Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fr. Jacques Marquette, S.J.

Père (Father or Fr.) Jacques Marquette, S.J. (1637-1675) = Jesuit Priest. Missionary. Explorer. Along with French Canadian fur trader, Louis Joliet (1645-1700), Marquette is best known as the discoverer of the mouth of the Missouri River. Marquette was born in Laon, France on June 1, 1637, to Nicolas & Rose de la Salle Marquette. His father,a lawyer, provided a good life for his large family.
When Jacques turned nine, he went to study at the Jesuit school in Reims, France. The Society of Jesus or the Jesuits were a religious order for men within the Roman Catholic Church founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola*. Marquette dreamed of becoming a missionary, one who brings the message of Christ to others. When he turned 29, he was ordained a priest, given the title Father and wore the black robe of the order.
King Louis XIV of France was eager to expand French territory in the New World and sponsored an overseas mission in which Marquette was chosen to go. When he reached New France, present-day Canada, he lived near several missions, gaining the trust of the native peoples and learning their languages.
Marquette met Louis Joliet, a fur trader and map maker and prepared an expedition to explore a great river nearby. They departed on May (some books say June) 17, 1673. When they reached the Mississippi River which forms the eastern border of the present-day state of Missouri, they sailed down it as far as the mouth of the Arkansas River, where they turned around because of their fear of the Spanish army.
After Marquette fell ill on the return trip, his health was never quite the same afterwards. He passed away in 1675.
More to Read:
1. Collection of Travels (Recueil de Voyages). Marquette's Journal. Paris; 1681.
2. Famous Explorers Five Part Series Video: Marquette & Joliet. Produced by Film Ideas, Inc. Wheeling, IL. 2002.
3. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet. By Jeff Donaldson-Forbes. 2002.
4. Marquette & Jolliet: Quest for the Mississippi. By Alexander Zelenyj. 2007.
5. The Explorations of Pere Marquette. By Jim Kjelgaard. Random House, 1951.
6. The Life and Times of Father Jacques Marquette. By Susan Sales & William H. Harkins. 2009.
7. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. G & C. Merriam, 1956.
8. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Editors: Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L.Shelley, &  Harry S. Stout, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1990.
9. Findagrave #671 

Places to Visit in MO.
The Mississippi River
The Missouri River

Historical Trivia:
The great Mississippi river was known by Native Americans of the region as Missi Sepe, meaning "Father of Waters". The Missouri River was called the Pekitanoui or "Muddy Water."

Teach Us to Serve Thee, Lord
By St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491-1556)

Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest:
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not ask for any reward
Save that of knowing that we do Thy will. Amen.

Eugene Field

Eugene Field (1850-1895) = Children's Poet Laureate. Eccentric Journalist. Toy & book collector. Best known for his sentimental poetry for children. Eugene was born on the third of September to Roswell Martin & Francis Reed Field in St. Louis, MO. His Irish nanny was Temperance Moon. When he was six years old, his mother died of cholera and he and his brother, Roswell, Jr. were sent to live with Cousin Mary Field French in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Eugene was a fun-loving boy. He loved playing with the neighborhood boys or pulling pranks or messing about with his menagerie of pets including Dooley the dog. This dog inspired Gene to write his first bit of verse when he was about eleven years old.
When Eugene learned to read, he discovered fairy tales and would often read them instead of studying. He didn't much like school, but on Sundays, Miss Mary held a strict Puritan Sabbath, going to church in the mornings and making the boys study the Bible in the afternoons after dinner. Eugene declared that the Bible study he did in those days was of the greatest benefit to him in his writing later.
Gene and Julia Sutherland Comstock, daughter of Alexander Comstock, had an October wedding at the Christ Episcopal Church in St. Joseph, MO. in 1873. To this union eight children were born.
He began his writing career as a reporter. He was employed by the St. Louis Journal (1873-1875); the St. Joseph Gazette (1875-1876); St. Louis Times-Journal (1876-1880); the Kansas City Times (1880-1881) and other papers outside of Missouri.
At the early age of 45; Gene's funeral services were held in the Fourth Presbyterian Church at RUSH & Superior streets in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Reverend F.M. Bristol gave the eulogy address.

In the Firelight.
By Eugene Field.

The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere,
And, like wing'd spirits, here and there
The firelight shadows round me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom,
And softly from a further room
Comes: "Now I lay me down to sleep."

And, somehow, with that little pray'r
And that sweet treble in my ears,
My thought goes back to distant years,
And lingers with a dear one there;
And as I hear my child's amen,
My mother's faith comes back to me –
Crouched at her side I seem to be,
And mother holds my hands again.

Oh, for an hour in that dear place –
Oh, for the peace of that dear time –
Oh, for that childish trust sublime –
Oh, for a glimpse of mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone –
Sweet magic of that treble tone
And "Now I lay me down to sleep!"

More to Read:
1. Bufton's Universal Cyclopaedia. Ed. By Alexander, Bailey, Bufton, Clintock, Colledge, Crampton, Higgins, Jeffrey, Neergaard, & RUSH. Mutual Pub; Kansas City, 1925.
2. Eugene Field: The Children's Poet. Carol Greene. 1994.
3. Field Days: The Life, Times & Reputation of Eugene Field. By Robert Conrow. 1974. ( * not recommended reading for children)
4. Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show-Me State. John W. Brown. 2008
5. One Hundred and One Famous Poems. Edited by Roy C. Cook. 1928.
6. Poems of Childhood: Eugene Field. Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish.
7. The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat. By Eugene Field. Illustrated by Janet Street. 1990.
8. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. G & C. Merriam, 1956.
9. The World Book Encyclopedia. Field Enterprises Educational Corp; Chicago; 1967.
10. “A Condensed History of the Kansas City Area: Its Mayors and Some V.I.P.s 1850-1950 ” Assembled by George Fuller Green. City Historian. The Lowell Press; Kansas City, MO. 1968.
11. St. Louis Courthouse Postcard by Raphael & Tuck.
12. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
13. Findagrave #4706

Eugene Field's books: The Tribune Primer (1882); A Little Book of Western Verse (1889); A Little Book of Profitable Tales (1889-90); With Trumpet and Drum (1892); Second Book of Verse (1892); Echoes from the Sabine Farm (1892).

 Places to Visit in MO.:
1. Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum. Home of poet and toy collector
2. Eugene Field and Dred Scott Case lawyer, Roswell Field, 634 South Broadway, St. Louis.
3. Little Boy Blue Statue, Public Library, St. Joseph, MO.
4. Old Courthouse. 11 N. Fourth St. St. Louis. Place of Dred & Harriet Scott's Trial.
5. Dred Scott is buried at Calvary Cemetery, 5239 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis,
6. Marker c, 1875, 211 Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO.

"Gene, during his college days, was a round peg in a square hole." ~ Dr. Hopkins, President of Williams College.

1897 = November 4. Eugene Field Day. Schools throughout Missouri, on the recommendation of the State Superintendent of Public Schools, annually observed the date of Field's death with recitation programs.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

James Cash Penny

James Cash Penny
James Cash Penny (1875- 1971) = Farmer. Retail Entrepreneur. Author. Lecturer. Philanthropist. Best known for his retail department stores called J.C. Penny. Jim was born on September 16, 1875, the seventh child of twelve to Fannie and James Cash Penny. His father, a Baptist preacher and farmer in rural Caldwell County near Hamilton, MO., died during Jim's high school years and he helped his family financially by clerking at a small retail store nearby.
James moved when he was about twenty-two years from Missouri to Out West. He clerked for a frontier town dry-goods store called the "Golden Rule Store" which was run by Guy Johnson and T.M. Callahan. He, as a one-third partner, eventually bought the other's shares of the business to form what became known as the J.C. Penny Company, a cash and carry store. Due to the strict upbringing he had, Penny had high ethical standards, a strong work ethic, valued excellent service and rewarded his employees accordingly. His company motto was "HCSC"-- Honor, Confidence, Service, and Cooperation
James was married three times and had five children. His first wife, Berta Hess, died of pneumonia in 1910, his second, Mary Kimball, died suddenly in 1923, and his third marriage to Caroline Autenrieth lasted forty-five years until his death.
After a time of personal financial difficulty and during an illness, he heard people praying and softly singing hymns he recognized from his youth in the hospital chapel. A compassionate woman welcomed him, saying "Brother, come join us and know peace." Consequently, he prayed and an enormous weight lifted off his shoulders. He found peace and began to recover.
A t the age of ninety-five, James Cash Penny passed away on February 12, 1971. Rev. Norman Vincent Peale spoke during his funeral services at Manhattan, NY. St. James' Church.

More to Read:
1.) Celebration of Fools; An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JC Penney. By Bill Hare. 2004.
2.) Creating an American Institution: The Merchandising Genius of J.C. Penny. By Mary Elizabeth Curry, 1993.
3.)  Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show-Me State. By John W. Brown.
4.) Papers of James Cash Penny (1941-1970) at the State Historical Society of Missouri.
5.) Findagrave # 803

Places to Visit in MO.:
1.)  J.C. Penny Museum and Boyhood Home. 312 N. Davis St., Hamilton, MO.
2.)  Local J.C. Penny department stores.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rev. Charles Monroe Sheldon

Rev. Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857 - 1946) = Congregational Minister. Author. Magazine Editor. Best known for his book titled "In His Steps," published in 1897. Charles, a P.K. (pastor's kid), was born in Wellsville, New York; one of five children, to Reverend Stewart Sheldon who ministered on the South Dakota prairie.
Charles was educated at the Phillips Academy (graduated 1879), Brown University (BA, 1883) and the Andover Theological Seminary (BD, 1886). He began his ministry in Waterbury, Vermont (1886-1888), then accepted a call to the Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas, arriving in 1889.
Sheldon wrote "In His Steps" to create interest in the Sunday night services at Central. It was written, out-of-doors, on the porch of the Author's house, in the month of July, 1896. The story, when finished, was read one chapter at a time instead of a sermon, leaving his audience hanging in suspense when he broke off his narrative for the night. Rev. Sheldon then submitted it to the Advance, a denominational weekly paper printed in Chicago, where it was published as a serial, then in paperback book form. Since then, it has become a Christian classic and sparked the W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do?) Christian marketing fervor a few years ago. A sequel to the book called "Jesus Is Here!" was published in 1913.
During the latter part of his life, he was the editor-in-chief for the Christian Herald (1920-1946), then a contributing editor (1925-1946). He wrote some fifty books and hundreds of articles in religious and secular periodicals as well as poems, hymns, and plays.
As a social gospel reformer, he worked for improvement in many areas: religious reform, basic rights of minorities, better living and working conditions, prohibition and world peace.

More to Read:
1. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Edited by: Reid, Linder, Shelly, & Stout. Intervarsity Press, 1990.
2. A Century of Congregationalism in Kansas; 1854 - 1954. By Charles M. Correll. The McCormick-Armstrong Co, Wichita, KS., 1953
3. Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA; 1956. 
4. Kansapedia article on Charles Sheldon
5. Findagrave #6532535

Other books written by Charles M. Sheldon: Richard Bruce (1891), The Crucifixion of Philip Strong (1894); Robert Hardy's Seven Days (1899); In His Steps Today (1896; 1921); The Narrow Gate (1902); All the World (1918).  and his autobiography: Charles M Sheldon, His Life Story (1925).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Missouri Day!

“The third Wednesday of October of each year is known and designated as “Missouri Day” and is set apart as a day commemorative of Missouri history to be observed by the teachers and pupils of schools with the appropriate exercises. The people of the state of Missouri, and the educational, commercial, political, civic, religious and fraternal organizations of the state of Missouri are requested to devote some part of the day to the methodical consideration of the products of the mines, fields, and forests of the state and to the consideration of the achievements of the sons and daughters of Missouri in commerce, literature, statesmanship, science and art, and in other departments of activity in which the state has rendered service to mankind.” ~ Section 9.040, RSMO.

Actual Statehood Day: August 10, 1821. Statehood , the 24th state. Capital of Missouri then was St. Charles. Present day capital is Jefferson City.