The summer passed all too quickly, and during the first week in September the two young people, each thirty-four years of age, alighted one warm morning at the old station in St. Joseph, and at once ran into the mazes.and problems that thicken around a discouraged parish. The inevitable confusion resulting disclosed the fact that no one knew who was responsible for the cleaning of the Rectory, and as a matter of fact it had not been cleaned for a long time, and this condition had to be attended to immediately. Of course the newcomers said nothing about it, realizing that no one was to blame, and they never referred to it afterwards. It is mentioned here only as a matter of humor because it was so typical of the situation that often obtains when there is a long vacancy. They resolved, that in their own future moves they would beg the Vestries of their future parishes to avoid, at all costs, any long delays in selecting their successors. This excellent rule, as a matter of fact, was carefully observed in all of their subsequent movings.
Well, the Rectory had to be cleaned, and they had to find the colored persons who would clean it. This search was complicated by an additional fact, viz., that that particular week was a festival week in St. Joseph, and not a man or woman could be found who would do this extra work. So the young people went to a boarding-house, which was completely filled, except one room on the top storey, and in this crowded house they ate as best they could at meal-times by day, and sweltered most uncomfortably under the hot roof during the breathless nights of that exceedingly warm September, until at last the Rectory was cleaned, and they could set to work to unpack their "lares and penates" in their new home.
This comfortable Rectory was large and ample, and Marie at once began to put it into its most attractive dressing, with her magic touch. There were plenty of rooms, for the Rector's study, for the living room and the dining room, and the sleeping apartments upstairs, and soon the building became a watchword among the people of the parish, as they began to awake from their spiritual drowse, and began to realize that a new day had dawned for their really beloved parish. One of the Vestrymen said to Marie that they always wanted to see lights in the Rectory after sundown, and so she always had the front rooms lighted, whether there were any callers or not.
St. Joseph was at that time a city of about 50,000 population. It had been from the start one of the Missouri River's shipping points, like Omaha, and like Atchison; in a larger way. There were some factories, for overalls and such like, but the main businesses were jobbing, and in this there were some large houses. "Tootle, Wheeler and Motter" had large numbers of traveling men out most of the time, and the incomes of the partners were reputed to range in the neighborhood of $60,000 annually. All this, of course, is hearsay, and not by the book, but it is indicative of the actual facts as the business world knew them. There were small stockyards, which during the next four years grew to be a large affair, through the influence of John Donovan, who turned out to be one of John Henry's firmest friends and strongest helpers, though he was not confirmed.
The banks were strong and well managed, and the local stores included some that would have been a credit to any city. Yet the competition of Kansas City had already begun to turn St. Joseph's traditional prosperity into something akin to jealousy and serious-mindedness if not occasional depression, and for the first two years of these four the atmosphere of St. Joseph commercially was as slow and as hopeless of great progress as was that of Atchison itself.
There was a good deal of wealth represented by the leading families, and there was a large amount of drinking everywhere. Scarcely a family of any size but was afflicted with some member, not always one of the men, either, who had passed beyond the self-control which is the boast of the moderate drinker. There was a vivid social life among the counterpart of the "Four Hundred," and Town Topics used to regale its readers with luridly touched-up accounts of "St. Joseph's Seventy-Five" from time to time.
The spiritual atmosphere of the place was at rather a low ebb when Marie and John Henry arrived, though there were many churches of many kinds, and some were really doing good work, though rather crudely, in helping their people to a higher plane of living. The social life of the city was dominated by Southern people who had come from Virginia and Kentucky and other parts of the South, and the charm and grace of Southern hospitality were universal. Also the proverbial kindliness which Southern people so frequently show towards their clergymen and ministers was largely in evidence. The men were not afraid to go to church, and the congregations at Christ Church were usually excellent in numbers.
The pace of the city was not rapid, for there was a general acceptance of the fact that St. Joseph, or "St. Joe," as everyone called it, had come to stay. They found great admiration for St. Louis, keen criticism of Kansas City, and a frank dislike of Chicago among many of the leading families. Their parish had a goodly sprinkling of these. As for "Yankees," no terms of opprobrium were strong enough to express their attitude and feelings. When the ladies asked Marie where she came from (they were fascinated by her from the very start, of course), and she gaily replied "Well, I guess you will have to call us Yankees," they threw up their hands in protest as well as in horror and disbelief. Their idea of Yankees was based on Sherman's March to the Sea, and the people who came with "carpet-bags" to the South in the awful days of reconstruction. That Yankees could behave as Marie and John Henry habitually did was beyond the comprehension of these good people.
The Churchmanship which John Henry found was as near to nothing as could be imagined among good-hearted people. Good Dr. Runcie "cared so little" for these things that he had built his church with a tiny chancel in the middle of one side, and had grouped the pews in curves, "so that he could be near to his dear people"! His successor had bravely turned this unusual chancel into a baptistry, and had set apart one end of the church with a simple rail, and then had arranged the pews with a center aisle, so that at least there was a semblance of Churchliness as one entered the strange interior. The building would seat about 700, and there was a small two-rank organ, with pews for choir-stalls that were ranged along the end of the interior, as though they had planned to stay, if possible, for a while.
John Henry, though at this time his ideas about church interiors were not very carefully cultivated, was greatly depressed when he first looked into this absolutely unprecedented interior, even as it was after his immediate predecessor had courageously striven to have some semblance of Churchliness in the arrangement of chancel and pews.
The first thing he induced his good people to do was to open the outside doors of the church, and to buy a sign saying so. Indeed they were very good people, only they had never been taught any better, and they held dear from every sentimental attachment the features of so-called "Virginia Churchmanship" which they recalled with all the fond associations of youth, and which they had transplanted to their Midwestern homes with thorough loyalty to the past.
That was in 1895. These lines are written in 1932, and it is believed that from that day until now these outside doors of Christ Church have always been open by day, Sundays and week-days alike, and the sign has said, as such signs say all around the world, "Enter for rest and prayer." Thirty-seven years comprise quite a space of time, in one's rushing, changing life.
There were several remarkable features about St. Joseph's leading people, and the wife of the Rev. Dr. Runcie was endowed with many of them. She was the daughter of Robert Dale Owen, the brilliant Socialist who had so much to do with the founding of the Socialist colony in Indiana called "New Harmony," which very interesting place Marie and John Henry visited many years later as Department Missionary Secretary and wife. Mrs. Runcie was a very gifted literary woman, with musical abilities as well. She had written an Opera, though it had never been performed so far as Marie and John Henry could learn. Some of her many hymn tunes and other musical compositions had been sung by Christ Church choir, previous to their arrival. She had taken her husband's life insurance money and had built a house not far from the church. The house had a large and well-filled library room.
Mrs. Runcie's chief source of income was the "Runcie Club," a literary club of really very fine calibre, of which she was the extremely able president, and to which every women in St. Joseph who had the slightest pretensions to social position, of course belonged. The meetings were very well attended by its members. Mrs. Runcie was affected with deafness, and the vice-president had to preside at the meetings. Marie was almost struck with consternation at finding that Mrs. Runcie insisted upon her accepting this exceedingly important office, but she grasped it with all her wonted ability and made it a great success from the start. Mrs. Runcie gave the younger woman her most cordial and unstinted support from the outset, and Marie's native tact and abilities took excellent care of all the details that were her large share in making the meetings of this really brilliant literary club attractive, entertaining, and valuable. Mrs. Runcie's son was gifted with a beautiful tenor voice, and was the choir's mainstay in the tenor parts during the next four years. Her daughters were recognized as leading women in the city, and her own support and loyal friendship were strong factors in an increasingly active life, both in the parish and in the city as well. A great deal is owed to the kindness and helpfulness of the Runcie family. When the Angel of Death entered the home at Grand Isle, on March 9, 1933, one of the most beautiful and helpful of the four hundred and fifty letters of sympathy which loving friends far and near sent to John Henry, came from one of Mrs. Runcie's daughters, still residing in "dear St. Joseph," as Marie and he always called the city.
And this friendship continued through all of their four years together. Mrs. Runcie saw quickly that Marie and John Henry meant to play fair with her as with everyone else, and she generously accepted the status. They were guests in her dining room as well as always welcome callers in her big library, whenever possible.
Some years after they had returned to Chicago, John Henry found himself one morning addressing the 3,500 girls and boys of the Hyde Park high school, Chicago, on the theme of "Theodore Thomas and Music." He had to give his address twice, as did Coach Stagg, who shared the morning programme with him. This was because the largest hall in the great high school would hold only 2,000 people, and every public message for the young people had to be given twice, once to 2,000 and then again to the other 1,500. Between shifts John Henry found himself close to one of the bright young men who composed part of the faculty. The conversation naturally turned to books and writing, and it seemed that the young professor was working hard on his Ph.D. thesis for the University of Chicago. The theme was unique and very interesting. It was "The Effect of Population upon Character and Opportunity." So far, after two years' research, the aspirant had learned, so he told John Henry, that the most rounded, wholesome, complete, and generally satisfactory life conditions now obtaining in the United States would be found in cities of from 50,000 to 100,000 population. These places had people enough to provide a gait, and there were not so many that residential segregation was to any large degree possible or preferred. When Marie and John Henry reached St. Joseph, the city reported about 50,000 population. When they left, it reported about 100,000, though this large total may have been padded a little at the time. Thus they found such varied conditions and opportunities for social service as well as social contacts that soon their time was crowded with opportunities and engagements of many kinds. It is difficult to know where to begin, as one attempts to narrate the outlines.
Of course the first things to do centered around the task of awakening and unifying the parish. This was found to be less difficult than might have been imagined, for the people were ladies and gentlemen, and really good-hearted as well as, in a rather vague sense, religious. They responded to leadership promptly and generously.
Marie threw open the Rectory very often for "Missionary Teas" and other social gatherings, mainly among the women. The very able men on the Vestry, the chief of whom in business were not only among St. Joseph's leading citizens but in their respective lines were nationally known as men of stamp and power, rallied around their young Rector with fine support. They organized "Christ Church Club" among the men, and it was a success. The women at once sensed that in Marie they had a woman of genius in many directions, and they were not slow in showering upon her the friendly attentions and the real cooperation which she had won among the tenement-house poor of New York, and the social leaders of the North Side of Chicago, and the intelligent, wholehearted, and able women of Atchison.
There was one good woman, however, who never quite accepted Marie's leadership, but rather took from the start the attitude of her mentor, teacher, and corrector. Let her name be called "Mother X." She was a strong, positive woman, a farmer's wife until her husband retired and came to live "in the city," where she dominated him as she did probably on the farm, successfully and ceaselessly. He was rather tenderly inclined towards the Methodists, while she, good soul, within her limited conception of what it meant, was a loyal "Episcopalian." She felt that Marie, whose pretty home she frequently visited, was far too fond of pretty things, and really needed some of the hard discipline of life. And as for John Henry, the poor young thing was doing the best he could, and some day he might really begin to know something of life, and would then, it is hoped, be able to preach sermons of at least some slight value.
Several pages could easily be filled with accounts of the sayings and doings of this good and original soul, we have space but for two of her most characteristic remarks. It was at one of Marie's "Missionary Teas," for which she had prepared with the utmost care, and where her hospitality was unstinted, of course. Some of the volunteer helpers among the good ladies were in the butler's pantry, handling some of the Rectory dishes. Suddenly there was a crash, and all knew that some cup or plate or saucer had vanished into the scrapheap. "Mother X" waddled across the living room (she was burdened with a large and ungainly corporos-ity) to where Marie was standing and was trying to appear oblivious to the ominous sounds from the butler's pantry, and these kindhearted words then rent the astonished air, as the good woman poked Marie in the ribs: "Hear your pretty china smashing?"
The other remark sprang out of one of those embittered contraptions in parish life which serve as a re-inforcement to the limited exercise of real giving, so often found among the faithful. In other words, the Woman's Guild of the parish was giving a chicken-pie dinner in the basement of the church building. The guild was so famous for these menus and for the very reasonable price exacted from their patrons, that men came from far and near in St. Joseph to enter at least the basement of the church, though a good many of them never went upstairs on any occasion. "Mother X" hailed John Henry one day soon before the dinner, and delivered herself of the following ultimatum: "My husband doesn't like the 'Piscopals very much, and much prefers the Methodists. He is willing, however, to come to this chicken-pie dinner provided his piece of the pie does not contain a neck!" So poor John Henry went dutifully to the chairman of the committee on pied chickens, and begged her to be careful, please, about the particular portion of pie and chicken to be served to "Mother X" and her husband. The harried friend promised to be as reasonable as possible, but we all know what happens at times to "the best laid plans." Good "Brother X" found no less than three necks in the unhappy bit of pie which was gaily brought to him by an unsuspecting and unmindful member of the guild, and from that fatal day on the good man usually avoided walking on the same side of the street which was occupied even at a distance by Christ Church. And "Mother X" had her opinion of the executive ability of the parish's Rector! And she stated said opinion freely and as frequently as was necessary or unnecessary, for some time afterwards. "Mother X" was fond of harrying Marie when possible. She would drive up to the Rectory, and sit in her phaeton until Marie was forced to leave the house and to come down to see the good lady in said vehicle. And then the caller would relieve her mind on many themes, while her hostess stood patiently waiting for the coda. It always came, later if not sooner. Yes, the Xs were delicious!
Christ Church choir included women, men, and a few boys. Their leader and organist was Mrs. Mary Rich Lyon, a lady of unusually excellent musicianship, tireless zeal, and kindly heart. At this writing Mrs. Lyon is still the organist and choir-mistress of Christ Church, having served the parish thus for fifty years or more. She was a lady as well as a good musician, and the relationship between herself and her Rector became a friendship which has lasted during all the subsequent years.
The organ was a small, two-rank instrument, which was quite inadequate for the possibilities of the music, and for some several years the women of the parish had been accumulating an organ fund, which amounted to about $2,000 at John Henry's arrival, but which had become so unpopular that not one additional dollar could be added to it by any means within the reach of the women. So John Henry started out to try to find a second-hand organ somewhere, which could be purchased and set up in Christ Church for about $2,000. He finally found a fine old Johnson organ, from Norwalk, Connecticut, an instrument which was almost the exact replica of the Johnson organ in St. James's Church, Chicago, though not as large as that noble instrument. The organ which John Henry had played for five years in St. Paul's Church, Burlington, Vermont, was also a Johnson instrument, and was, when purchased, the largest organ in Vermont.
This three-rank instrument, with perhaps forty speaking "stops" or registers, had been occupying for some years the organ gallery of a large Congregational church in Norwalk, and had been traded in, after the manner of modern automobile sales, when a wealthy member of that congregation desired to donate a $20,000 memorial organ to the church. Hutchins and Co., organ builders, being at that time of the same standing as that of the Johnson Company when the old instrument was built, had won the contract for the new organ, and they offered to set up the Johnson instrument for about $2,000 with an electric blower for the wind supply, etc.
The Vestrymen of Christ Church were rather wary of a second-hand instrument, when John Henry first proposed the purchase of this rare bargain, so he looked up its character and standing through Dun and Bradstreet, just as these business men would have done for a prospective client in their jobbing trade. He also wrote to Brenton Whitney, organist of The Church of The Advent, Boston, Massachusetts, and asked this old friend and leading New England musician please to tell him about the Norwalk instrument. He also wrote to our church Rector in Norwalk, and to one or two others. It was amusing to Marie as well as to him when they learned that Dun and Bradstreet had consulted some of the very same people to whom he had written personally! To sum the matter briefly, after due consideration, the Vestry ordered the Johnson organ from the Hutchins Company, and in due time it was shipped to St. Joseph. Two very able and conscientious organ men came with it, and set it up in Christ Church chancel. Had it been made for the space it could not have fitted it better, as John Henry had ascertained before recommending the purchase. And it was indeed a joyous day for him when he sat down at its three manuals and turned on "the whole box" and hurled through the air of the Missouri Valley, for the first time in its history, the sonorous richness of a full-toned pipe organ. For there was no three-rank organ in Kansas City at that time, and the only other three-manual instrument in the valley was in Omaha, and the Vestrymen were assured by those who knew that it was not as fine an instrument as this well-built Johnson organ.
In the sequel, the congregation of Christ Church became so much attached to this splendid instrument that it was still in use, at this writing (1933), though the action had been replaced when it had served its day. To have lasted satisfactorily for thirty-seven years, when the organ-building business has made such mighty progress as it has since the invention of the electric action, speaks well for the calibre of this instrument.
The next item of work about Christ Church music was the notable evening when this organ was formally opened. John Henry wanted to make it a real occasion. So he corresponded with H. Clarence Eddy, the Vermonter who had risen to the forefront of Chicago's organists, and of the world's as well. He was the only organist in America at that time who had played one hundred consecutive programmes in one hundred consecutive weeks without repeating one number. This was done at the Hershey School of Music, in Chicago, and the one hundredth programme was played from manuscript, as every number on it was written for the occasion by eminent composers and organists in Europe and this country. Mr. Eddy used to practise fifteen hours a day on the organ in Bethany Congregational Church, Montpelier, Vermont, in his younger days, and John Henry knew that such an artist could be advertised triumphantly in St. Joseph, if he could be secured. His price was $100, and thereby hangs both a problem and a tale.
The money, of course, had to be raised before he came, and it could not be raised by selling tickets at the door of a consecrated Church building like Christ Church. So John Henry in one way or another managed to sell enough tickets, by personal visiting and approach, to make sure his $100. Marie helped him in this, as in everything.
The problem of tickets and of money-raising for expenses, however, was not the only one connected with this somewhat unprecedented affair of the opening of this fine organ. There was the question of applause. The good people of Christ Church had never been taught much about the duty of "reverencing My Sanctuary," and their usual habit of personal behavior in the empty church or before and after any ordinary service did not always include the rule of silence. They very graciously yielded some attention to the careful examples set by Marie, and inculcated, as best might be, from time to time, by the new Rector, yet they would not have hesitated in the least to have indulged in the politeness of spontaneous applause during the organ recital planned for this opening. This was well known to the one who was doing the planning, and for some worried days and nights the problem seemed insoluble, until one night it occurred to him to adopt the following plan, which was supremely successful all around the circle of those connected and interested.
At the time of the recital, the church was crowded with the best people in St. Joseph. John Henry laid no objections to whatever general conversation was quietly taking place among these hundreds of friends and relatives as they gradually filled the church, but a few minutes before 8 o'clock he entered from the old chancel, then the baptistry entrance, and stood before the congregation in his cassock, at the head of the center aisle.
He had placed Professor Eddy within earshot of all that he said, which was in substance as follows: "Dear Friends and Members of Christ Church parish: We are more than happy to welcome you on this unusual occasion, when for the first time in the history of the Missouri Valley the air thereof is to vibrate with the tones of a majestic pipe organ played by one of the greatest organists in the world. In fact Professor H. Clarence Eddy, whom you soon are to hear, through the medium of this fine instrument, is the only organist in the world who has played one hundred consecutive programmes in one hundred consecutive weeks without repeating one single number! And the one hundredth programme excited such intense interest through the organ-playing world on both sides of the Atlantic, that it was played from manuscript, every number having been composed for the occasion by eminent organists and composers in this country and in Europe. Of course we would all wish to make these walls ring with enthusiastic applause after each composition presented to us by this master-musician tonight, but, this being a consecrated building, this is impossible. So I am asking you if you would be willing please to recognize both this fact and also the great honor which is ours in having so distinguished an artist with us tonight, by rising from your seats as I conduct him to the organ console and also by rising again from your seats at the close, as I escort him back again to the sacristy."
The plan worked beautifully! When John Henry went at once to Mr. Eddy, he found the great artist blushing with pride, as he expressed his deep gratification over such a complimentary introduction. The whole congregation rose spontaneously at the moment of his entrance within the church, and did the same with electric unanimity and zest at the close of the superb programme which he then gave. Thus was Christ Church's fine organ opened for service. There were prayers, of course, at the opening of the programme, and at its close. And all St. Joseph felt an interest in the music of Christ Church, which from that time on began to attract deserved notice from far and wide.
The choir had never been vested, up to this point, beyond the cassocks and cottas of the very few choir boys who helped as best they could with the sopranos. The bulk of the singing, of course, was done by the men and women of the choir. From this time on, however, they wore suitable vestments, and those of the women were feminine in character, instead of following the rather grotesque plan of having the women wear the male choir vestments of cassocks and cottas, as is so commonly done by many other mixed choirs. Mrs. Mary Rich Lyon gave the Rector her enthusiastic and unstinted support in all the plans for the music, and the result was something which gave all great gratification, and really adorned the worship of our God and Saviour in a reverent and beautiful way. Before the Johnson organ was purchased, and when the parish was handicapped by the limitations of the old two-manual instrument which had done faithful service for many years, the custom of Lenten Passion cantatas on Sunday evenings in Lent was instituted, and with such success that the church was crowded. It was thronged so constantly on these evenings, that the denominational ministers were made jealous, and some of them actually preached against the services. Consequently John Henry invited them all to a rehearsal one evening after the fine organ had been secured, and many of them came. They sat in the back seats, listened rather critically, and most of them went away without even saying "Good Evening" to the Rector who had invited them! The piano, moved into the church, and played as in Atchison by John Henry, added the orchestral parts even to the accompaniments on the large organ. Stainer's "The Crucifixion" was the first of these cantatas, and at once became a great favorite with these good people. In fact, since the parish had a fine solo quartet and a good chorus, one of the enthusiastic Vestrymen, who had a New York City client in church one Sunday morning, asked John Henry, before the Sunday came, if the choir could not please sing some of the "Crucifixion" music, as he wanted his friend to hear it. The fact that it was then in Eastertide didn't occur to said kindhearted and loyal layman who was much disappointed when John Henry found it impossible to say "Yes" to his request for a Lenten anthem during Eastertide.
Marie was deeply interested, in Chicago, in the "Mothers' Meeting," carried on, as has been stated in another chapter, by Mrs. Arthur Ryerson (whose husband went down in the Titanic) who remained a loyal friend to Marie for many years, during her subsequent Chicago life, and by Mrs. James L. Houghteling, Mrs. Peabody, and other kindhearted young matrons of St. James's Church at the parish's mission, St. John The Evangelist's on Clybourn Avenue, in the district commonly called "Little Hell." And Marie wanted to have such a meeting established in St. Joseph. The idea was a new one in Christ Church, but the women of the parish rallied promptly to Marie's leadership in this as in everything, and, after some efforts, and the overcoming of a number of difficulties, one of these Mothers' Meetings was established at St. Mark's mission, which little church building was a mile or so distant from Christ Church, and was often a part of the parish's work. The mothers came once a week, and sewed on the garments which were cut out by one of the parish committee, and the material was also provided by the committee. The women took the garments home with them when finished. There were always light refreshments, and usually there was an address, and, of course, the meetings included prayers. This gave a kind of "party" to these poor women once a week, and gave Marie and the other ladies who comprised the committee a chance to know these other women in a way that would have otherwise been almost impossible.
To begin to enumerate the charming women and the fine men who were the leaders of Christ Church parish one should hardly know where to stop, yet there are a few names and families which ought to be mentioned, because they stood out especially as co-workers and friends of the Rector and his wife. Some of them could be counted as very dear friends for more than thirty-five years after their first meeting. There was John R. Richardson, the Senior Warden, and his large family, including his three sisters-in-law, the Misses Ferguson. Mr. Richardson was the head of the Sommer-Richardson Candy Factory and Biscuit Factory, in St. Joseph, and his work was so successful that the National Biscuit Company finally induced him to merge with them, and to become their vice-president. This finally took him and his to Chicago, where they at times were among the parishioners in John Henry's church in that great city. Mr. Richardson was a Virginian, and his father, Col. Richardson, was still living when the Hopkinses reached St. Joseph. Col. Richardson had married twice, and there were many children. In fact the youngest of these children were almost of the same ages as Mr. and Mrs. John D.'s own children, in some cases. This made a large and most interesting family. Christmas at the Richardsons' was a feast to be long remembered. The whole family was devoted to the Church, and it was a great stimulus to John Henry to find so able a business man as Mr. Richardson always so earnestly and generously devoted to our Lord and to the things of religion. Col. Richardson was well along in years in 1895, and the whole family gave to Marie and John Henry their strong support, and eventually their real affection.
Though their Churchmanship was that of Virginia, both positively and negatively, John Henry made every consistent effort to make them feel at home under his administration. For instance, when he found that the parish had been using common bread, with yeast, for the Holy Communion, with all the real if unintended irreverence consequent upon crumbling, as well as with the objectionable symbolism of yeast (though the Eastern Church in Europe uses leavened bread in the Holy Eucharist), John Henry went straight to Col. Richardson, when the time had come for the parish to conform to Western usage and to establish the use of unleavened bread, and offered to consecrate the common bread for him, if he so preferred. The old gentleman soon afterwards died, so that this plan was not necessary for a long time. It worked well, however, while needed.
Then there was the Lemon family. Mrs. Lemon was a dainty and graceful matron, with several children, all of whom were well brought up in the Church. Mrs. Lemon lived in a large and hospitable home, and it was the scene of many gracious social gatherings, formal and informal. Mrs. Lemon was a real daughter of the South, and had never had an American flag in her home. When, however, after the Spanish-American War, there seemed to be a nation-wide approachment between Southerners and the rest of the nation, Mrs. Lemon invited Marie and John Henry to dinner one evening, and little Lettie Lemon was asked by her mother to go to the piano and play as soon as they arrived. For some reason John Henry did not recognize that she was playing Sousa's "Stars and Stripes" (the composition which Sousa said he would like to hear played at the moment of his own death), and Mrs. Lemon was much grieved that her guests did not appreciate more thoroughly her deepened patriotism! She also had bought a real United States flag for her house that evening, and the nation from that moment should have felt more like a unit than ever before, for Mrs. Lemon, though a most considerate and gracious lady, was nevertheless most rigid in her convictions, though she might never mention them.
Then there was Louis Motter, who was a Vestryman, and whose large family was connected with many in the parish. Mr. Motter was the "sugar man" in the large wholesale grocery house of Nave and McCord, and he was one of John Henry's devoted friends. Of course a Low Churchman, as were most of Christ Church's parishioners, yet he accepted the atmosphere and leadership which his young Rector and wife gradually disseminated throughout the parish, and he was most reliable in every way. He formed a real friendship for Marie and John Henry, and long after they left for Chicago he kept them informed concerning all of the important pieces of personal news which centered around their former parishioners. A little girl, Olivia Calhoun Motter, was born during this Rectorate, and nothing would do but that Marie and John Henry should be her God-parents. Through his influence with the railroads, he usually secured passes for his Rector and wife all the way to and from Grand Isle, when vacation travel was in order. He was greatly interested in the improvement of the music which Mrs. Lyon and her co-workers made during these years, and all in all was a very valuable member of both the parish and the Vestry.
One of his connections was Joshua Motter, junior partner in the large firm of Tootle, Wheeler, and Motter, wholesale dry-goods jobbers, probably the largest concern in St. Joseph. He was possibly the richest member of Christ Church congregation. He was a definite helper in the work of "Christ Church Club," and on more than one occasion, at its meetings, he was the speaker of the evening.
One of the most extraordinary friendships formed by John Henry in St. Joseph was that given to him wholeheartedly by John Donovan. This typical Southern gentleman was one of the institutions of St. Joseph. He was born in the city. He had married into one of the other old families, and had been engaged in various kinds of business. He was one of the men who went to Church now and then, but he had never been confirmed, and he was not confirmed during John Henry's Rectorate. He came up to the Rectory one day, and spent more than an hour with John Henry, telling him the story of much of his life. It was very interesting, and showed a man of large heart, and a high sense of honor. Something about slim John Henry made this Southerner feel that the young Rector was a fairly manly man, in spite of the round collar. And subsequent events proved that there was real friendship existing between the two men who were in so many points utterly dissimilar.
The first thing that brought this home to Marie and John was a surprising event which owed its origin, development, and conclusion to John Donovan. John Henry was an enthusiastic bicycler, and had been from even before his college days. All in all he must have ridden some kind of a wheel for over seventeen years as he afterwards found out to his sorrow, in later life. But the good Southerners of St. Joseph were mortally afraid that their Rector would take it into his head to do his parish visiting on a bicycle. This was quite earnestly deprecated by these dear people, who took their cues in general from the doings and ways of life obtaining in "Old Virginny" before the war. So John Donovan, unbeknown to Marie and John Henry, went about St. Joseph and raised money enough to buy a nice-looking black horse, a good-looking phaeton, and a set of harness which promised to last some time, and one bright day he turned up at the Rectory in this attractive rig, and presented it to Marie and John Henry from their friends. He had also struck a bargain with the livery-stable man, whose concern was just across the street from Christ Church, to give "Jimmy," as the horse was called, a box-stall for about $13 a month, which was a large reduction from the current rates. So the days of day-bicycling for John Henry were definitely postponed, and he and Marie rejoiced in their new equipage and their good looking little horse.
The only drawback about this utterly unexpected deed of kindness was that the margin of about $13 a month was all that even the thrift of the young couple in the Rectory could manage to save, and the only way they could save a cent from their income was by dispensing with Jimmy and his phaeton for some weeks, now and then, and by boarding Jimmy out in the country with some farmer, for a very small sum per week. All the same, this generous and helpful gift was a great boon, and many a delightful drive did the young people have about St. Joseph and its environs, besides the rides involved in the parish calling. Alas! however, for John Henry's bicycling. The only way he could get astride of a wheel was by donning a disguise costume, at night, and pulling an old hat down over his eyes, and by renting a wheel from a discreet dealer who knew when to keep silence. These sequestered rides around St. Joseph at night did not often take place, but once in a while, when the inveterate devotee of the wheel simply couldn't resist the appeal any longer, he would dress up for the outing, and at night dash around the narrow streets of the old city to his heart's--and feet's--content.
Jimmy, however, became a favorite member of the family at 207 N. Seventh street (that was the Rectory's number), and it was with a real pang that they sold him, and what was left of the phaeton, when the time came finally for them to move back to big Chicago. Their box of historical kodaks contains several snapshots of this intelligent horse, who soon found out that he could impose upon his driver and owner, John Henry not being skilled in getting the best out of any horse. The little beast was fond of sugar, and would "shake hands" in his box-stall whenever his master came along with a lump of the article. He was also fond of music, and since the big organ of Christ Church was right opposite his stall, he would put his head out and wag it around approvingly when John Henry would go into the church, turn on the electricity, and whang away at the three manuals for a while. But Jimmy finally became completely spoiled, and it is hoped that his purchaser, in April, 1899, was able to get more out of him than the round-collared and indulgent friend, to whom he Was given through Mr. Donovan's kindness, had been able to get.
Mr. Donovan did much more, however, for John Henry and the parish than to procure this outfit and to avoid the scandal of daylight wheeling. The Easter offering at Christ Church, in palmy times and generous periods of parochial cooperation, had sometimes amounted to $700 or more. Mr. Donovan was not satisfied with this. He went around among the well-to-do people of the parish, on his own initiative, and induced nineteen of them to give $100 apiece towards the Easter offering, which was to make a beginning on the task of paying off the old Rectory debt. The result was an offering of about $3,500 which was such an achievement that it reverberated up and down the Episcopal corridors of the Middle-west with astonishing echoes.
The parish had never paid one cent on the $6,000 debt incurred when the Rectory was built. They had paid out in interest more than the amount of the original principal. The good work thus begun went on until not only this debt was entirely paid off, by this and subsequent large Easter offerings, but other deeds of beautification and adornment and improvement were added. And the results were such an improvement in the plant that real exultation followed.
One of the dearest friends of Marie's in the parish came to John Henry and under the pledge of strictest secrecy gave him the sum of $1,500 to have the east wall of the church enlarged, as far as the lot would permit, into an apsidal. chancel. This was to be in memory of her husband, though this was not to be known by the congregation. It is now known that this generous donor was Mrs. Marlow, and at this writing this dear lady is living in Los Angeles, in greatly reduced circumstances, and is still devoted to the church, and occasionally Marie and John Henry have heard from her by letter. The task of building this new chancel was most welcome to John Henry. He deposited the money in a bank under his own name, and drew all the checks himself for the bills as they came due. This was done, of course, in order to protect Mrs. Marlow's anonymous kindness.
Then there came one of the most interesting incidents of their St. Joseph life. There was now the chance for a large chancel window of stained glass. The good women of the parish had scraped together a fund of about $600 for a window of stained glass. Like the $2,000 fund collected in previous years for the organ that was to be, there was a definite limit to this $600. Not another dollar was collected, by even the utmost efforts. And, to add zest to the situation, the suggestion was promptly made from a very influential quarter of the parish, without any consultation with John Henry, that a certain subject, quite out of place in a chancel window, should be chosen. This unexpected proposition at once told John Henry that he was up against a real parish situation, which had to be handled just right, or it would develop into the kind of parochial dynamite that makes definite trouble. Marie of course helped him out with one of her bright suggestions. There was another side to this trouble, too, in that the space to be covered was large enough for a $5,000 window, and they had just $600. So correspondence was begun, not with the most expensive dealers in the choicest stained glass, but with those good Samaritans who help out limited parochial funds with at least some kind of workmanship and artistry. One firm was at last found who agreed to fill the space for $600. Then John Henry began to think as well as to work. And Marie helped him as usual. The whole parish was talking about the chancel and its window, and that at least gave a leverage and an opportunity. John Henry said everywhere that the chancel was devoted to that part of Church worship which specified reference to our Lord's "Blessed Passion and Precious Death, His Mighty Resurrection and Glorious Ascension." That at once settled the question about the subject of the windows. Then John Henry reminded his people that the theme talked about during our Lord's Mystic Transfiguration, according to St. Luke, was the "Exodus at Jerusalem." Thus a picture of the Transfiguration would be eminently suitable for the chancel window. He then reminded his people that Raphael's "Transfiguration" was considered to be one of the greatest paintings in the world. And he sent on to the above firm for their best sketch in colors of the upper part of Raphael's masterpiece. The artist did a good piece of work, and then Marie stepped into the enterprise. She gave an afternoon tea at the Rectory, and invited all of the parishioners interested, and then was exhibited the artist's drawing of the Transfiguration. In the meantime John Henry had called at the homes of most of the leading parishioners and had asked them if they would be willing to help him and the parish in this emergency, by going to the Rectory at this tea, and by examining carefully the artist's drawing of Raphael's celebrated theme, and, if it appealed to them (and he explained to them in turn why the theme was supremely suitable for a chancel window) they were then to say to every one they met at this tea that the Raphael picture would be a great addition to St. Joseph's stained glass, and that they admired the artist's setting of the picture.
When the good people who had volunteered the other suggestion at the outset found such an array of opinion surging in the direction of the Raphael picture, they were gracious and loyal enough to retire gracefully and without any commotion, for which goodness John Henry thanked them, silently, from the bottom of his heart. He always dreaded anything that even hinted at a "parish row," and he but rarely was troubled in any parish with this particular species of diabolism.
There was other trouble, however, besides that of the theme. The space to be covered was so large, and the sum available was so small, that no firm could have afforded a very expensive grade of glass or of work. So Marie and John Henry were more grateful for the devotional correctness of the window than for the quality of stained glass which was actually installed. The workmen had a very difficult time placing the large and heavy window in the frame, and at one moment John Henry feared that it would all go helplessly to smash in the installing process. Fortune favored us, however, and by a very narrow margin the big window was successfully installed, in the sequel.
Then other parishioners fell into line, and a number of really beautiful additions were made to the ornaments of the fine old church. The Richardson family gave a very handsome Processional Cross. Another parishioner gave a brass Altar rail. A third family gave a fine brass pulpit. Others gave brass alms basins, and one evening Bishop Atwill came up from Kansas City, and in a rarely beautiful and well-arranged service blessed the new chancel, the window, the Processional Cross, the pulpit, the alms basins, and the Altar rail, and preached an eloquent sermon thanking the congregation for their great generosity in thus adorning the church.
One more item of this vivid and interesting St. Joseph Rectorate should by all means be mentioned. It concerns the decision on the part of one of the bright young men of the parish to study for the Priesthood. In the choir, and in the Brotherhood of St. Andrew chapter, was a young man of twenty, named Erie Homer Merriman. His father was one of the officials of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Division of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, commonly called the "Burlington." His mother had died a number of years before this Rectorate began, and before it closed his father died also, leaving to Erie a small amount of money. It was enough to support him for a year or so. His work was that of a helper in the St. Joseph Public Library, where he had been employed since graduating from the local high school. Erie had a good voice, and was an unusually acceptable Lay Reader. One day in Lent John Henry's miserable throat went back on him, as was its wont at many inconvenient times, and he sent to the library for Erie, asking him please to read the Lenten Evensong for him. This he did, and did it so well that everyone was pleased. It was then that the thought occurred to John Henry that this young man might answer "Yes" to a call to the Holy Ministry, and he spoke to him very quietly and earnestly about it. At first Erie said "No," and soon after that he was called to Buffalo, New York, to a better position there in the big public library. John Henry was disappointed, but kept the plan in frequent prayer.
One day, early in the Epiphany season, he was gladdened by receiving a letter from Erie, stating that he wanted to study for the Priesthood after all. John Henry had him return at once to his stepmother's home in St. Joseph, where Erie's little patrimony paid his modest expenses for six months, during which time John Henry tutored him for one hour each week-day, in those studies which the canons of the Church then required from all men who wished to be admitted as Candidates for Holy Orders, and who had not achieved a B.A. degree in some college. These studies were history, logic, philosophy, New Testament Greek, and the Bible in English. Erie made remarkable progress. He was and still is a born student. He began New Testament Greek Grammar on February 1st, and in sixty days he was translating the Acts of the Apostles from the Greek Testament, having mastered in that almost incredibly brief time all the declensions of nouns and adjectives, all the conjugations of verbs, regular, contracted, and verbs in "Mi," and the irregular verbs of the New Testament. At the same time he was studying logic and some of the other subjects outlined above. He went to the General Theological Seminary that fall, and went straight to the head of his class, where he remained for the three years, taking Latin also and adding a fourth year of graduate study. John Henry secured for him a place in the choir at St. Thomas's Church, New York, through the kindness of Dr. Stires, then Rector, and he thus paid his way through the seminary.
Another important event in their St. Joseph life was the long visit which Marie's sister, Charlotte Williams Graves, paid to her during her second or third year in that Rectory. At once Charlotte's brilliant social graces took the fancy of the St. Joseph people, and she had a fine time with these delightful women and men, including a number who were not members of Christ Church parish. Those were days when Charlotte sang a good deal, and her dash and verve carried all before her, whenever she thus warbled. John Henry did his best to accompany her on the piano, and at Marie's Rectory functions the "youngest Graves girl" often added thus an especial note to the varied programmes. At this time there was a young army officer stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, about forty miles from St. Joseph, and his name was then and still is Lincoln C. Andrews. He soon found the way to the Rectory, and the only stipulation which John Henry made concerning the numerous visits thus scheduled in the parlors and living room was that when it came to Sunday evening, and Christ Church, next to the Rectory, was lighted up for the regular evening service, Lieut. Andrews, who was reared a Methodist, and Charlotte, who never cared very much for an extra allowance of church-going anyway, should not have the lights burning in the Rectory parlors on those evenings when they did not attend the Church service. There was no objection whatever to this simple regulation, for the only evening in the seven that the Rectory was not lighted up, front and rear rooms alike, was when Marie and John Henry were in the church at the services. Just when Charlotte and "Linny," as we always affectionately called him in after years, effected their engagement, this writer does not know. But he is of the opinion that the plans were laid very clearly, so far as Lincoln C. Andrews is concerned, during this memorable visit of Charlotte's to her sister Marie in old "St. Joe."
And another item in their St. Joseph life should be chronicled because so unusual. This concerns John Henry more than Marie, but it ought not to be omitted in this story. The Masonic Fraternity had admitted him to the Blue Lodge in Atchison, Kansas, and his friends had seen that the degrees cost him nothing. In St. Joseph he was also given, by similar kindness, as has been said, the degrees of the Chapter and of the Commandery of Knights Templar, and he became the prelate of his Commandery before the time came to return to Chicago. Most of his leading male parishioners were Knights Templar, and he found himself among friends from the start. This was the period of the Spanish-American War, and during the years previous to its outbreak John Henry had been appointed Chaplain of the Fourth Regiment of the Missouri National Guard, with the title of Captain. His commission from the Secretary of State is dated June 28, 1897, and this document still adorns the home at Twenty Acres, in Grand Isle, Vermont. Marie and Chaplain Hopkins attended only one encampment of their regiment, and this took place at Moberly, Missouri, in August of 1898, as nearly as the writer can now recall. They went to Moberly on their way back from their vacation in the East, which, as always, was spent with the Graves family.
Well, Moberly cannot be called a town of immense natural beauty, but it was central for the members of the Fourth Regiment, National Guard, of Missouri, and it had a hotel, and outside the town it had a good drill ground and encampment space. Marie and John Henry took a room at the hotel, and the only one they could find was over the barroom, two stories up, which, in those pre-Volstead days in Missouri meant something very definite. The Colonel of the Regiment, Col. Corby, was a St. Joseph resident, and a genial gentleman indeed. He and his wife were very courteous to the Rectory people, and every afternoon there was a more or less informal gathering of a social character near the Headquarters and the Colonel's tent. John Henry's duties were not numerous or onerous, but he had to hold "Chapel" in the open air, for a few minutes at 6 o'clock each morning of the encampment. He walked out the two miles from the hotel to the drill-ground, and the officers and men spread themselves out in a parade-line near the center of the field. The service was, of course, short, and the address very short. The attendance was voluntary, but there seemed to be a matter of principle involved, and most of the men attended. Of course everyone knows what a National Guard encampment is, and as it happened, each morning some one man in the lines would keel over and faint during the brief service. This was caused, one may suppose, by some doings the night before which were not down in the military schedule. The regiment was very much amused at this, and before the week closed it became a current slogan around the camp that "the Chaplain got his man every day, sure!"
There were two unusually exciting events connected with this week, so far as Marie and John Henry were concerned. One centered in the fact that the West Point graduate army Lieutenant deputed by the War Department to attend this encampment officially on the part of the Government, and to supervise the drills, got gloriously drunk almost daily. This did not matter so much to the officers, until one afternoon he felt socially inclined, while deep in his cups, and he sauntered around to Col. Corby's Headquarters, where Marie and a number of other ladies connected with the encampment were enjoying each other's company. The befuddled Lieutenant began to converse with these ladies. Somehow the Colonel put a stop to it as soon as possible, but the Chaplain of the Regiment was angered almost beyond control. He wondered what or how he could prevent a recurrence of this indignity, when it suddenly flashed upon him that he, being a Captain, "ranked" this Government official and Regular Army man, who was only a Lieutenant. So the Captain of six weeks' service laid wait for said West Point graduate and Lieutenant outside the bar-room of the hotel, and when said subordinate officer sallied forth, very much the worse for his stay within said barroom, he was greeted with the following stern and military remark: "Look here, Lieutenant: I am a Captain. If you dare to approach my wife again while you are drunk, I will have you disciplined to the very utmost of the military regulations." This perfectly unexpected attack from one who had been entirely a mere civilian only a few weeks previous made said Regular Army officer so mad that he sobered up at once, and we had no more trouble at Headquarters while he was fresh from the bar-room. The incident caused some merriment in the vicinity of Headquarters.
The other exciting event was the Dress Parade, when the Captain-Chaplain had to ride with the other officers in full view of their wives, and of his wife, of all the assembled population of Moberly and parts adjacent, as well as of the entire Fourth Regiment, N. G. M. It wouldn't have been so funny, for John Henry was not entirely unaccustomed to horseback-riding, had he had anything of a mount, but when he found that an old white farm-horse, who had never heard anything more alarming than the village band, was assigned to him, with a saddle that was too small, and stirrups that were too short, he did what he could to make the situation as grave and dignified as military parades are supposed to be. He can't chronicle that the sequel was a glittering success, but he is sure of one thing, namely, that that particular old white farm-horse never had quite such a time before, and probably never had again. Somehow he got through without being censured by the tipsy West Pointer in charge of the supervision of drills. It was awfully funny and quite entertaining, as a whole. Marie enjoyed the exhibition keenly.
The closing evening of the camp, in spite of it being Friday night, was signalized by a military ball in the largest hall in Moberly. It was not a very big place, and it was crowded, of course, on such an occasion. The band was Pryor's, from St. Joseph (one of the famous bands in that part of the nation), and it numbered some fifty pieces. To have had that many players on brass instruments and drums and clarinettes thunder away in a large city hall would have been an occasion when fortissimos ruled, but the experience of having this immense mass of sound roaring into one's ears on a hot August evening in that small and crowded hall was something so overwhelming that memory rather reels and throbs when recalling it! Conversation was absolutely impossible, except when the band took a rest. And those who danced seemed to feel that the hurricane of blasts sent them whirling around the room at top speed all the time. It was a wonderful conclusion to a week of military and social events.
It might be well to record at this time another event of interest. At the Diocesan Convention of that year, 1898, John Henry was elected one of the deputies from West Missouri to the thirty-ninth General Convention of the Church, which was held in Washington in October. This, of course, was his first General Convention. He was greatly excited at what he then considered a great privilege and honor. Dr. Morgan Dix, Rector of Old Trinity, New York, was the president of the House of Deputies. Marie and John Henry left St. Joseph for Washington about the first of October. They had to pass through Chicago, as they changed cars from the "Burlington" road to the Baltimore and Ohio. They had to spend nearly all that day in Chicago, and some of the evening besides between trains.
Almost every summer since 1893, when they went to the Missouri Valley from St. James's, Chicago, they had been able to take a vacation in Vermont, and had therefore passed repeatedly through the metropolis of the Mid-west. Each time they had made a pilgrimage to St. James's Church, and had called on one or two at least of their especial friends in that parish. Always they had been made welcome, but, they had never been called back to Chicago. Several Chicago parishes had fallen vacant during the five and one-half years of their residence in Atchison and St. Joseph, but not one line had been officially sent to John Henry, even suggesting a return to the big city.
So, on this General Convention trip, Marie and he agreed that they would not further trespass upon the time of any Chicagoans, but would occupy their several hours between trains just as any strangers would do in their position. If no one in Chicago wanted them back, they didn't want to impose upon anybody to whom they meant so little. So after checking their grips, they sallied forth to find some entertainment besides calling on St. James's parishioners.
They found plenty. They took their luncheon at Rothschild's, where they were fairly certain not to run across any such North Side people. In the early evening they took a long street-car ride out west, to the Des Plaines River. It was the heyday of bicycling. Garfield Park, on the great West Side, was filled with wheelmen and wheelwomen, each machine having its tiny little light, and the park seemed filled with glowworms or fire-flies, from the distance of the occupants of the Madison street cable cars.
As the return trip nearly ended, and the car approached Ashland Boulevard, John Henry remarked that "there is a Church of The Epiphany somewhere near this part of West Madison street, though I don't know just where it is. I was there only twice during our St. James's residence--once to preach a Lenten sermon in the evening, and once when the splendid new Farrant and Votey pipe organ was opened by a great service and recital." Of course he knew the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Theodore N. Morrison, who was one of Chicago's older clergy, and who had a kindly word for the younger ones as they came along, but he knew nobody else in the parish. The remark was simply made in passing, as their street car sped on its east-bound way towards the Loop. In view of what so soon came to pass, and so very unexpectedly, this remark is worthy of more than transient notice.
The young deputy and his wife finally reached Washington, and were initiated into the ways of the General Convention. They afterwards attended six other of these Conventions, John Henry being a deputy at five others, and Marie a Woman's Auxiliary delegate at one besides, namely that at Boston in 1904. Space will not permit much further mention of this experience at Washington, beyond referring to the principal debate of the gathering, which centered around the celebrated "Huntington Amendment" to the constitution of the Church. Dr. Huntington of New York City was a devotee of a plan by which the Church might approach the Congregationalists and others with the idea of union. This seems a fabulously strange proposition, and from the start it antagonized all of John Henry's deepest principles of Church-manship, but it dogged the steps of the General Convention in one form or another until after 1919, and at Washington in 1898 it was to the fore most emphatically. For four days the debate raged eagerly in the House of Deputies. John Henry sat, of course, with the West Missouri delegation, and their seats happened to be way back, as far as possible from the Speaker's chair. It took him four days to get the floor, and he had it then for only three minutes. In those minutes, however, he made it clear that he could not follow at all the leadership of good Dr. Huntington. This annoyed Dr. Huntington so much that he sent for John Henry one noon, and as the two walked around Washington during the mid-day recess, the good Doctor used every possible argument to bring the younger clergyman into line. He even went so far as to remind John Henry that he, at Deaconess Gardner's request, had sent to the young Priest the sum of about $1,500 from Grace Church, New York, to pay off the debt then resting on Holy Trinity Church, St. Joseph (the two congregations of Holy Trinity and Christ Church were at the time in charge of John Henry as "Rector in St. Joseph"). This was done, of course, not as a favor to him or to anyone but Deaconess Gardner, then one of Grace Church's staff, whose husband had been in charge of Holy Trinity when that debt had been contracted. All the same, it was used as an argument by this good man, which only shows how far a fine and gentlemanly clergyman can forget himself in the heat of theological argument, at times. At all the subsequent General Conventions which had to give time to the "Huntington Amendment," John Henry usually got the floor once, anyway, in opposition thereto. Dr. Huntington was deeply offended with him for this, and at times was almost brusque. Nevertheless, the sequel has clearly shown that this whole scheme was abortive and largely impossible, and the movement is almost as dead now (1932) as the dodo.
During the Convention's period of meeting in Washington, Marie and John Henry were present at the laying of the cornerstone of the great Washington Cathedral, and also at the brilliant reception which President and Mrs. McKinley gave to the whole Convention at the White House. There were sermons by distinguished Bishops which they heard, and some which they didn't hear. One Sunday evening they journeyed all the way to Georgetown to hear Bishop Johnson of Los Angeles, who was announced to preach there, but who didn't. The visitors from West Missouri were interested in Bishop Johnson because he had at one time invited John Henry to be his Dean at the Los Angeles Cathedral, though the very kind invitation was not accepted. Well, these visitors arrived a little late at the Georgetown church, which was an old-fashioned one, and as they crept quietly into a back seat, one of the ushers tiptoed up to them and asked in a whisper: "Be you Bishop Johnson?" So they stayed until the short service was finished, offertory and all. They then took the street car back to Washington, and went to another church, where they arrived just in time for the offering. That made their second offering that evening. Dismayed, they finally found themselves close to The Church of The Ascension, where Frank E. Camp, John Henry's favorite cousin (who played the organ for their wedding in Burlington), was the organist. They reached that good-sized church just in time for their third offering of that eventful Sunday evening. John Henry was so moved by this threefold opportunity that he made his way to the organ console, and shoved his cousin from the bench, so that he himself might have something to kick. He kicked the pedals quite a lot, on the full organ, and felt somewhat relieved, though probably not quite as much relieved as his pocketbook had been by the rather unusual appeal of three offerings on one Sunday evening! So their varied fortnight in Washington wended its ecclesiastical way, their experiences including a visit to the Corcoran Art Gallery, the Congressional Library (which they stumbled upon one evening, in all the brilliance of its then new and marbled corridors), and to Mount Vernon, of course, on one of the free afternoons of the Convention period.
John Henry was nearly arrested in the White House grounds for riding a rented bicycle a bit faster than the law, as he discovered, was willing to allow. The policeman shouted after him, "Hi! Young Man! Do you want to spend the night in the cooler?" The wheel-enthusiast replied in the negative, and moderated his pace. His companion on several of these bicycling outings was the Rev. Dr. E. S. Lines, afterwards Bishop of Newark for nearly twenty-five years. Dr. Lines was some sixteen years older than his Missouri colleague in wheeling, but it was also his favorite form of post-Convention-sessions' exercise. The two deputies found themselves near each other during the at times wearisome sessions of the House, and very early in their mutual propinquity they discovered their attachments to the wheel.
Marie found much to interest her at the Woman's Auxiliary headquarters during the Convention, though she had no idea at that time that she would ever be the leading Auxiliary president of the Middle-west for nine long and wonderfully active years. Of this more later on.
The time soon came for the adjournment of the General Convention, and Marie and her husband set forth to return via Chicago to their home and work in St. Joseph. When they reached Chicago, they found that their money was almost exhausted. This was something unusual for them, for both of them kept track of income and outgo with that mingling of care and thrift which always has a margin and is never "broke." Of course they had plenty of friends in Chicago who would have cashed a check, or even have loaned them money, but they thought of a more entertaining way than that to meet this unusual emergency. A year or two before they had read in one of the magazines about Professor Wyckoff, who had donned the garments of a "hobo" and had set forth from an Eastern college for some months' trial of what it means to be a tramp, seeking work. He had written up a very interesting series of articles, which made quite a sensation, the nation over. Marie suggested, referring to Professor Wyckoff's experiences, that she and John Henry "tackle" Chicago on the basis of the very slender sum which they suddenly found that Washington and the Convention had left in their purses. He agreed, and since they had to spend a day and a night before setting out for St. Joseph they made their plans accordingly.
Their first step, however, into "Broke-land" filled them with a little dismay. It was raining, and Marie had to buy a pair of rubbers just as soon as the train pulled into the big station on Polk street. This left their balance more attenuated than ever, and added to the excitement of "tackling" Chicago. They checked their grips, and sallied forth to find some place where they could pass a good deal of time without spending any money. Fortunately the Art Institute was open free, as it is on certain week-days, and at once they hied thither. They went to a very inexpensive luncheon so far as they were concerned. It was at Marshall Field's. They went to this great store in the latter part of the morning, and there they ran across one of the wealthiest women in St. Joseph, who very graciously invited them to be her guests at luncheon. They followed her lead and ordered a luncheon which would have been far out of their reach even had they been as flush as usual. They paid their hostess the compliment of not economizing as her guests, which was what she wished them to do. The afternoon soon passed, and when evening came they took gallery seats in the theatre, at "Secret Service," a very interesting Civil War play.
When they had finished their luncheon, in the early afternoon, John Henry had gone around among the hotels to see if they could get a room for the two of them for two dollars. He had bad luck in this, for the only hotel which had such a room was one which also sported "lady barbers."
He was unwilling to follow Wyckoff far enough to take Marie to a hotel in Chicago where there were "lady barbers," so they swallowed their disappointment and went to a friend in St. James's parish who made her living by renting rooms. This kind lady, of course, wanted them to be her guests, but they explained that they were "bucking" Chicago, and flatly refused to be anything but paying guests. So she let them have a room in one of her rooming houses for two dollars, and then they went to the theatre, as was said above.
The fun came after the theatre closed, for when they then went to the station to get their grips they found the check-room closed and locked up for the night! So they made the best of the situation, and took the street car for their North Side rooming house, without any of the usual conveniences for sleep, hair-fixing, shaving, or the like. When the morning came, John Henry got up and foraged among the neighboring grocery stores for something like a cracker-and-fruit breakfast, which was devoured at once. He then took the car for the grips and about 11 A.M. he and Marie were not only visible but presentable. They took the evening train for St. Joseph, quite satisfied with "tackling" Chicago the next time with a sufficiently filled purse. So ended the trip to Washington and their first General Convention!
They returned to a puzzling and disappointing fall in their parish life. John Henry did not know as much about human nature, organized parochially, in that early stage of their life-work together, as he subsequently learned. He found, as the fall weeks progressed, that there was what he felt to be a spirit of comparative lethargy, almost everywhere in the parish. The services were fairly attended, but there seemed to be lacking the zest and verve which had marked the second and third years of their St. Joseph residence. This oppressed him deeply, and Marie felt it, too, to some extent.
They had never been more than twenty-seven months in any other parochial work up to this time. They might have recognized that in a closely-knit community like St. Joseph, where people knew each other so very well, there would naturally follow, after such an unprecedented time of giving and working as they had all enjoyed during the two middle years of this Rectorship, a period of comparative calm and quiet. And this period would not mean that their work in St. Joseph was finished, or that the people had wearied a little of their active leadership, but only that said good people were taking a well-earned rest. This proved to be the fact, in the sequel, but John Henry did not recognize it, as the fall dragged along.
The parish had started and supported his first parish paper, and the advertisers had generously enabled him to distribute it free among the people. Marie and he were never without a parish paper during all the rest of their work together. The routine work went on smoothly enough, but the spirit of intense and eager progress was quite evidently lacking, on the return from the General Convention.
Holy Trinity Church, as has been said, in the southern part of the city, had been placed under his charge, with money enough to enable him to call an Assistant, the Rev. Arthur R. Price, afterwards of Louisiana, and to place him, with the cooperation of Bishop Atwill, in charge of the work at Holy Trinity, and at one other mission.
Marie and John Henry had gone to Trenton, Missouri, for a three or four days' meeting of the deanery of that part of the diocese, and she had made herself so delightfully welcome, as they were entertained in the home of a locomotive engineer, who extremely disliked all Ministers, that said engineer invited them both to come to his locomotive and look it over. (During the subsequent year he began to take real interest in the Church.) Marie had been able to make his deaf wife hear her voice, and it was the first voice the poor woman had heard for many years. This took place in January, in bitter weather, and the room which was assigned them was two rooms from the only fire in the house. This is no reflection on the hospitality of these good people. They lived that way themselves. It was their best, and it was accepted on that basis. All these events told of the varied and rich opportunities and kindnesses of their St. Joseph life, and yet, as has been said, there was no mistaking the somewhat oppressive spirit of quiet in Christ Church, during that fall and Advent.
When, therefore, like a "bolt from the blue," there came a thundering call from Chicago, soon after the return from the Trenton deanery meeting, it simply took away the breath from them both.
The Rev. Dr. T. N. Morrison, who had been for twenty-two years Rector of The Church of The Epiphany, Ashland Boulevard and West Adams street, Chicago, had built up a congregation of some 900 communicants, and had led them to erect the very beautiful church at a cost of about $100,000 (and money was worth something in those distant days), had been elected Bishop of Iowa. There were seventy-five Priests who applied or were suggested for the Rectorship which he was to vacate. The church was one of four that were starred in Baedecker's "Chicago" as worth a tourist's visit for their architectural beauty. The style was Byzantine, and a son of Chicago's Bishop Whitehouse had been the architect. Mention has been made before of Epiphany's magnificent Farrant and Votey electric organ, which had been opened during the St. James's period of the young Priest and his wife. It was one of the first large American organs built with an electric action, and though in the face of the modern electric actions it seemed, later on, very clumsy and faulty (there being some thirty "diseases" which could cause "ciphering") yet it was a fine pioneer, and a credit to the diocese as well as the pride of the parish. It cost over $13,000, though there were some payments still to be made when Bishop Morrison left for Iowa. The diapasons had a peculiar history, and are of unusual sonorousness and power. They are English in make, and were part of the old organ of St. James's Church, Chicago, when that parish substituted the fine Johnson organ then in use. This old organ of St. James's was bought by Epiphany parish, and Farrant and Votey kept the diapasons, and incorporated them into the new instrument. Diapasons, of course, are the distinguishing feature of organ tone, and Epiphany's noble instrument is supreme in this important item.
The parish was then fourth in size and strength in the diocese of Chicago. It was excelled in strength, if not altogether in numbers, by St. James's, Grace, and Trinity, but by none others. There was a debt of about $7,000, which the Vestry had underwritten personally, so that the church had been consecrated before Dr. Morrison left. The parish also owned the house on Ashland Boulevard where Dr. Morrison's wife's family lived, and which he and his family had occupied as a Rectory. The elevated road had thrust their lines right next to this house, however, so that the parish did not ask Marie and John Henry to live there, but were willing to rent for them an apartment as part of the salary.
Epiphany's parish house was the first one built in the diocese of Chicago, and included a good-sized chapel in the first storey, seating about two hundred. This parish house was far too small for the needs of the parish, but this was not realized when it was built. The kitchen was in the basement, and there was no elevator. A small kitchen was placed on the top storey, in due time, but only to serve as an aid to the larger one. There was a superb volunteer choir of boys and men, sixty-five in number. Edward C. Lawton was choir-master, and Professor Francis Hemington, reared and taught in England, was organist. Charles A. Van Order was sexton. Neither Mr. Lawton nor Mr. Van Order were married and both men gave their entire time and devotion to their parts of the parish work. There was a good Brotherhood of St. Andrew chapter, and a Church Sunday school of about 350 officers and pupils. The Woman's Auxiliary was well organized, and there was a fine chapter of the Girls' Friendly Society. The Epiphany Guild and the Woman's Guild were also organized. There was no guild of Acolytes, but one of the Brotherhood men served the Rector at the early Celebrations. There was a fine-voiced Lay Reader, and the atmosphere of the parish was devoutly Protestant Episcopalian. The communicant life was nurtured by the Sunday 8 a.m. Celebration, which was poorly attended, and by 11 a.m. Celebrations on the "First Sundays," and great festivals which services were largely attended and used. Dr. Morrison had introduced the linen chasuble, but he preached in it, and John Henry continued this unusual custom. The choir and clergy turned "east" only at the Creeds. There were no choral services. There were no lights on either Altar, church or chapel. There was but little difference between the order of services, and their appointments at Christ Church, St. Joseph, and the "use" of The Church of The Epiphany as Dr. Morrison left it, except that at St. Joseph John Henry had introduced the use of wafer Bread in the Holy Eucharist, whereas Epiphany parish continued to use yeast in their Bread. There was a good parish paper, called The Epiphany, which was published without expense to the parish, the advertisers generously willing to provide the money. There was no Assistant Priest, but the Rev. Dr. Francis J. Hall, of the Western Theological Seminary, assisted with the chalice at the 11 a.m. Celebrations on Sundays and the great festivals. Such was this fine parish when they called Marie and John Henry to lead them on. John Henry's election was unanimous on the first ballot of the first available Vestry meeting after the majority of the Bishops and standing committees of the Church had consented to the Iowa election. Bishop McLaren also wrote to John Henry at the same time that the Vestry wrote to him, and hoped that he would accept the call. Marie and he accepted the invitation to go at once to Chicago to look over the parish and to be the guests of the Senior Warden and his wife and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. James Banks, and Miss Mary L. Banks. They went at once, and spent three very busy days and evenings in this unusual way. One of the evenings coincided with a dinner by the diocesan Church Club, and John Henry went with one of Epiphany's Vestry. The speaker that evening was Bishop Dudley, of Kentucky, and John Henry noticed that one of his illustrations about the relationship of the Church to the Protestant denominations was one which had figured in his own confirmation instruction from the outset. Marie and John Henry returned to St. Joseph, very, very sorely puzzled as to their duty. There were so many reasons that they should stay in St. Joseph. They loved the people, and the people loved them. Their influence extended considerably beyond the membership of their parish, though that had now grown to fully 560 communicants. John Henry was a member of the Examining Chaplains of the diocese, and of its Board of Missions, and frequently he had to go to Kansas City (about fifty miles), to attend the meetings involved in this membership. There would never be any doubt as to his election to the General Convention, which would perhaps enable him to take some part in the work if not in the leadership of the Church's general committee work, as years advanced. The parish was out of debt, and thoroughly united and loyal. John Donovan came to the Rectory and told John Henry that he had become a somewhat wealthy man during the previous year or two, inasmuch as he had induced some of the Chicago stock yards people to build and open in St. Joseph larger stock yards than they had ever had in the Missouri Valley outside of Kansas City and possibly Omaha. He said that he had no time to give to his charities, and that he had intended to give all of his charity money to John Henry's Rectors' fund, for him to disburse and to be responsible. If the Chicago call were accepted, of course, Mr. Donovan could not carry out this very attractive plan. Of all the decisions which Marie and he had to make in their parish life together, this was the most difficult and far reaching. As Dr. Cameron Mann, then Rector of Grace Church, Kansas City, Missouri, said, "There is a great difference between being a big toad in a little puddle and a little toad in a big puddle."
When the tired young people returned from this flying visit to Chicago, they went into the Rectory study. Marie lay down on the lounge, and John Henry paced the floor. They discussed every pro and con, as earnestly as possible. At the close the pro's and the con's were so equally balanced that a decision was well nigh impossible. What finally decided them to accept was the way in which this rather unusual call had come. Had there been any parleying or any visiting of Christ Church on the part of the Epiphany Vestry; had there been someone else called who had declined; or had there been any strong friend in Chicago, to their knowledge, pulling for them, it is probable that they would have stayed with their well-tried friends in St. Joseph. Or, again, had there not been any slump in the parish life at Christ Church, such as has been mentioned above, they would probably have stayed on in West Missouri. As it was, they finally, of course after much prayer and much mutual conference, decided to go to Chicago.
The Vestry of Christ Church were splendid about it. As far as the writer can recall, they would not accept his resignation officially, though they saw that duty called towards the great city. In this case, John Henry might still be called Rector of Christ Church, St. Joseph, in a sense, though he has never drawn any salary, nor has he interfered with the affairs of the parish. On the contrary he has prayed for its work every day since, as he has done for Calvary, New York, St. James's, Chicago, and Trinity, in Atchison, Kansas. Not much more remains to be said about the work in St. Joseph.
Earlier in their term of residence, the men of the parish had had some glimpses of their Rector's handwriting. In most cases one glimpse was enough to convince them that something must be done. The only thing they could think of that was practical, since he insisted on writing when he felt that it was necessary, was to give him a typewriting machine. This they very handsomely did, and it was a Remington Number Six--in those days one of the "last words" in typing machines. He kept this until the year 1931, when he gave it to Julius Bluto, the family caretaker on Grand Isle, together with another machine of the same make and number, which he had subsequently bought in Chicago for five dollars, in order that Julius might have some "parts" for replacement as far as possible. Later on, Marie received in Chicago, during their Redeemer residence, from Mrs. Russell H. Thompson (an expert typist, and manager of Thompson and Co., Mimeographers), one of their devoted parishioners, a fine Underwood machine, and about the same time John Henry bought another Underwood, as the St. Joseph Remington was somewhat worn. Marie taught herself to write, as John Henry did himself in St. Joseph. Neither of them achieved a perfect technique, but she did better than he did considering the short time that she used her machine. His typing, however, thus began in St. Joseph, and his men friends made it possible, much to his appreciation. For many years in Chicago, later on, he found it out of his reach to use the machine for much letter-writing. This was because he had so much to do that he had to write with a pen while his left hand was busy with the telephone-receiver. He could not get through the average morning's desk-work connected with the Redeemer parish unless he thus combined his letter-writing and his telephoning. His correspondents complained occasionally, not at all to his surprise, but he could not help them out by using his machine, most of the time. Of course, when it came to certain letters, and to all of the "copy" for the parish paper, and other printing, he had to let the telephoning go, and used his type-machine as best he could.
One most amusing experience comes to mind, as one chronicles their St. Joseph life. They stayed in the city all one summer, for some reason--probably because they had to go to Washington in October for the General Convention. The steeple of the church close by their Rectory home was struck twice by lightning during the severest thunderstorms of the summer. The damage was not extensive, but the impression on the darkies of the city was profound. "De Lawd mus' be very mad wid dem 'Piscopals for some reason," they agreed, though they never went so far as to give an opinion concerning what the reason might be.
Another somewhat singular experience comes to mind, concerning that final summer in the Missouri Valley. Their next door neighbors suddenly achieved a lot of chickens. Though it was in the very heart of the city, which then numbered nearly one hundred thousand population, there was no city ordinance forbidding people to raise chickens in their back yards. Well, there were two roosters with leathery lungs, and promptly at 3:15 A.M. every morning they saluted the dawn vociferously, thus awakening Marie and John Henry regularly some hours before their usual time for rising. They inquired of several friends as to their chances for relief, and uniformly the replies were, "It is useless. You can't do anything but to leave town!" This they were not prepared at the time to do. Recalling some of the summer stories from the boyhood of Marie's brothers, George and Harmon, concerning bantams, etc., John Henry thought of advertising for at least two roosters who had never been "licked," so that he could rent them for a day or two and quietly drop them over the fence at 3: 15 a.m. some crowing morn, trusting them to attend to the business in hand. This, however, was found impracticable, so they gave up their large and comfortable bedroom, and moved for the rest of the summer across the hall into a smaller room, which, however, was comparatively sound-proof. Thus they gained some rest.
In these informal memoirs little has been said about the religious side of the work, either in New York, Chicago at St. James's, Atchison, or in St. Joseph. Suffice it to say that the services of the Church as usually held by earnest "Low" Churchmen or "Moderate" Churchmen were the rule in all these parishes. There was the Holy Communion at 7: 30 or 8 a.m. in them all on Sundays, and at 10 a.m. or some other "convenient" hour in the morning on Holy Days. Lenten seasons added both Morning and Evening Prayer, as a rule, with an address at the Evening Prayer, and an additional week-day Holy Communion on Thursdays or Fridays. There was an evening service with Bible class or address on Wednesdays or Fridays, for the most part. The 10:30 or 11 a.m. service on Sundays was usually Morning Prayer, with or without the "Ante-Communion" addition, and with sermon. Regularly on "the First Sunday" in each month, and on the greater festivals, it was a second Celebration, instead of Morning Prayer, usually with a larger number of communions by far than at the earlier hour. Evening Prayer with sermon followed at 4 or 7: 30 p.m. There was some stress laid on Fasting Communion, but only the elect few paid much attention to this suggestion. There was little ornamentation of the sanctuary. The Altars were surmounted by Altar Crosses, and were adorned with flowers, but there were no "candles" in any of these parishes. There were no Eucharistic vestments, and the Priests except at Epiphany Church celebrated in cassock, cotta, and stole. There were colored stoles in them all except at Calvary and St. James's, where black was the rule, even on Easter Day, as far as is recalled.
John Henry's teaching of course tried to better all this, but he had not at this time been long enough in any place to feel that he ought to undertake the changes of ritual which his teaching implied, because it would have stirred up the Protestant Episcopalians. And this sad distraction was one which he carefully tried to avoid, unless it were absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, there was real devotion to our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, though so imperfectly expressed, in all of these parishes, and Christ Church, St. Joseph, was chief among them.
During the almost four years of Marie's and John Henry's life there, she always received at the early Holy Eucharist, and never at a later hour. She always attended every public service on Sundays, and nearly always those on week days. She conducted Bible classes for women or girls, everywhere, and, as has been said, at the chapel in Atchison she was the organist (except at certain times with the tenor part in the hymns!). Thus the solid weight of her example was silently thrown along the lines of the deeper and more reverent Churchmanship, from the very start. This was of incalculable help to John Henry, and in nearly every case it was found possible by some of his successors to build, upon his foundation, more or less of the beautiful and historic ornamentation of the Church.
In missionary matters the work which afterwards appealed so deeply to the convictions and ideals of them both had not made much of an impression thus far. John Henry, as a seminary graduate of those distant days, had imbibed but a vague conception of the missionary idea. In fact, when they were in Atchison, he did not know anything about "the United Offering" of the Woman's Auxiliary. He also recalls with interest his amazement at finding out from leaflets which he hastily requested from 281 Fourth Avenue, New York, when obliging his Atchison women by preparing a paper on Japan, that Xavier had been in Japan, and that there had been a fearful persecution of the Christian converts which the enthusiast had won for Rome's conception of the Catholic Faith. He little knew how the whole missionary aspect of the Church would grip him, in later years. Marie, too, had no idea, when in St. Joseph, that she would be the diocesan president of the Chicago branch of the Woman's Auxiliary for nearly twice as long as any other woman in its previous history (nine long and wonderful years), and that she would find the work so absorbing that for seven years of the nine she did not open her home for hospitality, nor have a meal in its dining room, but went out gladly in all kinds of weather to West Side Chicago boarding houses, with John Henry, for their food--just that she might devote every atom of her time and strength to the great work of the Auxiliary. Nevertheless, it is probable that, both in St. Joseph and in Atchison, the missionary record of their parish life was up to the average of that then obtaining in the Episcopal Church--which, we fear, isn't saying very much.
The devotional and statistical items of their work for these six years (in Atchison for twenty-seven months, and in St. Joseph for forty-five months) are as follows:
Baptisms, Atchison, 163. St. Joseph, 188. Of these, there were in Atchison 56 "Of Riper Years," and in St. Joseph, 41.
Confirmation candidates, in Atchison, 107, with 93 aged seventeen or over. In St. Joseph, 143, with 90 seventeen years old or over. In Atchison there were seventeen marriages, and in St. Joseph, forty-two. There were thirty-seven burials in Atchison and seventy-seven in St. Joseph. In Atchison John Henry adopted the rule which he learned through Dr. Satterlee, Rector of Calvary parish, New York, who gave him at Ordination time Dr. Hook's able little book called The Parish Priest of the Town. This rule was to divide up his parishioners' families into six or seven groups, so that each family might be kept in at least weekly intercessions by their Rector. This was no slight undertaking even with Atchison's original 220 communicants, who grew in numbers until there were 320 before their St. Joseph's work began. It was considerably more of an undertaking commencing with the 444 communicants in Christ Church, which list became 560 before the return to Chicago. It was found to be a large undertaking at Epiphany Church, where he began with about 900, and ran it up to 1,263 in the first five years. It was not so heavy a piece of devotional work at The Church of The Redeemer, when they began with about 500 communicants, but when that number grew until it was 1,137 it was again an exacting rule. It brought many blessings, however, and after his retirement John Henry kept it up as Rector Emeritus of the parish, until the terrible automobile collision with the Florida locomotive on Easter Day, 1932, of which more later on.
Just before the day came when they must start back to Chicago, the good people of Christ Church presented Marie and their Rector with a fine "chest" of silver, much of which they used regularly during the rest of their lives, when they had their dining room at home open and in use.
Finally the day came. It was Wednesday in Easter Week, April 5, 1899. There was a 10 a.m. Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, at Christ Church, which was very largely attended, and it would have been difficult to tell which felt the solemnity of parting more, the good people of Christ Church or the young couple that felt it their duty to return to the great city whose challenge had lured them originally from New York and the East. Certainly there was deep feeling on both sides. The "Burlington" train for Chicago left at 5:30 p.m. Marie and John Henry took it with serious hearts, and tired nerves. It was a strange coincidence that just six years before on April 5, 1893, which was also Wednesday in Easter Week, they had boarded the train from Chicago to Atchison, as they left St. James's.
These six years had brimmed with all kinds of unexpected blessings, and of opportunities for work, and it is safe to say that never a day passed, after that period closed, but found both of these parishes in the great Missouri Valley remembered in John Henry's prayers. Long years afterwards, when Marie met her 70th birthday (it was during their third year of retirement, when they were living at Grand Isle, Vermont), John Henry wrote to one or two of their former parishioners in both these parishes, telling them how pleased Marie would be if they could find any friends who remembered her enough to feel like sending her a birthday greeting. The mail was heavy with the kind and loving letters and beautiful cards which came to Marie as a response. Nearly every Christmas after 1898 somebody in Atchison or "St. Joe," or in both cities, would send cards of greeting to them, no matter how many Rectors had been with them since those brief but vivid six years came to their termination.
On the same train which they took for Chicago on the evening of April 5, 1899, John D. Richardson, Jr., their Senior Warden and warm friend, took his departure from St. Joseph, as he and his family were also moving to Chicago, where an exalted position in the National Biscuit Company awaited him. He and John Henry sat opposite to each other in the Pullman smoking room for a long time that evening, both of them so oppressed with the seriousness of their journey that neither of them spoke a word to the other for more than an hour!
These six years to a day that Marie and John Henry spent in the great Missouri Valley were in some respects the most fruitful and varied and useful, as well as interesting, of their whole vivid life-work together for Christ and His Church. The parochial atmospheres were much nearer the norm of most Episcopalian parishes than were those of the larger groups in New York and Chicago, where the rest of their years of work had been and were to be spent. The closeness which was thus possible between them and their people was deeply enjoyed. At the time they had not had enough experience with the larger parishes to note the difference. Yet there was a pull which the larger numbers and opportunities exerted that gave many compensations, as the next thirty years of their busy lives came and went.
They certainly were much blessed in their work, during these six over-busy years, and it was largely a surprise to them that they had found their two parishes in Kansas and Missouri alive with so many opportunities, and blessed by such results. We have already seen that there were 351 souls baptized, and 97 of these were adults or at least "Of Riper Years." And there had been just 250 souls confirmed, of whom 183 were seventeen or more years of age. There were 59 marriages and 104 burials during these six years. In material equipment there stood the new parish house in Atchison; and in St. Joseph, the Rectory paid for, at last; the large organ installed; the new chancel built; the new chancel window installed; and the new Altar rail; and its very beautiful brass gates; the new Processional Cross for the choir; the new brass pulpit; and offertory plates, as well as some other minor improvements; and the doors of Christ Church flung open every day so that the church was always accessible for private devotions. Christ Church choir also was equipped with vestments. One of its members had studied for the Priesthood. In after years John Henry came to look back upon these six years with especial gratefulness. And in and through it all was woven the wonderful support and spirit which Marie so unceasingly contributed to it all.