave me there while he would go off to play. Then the old cow would come and look curiously at me, and I would yell to "beat the band"; then the calf would take a peep and I would yell again; and then the mare and colt--with still more yells--until my brother would return, or some one else would rescue me. I am still reaping the advantage of this and would recommend it to many of my brethren in the ministry.
THE first thing I remember is a parrot. He had escaped from his cage and perched in a small pear tree, and I climbed up and got him by the foot; then he got me by the finger--and I still have the scar.
The first time I was ever drunk I was about three years old. My mother and I were visiting at her father's in Rye, New York. He and my grandmother were devout Christian people, and he was the Senior Warden of the Church.
One day he said to my mother, "I am going to take a drive and I will take the baby with me."
So my mother wrapped me up, took me out to the carriage, handed me over to him and we started. A short distance up the road we turned in to the Jay's place. We drove up through the grounds to the house and at the front door a negro came and took the horse and we were ushered in to Mr. Jay's study.
When he came in he welcomed us and then said, "Well, Barker, what will you take?"
Walking up to a sideboard my grandfather said, "Why, I'll take brandy and water," and partly filling a glass he added some lumps of sugar and drank it off.
The sugar wasn't melted much and he held out the glass to me and said, "Here, you can have the sugar."
Then he drove to the Cornell place and the same thing was repeated and I had the sugar. I do not remember much after that until we got home, where my mother clasped me in her arms and kissed me, and then held me at arms length, looked at me and bursting into tears fairly glared at her father and sobbed, "You have made my baby drunk, you shall never have him again."
I have never been drunk but once since. That was when I was tipped over in my sail-boat on Puget Sound. When they had pumped me out with a pulmotor, they poured a flask of brandy down my throat, took me home and put me to bed.
When I was a little shaver, too young to go to Sunday School alone, I used to ride to Church with my father and mother. I stayed awake during the service, but when the sermon came my mother would gather my feet onto the seat and put my head into her lap and say, "Now you can go to sleep. The minister is going to preach and you wouldn't understand it anyway." One Sunday my father turned to me and whispered, "A missionary is going to tell us about Indians and you will be interested." After the sermon I whispered, "Father, I'm going to be a missionary."
Some years later Bishop Whipple of Minnesota preached and I resolved again to fit myself for the mission fields and I have never regretted it.
My mother was a semi-invalid and was only able to go to Church in the morning and the horses and coachman and maids had the afternoon off, but my father would take my brother and me by the hand and we would walk to service at St. John's Church which was about a mile away from our house and much nearer than Christ Church. My father was a warden in both churches and occupied a pew at the front.
Visitors staying with us over Sunday were expected as a matter of course to attend service, and one day a gentleman unfamiliar with our service was sitting next to father, and our clergyman, who was a very pompous man, began the creed in a deep resounding voice. . "I BELIEVE" . .
Our visitor, nudging my father, whispered in his ear, "I do too."
All missionaries and visiting clergymen were entertained at our home as a matter of course, and I used to enjoy their stories immensely but one in-discreet missionary prejudiced me for years against missions by noticing that I left some food on my plate and remarking "There are thousands of little children in China who would be glad to make a whole meal on what you have left on your plate." Whereupon my father made me eat it all up.
After one of our dinner parties I asked my mother if I could have the leavings that were on the table.
"Why," she said, "you don't have to eat the leavings. Don't you have enough to eat without that?"
"But I want the leavings," I said.
"Oh," she said, "if you really want them you can have them."
Whereupon I spread my handkerchief upon the table and emptied into it the bowl of white sugar. This was the kind of leavings I was after.
When I was about five years old my father and mother were travelling for my mother's health and left me with my Aunt Crosby, a widow, at White Plains, New York. She had a housekeeper whose name was Hester. One evening my aunt was away and my cousins and I were at dinner with Hester when she said "Sh-h-h- quiet children," and then listened and said, "You sit right still till I come back."
At the top of the front stairs she found the robber, who knocked her down and trampled upon her, bruising her terribly, and escaped.
Then my uncle James gave my aunt a bull-dog and one night the robber forced upon the kitchen door, but the dog, with a howl, threw himself against it and the burglar ran away.
Then my Uncle Henry gave Hester a pistol and she practiced with it in the garden until one day she hit my grandmother in the foot.
The dog and I slept with Hester, and one night he waked us up by growling very low. Hester whispered to me, "You lie still and don't make a sound."
Then she took the pistol from under her pillow and taking the dog by the collar, started. I sneaked after them.
At the foot of the stairs she stooped and quieted the dog. Across the sidelight of the front door the shadow of a man passed. She raised her pistol and when the shadow passed again she fired and fainted. I yelled, the dog howled, and the neighbors rushed in. The next morning they found the robber with the bullet in his shoulder hiding in a vacant lot.
One winter during my childhood we boarded in New York, down on Spring Street. A sea captain by the name of Prole boarded at the same place when he was on land. He was captain of one of the Yankee Clipper ships, as they were known, the fastest sailing vessels afloat. One day Captain Prole said to my father at dinner, "I have booked another passenger for Liverpool. It is John Jacob Astor."
My father remarked, "I should think that Mr. Astor's time would be so precious that he would prefer to go on one of these new-fangled steamships."
"Steamships!" said Captain Prole, with the utmost contempt. "That's the reason why he is going with me--because he is in a hurry. He knows very well that if he were to go on one of those newfangled steamships he would be likely to blow up in the middle of the ocean or something else would happen and he couldn't tell when he would get to Liverpool."
This was true because the steamships in those days had not been perfected and were liable to all sorts of disasters.
One day while we were boarding at this place on Spring Street, my mother was sitting sewing by the fireplace and I was looking out of the open window. Just then a little street gamin came along in front and called me a bad name, and childlike I called him the same name. Then he swore at me. I thought it was smart and turned around and swore at my mother. Without answering a word she quietly rose, came to the window, took me by the arm, led me to her seat by the fireplace and had me stand in front of her, then said to me: "That was a bad little boy that swore at you. I do not suppose that he was brought up as a Christian; poor little fellow, he didn't know how bad it was. But you have been baptized and taught better. Do you know what you have done? You have taken God's name in vain. You have committed a great sin and I want to kneel down with you and ask God to forgive you."
She knelt down with me and prayed for me and when we rose she said, "I hope you will never take God's name in vain again as long as you live." And I never have.
I had an uncle who was always taking me out and giving me a treat and one day he brought me home bedecked in a stiff beaver hat and carrying a cane.
I felt as if I were grown up. The next time I went out walking with my mother she reluctantly allowed me to carry my cane and wear my stiff hat, but in passing a livery stable I lost my cane down a chute where they threw the manure and a dog ran away with my hat. To my dismay, while I was still grieving after my return, my mother said to a visitor, "and I was mighty glad to get rid of them."
My mother was of a literary turn of mind and frequently took Mrs. Signourney, the poetess, out for a ride. I, of course, accompanied her and I learned a good many of Mrs. Signourney's poems from hearing her recite them before they were published.
My mother was also a great friend of Professor and Mrs. Jackson of Trinity college. While they were visiting together, if it were summer they would send me out in charge of Mrs. Jackson's daughter, Emily, and charge me not to let her get into danger. But if I tried to control her she would stamp her little foot and shake her pretty little fist at me and say, "Bad, go away, go away."
I would obey and have been her bond slave ever since. She is my oldest living friend and we correspond every month.
I am afraid my father had to correct me pretty often but when I was about eight years old, one day he took me up to a closet where he kept his rattan and as he prepared to take me over his knee I said, "Father, father, if you knew how hard I tried not to do it you would not whip me."
He stopped and said, "Did you really try very hard, my boy? If you try very hard in the future, I'll never whip you again," and he never did.
I think we often fail to realize how hard children do try.
When I was eight years old the family moved to Hartford, Connecticut for the sake of my mother's health.
My parents were earnest Christian people. We always had family prayers morning and night and on Sunday we boys went to Sunday School and to Church with our parents both morning and evening. I have never stayed home from Church, (if well) but once in my life.
I was about ten years old and on Saturday the boys said to me, "Say, we are going swimming tomorrow morning; stay home from Sunday School and Church and go with us. We will whistle under your windows about half past ten o'clock."
"I can't, my dad won't let me stay home from Church."
"Oh, shucks, tell him you're sick."
But I could not quite tell an out-and-out lie, so Sunday morning I banged my head against the wall until it ached and then when my father came in to call me I said "I have a bad headache this morning and I don't think I had better go to Sunday School and Church."
My father felt of my pulse, looked at my tongue and put his hand on my head and said, "Poor boy, you are sick, your head throbs and you have quite a high pulse. You mustn't get up to-day and I think you had better not have any breakfast." And with a twinkle in his eye he gathered up my clothes and locked them up in the closet. So I did not go swimming!
When I was older and my uncles had grown up to be young men, I was at my grandfather's and went into my grandmother's sewing room. She was sitting there with the tears streaming from her eyes and Uncle Henry on his knees, was holding her hand and kissing it and saying, "But mommie, I have got to, I've got to, I can't help it! I must challenge him! He called me a liar and if I don't fight him I will be disgraced, and the girls won't have anything to do with me and the fellows will call me a coward."
My grandmother wept and pleaded with him, but though she was an earnest Christian, she did not say a word about the sinfullness of trying to kill each other. She was troubled only for fear her dear boy would be killed or wounded. When the duel came off the seconds arranged to have them fire into the air and no one was hurt.
Now it seems strange that Christians of that day did not see the wickedness of the duel or of slavery, and many now do not see the wickedness of war, and are not in favor of prohibition.
I had a Cousin Minnie, considerably younger than myself, who used to visit us and I would be put in charge of her. One day when cherries were ripe and they had been picking them, they left a ladder up against one of the trees. I helped my cousin to climb up into the tree and when we had filled ourselves with cherries I saw some boys out in the street playing. They were more attractive than a small girl so I climbed down the ladder and pulled it away, leaving her in the tree while I went off and played with the boys. The tree was some distance from the house and the poor child screamed for a long time before she made herself heard. She was never put in my care again.
A little earlier than this I attended a Dame school for little children. One of the girls, on account of her temper, was disliked by all the children and we used to vie with one another in playing tricks upon her. One day I brought a beautiful large peach to school. On the way I had soaked it in a dirty gutter and wiped it off nicely. Then I passed the word around among the children and gave it to Clara, for that was the girl's name, and we all sat around and saw her eat it. Then I told her about it. Poor child, she was very sick and had to be sent home--and I had to take a whipping!
We had a neighbor in Hartford who was an old sea captain and I used to play with his grandchildren in a wonderful attic he had full of all kinds of curious things. One day we found a large box such as undertakers put coffins in, but it was fastened up tight. When we pried the lid off we found it full of handcuffs. When I got home I told my father and he said "Don't ever repeat that to a living soul."
"Why not?" I said.
"Why Captain --------- is very much respected; he is a Deacon in the Congregational Church, and it would be a very unpleasant thing for him. He used to be in the slave trade. He would stock his vessel at Saybrook with rum and opium and glass beads and go over to Africa and trade for the prisoners the natives would take from the other tribes. Then he would put these handcuffs on them and put them in the hold of the vessel. There they would suffer terribly and many of them would die. He would take the rest down South and sell them to the planters for slaves."
Back of our grounds was an alley-way called Cooper Lane, inhabited by a rather low class of people. There was one boy living there, a little older than myself, who could swear great oaths and had a broken front tooth through which he could squirt water a long distance. I considered him a great hero. My father took me in hand and broke up the friendship.
Then I went to the other extreme and wouldn't speak to boys unless they were from wealthy families, so one day he called me to him and said, "I want you to grow up more democratic than you are and I am going to send you to the public school. They have taxed me so high on the new school building that I can't afford to send you anywhere else."
The first day I was studying my lesson and I suppose my lips were moving or that I was studying aloud when the principal called out, "Wells, come here to me."
I went forward to him on the platform and he said in a severe tone, "I want you to understand, sir, that you can't whisper in this school." I said that I wasn't whispering.
"Yes you were, you know you were." I denied it again, whereupon he exclaimed, seizing my hand and with the other hand seizing a ruler, "You can't lie to me, I won't have it" and was about to give me a whipping.
I broke away from him and ran home and he shouted after me, "You are expelled, you can't come back to this school." After that I attended private schools, and I thank God every day of my life that I was educated in Christian schools and colleges where my Christian faith was not tampered with.
In 1852 when I was eleven years old my dear mother died, one of the gentlest and most saintly women who ever lived. Just before she breathed her last, as the family stood about her bed, she gave my brother her Bible, and me her Prayer Book and then she blessed us and passed away.
My father was almost crushed by her loss, and after a few years took my brother and moved out to Wisconsin on a farm. I was then left in Hartford with some friends to be fitted at Gallup's preparatory school for Trinity College.
LIKE all boys I wanted to travel and especially to take a trip down the Mississippi River. When I was about fourteen years old my father fitted me out with money and advice and I started on a Mississippi steamer. I was given the upper berth in a stateroom with a young man of about eighteen who was going to New Orleans with one hundred dollars his father had given him to open a cigar store. The boats at that time were infested with gamblers and their games were openly carried on without check or hindrance. Somewhere in the middle of the night, (the first night I was on the boat) I wakened and heard voices outside my stateroom door. I looked out through the open transom over the door and there I saw George, which was my companion's name, seated at a table with three gamblers and piles of money before them. As I watched the game I saw George's partner pass a card under the table to his confederate. Impulsively I shouted out: "George look, look"--and pointed under the table.
The gambler drew his pistol and pointing it at my head said, "Young man, pull in your head and if you put it out again I will shoot you." The next morning George said that the gamblers had won his hundred dollars.
One of the most interesting things on a trip on the Mississippi was the wooding up, as they call it, or supplying the vessel with fuel. Along the bank at short intervals were great piles of cord wood and when a vessel ran out of fuel they would tie up to the bank by one of these piles of wood and throw out a gang plank. They would hang iron baskets filled with pitch wood in the trees to give light for their operations which sometimes took place at night. Then the negro crew of the boat would form in line and strike up a shandy song as it was called and, all keeping step, would march down the gangplank and around the woodpile and without stopping each would pull off a piece of wood and throwing it on his shoulder would continue up the gangplank without breaking his step or stopping his singing, throw it down into the hold of the vessel and return for another load. The glare of the torches and the sound of the sweet singing voices floating through the air had a very charming effect.
On another trip when about sixteen I visited Mammoth cave in Kentucky. We had a guide and each of us was provided with a torch. In one place I noticed that a great rock had fallen from the ceiling of one of the passageways and, climbing to the top of the rock and holding the torch aloft, I saw another passageway above the one which we had been following. Boy-like, I climbed up into the upper passage, and finding it resplendent with stalagmites and stalactites I wandered along quite a distance, then a sudden draft blew out my torch and I realized that I had kept no track of the direction I had been going. I wandered hopelessly back and forth until a gleam of light reflected on the stalactites and a rescue party guided me to safety.
My father decided that if I were to become a missionary that I should know how to defend my self so he employed a lightweight champion boxer to give me lessons. After the course was completed my instructor said, "Now I will graduate you by a regular bout." After the bout was over I waked up with my head on his knee and he was sopping up the blood which was streaming from my nose. I have had a crooked nose ever since but a number of times I have felt a great satisfaction in a crisis, by knowing that I could defend myself.
My father also thought that I should know how to ride and after I was mounted on a vicious little black pony, the coachman used to stand in front of him ready to catch me when he threw me over his head. I have been thankful for this training many a time when riding a half-wild broncho of the plains.
When a little older I spent my vacation on Lake Superior. I hired an Indian with his canoe to be my guide. The first night he took me to his wigwam and at supper, to my surprise, they had a tablecloth
ANOTHER important part of my preparation for a missionary was my army experience in the Civil War.
The students of Trinity College organised for intensive drill and the study of military tactics and when the war broke out in 1862, I was visiting my father in Wisconsin and recruited part of a company and was given the commission later of Second Lieutenant. The men that I had recruited were combined with Company F, 32nd, Wis. The Captain, whose name I had better not mention, soon after arriving at the front was found drunk on duty and the first lieutenant was wounded and taken to the hospital and I was left in charge of the company. We served as mounted infantry and I learned to ride anything.
In one of the minor engagements I was wounded with a piece of shell and taken to the hospital. A man was brought in and laid on the cot next to me who had to have his leg amputated but the rebels had captured all the medical stores of our division. The man had to have his leg off in order to save his life; as there were no anaesthetics, four privates were ordered to hold him down and sat upon him as the surgeons, with common carpenters' saws sawed off his leg. His yells and howls and struggles were terrible but the operation saved his life.
A great many negroes left their masters and fled to the north for freedom. One day I was scouting with part of my company when we heard pistol shots and shouting and the baying of blood hounds in the woods on one side of the road. We were passing a stone wall overgrown with bushes and I ordered my men to hide behind that and have their guns ready to fire. Soon we saw, coming toward us across a clearing in the woods, three or four negroes followed by bloodhounds baying and these followed by the masters on horseback who were firing at the negroes trying to cripple them so that they could be recaptured. I passed the word to my men to wait until the negroes had climbed over the wall and then I would give the word to fire so as to kill the dogs and horses but not the men, which they did and the Southern men scrambled to their feet and disappeared.
One of these negroes I took for my body servant. Each officer was entitled to draw pay and rations for a servant who performed the duty of a valet. This boy was very light colored; you could scarcely tell him from a white man. He showed that he had the blood of some aristocratic, sensitive, high'toned southerner and was very proud of his light color and always referred to other colored men as "them niggers." When we were in camp and I had a cot or bunk he would sleep in his blankets on the ground beside me. When we were campaigning we both slept on the ground side by side and when he heard me awake in the night he would whisper "massa, massa, wees all de same color now" and seemed to get great comfort from that idea. I brought him north after the war and he soon blossomed out as a "Gemmans' barber."
We were soon ordered to Memphis, Tennessee, to patrol that city as a provost guard because it was found that the city government was in league with the rebels.
My company was quartered in the Overton Hospital which had been closed on account of the war. We were assigned to the care of one of the wards of the city and I made a round every few hours. The town was full of rebels and one always had to keep a cocked pistol in his hand to be ready for any emergency. As you turned a corner you would sometimes meet a fusilade from a group of rebels or you would be passing a house and someone would throw up a window and begin to fire at you. My escape from death was certainly miraculous.
At night we all slept on our blankets at the Overton Hospital in one of the lecture rooms. Around the walls were glass cases containing embalmed internal organs from bodies, grinning skulls, bones broken in all conceivable ways as illustrations; a rather gruesome place in the dark. On the floor above was the dissecting room with piles of coffins in which the body snatchers had brought the bodies for experiments and near the dissecting table was a brick chute like a chimney where they threw the dissected pieces of flesh into the sewer after they had finished with them and pieces of skin and flesh still adhered to the rough work. In the lecture room was a small platform for the teachers where I slept on my blankets when I was off duty and the enlisted men slept around it on the floor.
One night while I was sleeping, the men who were off duty, for a lark, went up to the dissecting room and put on shrouds over their clothes and then coming down and sitting on their blankets all gave an unearthly yell. I jumped to my feet and there where I had left fifteen men peacefully sleeping I saw a lot of ghosts sitting in the moonlight. It was rather a shock to my nerves.
Another night two of the men were boasting that they were not afraid of ghosts so one wagered the other that he dare not walk up the stairs at a deliberate pace to the dissecting room above; touch a pile of coffins that was there and return at the same deliberate pace. The bet was taken and they secreted a man in one of the coffins in the pile and when the boaster touched the coffin the hidden man reached out and bit his finger. With a yell of fright he ran and almost tumbled down the stairs in his haste to get to the light. He swore a ghost had half killed him.
In one of our battles as we were1 charging the enemy's trenches and were just about to climb over them I looked down into die barrel of a rifle pointed dead at me but a few feet away. I prayed "God help me." With a stride or two I was in the trench and knocked down the soldier with the butt of my pistol. He was taken prisoner and a few days later I met him and said, "Why didn't you kill me in the trench?"
He replied, "I don't know, I couldn't pull the trigger." So God answered my prayer.
I was in charge of the provost guard and one of our duties was to arrest stragglers from, the main column of the army. Orders had been given that no private property should be molested but the destruction wrought by stragglers from the army was terrible and our march was marked by framing barns, houses and hay stacks almost the whole way.
On one occasion I found a half dozen stragglers in a farm house. The family had fled and were hiding in the woods and some of the stragglers were ransacking the house and others were cooking, some in the kitchen and some over the parlor fireplace, and spilling the grease over the beautiful furniture and expensive rugs. They had put their hot dishes upon the grand piano and while one man was pounding the keys others were spilling the food over the strings and cover. I arrested them and took them back but one fellow, before leaving, managed to set fire to the place and completed the devastation. Is it any wonder that the Southerners are bitter?
General Sherman had made several attempts in vain to take Vicksburg and was succeeded by Grant who invested the city May 18, 1863. On May 19, he made an assault and failed and I reported to him for duty the next day. The commander of his body guard had been killed and he had asked General Veech to send a proper person for the post. As I was in command of the provost guard of our division he sent me although I was only a lieutenant. When I reported to the chief of staff for duty he told me that a desperate attempt was being made to murder the General and that I must always have him surrounded with a guard and admit no stranger to his quarters and when he went outside of his quarters I must always follow behind him with a pistol cocked and ready to fire.
Soon after my arrival a general assault was made upon the city and the. enemy exploded an enormous mine under our advancing troops and blew hundreds of them into the air. The sun for a few minutes was obscured by legs and arms and heads and bodies mingled with dust and stones. So we were repulsed. It was a terrible slaughter. General Grant turned to me hastily and said, "Take a guard and immediately arrest all newspaper reporters and bring them to me. Captain Eckles will show them to you as he knows them. Also stop all outgoing mail."
When I brought them to the General he said", "Gentlemen, this disaster must not get out until I give permission. Just now it would be disastrous and if any of you sends a report of it to his paper I will have him shot instantly." The news did not get out until Vicksburg was taken, and I have never seen it in print.
Immediately following the disaster he ordered me to summon the division commanders to a council of war. When they were gathered in his quarters he asked each in turn what he advised. They all advised to raise the seige. When all had spoken he said, "Generals, you have all given sound military advice but by the eternal (and seizing a bottle standing at his elbow, he raised it aloft and brought it down on the table with a crash) we will take the city" and the glass and whiskey spattered us all. But at the next attempt we took the city.
In October 1864 I was mustered out and in 1865 entered Hobart College, graduating in 1867. In 1869 I graduated at Berkeley Divinity school and was ordained Deacon.
THE week following my graduation from Berkeley Divinity School I married Miss Elisabeth Folger, the niece and adopted daughter of Charles J. Folger, the Secretary of War. My father's wedding present was a year in Europe, and Judge Folger gave us letters to all the Ambassadors and Representatives of our Government throughout Europe which we could use if desirable. They secured for us many privileges and advantages. Among others they enabled us to be presented to most of the crowned heads of Europe and other dignitaries at their receptions.
Among other letters which I carried was one from J. Pierpont Morgan, our greatest financier, to the Baring Brothers in London and when I presented it we were invited by the senior partner to spend a week-end with him at his summer place in Sherwood Forest. The invitation read like this--Mr. and Mrs. John Baring take much pleasure in inviting the Reverend and Mrs. Wells to spend a week-end with us at Sherwood Forest, arriving on Saturday for luncheon and remaining until luncheon on Monday. We found eight or ten other guests.
The house was a large mansion standing in the midst of spacious grounds and was formerly owned by Lord Nelson. The next morning we were not called and heard no bell so after we were dressed we went down to the breakfast room wondering whether we were late or early. The table was set. No one was there.
While we were wondering, a young Englishman came in and said "Mornin'." We answered, "Mornin'."
He strolled up to a sideboard and helped himself to some cold lamb which was there and touching a bell to call the servant, ordered tea and toast. We did the same only I asked if we might have some coffee and the servant said, "Excuse me, sir, we were not told that there were any Americans among the guests." So we took tea.
One by one the guests dropped in and went through the same performance. By and by Mr. and Mrs. Baring came in and after saluting us said, "If any of you wish to drive or ride after Church the head coachman will be in here in a few minutes and you can tell him whether you want a four in hand or a span or a single horse or a saddle horse. I am going to drive around visiting the points of interest in the neighborhood and would be glad to take any who wish to go with me."
We chose to go with him and he drove four horses attached to a drag, about the size of an omnibus.
First we visited, nearby, the camp where Robin Hood made his headquarters and saw the wrecks of carriages and fragments of furniture and household goods which he had taken from surrounding residences. We then went to a tavern not far away where Dick Turpin bivouacked and held his drunken orgies with his men. On returning, as we drove into the grounds with Mr. Baring, I said to him, "Why do you have those heavy plank shutters on the lower windows of your house?"
"Oh," he said, "those were put there by Lord Nelson in case of an attack by Robin Hood or Dick Turpin or other robbers."
Just think, the Commander of all the English navy simply defended himself against the robbers instead of landing a force of Marines and wiping out the nuisances, but such is the conservatism of the English.
I was visiting the House of Parliament and presented a letter to Mr. Gladstone. He was most kind and showed us through the House of Commons and then introduced us to one of the Lords who showed us through the House of Lords.
When we arrived in Paris I found a letter at my banker's from the Rector of the American Church in Paris saying that he had been called away and having seen my name on the passenger list as a Clergyman of the Episcopal Church he had left his services the following Sunday in my charge and hoped that I could fill the pulpit. I was only a Deacon; had never preached in my life; had no sermons with me and was expected to preach to the largest English speaking congregation in Europe; so I sat down and spent my first week in Paris preparing my sermons.
I did the best I could on Sunday morning and when I gave out the notice of the evening service I said that I had understood that American tourists rarely went to Church on Sunday evenings but I hoped they would make an exception of that Sun-day. When evening came the congregation consisted of fourteen women. The rest had had enough of my sermons to last.
In Rome they had lately excavated the palace of the Caesars which had been covered up for hundreds of years. In Caesar's judgment hall we found intact the emperor's throne and before it a railing and our guide said, laying his hand upon it, "This is the spot where St. Paul stood when he was being tried by the Emperor."
I said, "Let me stand there too," and as I took my place I felt something hard under my feet in the dust on the floor, and stooping down found a necklace. And then a vision seemed to show me St. Paul standing there and some Christian woman in the group of sympathisers pressing too near to him and a brutal Roman soldier, pushing her back and catching his hand in her necklace, tore it off and it fell upon the floor neglected in the excitement; and then nearly nineteen hundred years afterwards a Christian minister should be the one to pick it up and place it among his treasures. Later this necklace and a chloristeleite ring among other things which I valued highly, were stolen.
One day as I was passing the Quirinal Palace I saw the Pope's carriage standing before the grand staircase and a crowd gathering around it. I learned that he was about to come out to take his daily drive and as he descended, surrounded by his guards, everyone took off his hat and bowed his head, excepting myself, for I was a Protestant and a Deacon of the Church and felt my dignity too much to do honor to the Bishop of Rome. One of the guards inserted the point of his sword under my hat and raised it from my head until the Pope had passed and then replaced it. It was a needed lesson in humility.
It was during this visit to Rome that it was hot summer weather and I saw a woman sitting on a street corner selling smoked spectacles. I mustered what little Italian I knew but she didn't appear to understand me and I couldn't understand her Italian but I succeeded in buying the glasses and gave her a five franc piece to pay for them. She hunted in her purse for change and then to my amazement blurted out in English, "I'll be switched if I've got the change."
In Geneva, Switzerland, I remembered that I had a Geneva watch which didn't run very well and I took it to the maker to be cleaned. A Turk came in while I was talking about my watch and asked him if he bought pearls and precious stones. He said that he did and the Turk, taking off his turban, laid it on the counter. He then partially unrolled it and in a crease was a row of semi-precious stones; he continued to unroll and in another crease was a row of greater value, like emeralds and rubies, and in the next crease was a row of pearls. Each time the dealer shook his head that he didn't want them until he came to the row of pearls and picked out one wonderful pearl and said that he would take it. I was always a lover of pearls and precious stones and the sight of that magnificent pearl threw me off my guard and I plunged my hand into my pocket and offered all the money I had, which would have left me and my wife penniless in Europe. But fortunately my good sense came to my rescue and I went away without the pearl but I have always understood the parable of the "Pearl of great price" far better than before.
The first night we were in Naples we were wakened by the rocking of the building and a series of terrific explosions. While we were hastily donning some clothing the proprietor of the hotel came to the door and announced that Vesuvius was in eruption and that there was a fine view of the mountain from the roof. We sat up all night watching the fiery column of lava which it threw up and then the great river of lava bursting out of the side of the mountain and burning the houses and villages in its course until it plunged seething into the sea. It was a sight never to be forgotten.
While at Naples I visited an old monastery on the hill overlooking the Mediterranean. It had been suppressed by the government and I found only two of the old monks left who were in care of the building. I did not understand Italian and they could not speak English. I tried French but they shook their heads; I tried Latin but their pronunciation was so different from ours that it was no use. So I went away without getting the story of the monastery.
On our return at the end of the year I became assistant to Trinity Church, New Haven and was ordained Priest by Bishop Williams. I had another preaching experience about this time which was similar to the one in Paris. I was asked to preach in old St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia. I was accustomed to holding services in country school houses and halls and other small rooms and when I mounted the pulpit and looked over that great congregation where Washington used to worship I wondered if I could make them hear so I picked out a man in the back seat who was looking at me expectantly and said to myself, "I'll make that man hear me."
As I proceeded he leaned forward and then put his hand to his ear and I shouted louder and louder to the end. After the service I told my experience to the Rector.
"Why," he said, "that man is as deaf as a post and the pupit has a sounding board which increases the volume of sound ten fold and you have such a mighty voice that I was afraid the congregation would all be made deaf."
The next year my dear young wife died and in answer to my prayers asking why such a visitation was sent upon me, God revealed to me that it was his wish to have me go into the mission fields. I wrote several missionary Bishops asking if they had any hard missionary work for me and among others Bishop Morris of Oregon and Washington wrote me that he wanted to place a man at Walla Walla, Washington. I thought that a place with such a name needed a missionary and I accepted his offer.
I came West on one of the first trains across the continent. There were great herds of wild buffalo on the plains and several times we ran into them and slaughtered the poor animals. There was an English sportsman on the train and he bribed the engineer to let him ride on the engine with his rifle and amused himself by shooting those poor creatures and leaving them to the wolves and vultures; and he called this sport.
There were no railroads in this upper country so at San Francisco I took a steamer up the coast and then up the Columbia River to Portland. At Portland I took a river steamer to the Cascades, then a narrow gauge railroad three miles, then another steamer to The Dalles, then a narrow gauge road for six miles, from there a river boat to Wallula, then a stage for twenty miles to Walla Walla.
On my way up I stopped at Portland to see Bishop Morris and he kindly invited me to stay over a day or two at his house.
Bishop Morris was in charge of Oregon, Washington and Northern Idaho. In 1869 and again in 1870 he visited Walla Walla and at his second visit confirmed five women. This was the beginning of our work in the territory of the present district of Spokane. He also made a visit at Colville, which was an army post with four hundred inhabitants, civilians and soldiers, and at Waitsburg, which claimed a hundred inhabitants. Outside of these three places, and their immediate surroundings, Eastern Washington was practically a wilderness.
My first evening with Bishop Morris as we sat before the open fire, he said, "Mr. Wells, you said nothing about salary. What salary do you expect?"
I replied, "Why I don't expect any salary from you. I expect it from the congregation of my mission."
He said, "Do you know how many members of the Church there are there?"
"Why, no," I said.
"There are five women and a man and I am afraid they won't be able to support you."
I replied, "Well, I will have as good support as the apostles did when they went on their first missionary journey so I will run the risk."
He then asked, "Mr. Wells, what were your expenses in coming out here?"
I replied, "I had enough money to bring me here and I don't expect you to be at any expense."
"Why, are you a man of means?"
"No, but I have enough money left to get me to Walla Walla and that is all I need."
That evening Bishop Morris told me the following story: "When I arrived to take charge of my diocese," he said, "I received a letter from an Indian chief near Salem. It read as follows: 'Bishop, the seat of my trousers is worn out. This is a report and not a beg,' and the Bishop added to me "I hope you will not have to make the same report but I am afraid you will have small support."
Bishop Morris was a very striking character. He was descended from an old Philadelphia family; stood up very straight and had rather a haughty manner, but beneath it he carried the humblest of hearts.
One day I was walking with him in the streets of Salem, Oregon, which is the capitol of the State, when, pointing across the street he said, "There's the Chief Justice, I want to speak to him."
He called out "Judge, Judge, come over here and See me."
The Judge replied, "If you want to see me, come over here and see me."
"Why certainly," said the Bishop and went across the street and had his conversation with the Judge and never referred to the matter afterwards.
Another time I was coming up the Columbia River with him on a steamer when a Portland man said to him, "Did you see of the death of Mr. So and So of Portland in the paper this morning?" I suppose he was the richest man in Portland; what do you think he was worth?"
"He wasn't worth a cent,' said the Bishop. "He never gave anything or did anything to advance the Kingdom of God."
The night I spent with Bishop Morris another clergyman arrived who was going to Tacoma, a place on Puget Sound where they had just built a mill. We were put in the same room and slept together and of course talked of our plans. He said he didn't believe in taking up collections or renting pews and in order to teach people to give from a pure motive he was going to nail up an alms chest at the door, and live on what the people put in that. I promised to do the same thing and we agreed to report to each other at the end of the year if we hadn't starved to death.
In one of the conversations I had with Bishop Morris, he said, "At my consecration Bishop Horatio Potter of New York was present as one of my consecrators. After the ceremony he said to me, "My Brother, you are going to a new work and a new country and I would advise you to bend much of your energy in the founding of schools and other institutions." As I look back upon my own episcopate I feel deeply that I have made a great mistake in not doing this, so I earnestly advise you "Found institutions."
Then he addressed me, "And now Mr. Wells, let me impress the same thing on your mind, 'Found institutions'."
I followed his advice, and St. Paul's School, Walla Walla and the hospital at Spokane have been doing splendid work ever since.
WALLA WALLA means Water Water, much waiter.
As the story goes, an Indian crossing the Blue Mountains looked down over the plain where Walla. Walla now is and seeing three brooks and two rivers fringed with trees exclaimed, "Walla Walla" water water--much water.
When I arrived at Walla Walla, I went to a little tavern and then called on one of our principal women, and her husband said to me, "I will come around this evening and take you out to see the town."
There was a great gold rush on, at the time, with crowds of men going to Baker City mining fields, and it seemed as if every second building was a saloon. He took me to look in at one and just then a drunken miner in bravado hurled a handful of gold nuggets at a large mirror, shattering it into fragments. Then holding out another handful of nuggets he hiccoughed out, "How much do you want me to pay?" and paid for the mirror.
Everyone in those days carried a little morocco case in his pocket containing some tiny scales with which to weigh the gold that was paid him. The gold from Baker City was worth sixteen dollars an ounce; from Idaho, fourteen dollars an ounce, and from some other places, only twelve.
We were standing in front of another saloon soon after, when a crowd rushed out of the door and we heard pistol shots and a drunken man was rushing after them, firing into their midst. My friend seized me by the shoulder and dragged me into a doorway. In a moment or two some of the crowd turned and riddled the pursuer with bullets and disappeared down the street. I started to give aid to the dying man but my friend dragged me away, saying, "Don't you know better than that, you will get shot in two minutes. Let him die; he deserved it."
The next day I had a meeting of our six communicants and we organized a mission. Our one man, Judge Mix, was elected Warden, and the husbands of our four other women were elected vestry men. I called a meeting of the vestry and one of them said, "What in thunder is a vestry?" They had never heard of such a thing. Not one of them had ever attended a meeting of the Episcopal Church so I gave them full instructions.
The meeting was held in the hardware store that belonged to one of them and after it was over he said, "I go your way so we can walk home together."
As we left the store he drew a revolver and cocked it and put one finger on the trigger and his thumb on the hammer; ready to fire at a moment's notice and then held it inside his pocket. Turning to me he said, "You won't mind walking in the middle of the road, will you?"
"Why, its pretty muddy."
"Oh," he said, "you know I am president of the Vigilantes and we hung that gambler yesterday and he has a brother who threatens to shoot me on sight, so I don't want to get too near the dark places on the sidewalk."
We got safely home and nothing happened.
One day about noon I was strolling along the bank of Mill Creek which runs through part of Walla Walla and saw a man providing his luncheon. He was sitting on his veranda which overhung the water and catching trout in the stream below. As he would catch a trout he would take it from the hook and pass it in the kitchen window to his wife who cleaned it and cooked it ready for his meal. So plentiful were all fish and game in those days.
Another day I met a large bear as I was fishing on the creek, just on the edge of town and as I would turn aside to pass him he would shamble in front of me and then as I would try to pass him on the other side he would head me off again. Finally I jumped back and beating the water with my rod, splashed him and he made off and left me in possession of the creek.
Soon after I began work in Walla Walla other towns sprang up and I found that most of them were without any regular religious service and I started out to hold services both on week-days and on Sundays and in some places I held the first religious service ever conducted in the village.
My journeys took me into three states: Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I started missions in Waitsburg, Dayton, Colfax, Pomroy, Weston, Pendleton, Ritzville, LaGrande, Cove, Baker City, Pullman, North Yakima, Camas Prairie, Moscow, Palouse, Northport, Kennewick, Zillah, Lewiston, Ellensburg, Sunnyside and Roslyn, twenty-two places besides Walla Walla.
Soon after my arrival in Walla Walla the smallox broke out in a very virulent form and many people died. The people were panic stricken and fled to the mountains and lakes. Nurses and attendants could not be found. Even the ministers fled with the people. The Roman priest and I alone had to minister not only to the souls, but also to the bodies of many of those who were stricken. My congregation dropped to six, then to three, and then to one. This one, fortunately, was the organist. He had lost one eye and most of his nose by the small pox years before, so he remained at his post.
One Sunday he and I were having service alone, and were singing the venite when we heard steps ascending the outside stairs to the hall. We sang with all our might, in order to let the newcomer know that services were going. He halted a moment at the door, surprised at the smallness of the congregation, but, seeing him hesitate, I frantically beckoned him to come in. Thereupon he marched up the room to the organ, picked up a hymnal and joined in the chant. He was a deserter from the British navy who hadn't been in a church for ten years; but from that day on, for twenty years, until his death, he was in his place in church and choir every Sunday.
Up until about 1872 no one had any idea that the country around Walla Walla was good for anything but cattle raising and mining. That grain might be grown to advantage was discovered in this way. Dr. Baker had a grocery store at Walla Walla and one day hitched his cayuse in front of the store, and taking a gunnysack, went to a wheat bin at the back of the store and put a handful or two of the grain in one corner of the sack and tied it up. Then he tied up some rye, oats, and barley in the other corners and going out threw it and a shovel on the back of his horse and mounted.
The crowd of idlers standing about asked what he was going to do but he gave evasive answers. He rode out on the plains about four miles and behind a great rock for a landmark dug a square of ground and sowed his four kinds of grain. In the fall he returned and reaped an abundant harvest. At first he told no man. He sold his grocery and borrowed all he could and purchased thousands of acres at twenty-five cents an acre. Then he told his friends and they too invested. Today this part of the country is called the Inland Empire and raises thousands of bushels of grain annually.
There was only one hall in the town which was for entertainments of all kinds, also for the court, when in session, and this we rented for a dollar a Sunday for Church services.
The vestry went up to inspect it and we found the floor covered with about an inch or two of sawdust and in a very filthy condition. The people who attended the court would bring their lunches with them and throw their bones and refuse food on the floor where it had been rotting for months. We had a load of sawdust hauled and the next evening cleaned out the old sawdust and put down the new.
The walls were wooden and painted white and I said to one of the men, "What are those little yellow spots all over the wall?"
He walked up to one of them and touched it with his finger and it dropped off. It was a quid of tobacco, "Why," he said, "when those in the audience get all the good out of a quid of tobacco they take it out and throw it against the wall."
The vestry started to knock the quids off but it left a bad looking spot in each place. When one of them said, "Hold on, fellows, let me get a pail." He brought a pail half'filled with water and knocked off the quids of tobacco in that. Then he got a brush and painted the wall with the juice so that it was all a light yellow, which was an ingenious solution of the difficulty.
At one end was a platform with a desk and seat for the Judge and right behind the Judge's chair, or rather, just back of where his head would have been, there was a great black blotch on the wall and I said to our Warden, "What is that black spot there, Judge Mix?" (He was always called Judge although only a lawyer.)
"Why," he said, "the Judge made an adverse ruling on the plea of one of the attorneys and he threw an ink stand at the Judge's head. The Judge dodged but it left a spot on the wall. I'll fix it for you." So he pinned up a sheet of white foolscap paper and the deed was done.
One of the first things I did was to take a small box and make a slot in the top of it and nail it inside the door and the next Sunday I announced that I would live on what the congregation put into the box as their offering. The box had a bottom on hinges and at the time of the offertory the warden would collect it and I would present it on the altar.
I engaged board at the hotel at ten dollars a month. It wasn't very good or very clean but it was the best I could do. After the first service I found that I would have to get another boarding place or go bankrupt so I went to the poorest woman in the congregation, whose husband was a day laborer, and engaged board at six dollars a month on condition that they should have the same kind of food they had before.
They had a woodhouse with a second story and I was to occupy that. The walls were one board thick without any battons and the winter winds howled through the generous cracks. The Woman's Auxiliary of an eastern parish had sent me out a missionary box and had neglected to pay the freight, which was fourteen dollars. On opening the box I found it contained only old Churchman and some of the papers were several years old but I made some paste and pasted them two or three thicknesses on the wall and was warm.
I made a bunk and a table, and a chair out of a barrel, that was comfortable. One day my host said to his wife, "Martha, I am building a stone wall and it is awfully hard work. That bread and those biscuits you give me for lunch are too light and they don't stay by a fellow. I wish you would make your bread heavier."
She did, and I got dyspepsia, so I went to the Judge who was warden and treasurer and everything else and said to him, "I have got to change my boarding place and I can't get as cheap a one any where else here in town. Don't you think you could increase my salary some way?"
"I'll try," he said. The next Sunday after service I went into a side room where I changed my vestments and the Judge came in and sat down at a table to count the collection. "Whew," he whistled as he counted.
I said, "What's the matter, Judge?"
He said, "Look at that," and pointed to a row of five ten dollar gold pieces.
"Where did those come from?" I asked.
"Oh," he said, "I put it up to the women and all of them employ chinamen at ten dollars a month and they decided to dismiss their chinamen and do their own work for a month and give the Parson the benefit of it, and this is the month in advance."
From that time on I never had any trouble about money. My salary the first year was $428. The second year $502. The third year $360. The next year the vestry voted me~a regular salary of $1,200.
As we had become so prosperous the vestry decided to hire a sexton but wages were high and they hired a half-witted fellow by the name of George for half price and George was the source of endless trouble. The first Sunday I instructed George to keep up a good fire but unfortunately he was a lazy fellow and during the service I was shivering with cold and noticed George standing very close to the stove and rubbing first one shin and then the other. After Church was out I said to him, "George why didn't you make more fire, I nearly froze."
To which he replied, "Why, the stove was as hot as biases, I nearly blistered my shins and didn't suppose you wanted it any hotter."
One Sunday when it came time to ring the last bell, it suddenly ceased and I stepped to the door and said, "What is the matter, George."
"I dunno what is the matter, there is something the matter with the rope."
There was a ladder leaning against the building and I said to George, "Go up that ladder and see what is the matter."
He replied, "I dursent, I might fall down."
"Well," I said, "I'll go up the ladder; I am not afraid."
So I climbed up to the belfry and found a kink in the rope and straightened it out and called down to George, "Now ring the bell and don't stop until I come down and tell you to."
As I turned to go down to the ladder, the roof was slippery and my foot slipped and down I slid. I thought my end had come but the roof was old and the nails stuck up and the seat of my pants caught on one and checked my descent. It was only for a moment and then there was a tearing sound and I began to descend once more. Again I caught on another nail. This time my feet were hanging over the eaves and I could look down and see the people on the sidewalk below coming to Church with their umbrellas bobbing up and down and I thought what a surprise it would be if I should drop down on one of those umbrellas.
I reached back and tore up some of the shingles and got my fingers in the cracks of the roof board and regained the ladder in safety. During the service I noticed that people would put their hands to their heads or the back of their necks very suddenly and then look up to the ceiling and then wipe their faces and move to another seat and as the rain increased the commotion increased until the whole congregation was collected on the side of the hall where I had not torn up the shingles.
The congregation grew and we soon bought a lot for a Church. It had upon it a shanty of one room, inhabited by a colored woman of very questionable character. I decided to take this for my residence and with a pail full of water and disinfectants and a broom I thoroughly cleansed it.
The cabin was 12x12 inside so I partitioned off a bedroom 6x6, a kitchen-dining room 6x6, which left me a study 6x12. It had only one window which was in front and I couldn't afford another sash so I inserted a large pane of glass in each of the other rooms. I also built a porch in front and the architectural effect was very fine.
When I went to Walla Walla it claimed to have 1,000 inhabitants and there were a Congregational and a United Brethren Church. One day the pastor of the United Brethren Church, who was an old man met me in the street and said, "I was looking for you. Yesterday my trustees voted to offer you the use of our Church for meetings and our congregation will attend your services. You seem to be a city chap and Fm a rough old country man so you take the city congregation and I will go out in the country.
This certainly was a beautiful Christian act on their part. We accepted his offer and worshiped in harmony until we built our school building.
In my missionary trips about the country I found that both in the country and villages there was a great lack of schools and many young people growing up uneducated. The schools they had were many of them very poor, one being taught by a fourteen year-old girl.
In one case I was riding on horseback through the country and I saw beside the road a little one-room schoolhouse. As I drew near I heard the children laughing and talking in the schoolroom. When I was almost opposite, a girl looked out of the window and cried, "Teacher, teacher, there is a man coming."
Whereupon in a man's Irish voice I heard the exclamation: "Order, order, order, attend to your studies. Now be good children and study."
As I passed the door the teacher, opening it, invited me in to see what a splendid school he had. I therefore made up my mind to start a girl's school and wrote back to my parish in New Haven.
They sent me twelve hundred dollars with which I erected a school room which was also used for religious services.
One Sunday the congregation was larger than usual and the vestry occupied an extemporized bench in the back of the room. They were all large men and as they all sat down together at the close of a hymn the bench crushed under them and threw them on their backs. The startled congregation, looking around, saw five dignified vestrymen with their legs waving in the air. The rest of the service was interrupted by suppressed titters and the responses muffled by the handkerchiefs the convulsed young people had stuffed in their mouths.
I had a large cat which followed me around and had, unnoticed by me, followed me to Church and during the prayers had climbed up on my back. A zealous boy in the congregation rushed up and seized her by the tail and an equally zealous man grabbed her by the head amid yowls and spits as they pulled in different directions; my back had to be dressed by the doctor after service.
Another thing that influenced me in regard to a girl's school was the fact that so many parents were utterly irreligious and unfitted to bring up their children. One of the first things that teachers did when they got a new pupil was to try and find out whether she swore or told lies.
One day as I was about to call at a house in a small hamlet where there was a prospective pupil I saw the child playing on the front porch and heard the mother calling out to her to come in. The child paid no attention. Then the mother would swear and call again to her and she would swear back at her mother. When the woman caught sight of me she called out to the child, "There comes the preacher, if you don't come right in I'll set the preacher on you and he will eat you up."
The girl was afterwards sent to St. Paul's school, was baptised and confirmed; the mother was converted and reformed, and the whole family became earnest Christians, and helped me to start a mission in their village.
We rented a house for our boarders and rooms for the teachers. Toward the end of the first year the rented building was destroyed by fire but we saved the pianos and other furniture and erected a large building for the school on our newly acquired land. We also erected a charming little church of Gothic architecture next to the school.
One night I was sitting and studying and I heard a knock at the door. A rather roughly dressed man was standing there when I opened it and I noticed that a canvas'Covered emigrant wagon was standing in the street before the house. I invited him in and as he sank into a chair he burst into tears and said, "My wife is out there in the wagon, dead. When we got to the brow of the mountain, coming into the valley we stopped to gaze out upon our future home. The sun came out that moment and my wife said to me, 'John, do you see that cross on that Church spire way off there in the valley? I believe it is an Episcopal Church.' (She was a devout Episcopalian) Before we arrived here I noticed that she was very quiet and partly turning I said to her, 'Martha, what is the matter with you?' She didn't answer and I reached back and put my hand on hers and it was cold. She was dead, and now I want you to bury her with the service of the Church she loved so well."
AS I have said before, during my second year at Walla Walla, 1872, we started St. Paul's day and boarding school for girls with three boarders and twenty day pupils.
One of our first day pupils was a little colored girl, and of course she was instructed in etiquette the same as the others. One day when I was calling upon her mother she returned from school, and throwing herself in a chair, exclaimed, "Oh, dear, how hot it is; I am perspiring all over."
Her mother seized her and gave her a good shaking. "Don't let me hear you say that again. White folks perspire, niggers sweat."
Our first boarder was obtained in the following way: Before the school opened I was on a missionary trip and held services in Pomeroy, which was then a little village among the hills. A prominent family kindly invited me to spend the night at their house and the next morning seeing a pretty little girl I said, "I wish you would send your daughter to our boarding school for girls which we are about to open in Walla Walla."
He said, "You know how terribly hard the times are and I couldn't get the money to pay for it. I can't sell my cattle."
We agreed that the school should take cattle in payment and he would keep the cattle until they were sold and then turn the money over to the school. He took me out to the range on horseback and I selected the cattle; mostly cows with calves. Several years afterward when they were sold they yielded sufficient, with the increase, to put up a good' sized addition to the school.
I met on another occasion, a farmer near Walla Walla who agreed to pay for his daughter with potatoes and when he drove up to the school with two or three wagonloads I had no place to store them so at his suggestion, I summoned several men and we dug a hole nearly as large as a house to put them in. That evening I told the girls that they could have all the potatoes they wanted for a whole year.
Another one of our early boarders was the daughter of a miller in Grande Ronde Valley who paid for her with a six mule team load of flour, and when the girl appeared riding on top of a load of flour, one of the teachers remarked that she was the "flower of the family."
On a missionary trip to Baker City during the gold excitement I found a prospector digging a hole for gold and told him about the school. He agreed to send his daughter and when he brought her he pulled out a great buckskin purse and taking some little brass scales in a morocco case out of his pocket he weighed out gold dust sufficient to pay for her board and tuition for a year. So many paid in gold dust and nuggets that we had to keep a pair of scales in the office and weigh it.
One girl came down as a boarder from Northern British Columbia, nearly to the Alaska line. She rode a mule, connected with a mule train which was returning after carrying provisions to the extreme north.
One little boarder had never been taught to say her prayers and the teachers had a hard time to instill the habit. Soon afterwards another little girl came and was put into the bed with her. When the lights were put out cries and shrieks came from the room which they occupied and a teacher, rushing upstairs, heard her exclaim, "I won't sleep with a heathen! I won't sleep with a heathen! She won't say her prayers."
In a few days the heathen became a Christian and said her prayers and her bedfellow was contented.
One day a man brought his daughter from Pendle* ton and placed her in the school as a boarder. Soon after he left a man rode up to the school and asked if he were there. I informed him that he has just gone away.
"Which way did he go?" he asked. "He robbed me at a gambling game and drugged me and I want to get even with him."
Two days afterward the papers announced that the second man had been shot through the head. The girl's father was never heard of again but her mother kept her in the school and she turned out to be a lovely character.
On one of my missionary trips I was crossing the Umatilla reservation and saw two pretty little half-breed girls playing before an Indian cabin. I tied my horse and went in and found the father and mother of the children who agreed to send them as boarders to St. Paul's school. One of these girls inherited the traits of her white father and the other the traits of her Indian mother. After their graduation one of them married a young lawyer who afterwards became a Senator of the United States; the other married a surgeon in the army who afterwards became the Surgeon General, and they both live in the City of Washington.
Another of our girls married a banker. This shows something of the advantages the school gave to the girl situated in the out of the way places.
One day while I was calling on the parents of one of our primary children, the child sidled up to me and said, "Don't you think Bobbie is a very bad boy? (Bobbie was her younger brother.)
"Why no, I think he is a very nice little fellow."
"No, he isn't, Bobbie is a very bad, bad boy. He eats meat in Lent. I don't."
We began with one piano in the school and to my knowledge this was the only piano in that part of the country with one exception. The other one had been hauled over the plains and was good for nothing but a table. However, ours wasn't a great deal better.
The first few years the board and tuition was $250.00 per year and in 1903 it was raised to $300. In 1921 it had to be raised to $600.00.
The times were very hard and some years the school paid its own current expenses and sometimes it ran behind but I never allowed it to be in debt, for when necessary I raised the deficit in the East and paid up at the end of the year. As a most important missionary agency I helped it as I would help the mission.
On arriving at Walla Walla I found that there were six companies of regular troops in the garrison at Fort Walla Walla. I called upon the Colonel in command and found him alone. I introduced myself but he evidently did not understand who I was and interlarded his conversation with many fiery oaths. As he showed me to the door and I departed I heard him say to an officer who came up at that moment, "Captain, who is that gentleman who just went from here?"
"Oh, that is the Rev. Mr. Wells, the rector of the Episcopal Church."
With an oath he replied, "I wonder what I said to him?"
His successor was a man of an entirely different character. Colonel Wheaton was an earnest Christian man and in my absence on my frequent missionary trips would superintend the Sunday School and read the service. On these occasions he would lunch at the school with the faculty and pupils.
The first time he lunched with them the principal said to him after they were seated at the table, "Colonel, will you ask the blessing?"
The Colonel was a very modest man and spoke so low that nobody heard him. After waiting for a few minutes they raised their heads and saw the Colonel sitting up straight in the chair.
Thinking that he had not heard her the principal asked again, "Colonel, will you ask the blessing?"
Again they bowed their heads but not a sound was heard so they went on with their meal but the teacher who sat next to him told them that the Colonel had said grace twice--the second time with a very red face.
One of the officers, Captain Jones, was preparing for confirmation and I asked each of the class whether they were at peace with everyone. Captain Jones replied, "Yes, with everyone but Captain Smith and we are always at sword's points with each other."
Before the confirmation an Indian war broke out and the troops were ordered up to Camas Prairie to suppress it. Captain Smith and his company were surrounded by the Indians and in danger of being massacred when Captain Jones gallantly charged at the head of his company and seeing that Captain Smith had been dragged from his horse, threw his reins to his orderly and jumping down helped Captain Smith upon his horse and then remounted. After suppressing the Indians, on their return to Walla Walla, the two were confirmed together.
At one time the principal and two of the teachers who were young widows were invited by some officers of the garrison to take a sleigh ride. They accepted on condition that they were not to start until the girls were safely in bed and asleep. A lieutenant who was too young to be included in the party interested other officers and sent word to the sixteen boarders that a four horse sleigh would be at the back of the school after the teachers were gone. The girls went to bed with their clothes and shoes on and when the teachers had left in their sleigh in front of the house they climbed the back fence and merrily ensconced themselves in the sleigh at the rear with the lieutenants. For a while all went merrily as a marriage bell when suddenly the two sleighs met and both abruptly halted. The teachers called out to the girls to go home immediately; the young officers laughed tauntingly and called out they were managing that sleigh and wouldn't let the girls go home until they were ready and then drove off. The girls didn't return until nearly daylight and promised not to write home about it if the teachers would forget it. Such was one of the escapades they used to have in the early days at the school.
At the time of this escapade I was in the East collecting funds for the school and received a telegraphic dispatch from the Senior Warden, "Come home immediately if you wish to save the school." I hurried back and was told the story.
Having had experience in managing men the charming young widows attempted to manage me. One of them would come into my office and give me some advice and if I would suddenly open the door I would find the other two at the keyhole listening. After the first one had gone another would come in and ask me "What did Sarah advise you to do? Don't do that, you had better take my advice and do so and so."
Then Emily, who was watching outside would enter and say, "Don't do what these girls tell you to do; they don't know. You do as I tell you to."
I found this kind of thing insufferable and at the end of the year I exchanged the widows for three old maids. The change didn't seem to help matters much for each one wanted to have her own way.
On June 21, 1880, I married Miss Henrietta Garretson, whose father was senator of Pennsylvania. She was the principal of St. Paul's. She was born in Tioga, Pennsylvania, in 1838 and died March 2, 1903. We had a little girl, Mary G. Wells, who lived to be four years old and died in 1887.
The principal of St. Paul's from 1910 until the present writing, 1931, is Miss Nettie M. Galbraith, a native of Walla Walla. The year after Miss Galbraith was elected to St. Paul's, ambitious for success of the school, she made a tour of the United States and even went up into Canada to study conditions in the best private schools.
St. Paul's is indeed fortunate in having Miss Galbraith. By her magnetic enthusiasm she transformed teachers and pupils into loyal workers who cooperated for the upbuilding of the school. By her earnest religious spirit she deepened the religious life of all the pupils. Today it stands on a firm foundation and is a regularly accredited school, standing all the tests and examinations of the state system with high honors. The education it gives is, therefore, as good as the best. Its graduates enter colleges of both East and West on equal footing with those of any schools in the land.
This school has been doing splendid work for fifty-eight years with a very small and insufficient endowment. No school or college can be permanent without adequate endowment and I am so impressed with this that I have been trying to increase it from my own small income by economising in many ways. I no longer go to California in the winter or take a summer vacation and I haven't had a new suit of clothes for years.
If you readers or any of your friends can give much or little for this endowment I beg of you to do what you can for this worthy object.
IN 1872 I thought that I would take my summer vacation on Puget Sound. There were no railroads in this country then so I put an extra saddle blanket on my horse and slung a frying pan and coffee pot back of my saddle and a haversack with some provisions and started to ride from Walla Walla to Puget Sound across the Blue Mountains. It was 322 miles and took me 12 days. Sometimes I slept on the ground under the trees and sometimes I found a deserted cabin by the roadside. One night I was sleeping in a cabin with my horse tied outside where there was some grass when I was awakened by hearing him dashing through the bushes and whinnying in distress. I started toward the door but I didn't open it because I heard a whiff and growl of a bear as he smelled through the keyhole. The window was up and I got it down just as he was attempting to climb in. I had no firearms but I armed myself with a stick of wood--but he soon got tired and went away. I went out and soothed the horse but didn't sleep much the rest of the night.
On the way I heard that a saw mill had been built at a place called Tacoma and that it was supposed that this was to be the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The site of this mill was at what is now known as Old Tacoma because the site of the New Tacoma had not been selected. I found a lodging over a saloon and took my meals at the vilest restaurant you ever saw. They told me of the Indian town up the sound about thirty miles called after the Indian Chief Seattle. They said that the white men were coming into it very fast and that it was going to be a city.
I tried to hire a sail boat and visit this new city; at this time all small boats were propelled by either sails or oars; engines had not yet arrived. There was only one steamboat on the Sound and this went once a week from Olympia to Port Townsend and it would be a week before it would make another trip. As no sail boat was to be had, I hired a row boat and employed a dressmaker to make me a sail. I had my coffee pot and frying pan and laid in some bacon and eggs and bread and started one noon for Seattle.
By night I had gone only about five miles to what is now known as Dash Point and pulled my boat ashore, expecting to spend the night on the beach. I lighted a fire and began to get my supper when I heard a wolf howl a short distance away among the trees. I had become accustomed to the coyotes east of the mountains and they howled "yip> yip, yip," but this one was deep and long drawn out so I knew it was a great timber wolf. I went on cooking my supper and then I heard another wolf a little way off and then a third answering him and I seized my coffee pot and frying pan and throwing them into the boat, bacon fat and all, I pushed off into the water and pulled away from the shore. I hadn't gone more than thirty feet when three great wolves galloped up and into the water after me, but as soon as they wet their feet they backed up like a cat and sitting down on the shore howled mournfully. The poor things had lost their supper and for fear I should relent and offer myself, I rowed away to the next point where I passed the night.
There were a great many hair seals at that time in the Sound and they would follow a row boat with their curious eyes, looking like a puppy swimming.
Sharks infested the water also. On one occasion as I came up from a dive from the stern of my boat I nearly struck a shark with my head; it startled him for a moment and he hesitated and I crawled to safety.
One day I heard cries from a little bay making into the shore and on turning the point found a man who had been trolling and had reached over to land a fish that was on his line when a shark seized him by the arm and bit off his hand and part of the lower arm. I stanched the blood as well as I could, washed the wound and did it up in my handkerchief and then took him ashore and turned him over to his friends who were camped out there.
I travelled about ten miles a day and on the third day arrived in Seattle and found quite a village of white people living there among the Indians. They had already built a wharf where a steamer or fishing boat could tie up.
I START A BOY'S SCHOOL
THE girl's school at Walla Walla was so successful and filled such a need that I soon had inquiries as to whether I also had a boy's school. Whitman Academy was at this time closed, so I rented their building and started a boys' school there in 1873. I found, however, that the western boys were more unmanageable than their sisters. My first teacher was quite a small man and when he undertook to whip a big boy, the boy gave him a thrashing that laid him up for some time and I had to take charge of the school. The next teacher presented excellent testimonials but had a very high temper and when he lost his temper, I found that he would swear at the boys, so I had to let him go.
One of the teachers who came highly recommended I soon found was utterly unreliable. He would attend the theatres and after the play would take the actors and actresses up to the school for a supper. He'd furnish the most expensive wines and everything would be charged to the school account. He even employed an extra cook for these occasions and the school paid his wages. Finally on one or two occasions he had imbibed so much that he had to be taken home in a cab and put to bed. That capped the climax and I dismissed him.
After I had tried several teachers, I attempted to take charge of the school myself. I had five missions, as well as my parish at Walla Walla and some Sundays I rode on horseback forty miles from mission to mission and after the evening service would have to ride all night in order to be back in time for breakfast and school.
Of course no man could stand that long and I broke down and had to give up the boys' school. It nearly broke my heart.
As I have travelled up and down the country in Washington, Oregon and Idaho I have found men educated in our Church schools in the East and in the West and they have given me a great deal of help in establishing missions and conducting services.
One of these drove seventy-five miles to attend a service which I held and although he had become somewhat dissipated he was reformed and brought again under the influence of the Church and became a successful clergyman in California.
Another one became a lay reader and member of the standing committee of the Diocese. Later, another one was a member of the standing committee and Senior Warden of the Cathedral.
From thirty years of experience, I am convinced that one of the most powerful missionary agencies that can be brought to bear on our Western land is a good boys' school.
SOON after I went to Walla Walla I was writing my sermon on Saturday evening when I heard a noise on the porch. I looked up and saw the face of an Indian pressed against the window, looking in. I went to the door, opened it and there stood an Indian. He had on a blanket with yellow stripes, his face was tatooed, red on one side and blue on the other and he was gotten up in gorgeous array. I saluted him and invited him in. I had one good chair and assigned that to him. He calmly sat down, filled his pipe and went to smoking. I had been taught to be deliberate with the Indians so I went on writing. Presently I looked up and said, "Did you want to see me?" He said, "Yes."
I said, "My name is Wells. What is your name?" He straightened up, took the pipe out of his mouth, knocked the ashes onto my rug which was a present from one of my old parishioners in the East, and said with great dignity, "My name Joseph. Big Chief, Big Chief. Long while ago I little papoose. My father live in Colville. English man own all country. English man sent White Blanket. White Blanket put water on my head. Put water on head of all little papoose in Colville. Bimeby Boston man came and took all Country. White Blanket went back to England. I grew up Big Man, then I hear that another White Blanket come to Walla Walla. I get on my pony, come down to Walla Walla, ask White Blanket why English White Blanket put water on my head."
Here was an opportunity to do missionary work but it was six o'clock and time for dinner and I had started a boarding school next door where I boarded. I excused myself for a moment and stepped in and asked the Principal if I could bring an Indian Chief for dinner. She said, "Certainly," and I went back and tried to get the Chief to wash his hands and face. I had a hard time but at last he consented to splash a little in the water. We were just starting the school and had fourteen boarders and six teachers and on Saturday night we always had roast beef and the remainder of it cold for Sunday.
We heaped up the Indian's plate but it was gone in a jiffy, then we renewed it again and again. The Chinese cook was called upon for fresh supplies of vegetables and when those were exhausted and he returned with the last dish full he shook his fist behind the Indian's head. Something in the face of the teacher opposite to his attracted the Indian and he suddenly looked behind him. The Chinaman yelled, turned white, dropped the dish of potatoes and disappeared. That day and the next the girls and teachers had to do the cooking, but finally we found our cook under an ironing table in a Chinese laundry.
I took the Chief back to my room and spent the evening trying to teach him about the gospel and what baptism meant. When he left that night I told him "Tomorrow I wah wah (preach) in that house, (pointing to the Church which was a few steps from my cabin). You come at eleven o'clock, man show you where you sit."
Sunday morning he came knocking at my door about daylight. He was afraid he would be too late for breakfast. I was afraid to take him to the school again so I filled him up at a cheap restaurant and when it came time for the service I put on my vestments in my cabin which was just a few steps from the chancel entrance of the church and told him to go around to the front door and an usher would give him a seat. As I entered the Church and tried to close the door after me I found him close behind me. The congregation was singing the opening hymn and I couldn't stop to argue with him so he followed me into the Chancel and looking around for a proper seat for a Big Chief occupied the Bishop's chair much to the delight of the young people in the congregation. I was in mortal terror for fear he would take out his pipe and smoke it but he fortunately refrained.
The service was spoiled throughout by titters and suppressed laughter and I am afraid was not to edification. At its close he followed me out. Having changed my vestments I approached him as he sat smoking in my room and asked, "How long are you going to stay?"
"Oh, I dunno; perhaps one moon, perhaps ten moons."
"Where you sleep?" I said.
"Oh," he replied, "with my tillicum (friend) in his wickiup in grove/'
I said, "Where are you going to eat?"
He answered, "Oh, I'll eat with you."
I said to him, "That house where we ate is school. I no own that, not my house; I pay when I eat; I cannot pay for you and me too for ten months."
He rose in wrath and contempt: "You wah wah in that house," he said, pointing to the place where we held cur service. "You come to my wickiup Colville, I tell you, there blanket, you lie down, you sleep; there venison, you cut, you cook, you eat. I no ask you, 'How long you stay?' You wah wah in that house; you heap wah wah (talk a lot) you no do," and he wrapped his blanket around him and disappeared.
After the Nez Perce War I met Joseph in Lewiston on the street and holding out my hand, stepped up to him and said, "How do you do, Joseph," in a cordial tone.
He paid no attention to me and kept right on and would have walked over me if I hadn't gotten out of the way. A man who was lacking in hospitality was beneath his contempt. Joseph died in 190?.
All the Indians did not hold this contempt, for when I visited Camas Prairie above Lewiston they often gave me a quarter of venison or some other game. On one occasion they made a feast in my honor. We all sat around a camp fire and had wooden forks with which we fished out from an iron pot over the fire pieces of meat and vegetables. The meat was very sweet and tender and I asked what it was.
They replied, "Dog, little dog, very good dog" and I am ashamed to say that I didn't eat any more of the very good dog. Such is the prejudice of the white man.
The night that the Ne? Perce War broke out I was staying at the White Horse tavern on top of the Blue Mountains and was waked up in the middle of the night by an Indian to whom I had once given a pair of trousers. He said, "Come with me quick; put on clothes."
"Why, what is the matter?" I asked.
"Come with me quick," he said, and taking hold he pulled me out of bed.
I put on my clothes as quickly as I could and he led me out to the stables where I found my horse was saddled and when I tried to speak he put his hand over my lips and guided me some distance toward LaGrande, then turning he said, "Look."
I saw the tavern was in flames and heard the yells of the Indians and the noise of their guns as they killed the fleeing occupants. When I was in safety, without a word he turned and left me.
I was riding on horseback up to Mt. Idaho on Camas Prairie to hold service just after they had been having a fight with the Indians and saw a dead Indian lying on his back holding the end of his lariat and his horse browsing near him. When the pony saw me coming he whinnied and going up to his master licked his face, evidently calling my attention to the fact that he needed my care.
On returning over the mountains I passed a flock of sheep by the roadside and the barking of the shepherd dog attracted my attention because it was so persistent. I rode over to where he was and he was standing beside the body of the dead shepherd who had been shot a week before by the Indians and the faithful dog had herded the flock carefully ever since.
In travelling by stage, passengers and drivers always went armed and when we would see dead bodies of Indians or Whites by the roadside we would leave them there for fear that the Indians might be lurking behind adjacent trees.
A Congregational missionary was very successful with what was called Lots band of Indians which lived on the Columbia River. He lived but a few years but had produced a profound impression on them, especially by the story of the flood, so they determined to build an Ark that would hold the whole tribe and year after year, worked upon it until at last it kept them busy replacing the decaying timbers and boards. This was built so that they would be in readiness in case of a recurrence of the flood.
In my missionary trips on horseback I frequently came into contact with the Indians. One day I was riding through a grove on the Umatilla reservation, near the Umatilla river. As I came into the open I heard yells and curses and a struggle going on down by the stream. There I saw an Indian with an old man on his back up to his waist in water trying to dislodge the old man and drown him. Both were shouting and struggling. As I rode up they stopped for a moment and I asked what they were doing. The Indian replied, "This is my fadder, he very old, no teeth, no eat, no work, no hunt, no good. I drown him. He more happy."
The old man protested and I agreed with the young Indian for a dollar that he should let his old father live. I rode on, but before I got out of sight I heard the struggle renewed and saw the old man splash into the water but I was too far off to save him.
As I have said, many of our meetings in the early days were held in the country school houses. At one of these services, as I was tying my horse on arriving two Indians rode up and asked the bystanders which one was the medicine man. They pointed to me and the Indian began a long story about a sick squaw but it was time for service and I couldn't listen any longer and told them to come in to the service and that afterward I would talk to them.
Whenever I went to these remote places for evening services I carried some candles which we would cut in two and give to every worshiper a piece of candle to hold in his left hand while he held the service book in his right hand. As the Indians couldn't read, they insisted on having a candle in each hand, evidently thinking that they possessed some magic power.
After the service one of them told me that his wife was very ill and expected to die but had told him to go and find the medicine man to come and cure her. I went with them and found the poor squaw desperately ill with other squaws about her moaning and weeping but I explained to them that it wasn't I but that it was God who would cure her and that they must all pray in faith. I prayed for the woman's recovery and they all seemed deeply moved.
I did not see any of those Indians again for several years but one day on Camas Prairie I met the husband of the sick woman. He had just killed a deer and skinned it. As I approached he looked intently at me then pulled out his knife, cut off a hind quarter of the deer, wrapped it in a piece of the skin and tied it behind my saddle and explained that his wife had recovered as a consequence of my prayers and so he thanked me. I have always found the Indians a devout people and when they have attended my services they have given close and reverent attention. At one time the physicians had a great convention and one of the topics was on how to prolong life.
There was an old Indian woman on the reservation 110 years old and they sent for her and all questioned her in regard to her mode of living and habits.
Finally one of them said, "Anna, what do you think is the reason you live so long?"
She said, "I think it is whiskey and tobacco." As a matter of fact, she hadn't been sober for a number of years and always had a pipe of tobacco. Thus the doctors discovered the secret of her long life.
I HEARD there was a place just started called Pendleton about thirty miles over in Oregon. I mounted my horse and rode over there. I said mounted my horse--I didn't have any but I borrowed one from our banker. This horse was a Kentucky thoroughbred and the finest in the country. I arrived in time for dinner at the hotel and the landlady, before I was through, said that some gentlemen wanted to see me but would wait until I had finished my meal. When I went out to see them, into the saloon, they introduced each other as Bob Bud of Eureka Saloon, George Kennedy of the U Bet Salloon, and Ed Fish of the Excelsior Saloon. They said that they had read the notice of the service for the next day and were very much interested in it and wished it might be a great success as they had never had any preaching there before but it was bound to be a dead failure as the whole population was going to the foot of the mountains for the annual roundup with the Indians.
I expressed my sorrow and they said that if I would hold the service on Monday instead of Sunday and go out with them to the Roundup on Sunday they'd put me on to a thing or two at the races and I could make some money, but I said I couldn't do that but would compromise with them and hold service for women and children who were left in town and organize a Sunday School and then hold a service on Monday evening for the men after they had returned from the roundup. The said "All right," and that they were going to be rich and would give a big collection from the proceeds of the races.
I held services with a little handful on Sunday and on Monday started up the street on horseback to interview the men. I went on horseback although it was a little village because it was a cattle country and a man was valued by the horse he rode rather than by anything else. I would ride up to the door of a saloon and taking my bridle, step inside. There would be tables full of men gambling with piles of money in front of them and a bar conveniently at hand. I would say, "Gentlemen, I am going to hold services here tonight and hope you will attend. I held services for the women and children yesterday and this is a men's service for you."
They would say, "All right, we will come. My play next."
And then someone would catch sight of my horse and they would drop their cards and rush to the door and handle him all over and admire his points and then some one would say, "Well, parson, I think you must be worth hearing if you ride such a horse as that."
When evening came my hall was lighted up and a few women and children assembled but not a man was present. I said to the women, "I am going out to round up the men and if any should come while I am away and look in, don't let him escape." So I started out to make the rounds of the saloons.
The first one that I entered someone shouted, "There comes the Parson," and they threw down their cards, left the piles of money where they sat and bolted for the back door.
The bar tender tried to follow but I was too quick for him and got into the passageway and got hold of him. I said to him, "Why didn't you come to the service tonight; you promised to?"
"Why," he said, "we couldn't."
"Why not?" I asked.
"You see it was this way: We had a race at the roundup of the white man's horse against the Indian's. Old Winnums' horse, Spot, had won the race for several years so we sent down to Portland and got a regular race horse and then we bet every dollar we had on it and then one of the fellows came around and said, "Fellows, you can bet your coats and firearms. Old Spot is tethered outside Winnums' wickiup and I have given him opium pills and he can't run worth a blank." So we bet everything we had with the Indians and were going to rob them dry but that old rascal of an Indian had hidden Spot in his tent and tethered Spot's half brother who looked just like him outside and he'd got the opium pills and Spot won the race and there isn't a gentleman in Pendleton that has a pistol on his hip or a coat on his back to come to Church with."
Still I determined to do what I could, so I took my stand in front of the hall and when a man came along I got hold of him and said, "This is the hall, sir," and tried to steer him in but he would invariably give me a frightened look and break away and leave so I had to hold the service with the women and children.
My next service was most successful. I found a saloon keeper who had been partially brought up in our Church and was somewhat familiar with the service and he promised to bring the boys. So before Church time he said to the crowd around the bar, "If anybody wants another drink he must take it now, for this bar closes up at Church time."
After they had all had a drink, he said, "Boys, I promised the Parson that we would all come to Church this time and I'll stand treat for everyone who will promise that he will come too."
It was too good an opportunity to lose; they all took a drink and came to Church with him, and this was the beginning of what afterward became one of the strong parishes in Eastern Oregon.
Meantime Joe had come to me and said, "I wish you would show me how to find the places. I have forgotten all I ever knew." So we had several private lessons on the prayer book and he prided himself on showing the fellows how to do it. He would sit on the front bench with a row of men and find the places for them and they would hold the prayer books awkwardly in front of them as they were not much used to books and respond in a tone that sounded like calling the cattle on the mountainside.
One evening he had found the places for two or three benches full of men when I announced the Psalter for the sixth day of the month, evening prayer. He waved his book in the air and called out, "It's the seventh day, Parson, you have made a mistake."
And although I knew that I was right, they looked so sheepish that I replied, "Alright, the seventh day," and continued the service.
On one occasion they had talked over the small amount of the collection and decided that the next service was to be a "Dollar Day" when everybody was to put a dollar in the plate. Joe prided himself on the fine style in which he passed the plate with many flourishes. On this evening, if a man failed to put in a dollar he would stop him with his hand on his arm and say, loud enough to be heard by everyone, "No, you don't. This is dollar day," with the results of a large collection.
Joe came from a very good family in New York and when I told him that I was going there he asked me to call upon them on condition that I wouldn't say that he was a saloon keeper. I found them living luxuriously in Stuyvesant Square but I nearly went crazy trying to evade their questions and not tell them that he had a saloon. But I dwelt upon his interest in Church services until I fear they thought he was a saint.
When we built the church in Pendleton, Joe said that he wold give an extra hundred dollars if I would let him name it. I was too wise to make a bargain and he confessed afterwards that as the church was painted brown and a popular song at that time was called the "Little Brown Jug" he was going to give it that name. While it was not officially given that name it was always referred to as the "Little Brown Jug."
When it came to furnishing the Chuch Joe said that he would give the matting for the aisle. He said to his partner, "The matting in our saloon has been down a long time and has got pretty worn and dirty. Let's give it to the Church and get a new matting for the saloon."
So they pulled up the matting and hired a Chinaman for a dollar to stand in the rapid stream of the Umatilla River, up to his waist, and after the matting had been soaked in lye to swish it in the stream until it was clean. While swishing the matting, the Chinaman lost his balance and started floating down stream with the matting. The men on shore got hold of the matting and pulled him to shore. He was half frozen and they gave him a glass full of whiskey to warm him. He got down on his knees to blow up the fire to also warm him up and the heat of the fire made him drunk and he fell over into the fire. They seised him by his feet and dragged him out, lacerating his face badly. In due time, however, he recovered.
The Pendleton people were really interested in building the Church and one day I received a note reading as follows:
You are invited to attend a party at the hall on Saturday, May 23rd for the purpose of raising funds to finish the Church. Dancing begins at half past seven o'clock.
I don't suppose they thought that I would accept the invitation but I knew what terrible orgies their dancing parties were and I could not bear to have one go on like the others in the name of the Church, so I got on my horse to ride over from Walla Walla, but found the Umatilla River so high that I had great difficulty in crossing it and rode up and down the bank for hours before I could find a safe place to ford. This made me very late for the party and when I arrived I found that they had an extemporary bar in the room next to the ball room and men and women were uproariously drunk. They greeted me in a boisterous way and gathered around me affectionately and there was nothing to be done with them that night for they were too drunk to understand anything in reason. When I got home the next day I wrote and declined to have the money used for the Church and they thought that I must be crazy to let good money slip through my fingers.
Pendleton was near the Umatilla Indian reservation and we often had Indians in the congregation although the reservation was under the charge of a Chaplain of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the Indian Chiefs had two wives and wanted to be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church but the priest told him that he would have to put away one of his wives or he couldn't be baptized. Finally the controversy was referred to the Indian agent who told the chief that he MUST put away one of his wives.
"But I can't," he said; "The old one, she hoe corn, chop wood, better than any woman on the reservation."
"Well then, put away the young one," said the agent.
"I can't," said the Indian.
"Oh, she so pretty. I couldn't do without her."
In that new country the general idea of religion was very crude and the standard of morals very low. After one of my services a saloon keeper came to me and said. "Parson, what is necessary for a person to be confirmed?"
I told him, "Faith and repentance for past sins and a determination to lead a good Christian life."
"Well," he said, "I think that I have about as much faith as most people and I lead a pretty good life now. I don't drink or take dope nor cheat at the cards, and I never killed but one man in my life and I couldn't help that because he called me a liar."
And the man was really sincere, he thought that his standard of religion was pretty high--and so it was in comparison with that of many of his associates.
When the Church and tower were finished, without consulting me they got up another party to purchase a bell for the tower, and when the bell arrived the whole town turned out to help haul it up into its place as there was no machinery for that purpose. When the bell was hung the crowd, who by this time were pretty drunk, took turns in ringing the bell all night until sunrise and then the more sober ones helped to carry the others who had fallen asleep to their homes.
I fitted up a sleeping room in the tower of the Church, as much of the time I held evening service for them, holding the morning service at Walla Walla and riding over thirty miles in time for the evening service at Pendleton. A number of times I would be awakened in the night by a serenade and looking out on the drunken crowd my heart was saddened by seeing some of the most devout attendants of the Church the most boisterous in their singing.
When I visit Pendleton now after the lapse of years and meet the refined Christian descendants of the old crowd I can scarcely realize that they are the grandchildren of those early settlers.
On one occasion when I was at Pendleton several Indians approached me and said that they had heard at home that we had a Jesus book which told all about the Great Spirit and how he wanted us to live; that they had a young Indian who knew how to read the White man's books and he had said that if they would get a Jesus book he would read it to the Tribe. I procured a Bible and sent it to them and afterwards a number of them were baptized as the result of having learned from the Jesus book,
IN the early days the taverns in the smaller towns were very poor and I was usually entertained when I visited them on my missionary trips by some member of the congregation. On my first trip to Weston I was kindly invited to stay with a family of our Church people. After we had had supper they showed me to a long bedroom with two beds, and explained that the father and mother slept at one end of the room in one bed and the three children in the other and asked me if I could sleep with the children. I told them that I was very fond of children, and was left to prepare for the night.
The dear little things looked so sweet that I expected a good night's rest. In the night I was awakened by the boy, about four years old who had the nightmare. He would first shriek and then plant both feet in my stomach and when I tried to remove them, give another yell. The parents struck a light and came running to see what was the matter with their dear boy and when this had been repeated several times I reached out to my grip and got a small rope that I carried against contingencies and tied the youngster's feet to the bed post. The process awakened him and he yelled in a most unearthly manner and kicked. Before I could get his feet untied, his parents were at the bedside, and most indignant at the heartless manner in which their poor boy had been treated. They never came to church again and I never received another invitation to their home.
The next service that I held there, rather than go to the hotel, I camped out in a haystack near town. It was surrounded by a rail fence to keep out the cattle. I tied my horse to the fence and he would poke his nose in between the rails of the fence, get a mouthful of hay, and jerk it out of the stack. In the middle of the night he reached over the fence, got hold of my trousers with the hay and, giving a mighty pull, jerked me half over the fence, and, forgetting to let go, jumped back, dragging me under his feet. Fortunately I was not injured--but I wished that I was back with the boy and his nightmare.
At another time I reached a hotel toward evening and found it was full but the landlord said that one of the guests would vacate his room after supper and that I could have it. When I was shown up to the room and got into bed I found that the sheets were rather soiled and the bed still warm. When I went down to breakfast in the morning I took my seat at a small table occupied by three other men. With a startled look and exclamation they all jumped up and seated themselves at other tables. While I was eating, a belated guest came in, when someone called out something to him and with a startled look at me he also moved. When I had finished my meal I advanced toward one of those who had shunned me but he frantically motioned me back. I called out to him and asked him what was the matter and he replied, "Why, you slept in the bed that they took that small pox patient out of last night." I had been vaccinated and was all right.
Another time I fared worse still. I found that every room was taken, but the landlord said that I could sleep by the barroom stove and that he would keep up a fire for me. I lay down on my blankets and had a good night's rest. After I had gotten to sleep a hunter came in with a couple of hounds and for the sake of the warmth they had snuggled up close to me. They wakened me up by scratching their fleas and I faithfully followed their example until I could get a bath and a change of clothes.
Baths were not so easy to get in those days as they are now. I had been several weeks among the Indians in Northern Idaho one winter and when I reached a "white" hotel I asked them if I could have a bath in the morning. They said that they would have a tub ready for me at the head of the stairs and when I jumped into the tub I found it was mingled ice and water and that some of the water had leaked out and coated the stairs with ice so the tub slid with me, and down the stairs I rolled with the tub and water on top of me. Aroused by the crash and perhaps by my cries, a large part of the population of the hotel surrounded and commiserated me.
If it was summer it was no hardship to sleep on the ground so that my horse could graze in the night while I slept with the saddle blanket over me and the saddle under my head for a pillow.
In the winter it was a different thing and more than once I have slept under the snow with my horse tied to me so that he couldn't run away.
IN one of my early trips over the Blue Mountains I was riding on the stage and stage robberies were very frequent. I was sitting with the driver which was considered a choice seat and was usually procured by a handful of cigars. I saw him wink at another man who was also riding on top of the stage and he evidently could see that I was a new comer or greenhorn to this country so he began to tell bloodcurdling stories about how he had been held up at the muzzle of a gun and the mail and express had been taken and passengers made to turn their pockets inside out. Suddenly, pointing to a little grove in front he said, "There, we were robbed at that grove the last trip and I shouldn't wonder if they were waiting for us there now." Then he partly turned his head and winked again at his companion and they both laughed.
Suddenly a man with a gun stepped into the road and cried, "Halt."
The driver was the most frightened man that I ever saw and he pulled his horses so hard that he nearly threw them down.
"Throw out your mail and express box," said the highwayman, and then he made each of the passengers stand up in front of him, drop his purse in the road and turn his pockets inside out to show that he hadn't concealed anything.
"Go on," said the highwayman when he was through, but the driver had to have a drink of whiskey before he could get up strength enough to drive his team.
Another trip when I was sitting with the driver, near Baker City, I said to him, "Do you go out tomorrow?"
"No," he said, "I have a day off."
"Well then," I replied, "Come to Church. I am going to have service in Baker City."
There was no one else on top of the stage and so he became confidential and said, "When I first came on this route and tried to be a Christian we drivers slept up in a haymow at the end of the section and I started to say my prayers and read my Bible by the light of a lantern but one fellow put a quid of tobacco in my hat, another lifted my collar and spit down my back and the third pushed me off my knees onto the floor. They ain't no use trying to be a Christian on this route."
Stage drivers as a rule were very taciturn and never wasted their words. At the starting point, when a stage would drive up to the hotel to be loaded the driver would look around, count his passengers and then stretching out his hand under the nose of each one in succession would say, "Cough," and each one was expected to give the proper change. Then he would say, "All set," and crack his whip over the horses.
The hardest stage ride I ever had was on my way to the East before the railroads were through. There were nine of us and it took nearly a week to drive from Walla Walla to Ogden which was on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
When I first held service at Zillah I was driving over one day in the stage coach. The stage coach consisted of a lumber wagon drawn by two Indian ponies which were driven by a boy about eighteen years old. I was the only passenger and sat with the driver, and as we approached Zillah I said to him, "I am going to have Church at Zillah and I hope you will attend."
"Me?" he said. "I have never been to Church or Sunday School in my life. My father and mother both drink and when I was a kid and one was sober he wouldn't let the other abuse me, but when they were both drunk one would get me by the head and the other by the feet and they both beat me. Do you want to see the scars?" and he stopped the team and was about to take off his shirt but I told him we had better hurry on.
He did come, however, a few times, but it didn't produce much impression on him. In those days there were a great many such cases throughout the country.
I decided to hold services in Ritzville where I knew none of the people. When I rode into town I asked the hotel keeper if there were any Episcopalians there. He replied that he thought there were some, but they didn't show any sign of it. I afterwards found several very earnest families and we had quite a flourishing mission there.
I was holding services on one occasion in a country school house when we heard yells in front of the building and a volley of pistol shots shattered the windows. We all threw ourselves on our faces until they had ridden past and their voices faded out in the distance. It was a bunch of cowboys on a jambourie who thought it a good joke.
When I held my first service at Northport I was walking along the street and passed a saloon; several men were sitting on a bench out in front and one of them, jumping up, approached me and said, "Say, stranger, are you the preacher that is going to hold forth tonight?"
I answered, "Yes."
"Well, we don't want you. We've got along so far without preachers. They always spoil a town and we won't have you, so you just get out."
I began to remonstrate with him and he said, "I don't want none of your sass. If you don't get out I'll make you dance." Which meant that he would fire his pistol at one of my feet and when I jerked it back he would fire at the other and I would have to jerk that back. This they called, "making you dance."
I said to him, "See here, mister, you've got the earmarks of a greenhorn on you and I've been here too long to be afraid of you so shoot away."
This was greeted by such merriment that he backed out.
In contrast to this, a man came out of a saloon, stepped up to me and said, "Say, are you going to hold services here this evening?"
I was surprised at the civilized way in which he spoke and I said, "Yes," and I hope you will come."
"Well," he said, "I play the piano in the U Bet Saloon and as it is the only musical instrument in town I've had it moved into the school house for you. I was a choir boy in Trinity Choir, New York, and have been drilling a choir here for you in the chants and hymns." (It was the best music that I had for many years on my missionary journeys.)
On one of my trips over the Blue Mountains on horseback I stopped at the summit at a well known tavern. There was a great gold rush to Baker City and the tavern was full. After supper I looked around for a place to sit down and the only available room was the bar room. It was crowded with rough characters, drinking, carousing, and gambling, and I called out to them, "Say, fellows." They looked up from their cards and whiskey expectantly and I said, "I am going down to LaGrande tomorrow morning. It's Sunday, you know, and I am going to hold Episcopal service at eleven o'clock. You'll be passing there about that time and you had better stop and come to Church."
One of them looked up and with an oath said, "What do we want to go to Church for?"
"Why," I said, "it helps one to live as he ought to live, and do what is right."
"I don't want to live any different," he said.
"Well," I said, "I think you want to go to heaven, don't you?"
"Heaven?" he said, with another oath, "what's there in Heaven for me? There ain't no whiskey nor cigars nor cards; I don't want to go to Heaven."
The rest nodded in acclamation and he continued, "It's my deal; go on fellows."
This was the class of men I had to work with largely at first.
In those early days there were vast tracts of unoccupied country in both Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon where great flocks of sheep were pastured. As I was riding along on horseback on one of my trips to Pendleton I noticed on a nearby hillside a large flock of sheep lying asleep in the sun and the shepherd with his dogs near him also stretched out in slumber but I noticed one old ewe bleating and evidently looking for her lamb. In a few minutes I saw the lamb at the foot of the hill and when it saw me it ran towards me apparently very much frightened. I soon saw the cause of its terror, for a great wolf was crouching near it in the shadow of a rock waiting to spring upon it. I shouted at the wolf and spurred my horse toward him and, hesitating a moment, he growled and galloped away. The poor lamb ran to me for protection and, picking it up, I put it on my saddle in front of me and took him back to his mother--and such a delighted mother I have never seen. She licked him and fondled him, meantime crooning to him in her own language.
When I went up to the village of Chelan on the lake of that name I found that they were having no religious services in the town. I began to give them services either on a week day or on a Sunday as was most suitable. When I began to talk about building a church they all said that they were too poor as it was a new country and they were making their homes. Then I sent and had a well-known architect draw the plans of a log church and called a meeting of everybody in the town who was interested in having a church there. One of the men proposed that all the men in town should, on a given day, go up into the hills with axes and cross-cut saws and cut down the trees and raft them in the lake and float them to Chelan. Then the logs could be squared at the mill and used to build a Church.
The ladies promised to provide the lunches during the operations. This proposition was acted upon and resulted in one of the most charming churches in the district. Even the altar and altar rail were made of the smaller logs and the effect was most pleasing.
At one of my services in the country a lady came to me after the service and introduced herself, asking me to call upon her. The next day I went out from the little village and found her and her husband home on their farm. I noticed that they were people of refinement and seeing an autographed picture of Queen Victoria on the wall I exclaimed, "Why, where did you get that?"
She said, "I was the first woman to graduate from the University of Cambridge and Queen Victoria gave me this as a mark of special honor."
At another time one of our missionaries took me to see some of his parishioners. We waded across the flooded stream and into the woods and found rather a humble cabin. The most of the furniture was made by the occupants but I noticed a beautiful set of Tennyson on the shelves and upon commenting on it, the gentleman of the house said, "That was given me by my sister who is the principal of Wellesley College."
I also saw some remarkable china and when I admired that his wife said, "Oh, that was a college prize for leading my class."
One often meets with such surprises in the missionary field. A little different surprise I once met with when I was taken to a saloon to be introduced to a gentleman who was anxious to meet me and found that he was the proprietor of a gambling den. He carried a pistol in one hip pocket and a copy of Eschulus in the other. I found that he had travelled extensively and belonged to a prominent family in the East, which I afterwards visited but he had made me promise that I would not tell them that he was a saloon keeper.
IN 1882 Mrs. Wells and I talked it over and concluded that we had been in the wild and wooly west so long that it would be good for us to go back East and brush up a little.
I wrote to my old Bishop, Bishop Williams of Connecticut and told him I would take any work that he had for me. He sent me to Willimantic to establish a mission.
In two years I succeeded in building a Church and establishing a flourishing mission which soon became a Parish.
I had a boy choir with an English choir master and when the boys, at choir practice, would get off the key or would be otherwise aggravating he would strike them over the head with a big hymnal and sometimes knock them down. When I remonstrated with him he would say, "Oh, that's all right; a boy can't sing unless you bate him."
One day while waiting at the post office for the distribution of the mail I heard a small boy singing out on the sidewalk, with one of the sweetest voices possible. I went out and asked him if he went to Sunday School and he said, "Naw."
"Don't you want to go?"
"Naw, ain't got no clothes."
I told him I had a choir of boys about his age and I knew he would like to sing with them. His face brightened and he took me home with him to see his mother. She repeated that he had no clothes fit to wear and I procured some outgrown garments and fitted him out and got him into Sunday School and into the choir. He was full of the Old Nick and was constantly doing something to cause a disturbance; kicking other boys under the seat; sticking pins in them; putting prayer books for them to sit down on, and all kind of things. I had to constantly reprove him but the first indication I had that he was trying to do better came one day, when, in answer to my reproof, he held up his hand and said, "Mr. Wells, I wish God would kill the Devil."
In my third year there, Bishop Paddock, who in 1880 had come to the State of Washington, visited us in Willimantic and told us that a beautiful stone church had been built in Tacoma. Mr. Bonnell had been its clergyman but that he had died at the end of the first year and so he urged me to take his place. He added that Mr. C. B. Wright had promised to give fifty thousand dollars to endow a girls' boarding school if Bishop Paddock would raise the money to build it, and he wished Mrs. Wells to come and organize it and become its first principal.
He showed us plans for the new school and at Mrs. Wells' suggestion had them somewhat altered by the architect. As soon as I could get a successor at Willimantic we went to Tacoma.
When we arrived the school was not yet finished so we went to the old Tourist Hotel and spent the night. The next morning I asked the clerk to order a cab, saying that we wished to drive up to the Annie Wright Seminary.
He said, "Where is the Annie Wright Seminary?"
When I told him, he said, "You will have to walk; we haven't any cabs here and there are no street cars yet."
I said, "Well, how do you get to Old Town then?"
"We hire a fisherman to row us. Perhaps," he said, "you can get a horse and buggy at the livery stable.
The livery man informed me that they hadn't any for hire. He suggested that I might get an express wagon at the stand around the corner. The express wagon drove up to the hotel and they brought out a chair and we assisted Mrs. Wells onto the front seat with the driver, where she hung her feet over the horses' tails while I stood behind in the box and held onto the back of the seat.
The school building was unfinished and the carpenters were still at work.
Anything was better than the hotel, so we swept out the rooms intended for the Principal and moved into the unfinished school.
By persistent nagging, the contractor finally had the school ready for the opening of the term in September, 1884.
There were a great many Chinamen in and about Tacoma who had become a menace to white labor because they worked so much cheaper. Finally the men determined to drive them out of town. This was in 1885. We had a Chinese cook and laundry-man at the Seminary and a committee was sent up to capture and expel them from the city. A teacher hurriedly rushed in and told me that two men were at the front door, fully armed. I seised my pistol and followed her and as I approached them they demanded that I turn over our two Chinamen to their tender mercies.
I said, "These Chinamen are under our care and I will protect them. I will shoot the first man that steps over the threshold. I presume that the Chinamen will leave by themselves, but you cannot have them."
They withdrew a few paces and consulted and then said, "Very well, then you see that they leave town."
That night I drove the Chinamen down to Nisqually and put them on the train for Portland.
Annie Wright Seminary prospered and in just a few years we had sixty boarders and over a hundred day pupils.
IN 1873 Bishop Morris, who was the Bishop of Oregon and Washington came up from Portland and held services in Old Tacoma. At that time the Tacoma Sawmill was practically the only industry in the town. It had been announced the previous July that Tacoma was to be the terminal of the N. P. railroad and they all supposed that it meant Old Tacoma, as that was the only town there was. After the service, George E. Atkinson, who was the superintendent of the mill, asked why they couldn't have a Church in Tacoma. He said that the company would give the lumber. He and Bishop Morris picked out a lot which was also given them, and Mr. Atkinson gave a day off to the employees of the mill on condition that they would clear the lot, dig out the stumps and help in the erection of the Church. They left one great fir tree next to the Church for a bell tower and one of the men climbed up and cut it off about thirty feet from the ground. They called the Church "St. Peters," after Bishop Morris' former parish in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and the Bishop immediately sent them the Reverend Mr. Abel for their clergyman.
In the fall Bishop Morris visited Germantown, and in recognition of the honor of having the new Mission named after them the people gave him a present of a fine bell, large enough for a great city Church.
When the bell arrived at Old Tacoma the whole town turned out to mount the bell on its tower. They got ropes and pulleys from a vessel that was loading lumber and some of the sailors to climb the stump and hoist it into place. Then the bell was rung all night and they made a jubilee of it--and I regret to say that the saloons did a land office business.
This Church has the distinction of having the oldest Church tower in America, the tree stump still being used.
As soon as the new town was started, Mr. Abel and Dr. Miles began to officiate in the old brick hall on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Ninth Street. In 1881 the Rev. Chas. R. Bonnell was placed in charge of the work and in 1882 a beautiful stone church was erected at what is now Sixth and Broadway by Mr. C. B. Wright as a memorial to his daughter, Kate Elizabeth. This was called St. Luke's. A large Parish House was built at the rear of the Church on South Sixth and St. Helen's Avenue by Mr. Wright's son.
On the death of the Rev. Mr. Bonnell I was placed in charge. The congregation grew rapidly in the new Church and soon filled it. We had to have chairs permanently in the aisle. Even that didn't accommodate the congregation, so we had five services every Sunday besides the Sunday School; the Holy Communion at 8 o'clock, morning prayer at 10 o'clock, again at 11 o'clock, at three and at seven-thirty.
The vestry determined to build a mission in order to take care of the congregation. They selected lots on the corner of Division Avenue and North K. Streets. The nearest graded street was Tacoma Avenue, the only house beyond which was a farm house out on the hill.
While at St. Luke's Church, I started a Mission on E Street called St. John's and when it grew so that it needed a separate clergyman Rev. Dr. Jeffries of Philadelphia was called. The little chapel was too small for the congregation and they soon moved to the corner of South 14th and I Street and put up a large temporary church now know as Holy Communion, that would seat nearly a thousand people--but I am afraid that it was never quite filled. Before the arrival of Dr. Jefferies the services were supplied largely by Mr. Mottet, acting as their leader, and occasionally by myself. On other Sunday afternoons I drove up to Puyallup and held service.
When Puyallup was supplied with a clergyman, with the help of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew we started a Sunday School near Sixth Avenue in the western part of Tacoma, calling it St. Andrews. St. Andrews.
St. Andrews was located in the western part of the town. The young men of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew officiated on three Sundays of the month and I on the fourth. One of the most active was James LeBaron Johnson. He came out here from New York to be a clerk in the Pacific National Bank, and, boylike, wanted to join the fire department. He asked permission of the fire chief, who said that as it was a paid department he could not accept a volunteer. Finally it was arranged with the permission of the president of the bank that Johnson was to have a helmet back of the counter and whenever there was an alarm he was to rush out and mount the first engine that passed to the fire.
One evening a small bungalow caught fire and in order to reach the flame Johnson mounted the roof and was cutting through with an ax when it caved in under him. He was dragged out and his life was saved but he was badly burned and his clothes were almost consumed. An ambulance was summoned but on the way to the hospital as they were passing the old hall on the corner of Ninth and C Street he heard the sounds of music and remembered that he was scheduled to lead the grand march with the wife of the mayor.
This was a fancy dress ball and he said to himself, "I certainly am dressed fancy enough now," so seizing his helmet which he had somehow saved he slipped out the back door of the ambulance, the driver continuing on to the hospital. .
Johnson, suddenly appearing in the hall, offered his arm to the wife of the mayor, who, frightened by the apparition, started back with screams.
Another condition to his admittance to the fire department had been that he should sleep with the other fireman in the upper story of the firehouse so that he might be ready to go to fires in the night. The first night when he knelt down to say his prayers he was greeted by the yells and hoots and howls of the other firemen. Finally one of them threw a rub'ber boot and knocked him over, but Johnson knelt down again and finished his prayers.
The next night one of them said, "Say, Johnson, pray aloud for us." After that it became the regular thing. Soon after, as he was reading his Bible, one of the men called out, "Read your Bible to us too, will you, Johnson," and as long as he was in the fire department, if there was no fire at the time of retiring, all the boys joined with him in prayer and listening to the word of God.
On a visit to New York soon after this he told some of his wealthy friends about the Mission of St. Andrews and they gave him half of the money needed to build a little chapel which at this writing 1931 is still used by the congregation.
In telling the story to another friend he said that it was a poor congregation and couldn't afford a minister. The friend gave him $15,000 toward an endowment for the mission, which of course has been a great help to this day in supporting a clergyman.
The site of the new mission which was called Trinity was determined by one of the vestry climbing into a tall tree so that he could see over the bushes and locating a level piece of property. This was at Division Avenue and K Street. The Brotherhood of St. Andrew at St. Luke's cut a lane through the bushes over which the building material was hauled and when the corner stone was laid, had guides to direct the people to the site where a wooden Church was erected.
On June 2, 1889, we laid the cornerstone of Trinity Church and opened it October 9, 1889, with sixty families signing the membership list. Rev. John Dows Hill was called as Rector of St. Luke's which soon filled up under his administration the vacant seats left by the sixty families. Trinity also filled up so that in a short time we had to have chairs in the aisles.
Shortly after the completion of the Church the streets leading to the Church were opened, and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew served as ushers. They selected the most pleasing man in the congregation who would stand in front of the Church and when anyone appeared in the street passing by, would step up to him and say, "This is Trinity Church, I suppose you are looking for it," and without waiting for a reply would take him by the arm, volubly telling him what a fine lot of men we had, what a good fellow the clergyman was and what a fine preacher, until in spite of resistance he would firmly but gently push the would-be passerby toward the Church steps. The ushers would rush out to join the party, shake hands with the stranger--and help in the pushing. The protests of the victim would be drowned by the cordiality of the ushers and before he knew it the poor man would be seated in the front pew. Strange to say, this method was rather liked by the victims and many an attendant and eventually a communicant was gained in this way.
A committee of the Brotherhood, also, every Sunday morning visited the hotels and not only invited the guests to Church but volunteered to guide them out and introduce them to members of the congregation. It was no wonder that the Church grew and that a few years afterwards it had to be enlarged to accommodate the congregation.
A report given on the first anniversary of Trinity gives the list of communicants as two hundred, with one hundred and twenty-five families and four hundred and fifty souls represented.
One Sunday I noticed just before morning service that there was not a soul in the seats but I heard sounds of voices outside. On going to the door I saw the crowd gathered near a great fir tree and the boys were shouting and throwing stones into the tree." When I joined the crowd I found that a great black bear had taken refuge in the tree and whenever he was hit by a stone he growled fiercely--to the great amusement of the congregation. But one boy evidently hurt him badly and, growling, he started down the tree to the ground. It was astonishing how quickly the Church filled up, but somehow or other the attendants seemed to be restless all through the service.
Speaking of bears reminds me of another bear. A large brown bear had been purchased by the Tacoma Hotel and was fastened by a chain outside the door. A travelling man from New York City began to tease him but was warned by the clerk of the hotel.
"Oh, I am not afraid of him," said the travelling man.
Just then the enraged brute broke his chain and the man who wasn't afraid ran with all his might down the main business street of Tacoma with the bear after him, much to the delight of the shoppers and others in the street. He finally dodged into a store and slammed the front door after him. The bear was recaptured and chained up again.
Fannie C. Paddock Hospital (Tacoma General)
Mrs. Paddock had been president of the Women's Auxiliary in Long Island and when her husband was elected Bishop of Washington, the Auxiliary raised a considerable sum of money and gave it to her for Church work in the new diocese. Old Tacoma was still more important than New Town and in April, 1882, Mrs. Paddock bought with this Auxiliary money a piece of ground there with a building upon it which was opened as a Church Hospital. Dr. and Mrs. Miles were put in charge and did splendid work.
New Tacoma grew rapidly and in 1887 the Bishop obtained money from his friends in the East to build a hospital there, on South K Street. The land was given by the Tacoma Land Company and includes the block from South Third to Fourth between J and K Streets. The hospital in Old Tacoma was then moved to the new location. As the hospital was located near Trinity Church, in order to relieve the Bishop I was appointed Chairman of the Hospital Board in charge of its affairs. I was so near that I could visit it every day and keep a close watch of its management.
One day I was walking through the corridor and heard loud calls and almost shrieks from a patient's room behind the closed door. She was shrieking, "Nurse, Nurse, Nurse, Where are you? I want you."
I stepped to the door, and putting in my head said, "What is the matter?"
The patient replied, "I want a nurse; I want a nurse; I've been calling her for half an hour and she won't come."
I remembered looking at my watch a few minutes before she began screaming and only three minutes had elapsed since I had seen the nurse leave the room to go into the diet kitchen close by. I called the nurse and she said, "I just left her a moment ago to get some broth for her."
I cite this because it is an example of the complaints received every day from both patients and their friends to whom they had complained of mistreatment and even cruelty. We ought to be very careful in accepting the statements of a sick person whose nervous system is impaired and sometimes wrecked by his malady and whose statements often do a great injustice to the nurses and the hospital.
INTERESTING HAPPENINGS DURING MY SERVICE AT TRINITY.
Soon after I had gone to Trinity Church, St. Peter's at Old Town lost its Rector and I added that to my other cares. One day a deputation from the longshoremen's union waited on me. They said that one of their members had been over to New Town on a spree and going home had fallen into the water and been drowned; that his name was Wells and that he must be a relation of mine.
They wished me to bury him and would like the funeral procession to start from Old Town, with the funeral itself in Trinity Church.
At the time appointed I went over to Old Town and found the corpse laid out in a room over a saloon with the longshoremen gathered about it.
There was a staircase running down into the saloon from the room and a stream of longshoremen passing up and down. The group around the body were weeping and saying. "Poor Bill, he was a fine fellow, poor Bill; let's have a drink," and down they would go into the saloon below.
When they came up again they would be still more grief-stricken. Each visit to the bar would increase their tears and call out longer eulogies and greater professions of sorrow.
I said to the president of the longshoreman's union "We'd better begin right away or these fellows will be too drunk to attend the funeral."
He called for order and after a prayer or two by the side of the body we carried him down to the hearse. As the pallbearers turned to get in the hack provided for them they found it filled with drunken longshoremen who refused to get out. Finally the president persuaded them to let the pallbearers have the hack if he would send to the New Town for cabs and wagons for the rest of them. Then he persuaded them to form a procession and walk towards New Town until they met the carriages. I was assigned to a seat with the driver of the hearse but a drunken fellow had secured the seat and had to be dragged off by the legs.
When the procession was part way over, the line of carriages and wagons appeared and one man called out "Whoops there are the hacks" and a general rush was made for them. They all tried to get into the first one and a free fight ensued and when the cab was filled they dragged off the driver and two mounted the box and drove off. Then the crowd made a rush for the next vehicle and so on until they were all seated.
When we arrived at Trinity Church the pallbearers and the occupants of the hacks refused to leave their seats for fear that someone would get their places so the undertakers and the president of the Union and myself had to carry the body into the Church, and were the only ones at the funeral.
On returning with the body to replace it in the hearse we saw the men all grimly seated in the carriages waiting for us. When we arrived at the grave nobody would get out of the carriages so the undertakers and I had to bury the deceased but there were three men riding in a single buggy who concluded that they would help. When they got into their conveyance again the horse started to run and turned them over onto the grave.
Just outside the cemetery gate there was a number of road houses, as they were called, disreputable places with bars for the sale of liquor. We were detained for a few minutes in filling up the grave and the carriages all preceeded us. When we reached the road houses the carriages were all standing empty in front of them. Just then something startled one of the teams which ran away and ran into the next one and started that and so on down the line till they were all running at top speed; running into one another and wrecking and making sad havoc. The longshoremen's union had to pay a bill of several hundred dollars for the damage that was done, but I had done my duty by my namesake.
A little earlier than this there was a man by the name of Brown in Old Tacoma who was considered one of the leading citizens. He had a saloon and sailors' boarding house. When vessels came there to load their lumber some of their crew would often desert and stay behind to settle in this new country.
When the vessels were ready to sail they would ask Brown to fill the vacancies and give him ten dollars a head. Sometimes he had to get the men drunk in order to get them to go on board the vessel or drug them with opium and carry them aboard just before the vessel sailed.
This was considered all right by everyone, but on one occasion Brown couldn't find a living soul to shanghai onto the vessel so he stole a corpse that was laid out for burial and put that aboard and drew his ten dollars. This was more than even Old Town could stand so poor Brown was driven from town.
In 1886 while visiting in Seattle, I was coming back to my lodgings after early communion, a church having been established there, when I saw a crowd in front of a livery stable on Pike Street. I pushed my way as near the front of the crowd as I could and, looking over a man's shoulder, saw the writhing form of a mountain lion which had evidently been mortally wounded, I said to the man, "How did he come here?"
"Why," he said, "I live just across the street here and when I came out this morning to get the morning paper this fellow was crouching near the front door behind an evergreen tree and started to run up the street but stopped suddenly when he saw several little children playing upon the veranda of a house which sat level with the street. He crouched and was preparing to spring on them when a man who rented a room across the street happened to see him and reaching for his rifle which hung on the wall pushed in a shell and shot him before he could jump on the children. Then the lion ran across the street to this livery stable."
One vacation after I had located in Tacoma, my wife and little girl and I were cruising in my sail boat up above Victoria when we heard explosions like the firing of cannon. "I think," I said, "that they must be having gun practice over at the navy yard at Esquimalt."
"No," said my wife, "I think it comes from this little bay that we are just passing. Let us turn in and see."
So we turned into the bay and when we reached about the middle of it suddenly, a few yards away, the head of a great black whale burst out of the water and nearly overturned the boat, wetting us with the spray. Then he rolled over on his side and beat the water with his tail, every stroke sounding like the report of a cannon.
He saw us and dove again immediately and I turned the head of the boat to sail out of danger but again he rose to the surface in front of us and which ever way I turned he seemed always to rise in our path. But finally we escaped, wet to the skin, almost frightened to death, and with the boat half filled with water.
In the spring of 1887, before the N. P. railroad switchback was built over the mountains and while the tunnel was being built, I was going over to Walla Walk and had to walk from the foot of the mountains on this side to the end of the railroad on the summit.
I was fortunate in being accompanied by the engineer of the tunnel and he told me all about it. Suddenly, as we waded through a deep snowdrift, he put his hand in front of me and said "Look out!"
I stopped with a jerk.
"Now look down," he said, and I found myself looking down a chimney and the smoke pouring in my face. Below was a man with a coffee pot and frying pan getting his dinner and I often imagine what his amazement would have been if I had plumped down through his chimney and spoiled his meal.
The first train over the Blue Mountains reached Tacoma, June 6, 1887.
IN 1892 the general convention divided the State of Washington and elected me Bishop of Eastern Washington which took the name of its chief city as the District of Spokane. I was consecrated in December at my old parish in New Haven, Connecticut, and selected Spokane as my See city, my wife of course, giving up the principalship of Annie Wright Seminary and going with me. Bishop Paddock being in poor health I was asked to assist him in the care of his diocese and on his death had charge of the whole state until Bishop Barker, his successor assumed office.
On my way back from my consecration I met, in the Pullman car, Mr. and Mrs. Felix Brunot, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who were on a tour of the West. I suggested to them to stop over in Spokane and they became so interested in the possibilities of church work in that new country that they gave me $30, 000 for a school building and enabled me to develop a diocesan girls' boarding school out of a parish school which was already in existence. Mrs. Wells superintended the organization and building of the school and became its first principal. We called it Brunot Hall. Mr. Brunot also gave me $22,000 for an endowment with which I bought the land and built a business block to rent. This block has since been sold for seventy five thousand dollars, but a few years after I resigned this school was so deeply in debt that it had to be closed. This money was first suggested for St. Paul's school in Walla Walla and now that the school in Spokane has been closed the supposition is that it will revert to St. Paul's.
Eastern Washington was a farming country as it still is and many of the communities were very new and were either destitute of educational advantages or were very poorly provided with them. In visiting about my diocese I often found farmers with growing daughters who were in despair over their education and seeing their desperate need we kept down the charges for board and tuition to the very lowest mark possible.
We were fortunate in our staff of teachers, most of whom were women of ability who gave themselves to the work at a most nominal salary. One of them, with her brother was a great friend of Paderewski. They often visited him in his Italian villa and they were recognized as taking a high stand among musicians.
The story is told that on one occasion Paderewski was asked "Who is the greatest pianist in the world?" To which he replied "Why, I am, of course." "Whom do you consider the next best pianist?" "Ernest Scheling, everyone knows that."
And Miss Schelling, who was at the head of our music department in Spokane, was not far behind her brother.
It is interesting to notice that her ability was recognized by the government who put her in charge of the singing of the soldiers camped about Washington during the World War and the selection and training of their leaders in music.
There were few cities or even villages in Eastern Washington and much of my work was in visiting country places and holding services in their halls or school buildings or private homes.
I made an appointment at one place that I had not yet visited and after traveling on horseback until almost time for service in the evening, I found a house and inquired where the village was. "Why," said the man, "You passed through it several miles back."
I was quite late for the service but as they had never had a religious service in the tiny village they were waiting for me and we had an interesting meeting.
My niece, Mary Atkinson (now Mrs. Tracy) who is a graduate of Wellesley, was Vice-Principal at this time of St. Paul's school at Walla Walla under Miss Galbraith as principal. On one occasion when I went down to visit the school she happened to open the front door for me. Of course I threw my arms about her and kissed her. She was more like a daughter to me than a niece.
A new teacher happened to be standing by who didn't know that she was my niece and afterwards said to her in some awe, "Does the Bishop kiss the teachers?"
"Oh yes," she said, "He picks out one every trip and kisses her. It may be your turn next."
When she told me of this incident I understood why this teacher always stood on the opposite side of the room from me.
At another time a new teacher was commenting on the small flower bed near the front door which was rounded up in a little mound. My niece said, "Yes, you will have to be very careful about that and not step on it because that is the grave of the founder of the school."
When she told me the story it accounted for the puzzled expression on the teacher's face when I was introduced to her as the founder of the school.
As typical of the type of men we had to have in those days I might mention Logan Roots, brother of Bishop Roots.
On one of my trips to the East I visited the Cambridge Divinity School and told of the hardships of our work and asked if any of the students would volunteer to go to Chelan. I went on to narrate that on one trip there the ferry boat had overturned and my horse and I swam out to an island from which we had to be rescued. On another occasion I had been so nearly frozen that I could not get off my horse1 until I had called for help from a sleeping household in the night.
At the close of my address Mr. Roots rose and said, "I think I am the toughest fellow in the school. I am captain of the football team and can stand any thing. I will go with you."
He did splendid work and never uttered a complaint of the hardships he endured.
Every 10 years there is a conference of all the English-speaking Bishops in the world held at Lambeth Palace in England and convened by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury who is the presiding Bishop. In 1900 Mrs. Wells accompanied me to the Lambeth Conference and we were the guests of the President of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew of all England.
Soon after our arrival I was passing through the lower hall when my host called to me from his study. Upon entering I found him lying back in his chair and laughing as though he would burst. He said, "Just now my butler was in to see me and said 'Sir' is that gentleman who is visiting you from America a Bishop?"
'Well, is he the same kind of a Bishop as our English Bishops, sir?'
'Why yes, John. Why do you ask?'
'Well, you see, sir, he is so queer about the legs that I didn't know.'" (the poor butler was bewildered because the only Bishops he had ever seen wore short trousers and silk stockings.)
The Arch Bishop of Canterbury, during the conference, usually invites eight or ten of the visiting Bishops and their wives to spend a week-end with him at Lambeth Palace. They took turns in sitting next to him at meals. When it was my turn I asked him about an episode that had occurred in the conference. We were having a very important discussion in the conference when a gentleman in the Queen's livery entered the hall and, walking up to the Arch-Bishop whispered in his ear. He immediately arose, called the Arch Bishop of York to take his place and followed the messenger.
This had excited my curiosity and I asked him what could be of enough importance to take precedence of such a gathering as the Lambeth Conference. I explained that I hoped that I wasn't asking anything improper, if so, he need not answer me.
He replied "Oh, that is all right. I was summoned by the Queen in council. You know the Arch Bishop of Canterbury is the traditional spiritual advisor of the Monarch. Whenever a question comes before the cabinet concerning morals or religion he must be summoned and give his judgment on the question before it can be acted upon."
I suggested that the Queen, being a woman and not a statesman, that in a conference of such eminent men as composed the English cabinet her opinion would not have very great weight.
"On the contrary," said the Arch-Bishop. "You must remember that Queen Victoria was trained from a child as the heir to the throne of England and that her daughters were by marriage seated on several of the thrones of Europe and in correspondence with their mother have for years revealed the hidden secrets of diplomacy which other statesmen haven't the same opportunity of learning. This makes her the best fitted of any to advise on diplomatic questions."
There was one diplomatic question in which she made a great mistake to my great chagrin and discomfort.
The American Bishops at the Conference were invited by the Queen to a State dinner and I happened to be seated near Her Majesty which I thought was an accidental honor to a poor missionary Bishop. In a pause in the conversation she turned to me and asked me some questions about Mr. Lincoln >and General Grant. As I had been on General Grant's staff I was able to tell her incidents connected with him and as I had been fortunate enough to meet Mr. Lincoln several times I could answer her questions about him.
To my surprise, a few days after this State dinner I received an invitation to lunch with her as a special favor with her family alone, and in the conversation I gathered that as I was scheduled as coming from Washington, she thought I was the Bishop of our Capitol City and a kind of Chaplain to the President. I tried to dispel her illusion but in vain. She had never heard of a territory of Washington and I am afraid that I only left the impression that I was unappreciative of her great kindness. The Queen's mistake afforded a great deal of amusement to the other Bishops, and while it was very humiliating, I didn't allow it to injure my health. One incident was amusing during the luncheon, Prince George kicked Prince Edward under the table and had to be sent away.
Whenever I was in London and did not have to preach a sermon I always attended the Temple Church. In the middle ages the Templars were a military order extending throughout Europe, founded for the purpose of recovering the Holy Sepulcher from the infidel. They became so powerful that the monarchs of Europe combined and abolished the order and took possession of their property. In England the lawyers of London obtained a grant of the land and buildings which had been owned by the Templars and were called the Inns of Court. Among other buildings was a beautiful Ancient Church and this the lawyers took for their place of worship. Every Sunday the main part is crowded with lawyers and the trancepts and aisles filled with their wives and children. It is a wonderful sight to see this great body of brainy men devoutly worshiping their God. It goes to answer cavils of some scientists that the intellectuals of the world are all skeptics.
On one occasion we were the guests of the Dean of Canterbury. One day in talking to the Dean's wife Mrs. Wells said something about eating green corn.
"Why," she replied, "People don't eat wheat until it is ground, do they?" (The English, you know, call all grains corn and especially wheat.)
"No," said Mrs. Wells, "I was speaking of what you call Indian corn or maize."
"Oh," she replied, "I supposed that only horses ate maize. I didn't know that human beings ate it."
After we had gone upstairs to our room that evening Mrs. Wells said, "I believe I will have some corn shipped over here in cold storage and show them how good it is."
When the corn on the cob arrived our hostess said, "Now you will have to show the cook how to prepare it."
Meantime the mother-in-law of the Dean, who was a Duchess, had arrived. She was a very aristocratic and opinionated old lady. When the corn came on the table our hostess said, "Now you will have to show us how to eat it."
Mrs. Wells took an ear, scored it, salted and peppered it and taking hold of each end began to munch it.
The old Duchess watched her from across the table for a few minutes and then with great disgust exclaimed, "How nawsty."
We ceased trying to show them the superiority of American customs after that.
During the conference I was sitting next to the Bishop of London and noticed that he was reading newspapers in French, Italian, Spanish and German. When I said something about it he replied, "Of course we have to understand these languages. We are so close to these nations and so interested in their policies and happenings that we must keep posted; whereas, you in America are so far away that you have very little concern in their politics."
After the conference we went to Paris and, expecting to stay for some time we looked around for an apartment. Finding one that suited us we asked the price and the proprietor demanded a sum two or three times as much as the usual rate. I asked him why he put the rent so high.
"Because," he replied, "You are American. Americans are all rich and own gold mines and don't care how much they pay."
"How did you know that I am an American?" I asked.
"Is monsieur going to take the apartment?" he replied.
"No," I answered.
"Then I am at liberty to tell you why. It is because you speak French so abominably. All Americans do."
From Paris we went to Spain and visited the Alhambra. After we had been shown about by the guide and were sitting in the fountain room resting, one of the party suggested that he would like to go back and see one or two of the attractions. Mrs. Wells was tired and concluded to wait our return and as we didn't need the guide, he remained with her.
After we were gone she said he began to praise the English in a very extravagant way, telling how he admired and respected them and what great people they were--and then added, "But those Americans, I can't bear them; they speak through their nose and don't know anything."
She said she was tempted to tell him she was an American but knew it would break the poor fellow's heart, so she gave him an extra fee and confirmed him in his opinion of the English.
Before returning to America we visited Italy and spent some time in Rome. We were very much interested in the public markets where the poorer people buy almost all of their food ready cooked. Fuel is very high and they saved quite a sum by purchasing prepared food. One day we tried some macaroni but it evidently was a very poor grade because it was not very palatable.
One of our Tacoma girls married a Roman artist and one day while walking on the Grampian hills outside of the city she overtook a peasant woman who, after a while, stopped and looked at her and said, "Why, you are not a Roman. Where do you come from?"
"Oh, I come from America."
"America! America! I am so sorry for you."
"Why are you sorry for me?"
"Because you are a heathen and not a Christian. They are all heathens in America."
"Oh no, we are not. We are just as good Christians as you are."
"Why, that is impossible. Don't you remember how the Master said to his disciples, 'I am going to America to preach the gospel and I want you to go with me.' And Peter said, 'Not so, because I could not go with you. I can't get along without polenta to eat and they don't have polenta in America' and so the Americans are all heathens."
Polenta, you know, is corn meal, and the lower class of Italians almost live on it.
ABOUT 1893 Miss Myrtle Nosier graduated from St. Mary's Hall, afterward Burnot Hall, our girls school at Spokane, and wishing to devote her life to work for children, became a deaconess. A friend, Miss Bertha Zillwood, spent two years visiting and working in our best known institutions in the East. On their return Mr. David Glass gave us some land, next to St. David's Chapel, Lidgerwood, a suburb of Spokane, and we started to raise money to build an orphan asylum.
The two girls came to me and said, "Here are two nest eggs."
Miss Nosier put into my hand $500.00, the price of a lot she had inherited from her father, and Miss Zillwood gave me $500.00 she had saved while supporting herself as a seamstress, and then both girls, with one salary between them, devoted themselves to the home.
On such foundations of self-denial and self-sacrifice are our institutions erected, and only by self-sacrifice and zeal can they be built and perpetuated.
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL, SPOKANE. A friend in the East had given me funds to purchase the two-story building on the corner of Sprague and Madison and in 1897 I fitted it up for a hospital and engaged a competent superintendent. When everything was in order, I selected a board of trustees and taking them to the hospital I turned it over to their care. That night I took the train for New York and on arriving there found two telegrams, one from the trustees declining to act, as there were no funds in sight to carry it on and they were too busy to raise funds. The other dispatch was from two splendid women, Mrs. Sallie R. Rutter and Mrs. George E. Stone, offering to raise funds and to carry it on. They carried on most successfully and after them, under the presidency of Mr. Lewis Rutter, the main part of the present structure was erected and furnished with up-to-date equipment. The wing was also begun, which has since been completed, giving it one hundred beds.
This report was given in the Cathedral Chimes in 1915.
BARKER lived only a year and a half to serve the diocese of Olympia and when he died I again had to take charge until the election of Bishop Keator in 1902 to fill the vacancy.
At one time I was in charge of Eastern Oregon and Washington and to illustrate the difficulties of traveling. I will give an itinerary of a trip I made in southern Oregon. I took the railroad to Roseburg then forty-five miles by stage to Umpqua, then fifteen miles by rowboat down the river to Gardner, then by Steamboat ten miles to the ocean where I took a serf wagon twenty miles to Coos Bay. This wagon drove along the edge of the water because the sand is harder there and tried to dodge the waves but sometimes a larger wave than usual would drench us to the skin.
At Coos Bay I took a sailboat across the bay to Empire which was five miles. There I transferred to a small boat which was propelled by a pole to go to Coquille, eight miles. Then I boarded a hand car on a narrow gauge road and was propelled three miles to Myrtle Point.
At Myrtle Point I hired a horse and rode twenty miles to Port Orford, then the mountainous road became so rough that I exchanged my horse for a mule and rode twentyfive miles to Gold Beach. This made ten kinds of conveyances on that one trip.
One of my interesting missions was at Lake Chelan. One day as I was about to step on the porch of a residence to make a visit I saw, just before the front door, a baby sitting in the sun with a bowl of bread and milk before him and a spoon in his hand and on the other side of the bowl a great snake was coiled up. After the baby had dipped out a spoonful of bread and milk the snake would put in his head and take a drink.
I stood paralysed, and was still more startled when the baby thought the snake was getting more than his share and started pounding it on the head with his spoon. The snake would jerk back his head and hiss at him and then as soon as the baby had got his spoonful out he would plunge his head in again.
Just then the front door opened and the mother of the baby, looking out, saw the situation and with a shriek, grabbed her darling and fled into the house. The frightened snake beat a retreat and I went on my way, but the vision has been with me ever since. I think most wild things are harmless unless they are very hungry or think you are going to hurt them.
At another time I was fishing from the shore of Lake Chelan when I suddenly met a large black bear at a sharp turn in the path in a narrow place where we could not pass each other. The bear growled and rising on his hind legs began to claw out at me with his front paws but I was a little too far off to be struck by them. I dared not run for he could run faster than I could; I dared not advance for if I had gone a foot farther his claws would have mangled me terribly so I stood still and looked him in the eye until he finally backed up a few feet and then got down on all fours and slunk away.
Once I was riding on horseback down at Port Orford in southern Oregon. Of course there were very few bridges in those days and coming to a stream I rode down the bank to ford it. I noticed that a large tree had been felled across the creek for a foot bridge and when I was about half way over I heard a noise above my head and looking up, saw a great mountain lion on this foot bridge crossing in the same direction I was going. He was about four feet above me and was reaching down and clawing in an effort to reach my head--but fortunately his legs were not quite long enough.
My horse was frightened and plunged into the deep water and swam to the other shore. But the lion had reached there before us and was standing in the path that we had to take. I said, "horse," but my horse was a mule and as the mountain lion approached us he emitted a terrific bray which so frightened the lion that he took to his heels.
On another trip to southern Oregon, I was riding through the woods with a rail fence on my left hand and a brook on my right. The bushes had grown up on each side of the fence so as to almost hide it. Suddenly at a turn of the road a short distance in front of me a cougar appeared coming towards us at a gallop with something in his mouth. Seeing us he swerved and, jumping over the fence, disappeared in the underbrush. A little further on we met a woman crying, who called out to us, "Did you see my baby." The cougar has got him and has run off with him and I am afraid he will eat him."
Then I knew what it was that the wild beast had in his mouth. I turned back with the mother but our search was in vain and she had to return to her desolate homestead.
We who live in cities are little conscious of how desolate people are who live out in the woods. Towards night on another trip to southern Oregon I was going through the strip of woods where I had seen the cougar and was thinking about it when I was startled by the voice of a little child coming from the bushes beside the road, "Please, ain't you the minister who is coming down here to preach tomorrow?"
I said, "Yes."
"Well, my mama wants you to come to our house and baptize the baby."
I didn't see any house; it was dense forest, and there this child was out alone where before I had seen the cougar. I followed her to their home, a short distance away in the woods, and found an English family who said they had lived there four years and had never had an opportunity of attending a church and taking communion and they would gladly entertain me for the night and start me on my way early in the morning. The father was called from the fields and after they had washed up and prepared, the baby was baptized and we celebrated the Lord's supper in that far away home. That alone was worth all the trouble I had taken to reach those scattered people.
Have you ever been out in the real woods here in the West and become lost in the night? I have. I once lost my way on a missionary journey on horseback. As the horse jogged along the road I fell asleep. Suddenly the horse stopped and I awoke. I saw that we were off the path; which way it was I did not know. Trees were piled up all around us, dead limbs interlaced. In front of us was a great log lying in our way. To the right were several logs. To the left were the branches of a fallen tree. I tried to start the horse but his feet were tangled in the debris below and he could not move. I got down and tore the branches from about his legs and we stumbled along through bushes and briers and rocks and logs--whither I knew not. No guide, no compass, nothing to help. I knew that I was surrounded by lofty peaks, jagged rocks and towering trees. Somewhere in the darkness I knew that there must be flowers and beautiful scenery but I also knew that there were terrible precipices and pitfalls and I could see only dark shadows and dark abysses of blackness. Nothing could be done but wait, for I knew that after night cometh the morning, so I sat down on a log to watch for daylight. Often as I dozed I would be startled by the hoot of an owl, the howling of wolves, or the blood'curdling yell of the mountain lion.
At last the morning came; the sun arose. Oh, what a transformation! Peak after peak was bathed in glory. Rocks took form and shape; tree tops silvered with the rays; warmth returned; flowers were painted anew; beasts fled to their dens; the trail was found and hope returned. I went on my way and thought of the promise, "In thy light shall we see light."
It seems to me that this represented many a dark episode in the life of our little struggling missions.
In 1903, while on a visit to her sister's home in Washington, D. C. my dear wife passed away. Although Mrs. Wells had been in delicate health for several years her death at this time was unexpected and I barely succeeded in reaching her from Spokane before she expired.
A part of a letter written in 1908 will give some idea of these trips that had to be taken: "I took the train in the morning and at midnight changed to a small river boat at Wenatchee. This took until afternoon of the next day to go forty miles up the Columbia. Sometimes we would get part way up a bad rapids and then drift helplessly back and run ashore until we could get up enough steam to try again. At three we reached Chelan Falls and I had a stage ride of a few miles to Chelan where we have a charming log church and where I preached.
"The next morning I took the stage to the river and waited for hours on the bank for the boat to come along. Finally it came and I was landed in Brewster, after passing more perilous rapids, after dark. There was no one there to meet me and not a light was to be seen and I had to feel rather than see my way to the village a quarter of a mile away. There a boy met me and took me to his mother's house and I found a hospitable reception. His father has a stage line and mail contract, has a real estate office, is interested in a flume enterprise, has a farm, and is receiver of a bank.
"The mother keeps house and manages the bank affairs, going to the bank for office hours. They have no church or minister at Brewster of any kind, and for years my annual visit has been the only religious service they have in the year.
"Two days in Brewster calling among the people and then forty miles down the river, and ten miles and up two thousand feet by stage to Waterville where without a pastor for six years the people have kept up their Sunday School and Guild and the little band of communicants were out at 7 o'clock in the morning for a communion before I took the eight o'clock stage for the boat and so on and on.
"I esteem it the greatest pleasure of my life to minister to these isolated communities where it seems as though no man cares for their soul. Oh, that I had the means to send men to all such scattered sheep of Christ's flock."
IN 1910 I again attended the Lambeth Conference and took with me my niece, Mary Atkinson, who was a junior in Wellesley College. By some mistake they had not booked us for staterooms on the steamer which was crowded. While the steward was hunting quarters for us, Bishop and Mrs. Whipple of Minnesota appeared and asked what was the matter. When I told them of our plight Bishop Whipple said, "My wife and I have a Stateroom to ourselves and I will look for other quarters and let your niece go in with Mrs. Whipple."
We found an empty berth in with other men and thus were provided for.
After the conference we toured the continent with Bishop and Mrs. Whipple, finding them most delightful people. Towards the last of our trip we separated and they went to Norway and we to Spain.
On our way to visit the Alhambra, when the ticket collector came around he exclaimed, "Why, you are on the wrong train."
I said, "Where does this train go to?"
"This train goes to Bologna."
"Very well," I said, "I will pay the difference in passage and we will go there first."
"No," he said, "I cannot take your money; you will have to get off at the next station and wait for the next train."
When the train stopped at a little country hamlet I ran into the ticket office and asked for a ticket to Bologna. As the agent was making it out the conductor came up behind me and asked what he was doing.
"Making out a ticket for this man for Bologna," he said.
"He doesn't want to go to Bologna; he had a ticket for the Alhambra. Don't give it to him. He doesn't know what he wants."
Just then the bell rang and I heard, "All aboard." Running back to my car I found my niece on the platform sitting on our hand baggage. They had put her off the train.
There we were in a little rural hamlet somewhere in Spain. A crowd began to collect but as none of them spoke English and neither my niece nor myself spoke Spanish I didn't know what to do.
Just then a young man came working his way through the crowd of villagers and said in very broken English, "Can I ass-eest you? I speak a leetle Englais."
I told him of our misfortune and asked when I could get a train to Bologna.
He said, "Not until tomorrow morning."
I then asked about a hotel.
He replied, "It es verrie bad. I will conduct you to the Padrone; he will take care of you."
So we started down a very narrow street, too narrow for wagons or carriages, with blank walls on each side, for the houses there had no windows opening on the street on the first floor.
Suddenly the crowd of villagers which followed us raised a cry and divided right and left, as our guide, seizing us by the arm, pushed us into a doorway, a donkey loaded with a bale of hay hanging on each side brushed past us. It if had not been for our guide we should have been trampled under foot.
Soon we stopped before a house. Our guide rang the door bell and a maid inside opened a pane of glass in the door. When our guide had explained, she let us in. She conducted us to the court.
These Spanish houses are built around an open paved court, in the center of which is a fountain, surrounded by orange and lemon trees and shrubs and flowers. All the rooms of the house are entered from this court.
The Padrone, with his wife and daughter and several guests, was seated at breakfast and when our guide had explained our trouble, we were asked to join them.
The crowd had followed us in, uninvited, and squatting around the party at the table were commenting on our dress, appearance and behavior and laughing heartily. They evidently felt much at home.
This reminded me of the way the people did at the time of our Lord.
The guide explained that the Padrone's daughter had been educated in Paris and as my niece spoke French we found a way to communicate.
The guide spoke too little English to be of much assistance. My niece interpreted what I said in French and the Padrone's daughter translated it in Spanish for her father. Naturally we did not carry on a very extensive conversation.
After breakfast the Padrone took me to a tower in the house and showed me his possessions as interpreted by my niece, "On that hillside are my cattle; farther to the left are my Andalusian horses; down in the marsh are my swine, and I own this building and the whole country as far as you can see."
Then he took me down to one of the courts of the house and showed me his wine press and said, "I make the best wine in Spain."
Then he showed me his olive press. In the side of the tank which held the oil was what looked like a thermometer, perhaps eight feet high, to indicate the richness of the oil. "The first foot of oil on top," he said, which is of course, the best, I sell to the Czar of Russia. The next three feet I sell to the Emperor of France; the next few feet I sell to Cross and Blackwell in England, and the poor oil at the bottom I send to the United States. Those Yankees don't know the difference."
When we returned to the party he said, "I should like to ask you to stay all night but these friends of mine are occupying all my rooms. This guide of yours will take you to the hotel; it is very bad--and he made a wry face--and I will call for you in the morning and take you to the train. Meanwhile, you will remain with us until evening."
After dinner at noon we all had a long siesta. After the evening meal we were conducted to the hotel and given rooms adjoining each other on the second floor.
The next morning, after a vile breakfast of black bread, cheese and beer, we went to our rooms to pack up our things and had scarcely got through when we heard a noise in the street.
My niece put her head out of her window and I out of mine and we saw heads out of every window in the neighborhood. It was one of the broad streets of the village and a great lumbering coach was coming galloping towards us with four Andalusian mules with plumes on their heads and bells on their necks and outriders with red jackets on their backs. They stopped at the hotel and called for us.
A chair was brought out and we were helped into the coach and went to the station in style.
In due time we reached Alhambra and with a party of tourists were conducted about by a guide.
On one of my trips to Europe I had the pleasure of being present to Emperor William of Germany who was then in the height of his popularity and power.
As we went forward to salute him I was about to muster what little German I knew when to my surprise he came forward and extending his hand said, in good English, "I'll shake hands with you and give you an American welcome," and I found that he spoke English with an excellent accent.
There was a young American in the party, a vulgar fellow, who, shaking hands with the Emperor said, "Why, you speak almost as good English as a native," to which the Emperor made no remark.
This young fellow attached himself to our party and we couldn't get rid of him. Although we were not traveling with a conducted party we had made several pleasant acquaintances and we all traveled together.
I RESIGN AND REMARRY
IN 1913, being seventy-two years old, I found that I was unequal to the long drives and horseback expeditions which were necessary to reach all parts of my diocese, and not because I wanted to cease work and find rest, but because I conscientiously felt that I was not doing justice to the field and that a younger man would be far more useful, I resigned my jurisdiction.
The House of Bishops requested me to continue and I temporarily withdrew my resignation.
In 1914 I made the following report:
"When I first came to Eastern Washington as a missionary in 1871 I found only six communicants of the Church and nothing more in this whole district; no clergymen, no institutions.
"Now we have three thousand communicants, twenty clergymen, with twenty-two lay readers, ministering to sixty churches and missions.
"We have in successful operation--'three boarding and day schools with twenty teachers and two hundred pupils, a hospital with fifty beds; a Church home for children with room for twenty-five orphans. The hospital, orphanage, one school and six parishes are supported wholly by the field without help from the East. The fifty four missions and two schools must have help from the East until they too develop into full self-support. The Board of Missions can allow me only $5,050 per year for this whole work and I must raise $10,000 yearly in specials from the East. You may imagine what it means in such a year as this.
"I doubt if any one of our mission fields can show a more remarkable growth toward self'support. Surely this ought to appeal strongly for help."
As a young man in college in Geneva I had been introduced to a Miss Jane Sheldon and had been quite impressed with her at first sight. I had begun to call frequently upon her when one evening I was met at the door by her father. He was rather a proud pompous man who prided himself on his family connections and lived in a very beautiful home. He said to me, "I notice that you have been calling on my daughter quite frequently lately. Have you any letters of introduction that you could present to me?"
I might have replied that I could give him letters from General Grant and others which would have been satisfactory, but I was too overwhelmed to reply and with a "No sir," turned and walked disconsolately away.
As I wended my path through the beautiful grounds I saw her fair form on the front porch and waved a farewell that broke my heart.
In 1915 she was a widow and I married her as Mrs. Jane T. Sheldon Smith of Geneva, New York. We returned to Spokane by way of the Panama Canal.
As Mrs. Wells and myself were both New Yorkers we had many friends there in common and one of them said, "You are going by the Panama Canal and you may meet General Goethals, the engineer. As I know him I will give you a letter of introduction."
It so happened that when our steamer reached the Canal General Goethals himself boarded her and treated us most heartily during the whole trip, inviting us to ride with him in the wheel house and as we passed along, telling us the whole history of the problems and difficulties of constructing the Canal, It sounded more like a fairy tale than a problem of engineering.
On arriving in Spokane we found the Bishop's house ready for us and went to housekeeping. What will do very nicely for a single man isn't always satisfactory to a bride. Friends in the East who appreciated the situation sent money to buy a beautiful residence in the best section of the city.
I soon found that the incessant journeyings and labors of a frontier district were too much for me and at the general convention in 1915 again sent in my resignation which was accepted.
Then came the question as to where we should live. I said to my wife, "We ought not to continue here, for a resigned Bishop is apt to be a thorn in the side of his successor, so we had better move somewhere else. Now, we can live anywhere in the world you want to. Would you like to go back to Geneva where you have a beautiful house?"
This brings to mind the origin of these beautiful homes in Geneva.
About 1834 there was a young Episcopal clergy man who had a wealthy rural congregation of planters in Virginia. He gradually become convinced that slavery was morally wrong and began preaching on the subject. One day his senior warden came to him and said, "We are very fond of you and are afraid if you keep on preaching on slavery somebody will shoot you for you've caused a very intense feeling in the parish."
The young clergyman kept on preaching until he had convinced quite a number of his congregation that it was wrong for them to own slaves. They held on meeting on the subject and decided that they would move north and colonize and free their slaves; so they sent a committee to select and purchase somewhere in the north a large tract of land to be divided among them, giving each as much as he had in Virginia. They then authorized this committee to build dwellings for them which were to be duplicates of the beautiful homes they were leaving behind. They then sold their plantations and loading their farm wagons with baggage, furniture, and negroes, (for there were no railroads) and themselves riding in their carriages, journeyed to their new homes which were located where Geneva now is on Seneca Lake in western New York.
In one of these houses Mrs. Wells had been brought up and another one she owned at the time of our conversation. So I said to her, "We can live anywhere you wish. Would you like to live in your own home in Geneva?"
"No," she replied, "I think I would rather live somewhere else."
"Would you like to live in New York City where you were born?"
"No," she said, "Most of my friends in New York are dead and I think I would be lonely there."
"Would you like to live in Paris where you were educated?"
"No, I would rather live in my own country, I think."
"How would you like to go to Tacoma?" I asked.
"Yes, I think I would rather live in Tacoma than anywhere else in the world."
Thus we left Spokane without ever occupying the beautiful new Bishop's house and came to Tacoma--and never regretted it.
When we arrived in Tacoma we rented a lovely home on North Yakima Avenue. One of the attractive things about this house was the rich black walnut interior finish. It seems the owner before building the house had visited his father's farm in the middle west where he had been brought up. While ransacking in the upper stories of the old barn he had found a great pile of black walnut logs which had been put there when the farm had been cleared in the beginning. These he had shipped to Tacoma and cut into finished lumber with which he paneled the whole interior of the house.
IN 1909 Mrs. Frank C. Riehl had started a Sunday School and Guild which met in her house in the northern part of the city of Tacoma. My brother James became the superintendent of the Sunday School and when I returned to Tacoma to make my home he asked me, as I had nothing to do, to help them out with it.
As the Sunday School had increased they had rented an old residence which in its turn had become too small. The buildings of Whitworth College were vacant and we rented quarters for the Sunday School there and began to have a Church service every Sunday.
The Guild had already purchased a site for the future church on the northeastern corner of North 36th and Gove Streets. By February 1916 we had erected and opened for worship a charming litle Gothic Church. On a visit to Seattle I had been struck by the beauty of one of their churches and had obtained the plans from the architect. In two years more we had paid for the church and April 28, 1923, I consecrated it.
In 1920 the cornerstone for the community house was laid and November 7, 1920, was opened and blessed. Reverend Arthur Bell was called as assistant Rector and arrived November 1, 1922. He was so successful that in September 1923 I resigned and he became Rector of the parish which has been growing and strengthening under his care ever since.
A large part of the growth and prosperity of St. Mark's Church was due to Mrs. Wells. She gave largely for the erection of the Church and community house and the funds for the erection of the Rectory were given by her. She also obtained substantial funds from numerous friends in the East for the buildings, furnishings, and several memorials in the Church.
She was also active in Bible class teaching. She had an adult Bible class at St. Mark's Sunday School; another one at noon once a week down town under the auspices of the Y. W. C. A. for working girls while they were eating their lunch; the third she held at her own house for neglected society women and through its influence several were won back from the Christian Science to their own churches.
Mrs. Wells was not only an excellent Bible class teacher but she was also a great missionary and was always on the lookout for opportunities for advancing the Kingdom. When she was living in Geneva she invited home a missionary from China who had been making an address and asked her what she could do for the Chinese in this country. The missionary said that there were a great many young Chinese students who were attending colleges here who had never been inside a Christian home and knew nothing of the atmosphere of a religious household.
Mrs. Wells asked her for the name of some Chinese girl who was attending college here and invited the girl to spend a week-end with her. The visit was frequently repeated and an attachment sprang up between them until she called Mrs. Wells her mother in America and Mrs. Wells called her her daughter in Asia.
On the girl's graduation and return to China she married a young Chinese diplomat attached to the Emperor's court and kept up her correspondence with Mrs. Wells until Mrs. Well's death.
A few months afterwards I received a letter from this Chinese woman which told of a great tragedy. It seems that they had a country place in the forest and one summer while her husband was away at court a robber band surrounded the house. Her servants got away but she and her child took refuge in the bushes behind the house which the robbers rifled and then burned. When they had gone and she was rescued she found her little one had died from the fright and exposure and she was left childless but said that she had not lost her Christian faith.
ONE winter we spent in Honolulu where Mrs. Wells had a girlhood friend who had married a young lawyer by the name of Judd and went to live in the Hawaiian Islands, then governed by a native King Cameahmeah. The young lawyer soon gained such influence with the King that he made him Chancellor and entrusted him with the task of framing a code of laws for the Kingdom. When rebellion, led by the Americans, took place and the Islanders became a Republic, they continued Judd as Chancellor and when they became a territory of the United States he was again reappointed to the office and the President of the Republic became Governor of the new Territory.
While Mrs. Wells and I were there the Governor gave us a grand dinner and each of the Chief actors in the recent revolution graphically recounted the part he had taken in the tragedy.
When Chancellor Judd died he left his wife and family in affluence with a city house and a country place, automobiles, chauffeur and servants and they made it pleasant for us.
After Mrs. Wells' death I visited the islands again and was told that the Chancellor's family had lost all their money. When I went to see them I found that they had sold their country place, dismissed their servants and were doing their own housework.
After dinner as we sat talking, I said, "I am sorry lo hear that you have lost your money."
They looked at each other and laughed and re« plied, "Why, we have not lost any money."
A little nettled by their interchange of smiles, I said, "Why are you living so differently now from the way you lived before?"
"Oh, we are trying to be Christians."
"Christians!" I said, "Why you have always been earnest, active Christians."
"Yes, but don't you remember the Master said that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Now if we love our neighbors as ourselves we will give half of our time, half of our prayers and half of our money, and after we have done that we haven't enough left to live as we used to."
This was practical Christianity and I believe it is the right thing for all of us to do.
The summer after our first trip to Honolulu we went to Alaska and to our gratification Mr. John Muir, the great geologist, was among the passengers. We soon got well acquainted with him and when the vessel stopped to allow the passengers an opportunity to visit Muir glacier, which had been named after him he asked us to join his party and as we walked over the ice with him he told us all that was to be known about glaciers and their formation and history. It was for us a delightful experience.
The following summer we took a cruise in my boat through Puget Sound and up along the shores of British Columbia, visiting Victoria and Vancouver. Mrs. Wells had taken one of her maids along to cook for us and I had an old English sailor for my crew. We noticed that until we got into British water that he always took coffee when he could get it and as soon as we crossed the line he declined coffee and insisted upon having tea.
I said, "Why, Jack, you have always taken coffee before."
"Yes, I know it, but I am in British waters now. You can't get good tea in America and you can't get good coffee in British Columbia."
"But," I said, "The same cook made them."
"Yes, I know, but it is in the air."
We spent a couple of weeks in back bay at Victoria and did missionary work by taking the clergy and their wives for cruises to the adjacent shores.
I owe one of my degrees to Mrs. Wells' kindness of heart. The wife of a new professor at Hobart College was very lonely and unhappy in her new surroundings so Mrs. Wells invited them to make her an extended visit and introduced her to a wide circle of friends which did away with her loneliness. In gratitude the Professor worked tooth and nail and procured for me the degree of D. C. L.
I have been unusually fortunate in my degrees. I passed freshman and sophomore years in Trinity College at Hartford, Connecticut before the war and after the war I took my junior and senior years at Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and graduated there, whereupon both colleges gave me the degree of B. A. and then both colleges gave me the degree of M. A. When I graduated from Berkeley Divinity school they gave me the degree of D. D. and later S. T. D. Later both Hobart and Trinity gave me the degree of D. D. and Hobart added the degree of D. C. L. In June 1929 I received a courteous letter from Dr. Penrose, President of Whitman College, saying, that the trustees had voted to give me the degree of D. D. and asking me to come to Walla Walla at commencement and receive it. I replied that I had already received eight degrees and two of them were D. D.'s and while I appreciated the honor they conferred in doing this I thought I had enough for any modest man. He immediately wrote back and said that he appreciated the situation and the trustees had voted me the degree of L. L. D.
In my letter accepting it I said that it put me in an embarrassing situation for it looked as though I had begged the higher degree, and quoted the Indian who wrote Bishop Morris about his trousers saying that my answer was a report and not a beg.
All earthly joys come to an end and in March 1922 my dear wife was taken with pneumonia and on March 29, 1922, died. We laid her at rest in Greenwood Cemetery, New York, with her family. I soon disposed of our large house and rented a cottage and took one of the maids to keep house for myself and brother. I had a lot with a wonderful view of the Sound and mountain and procured plans from an architect for a cottage. One day I was sitting before the fire looking the plans over prior to letting the contract and our housekeeper, looking over my shoulder said, "Are those the plans for your new house?"
"Yes," I replied.
"Well, who is going to keep house for you?"
"Why," I said, "You are."
Putting her forefinger in her mouth she simpered, "I'm going to be married next month and you will have to get someone else."
I looked around for another housekeeper and when I was talking with a widower friend he said, "Don't try it. I've tried it a dozen times and failed. You can't have a home by hiring help. You've got to have somebody that loves you and is doing it for something besides money." I gave up the effort.
I next went to live with a very delightful family, the Frank C. Reihl's, who were the founders of St. Mark's Church. They gave me a large pleasant room with an open fireplace and a perfect view of the mountains and the Sound. There were a number of young people in the family. I said to myself, "Now I have found a home for life."
One day Mr. and Mrs. Reihl asked me to step into a side room and said, "We are sorry to have to tell you this but we are going to Australia to live and expect to sell the house."
So I was adrift again.
My brother, whose daughter had become ill had gone to the Frank Tobey Jones Homes for old people and was anxious that I join him there as he said that he was lonely without some of his own family so there I was at eighty'Seven years of age with my young brother ninety'three years old in a haven of rest for the remainder of my life.
We preserved our self respect by paying the same board that we would have to pay down town for the same accommodations, and are cared for with the utmost kindness and consideration.
Each one has a comfortable room, they serve a good table, nurses in the infirmary are ready for cases of illness and there is only one rule in the establishment; that is: When you go out to be gone any length of time you must write your name on the blackboard in the back hall. If you don't appear on time they send a searching party for you or call the police for fear you have had a stroke or have broken your leg.
About this time the Rector of Trinity Church, Tacoma, resigned and a proposition to amalgamate the parish with St. Luke's was under way, They asked me to supply the parish until the union was effected. Although not in favor of the movement I consented. On June 20, 1926 a meeting of the two parishes voted to unite under the name of Christ Church and the Rev. Sidney James, rector of St. Luke's was called to be the Rector.
Then St. Andrews, Tacoma, which I had started as a mission nearly forty years before got into debt and lost their clergyman and I offered to help them out of their difficulties, so the Bishop put me in charge and when I get them back on a self'supporting basis I will consider that my work is ended.
Late in 1929 Our Heavenly Father saw fit to call my brother James to his eternal rest so I am left alone to carry on the work.
I have now come to the end of these reminiscences and I hope the kind reader will forgive my garrulity and skip the uninteresting parts of the books. If it had been written for strangers I would have omitted a large part but as it has been written for my friends I know that they will be interested even in the trivial details.
I wish to extend my thanks to my associate editor, Mrs. Glen Darling, who has typewritten the book at my dictation and has suggested many more apt words and phrases.