Archive for the ‘Pioneer Stories’ Category

An Update on AHL Work at Covenant Forum

April 6, 2009

Recent Additions:

E. A. Beavon

The Bicycle Craze

Charles Fitch

We have been impressed with the amount of early documentation of Fitch’s life and work.

William Arnold, Pioneer Book Seller

March 17, 2009

William Arnold, Pioneer Book Seller, A Chronology


Served on the nominations committee for the first annual meeting of the Sanitarium Improvement Company. YB 1885, p. 66


The first party of Seventh-day Adventist missionaries, consisting of S. N. Haskell, J. 0. Corliss, M. C. Israel (ministers), W. Arnold (a colporteur from Michigan), and H. Scott (a printer),; landed in Australia. Melbourne was chosen as the first field, and it proved a fruitful one, for at the close of 1886 there was a church of one hundred members established. RH 1918, V95-31

J. O. Corliss’ wife and two children came as well; as did Israel’s wife and their two daughters. On May 10, they took passage on the ship Australia from San Francisco, and twenty-eight days later landed in Sydney, June 8. In about a month from then they were all settled in Richmond, Melbourne, and on July 4, 1885, they held their first Sabbath school, their membership being eleven persons, comprising workers and their families (as listed above). They met in Haskell’s rented house in Richmond, Victoria (AAR 1901-07 sp03, p. 13).

The original Minute book for this gathering “recorded the following: Superintendent, Pastor S. N. Haskell; secretary, Jane Israel. The lesson study was, ‘The Saints’ Inheritance,’ and ten were present as students. No offering was recorded.” AAR 1965-33, p.2.

In less than three weeks, on July 21, a mission was opened in the Temperance Hall, Richmond. A little later that year, with the mission work well begun in Australia, S. N. Haskell left for New Zealand. RH 1948-19, p. 16

“These laborers met with opposition from both the pulpit and press. They worked as best they could, visiting, holding Bible-readings, and selling books, Brother Arnold selling over 1000 copies of Daniel and Revelation in Melbourne in less than a year. Many tears were shed and prayers offered in connection with this first year’s work. ” AAR 1901-08, p. 10.

“With the first contingent of workers came also Brother H. 8cott, the printer of the party. It was in the bedroom of Brother Scott in Richmond that the first type was set up and it was then conveyed by handcart to the local press for the printing of our first literature in Australia.

“Quite a number of older brethren will remember the old Bible Echo printed at Best Street, North Fitzroy. The printing press for this paper was given by Brother Arnold, who gladly donated £250 earned by the sale of “Daniel and the Revelation…” AAR 1935-30, p. 11.


November 22, Tenth Meeting of the 1887 General Conference Session: “26. That Wm. Arnold, now in Australia, go to England to help in establishing the canvassing work there.” YB 1888, p. 41.

In June, 1888, Bro. Wm. Arnold arrived from Australia, and spent a few weeks canvassing for “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation.” His efforts were attended with marked success. The willingness to read on the subjects presented in the Bible readings which have been held, is continually increasing, and many families have become interested in different parts of the city. Several soldiers at the barracks at Southampton have embraced the truth principally by reading. YB 1891, p. 75
Noted as England’s first colporteur. TCOG, 1945-3, p.5
April, May and June; Arnold “very successful” in London. YB 1891, p. 76


“The work in the West Indies was begun by Brother Wm. Arnold, in the winter of 1888-9. He visited and sold books on the islands of Santa Croix, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montseratt, and Barbadoes. He gave to the International Tract Society the addresses of 1,200 persons who had purchased ” Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation” from him, and the society began sending literature to them and corresponding with them. A number began to obey as the result of this work.

On November 7, 1890, Elder Dexter A. Ball sailed to Barbadoes, in company with Brother Arnold. A gentleman owning a mission building in Bridgetown invited Elder Ball to hold meetings in his chapel, and fifty-seven discourses were preached. A number accepted the truth, and since then a church has been organized.

Saint Vincent was then visited by Elder Ball, and also Antigua. At the latter place, the work of a sister who had become acquainted with the truth in London, England, had led several to accept it. About sixty services were held here, and twenty-six persons joined the believers in the West Indies. – Saint Kitts and Santa Croix were also visited. At Montseratt, an open-air service was held, and a number of books were sold.

“We have also been able to respond to the pressing calls from the West Indies by sending Elder D. A. Ball of the Pennsylvania Conference to labor in that field, and with him Wm. Arnold.” YB 1891, p. 46

“Elder Ball then revisited Saint Kitts, to make arrangements for Brother Charles D. Adamson to enter the work. While there, three persons signed the covenant, as the result of personal work. On the way to Barbadoes, a few days were spent at Dominica. Reaching Barbadoes, after a long absence, it was found that the brethren there were of good courage, and their numbers had been increased. Brother Adamson joined Elder Ball in the work there for about six weeks, when, they went to the island of Grenada. Here they found a number keeping the Sabbath as the result of a brother’s efforts, who had received the truth through reading a book which he had purchased in South America.

“Brother Wm. Arnold is still canvassing in the islands, with good success.” YB 1892, p. 74, 75


Arnold works in Demerara (Guyana); writes a descriptive letter home to his children.


He spends the summer in Trinidad to wait out Demerara’s rainy season.

Arnold works the summer in Tobago.


Marketing the Magic Pocket Vaporizer, “because everybody wants it.”

I find little difficulty in getting recommendations from influential people, having secured haif a dozen testimonials from among the clergy of this city (Battle Creek). The canvasser needs but little capital in selling this instrument, as deliveries are made as fast as opportunity affords, and In this way he will find his influence constantly increasing. A splendid opportnnity is also afforded to do missionary work among the suffering, and the canvasser can make good wages besides.

I predict a large sale for the Magic Pocket
Vaporizer.” ALUG 1904-45, p.11


April 25-26, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold attend a meeting at West Valley, New York. “We were glad to see Brother and Sister Wm. Arnold present. Brother Arnold is not very strong physically, but his courage and hope in the Lord is strong. ” ALUG 1908-19, p. 4.

Lives at Ellicottville, New York. W. B. White reports on his visit with Arnold. ALUG 1910-01, p. 2.



Lived in Colorado for a time and now coming back to Ellicottville. ALUG 1917-22, p. 8.


William Arnold dies. Survived by his wife and daughter, Mabel. ALUG 1922-25, p. 8.

The Adventist Church in Indonesia, a Time Line

March 8, 2009

This post is in its beginning stages. Our Covenant Forum site lends itself to extensive posts on this same topic. You can find more information there. Click here.

Indonesia, A Chronology

R. W. Munson opened a home for orphans in Singapore.

November 11, R. W. Munson leaves New York for Padang, Sumatra to work among the Chinese there. They meet Tay Hong Siang, one of the first three boys to be admitted to the Singapore orphanage, now working in Padang. Tay and his wife and baby come to live and work with the Munson family. Tay has already found one Chinese man was has accepted the Gospel and has already begun keeping the Sabbath.

Munson begins an English language school in Padang. He calls it a mission school, “pure and simple”.
December 1, The Australasian Union Record presents a major mission study of what was then called Malaysia by R. W. Munson

E.H. Gates visits with Munson. They travel to Deli, Penang, and other places. They seek to extend the work.

Pastor G. F. Jones and wife and
Brother R. A. Caldwell sail for the East Indies to open a mission in Singapore.

Brother and Sister E. C. Davey to Singapore as medical missionaries.

In February, Brother F. Parkin reached Singapore; an evangelical canvasser.

In the Dutch East Indies, to proselyte among the Mohammedans is forbidden by law; but there is no law to forbid the circulation of religious literature.

R. W. Munson returns to Java from Australia as a translator at Soekaboemi
Miss Janz gives “to us oversight of her little colony of two hundred persons.”

The Malay Messenger of Truth Begins

The first baptism in Java

The first SDA Church organized on Java

Tha Malaysian Union Mission organized, included: Sumatra and East and West Java

Samuel Rantung’s work leads to a church organazed in the Celebes.

People from the Lake Toba region request instruction in the Bible. Some already keeping the Sabbath.

Petition sent to Batavia requesting Religious Liberty for Central Sumatra. (Kime)

Territory organized as the Netherlands East Indies Union Mission with 1700 members and 48 churches and companies.
West Java Mission, H. Eelsing reports.
22 Sabbath Schools, 698 members
7 Church Schools, 650 students
Central Sumatra (Batakland) Youngberg reports on work of Kime.
Sister Kime very sick, they are on leave.
School and Medical Work
January 1929, Religious Liberty granted to Kime’s work.

Dutch Government inters all Germans missionaries.

Church Membership reaches 10 000

Chruch Membership reaches 20 000

Inodnesia divided into East Indonesian Union Conference and West Indonesian Union Mission;
part of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division
1100 Churches
200 000 members


Land, G (2005). Historical Dictionary of Seventh-day Adventists: Historical Dictionaries of Religions Philosophies, and Movements, No. 56. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810853450, 9780810853454. 419 pages. Available as a Google Book ***Here***

Australasian Union Record
Asiatic Division Outlook

Current Projects

February 4, 2009

Covenant Forum has invited us to develop some history posts for them.

Recent Posts on Covenant Forum:

Belize and the Bay Islands

Early Work in Belize and the Bay Islands, 1896; F.M. Wilcox writes. He includes a colorful letter from J.A. Morrow of British Honduras.

Our current projects include the gathering of information about:

Pastor James A. Morrow, and

Studying the Early Adventist Use of the Apocrypha

You can find other of our Covenant Forum postings here:

    Stories, 1905-1915
    James A. Morrow
    Stories, 1916 – 1926
    The Official Church Paper, 1849 and Following
    Alonzo Barry
    Methods of Evangelism – The History of Gospel Work
    The First Ones – The Third Angel in New Lands
    The History of Ideas Within Adventism
    World War II
    Adventist Radio
    Online Study Links
    The Advocate
    Resolutions from General Conference Sessions
    Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists
    1888 Notes

How a Policeman and a Soldier Helped, 1917, Cuba

February 1, 2009

Australasian Record, February 26, 1917, page 5

How a Policeman and a Soldier Helped

BROTHER Emsley Willams, a colporteur in Cuba, recently had an experience at the time unpleasant, but which turned out for good in the end. Brother Kellman writes:

“Just before leaving for Honduras, Brother Willams left the train one evening in the town of Manacas, where he was to canvass, to go out where one of our brethren lived about two miles from town. He had two big bags filled with books as in Cuba we take orders one day and deliver the next.

“As he was slowly plodding his way along, just as he reached the outskirts of the village, he heard galloping of horses behind him. He was surprised a moment later as the cry in Spanish rang out Alza los Manos, “hands up.” It was a policeman and a mounted soldier. There was a recent robbery in the neighbourhood, and they were on the lookout for the thief, so spying this man with heavy bags, they thought they had the culprit sure. After searching and questioning him they saw their mistake, apolo- ogized for the trouble, and, to even things up, carried his heavy packages up to the home of the brother to whom he was going.

This laborious journey turned to be a pleasant walk with congenial companions. The policeman next day met him in town, introduced him to many of the influential people, from whom he took orders and delivered the books. The hold-up at night turned out to be the best thing that could have taken place for the benefit of his work there.”

Pioneer Story – Dr. Kate Lindsay

January 8, 2009

“I know a better way to get a mule to pull.” And the speaker, a woman, slight of figure, climbed down out of the wagon, waded through the mud of the Khami River, in which the vehicle had become stuck fast, and offered the stubborn mule a sanitarium biscuit. But the mule was angry, rather than hungry, and the woman retreated, leaving a portion of her sleeve in the mule’s mouth, and the driver was left to get the wagon out in his own way. The woman who had revolutionized the nursing profession in America, who had invaded man’s realm by entering medical school in the University of Michigan, being graduated with the first women who were granted degrees from that institution, meekly gave up when it came to moving a balking mule.

She was born of Scotch parentage in a little log cabin on the bank of Lake Manona near Madison, Wisconsin, September 11, 1842. She was a precocious child, having inherited unusual courage, a desire to know the unknown; and with that desire was coupled a free and independent spirit far beyond the comprehension of her parents. There seemed to be bound up in her all the strange characteristics of her ancestry. Her own father had been a gardener to a rich lord in Scotland, and her mother, a waiting maid to the lady. On the Lindsay side she was a descendant of Lord Lindsay of Queen Mary’s reign; and her grandmother on her mother’s side was Jeanette Livingstone, a cousin to David Livingstone, the great African missionary and explorer. This child, Kate Lindsay, she was named, was “Scot to the backbone.”

Today the ancestral home of the Lindsays, standing on the hill overlooking the fruitful valley, all under cultivation, tells nothing of the struggles of the pioneers in what was then known as the sod-house frontier country. Then it took great strength of character and a great vision to continue the struggle to build a home in the wilderness.

At night the doors of the log houses had to be bolted, for hungry coyotes, wolves, and panthers, attracted by the smells coming from the cabins, threw themselves heavily against the doors, hoping to gain entrance.

Kate Lindsay secured her first introduction to books in a rude cabin made of logs. Her school desk was made of a log, split in half, with the flat side up. Her slate pencil was a stick, long and pointed at the end, and her first slate was a level place in front of the schoolhouse where the soil had been pulverized and smoothed over to make a writing surface. To Kate all this was a luxury.

In order to reach the schoolhouse, she had to walk several miles through dense forest and rough underbrush. She was the oldest of eight children, four of whom did not live, and for a while she had to go alone. Then there were neighbor children who helped to make the way seem less lonely, and later the younger children were old enough to go, glad for the protection of Sister Kate. But distance and hardship meant nothing to her, unless it served as an impetus to make her prove to herself that she could cope with whatever confronted her. She learned rapidly, and soon was devouring every book that came her way, reading from cover to cover, and absorbing what she read. But she did not slight household duties. When the younger children were little, she helped faithfully, promising her mother that she would remain at home until Mary, the youngest, was sixteen. She was strong and capable, and in good health.

Night after night in that early pioneer home the mother would read to the children books and literature that eventually molded the type of reading of her ambitious daughter. One story illustrates the effect of this type of guidance on Kate. She was but a little girl when one evening the mother was reading in front of the fireplace, as usual, to the listening children. Kate sat on the floor at her feet, listening intently to every word. It happened to be the story of Palestine, and told of the travels of some noted persons to the Holy Land. Just at this time young Kate was engaged in the construction of a wagon during her spare time. The next day she completed her project, and proudly exhibiting it to her mother, she announced gaily, “I’m starting for Palestine today in my wagon.” Little did she realize that there would come a day when she would visit not only Palestine but also many of the far-off places on the African continent, and that she would there play a very definite part in the service of God and in launching the type of training that would prepare countless women for His service in all parts of the world.

Women who learned more than merely to read and write were fortunate indeed during the time when Kate Lindsay was growing to womanhood. And as she read and thought, her very soul would almost burst at times with rebellion at the restrictions that kept women tied down to household duties, and permitted them no part in the great work of, to her, the very interesting and exciting world. The time she spent waiting for the day to come when she could go out into the world and accomplish something unusual and difficult, seemed to her utterly useless years. She did not know yet what she would do, but she studied constantly, reading every book she could find.

One day she was given a book containing a biography of Florence Nightingale. There! Why hadn’t she thought of that before? She would be a nurse. And now that her ideas had taken definite form, her study became more ardent than ever — if that were possible. She studied phrenology, geology, zoology, and every other “ology” about which she could find any written material that she had the vaguest idea would be of help in her chosen profession when she came to enter it. Fortunately, she was of a religious turn of mind, so that the false theories that she heard and read were exposed as she proceeded to study more carefully the Word of God. Fortunately, too, she was always very practical, and her scientific curiosity was never satisfied until she could see the practical application of the knowledge gained.

For a while there was one thing that kept her parents from distraction over the way in which their eldest was going. From early childhood she had evinced a deeply religious nature, reading her Bible faithfully and attending church services regularly. Her father and mother reasoned that as she grew older she would come to her senses and settle down to the life that other girls lived. But there came to her a religious experience that caused even more astonishment and perplexity to Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay. They were stanch Presbyterians. Kate, after studying her Bible some and attending a series of Methodist protracted meetings, decided that Presbyterians did not have all the light the Bible taught, and became a member of the Methodist Church. But this was not yet the end! An itinerating preacher came into the neighborhood and began preaching in the schoolhouse. He had pictures of images and queer-looking animals, some with four heads, and some with wings on their backs, which he explained, after reading about them in the Bible. Kate attended these meetings regularly, taking notes as the preacher spoke, and comparing them the next day with the things she read in her own Bible.

No doubt her interest in this strange religion was intensified by the opposition this man met. In those days every preacher denounced Seventh-day Adventists and warned his people against them.

Kate had sought every opportunity to understand her Bible more fully, and she became one of the regular attendants. She decided that every point of the third angel’s message, as preached by Isaac Sanborn, was in accordance with Bible teaching, and, in spite of the protests of her family, she became one of a stanch little company of Seventh-day Adventists. Later her entire family accepted the same truths, but not until after a long, fierce conflict, especially on the part of her mother.

Romance came to Kate when she was eighteen, and it so filled her heart with the joy of love that it was always remembered as the brightest part of her life. A young Mr. Porter came to the neighborhood in which she lived, and taught the country school. Her evident superiority and intelligence attracted him to her. They found things of mutual interest. Kate was familiar with even the progress of the political parties, and he had read of the great work of Florence Nightingale, and was thus sympathetic with Kate’s ambitions. Soon a warm friendship sprang up between these two, and in due course of time they decided to cast their lot together. She threw her whole heart and life into preparation for her marriage, as she had done with everything in which she was interested, forgetting for a time her ambition to become a nurse. But this boundless happiness was soon to end. The Civil War began, taking with it the life of her lover, who died of pneumonia while in a training camp in Milwaukee. She was grief stricken. She had found in her lover a sympathetic and understanding companion, and when he had gone, she was left alone to fight out her life problem. She made no more intimate friends, rather shutting herself in from those with whom she associated, so that many who knew her thought her hardhearted, unsympathetic, and unkind. They thought that her experience had hardened her. But underneath this exterior was a heart that beat with longing for understanding and companionship, that yearned for the sympathetic touch of the hand of a friend. Through it all she maintained an indomitable courage and an unswerving purpose which fired her as she went about her daily tasks, still studying, still planning for her future work when the children were old enough for her to leave home.

During those years of waiting, Kate Lindsay kept in touch with the developments of the work that Florence Nightingale had been carrying on in the Crimea, and fully informed herself relative to the new movement for the preparation of professional nurses that was being developed in the St. Thomas Hospital. The results of this school were far reaching, and it was not difficult for Kate’s keen mind to grasp its relationship and need in this country, where hospitals were still in the pioneer stage, and where nurses were not worthy of the name. In the hospitals of New York City there was the Mrs. Sairey Gamp type of worker, and hospitals were known as places where people went to die. There was no place in this country where a young woman could secure an organized course of instruction in nursing. There was much conflict in the field of medical practice. Pills and potions were largely the curative measures used by the average practitioner. The use of natural remedies, such as fresh air, sunlight, rest, water, and diet, was given little thought by the large percentage of medical men. In fact, bathing was discouraged, and articles appeared in some of the leading medical journals opposing bathing and the use of water.

There were scattered throughout the country what were known as water cure institutions. One of the most important of these was conducted by Dr. Thatcher Trall, in Florence Heights, New Jersey. Associated with Dr. Trall were two or three physicians, one a prominent practitioner from Germany, where these natural therapeutic measures had secured wider recognition among medical circles than they had received in the United States.

Kate learned of this institution through a magazine known as the Water Cure Journal, of which Dr. Trall was the editor. Sensible presentations of the treatment of disease and the use of these practical measures appealed to the keen mind of this young woman, and she determined that she would go to this institution and learn these most practical measures in caring for the sick. Although opposed by her parents, and because of this opposition given no financial support, she finally reached the health institution in New Jersey, and remained two years, studying, and gaining from her experiences all that she could regarding the care of the sick.

The two years in the New Jersey institution awakened in her ardent soul a deeper desire to know more about sickness and disease, so that she might minister more intelligently to those who would call upon her. We have reason to believe that had nursing education been developed in that day to the degree that it would satisfy an inquiring mind of the type of Kate Lindsay’s, she would not have aspired to the study of medicine, for in the years that followed, she spent the major part of her time in making use of her knowledge to improve the status of nursing in this country.

In 1870, when Kate was twenty-eight, she entered the University of Michigan as a medical student. This Ann Arbor institution was one of the first to grant entrance to women to its medical school. There was opposition to the plan on the part of some members of the faculty, and even the townspeople looked askance at any young woman who would attend a boys’ college. When Kate entered the university, she was required to take the entrance examinations. These included mathematics, algebra, geometry, Greek, and Latin. The examinations were all oral, and their degree of severity was often determined by the attitude of the professor toward girls in the school. The Greek professor was bitterly opposed to admitting women to the university, and it was with fear and trembling that the girls faced this examination. “Well, miss, what do you know about Greek?” And his eagle eyes would peer down at the frightened girl from the rostrum where he sat. He had Kate translate pages of Greek material, and decline nouns and adjectives. He asked her for the comparatives and superlatives of all the irregular adjectives. He would have kept on indefinitely had the room not darkened so that it was difficult to see.

No, they were not easy, those entrance examinations. And it is evidence of the application and thoroughness of Kate Lindsay’s academic preparation that she passed creditably and was admitted to the class as a regular student. And not only did she meet the entrance requirements, but of such high quality was her work, and also that of the other girls, that the board of regents voted, in 1876, that coeducation in the University of Michigan had become an established fact. The girls not only became a recognized group of students in the university, but it was not long until the community learned that they were often more ideal roomers than were the men. They were not quite so destructive of the furnishings, and they were not so noisy and boisterous.

The records of the University of Michigan give us the information that “Catherine Lindsay, aged thirty-three, was a senior, October, 1875, and that she lived as a student at 318 Ingall Street, Ann Arbor.” She roomed with another girl. She had the highest rating of any student in her class.

As Dr. Kate Lindsay she was now able to begin her lifework. With a sound general education, the best she could secure, together with a foundation such as was offered in nursing, and with her added knowledge secured at the University of Michigan, she was well qualified to join the staff of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. She did not allow that faculty to rest day or night until they had conceded to her vision that there must be established in connection with the educational features of that institution a school of nursing.

Bellevue Hospital, in 1873, had only just established a school for nurses. However, nursing as an educational procedure was greatly frowned upon, and it took courage to push the new venture. It was not long until the entire staff at Battle Creek had caught something of her vision of the need of trained workers in the care of the sick, but it took the determination possessed by Lord Lindsay, her paternal ancestor, to stand against them with insistence when they said, “It can’t be done.” For, as was true in the pioneer work in the early school in Bellevue, the place of this new school among Seventh-day Adventists, so closely related to the medical institution, was not clearly defined; consequently student education was often sacrificed to meet the immediate needs of an ever-increasing patient list. Kate Lindsay would see to it that education of student nurses should be defined.

A shortage of help often came in conflict with the objectives in the training of student nurses, and Dr. Lindsay insisted that students should not miss their organized class instruction. She became one of the foremost instructors. She was untiring in her efforts to prepare every student in every phase of the nursing service. She was artful in questioning students, and those who sat in the back seats were the greatest victims of her untiring questions.

It was indeed unfortunate for the student who was not keenly interested in nursing care of the sick, for both in the classroom and in connection with the practical clinical application of instruction, Kate Lindsay’s keen interest was in the welfare of the patient, and she expected everyone who was devoting himself to this sacred task to give all his interest and effort to that end. She had little sympathy for students who would try to get by. She taught them that nursing was more than floating airily in and out of a sickroom dressed in a becoming white uniform and speaking superficial words, which did not comfort the wearied hearts of those who must have understanding as well as words. They learned that beneath technical knowledge there must be a heart that feels the sufferings of the human family, and an undying desire to do all in one’s power to alleviate such suffering. Her early lectures to her classes were published in book form in 1893, and there is still preserved the voluminous stenciled notes she provided for her classes in later years. These notes give mute evidence of the thoroughness with which she approached her every task.

Though she insisted on a reasonable working day, she was not unaware that certain patients require nursing care beyond the ordinary. She herself would often remain up an entire night to assist in the care of a critically ill patient whose life hung in the balance; and she taught the students, through practical application, some of the principles relative to the conservation of their own health, and made it clear that personal comfort must be sacrificed when real emergencies rise in ministry to the sick. She believed that only by the regular conservation of health was a person able to meet successfully the emergencies of life.

Dr. Lindsay’s introduction of every individual student to this pioneer nursing school was unique. Each one was required to have a long conference with her before she could be admitted to the school. Dr. Lindsay conversed with prospective students to ascertain their ideals and standards of life. She critically surveyed their attire. Healthful dress, she felt, was one of the most important measures. For many years she was one of the group of women, not only in Seventh-day Adventist ranks, but in the outstanding women’s reform-dress organization of the world, who tried to change the unhygienic clothing that fashion decreed as the dress of the women of her day. This costume was a tight wasp corset, crinoline, and hoops. In fact, girls were so hampered by their dress that, had they not joined the women’s dress-reform movement and shown some independence in their type of dress, they could not have competed with men in educational or professional circles. The tight waist alone, which caused the death of many women, and the long, heavy skirts, brought untold misery to thousands, many of whom came to the Battle Creek Sanitarium for treatment. Dr. Lindsay wished the students in the school of nursing to be representatives of proper and healthful dress, and a part of her introductory lecture to every student centered upon this subject. Her parting words as the student would slowly disappear from her office would often be, “And remember that when I see you next time, that corset must be off.”

Diet also had a large part in this early pioneer movement in nursing education, and most unusual of all, Dr. Kate saw to it that this school placed great emphasis upon natural remedies in the treatment of the sick. Physical therapy even then was an important phase in the preparation for the nursing profession. Dr. Lindsay and her associates built well, as is evidenced by the fact that the school was recognized by the outstanding nursing educators of that day, and history records that a representative of that school was invited to join the group of women who met at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893, when was born what is now known as the National League of Nursing Education, the most influential organization in nursing education in this country.

Dr. Lindsay, through pen and voice, discouraged the eating of sweets and other knickknacks between meals. She believed in using paper handkerchiefs as a sanitary measure. She taught isolation technique in the care of communicable diseases. She religiously advocated the importance of good circulation. She held against the long skirts, trailing the floor or the sidewalk, a contempt which she could not conceal. One day, when walking down the corridor in the sanitarium, she accidentally stepped on the train of one of the guests. “I never apologize for stepping on anything that is on the floor,” was her only comment.

She talked little of germs and more of cleanliness. “No disinfectant is better than yellow laundry soap and elbow grease, she would say. She believed that sickness was not a visitation of Providence, but was brought upon the human race through their own violation of the simple principles of the laws of health. She believed that one of the greatest services a nurse could render was to become a health educator in every home she entered to care for the sick. She emphasized water drinking as a necessary hygienic measure for the internal cleansing of the system.

Not only was Dr. Lindsay an advocate of the principles of health reform and health conservation, both by precept and by example, but she was a voluminous writer, and often could be seen with paper and pencil in the midst of books and journals spread out before her. She contributed extensively to the most popular magazines of her day, both medical and general. She established a nursing club in connection with the community in which she spent the later part of her life. She attended regularly medical society meetings, and it was said that the leader of the medical society in Boulder, who was president of the university there, considered Dr. Lindsay the best-informed physician in that section of the State.

In 1891 the first medical missionaries were sent to South Africa. Dr. Lindsay joined the group just four years later. Unfortunately, she did not stay in England long enough to secure the necessary credentials for admittance to the medical profession in Africa, and she had to practice under the license of Dr. Anthony, who was medical superintendent of the Plumstead Sanitarium. This was a sore trial to one of her independent spirit, but the medical men of Cape Town soon learned that Dr. Lindsay had something to offer them, and she became well known as a consultant in critical cases, and was called for consultation by some of the best practitioners of that city.

While in Africa, Dr. Lindsay visited the Solusi Mission. She had conducted classes on the problems of healthful living in pioneer missions for workers in Cape Town, and now she wished to see the actual conditions under which these missionaries must live in an isolated institution. She left Cape Town on a train and arrived at the mission on mule-back, just at the close of the Matabele War, while the bones of the natives who had starved following the burning of the wheat crops by the English were still bleaching on the plains just a few miles from the mission. After much arguing and persuading, she was able to get one of the skeletons for her educational work in Cape Town.

She gave lectures on healthful living to the chiefs and headmen of the tribes, she eager to give of her store of knowledge, but wherever she saw a need, she opened her purse to contribute from her limited funds. When she left Solusi the workers were made happy with the gift of a pump and a windmill.

Though Dr. Lindsay’s foreign mission service was short, it gave her sufficient opportunity to observe the needs of the mission workers, and through her pen and voice in the years that followed she did much to mold the policy of our great missionary movement.

When she returned to the States in 1899, at the age of fifty-seven, she connected with the Boulder-Colorado Sanitarium, and there, as in the earlier days of her medical ministry, she devoted the major part of her time to the interest of the school of nursing.

During the last days of her life, Dr. Lindsay was quite feeble from rheumatism and the general weakness of old age, but her mind was clear on most subjects, and she enjoyed most talking of the work she dearly loved.

Remembering how God had blessed her services, she was thankful for the privilege of being His humble servant. On March 30, 1923, she went quietly to sleep, leaving behind her a priceless heritage to womankind. Out of her lengthened shadow has grown an organization of consecrated, well-trained missionary nurses, efficiently doing its part to minister to the suffering world.

Source: Pioneer Stories compiled by Theodore Lucas, 1956.

Further Reading

Committed to Caring
Adventism’s first female physician taught us a lesson about determination.
Adventist World
By Adriel D. Chilson

Up Up Up From Sod House Frontier, #3 in “God Had a Woman” series.
Signs of the Times, Australasian, March, 1978

Died March 31, 1923

Obituary in the May 10, 1923 Review and Herald

Pioneer Story – Charles Fitch

January 8, 2009

Among the younger men who supported William Miller in his preaching of the advent of Christ was Charles Fitch. Born in December, 1805, he was only thirty-three years old when he first heard Miller in 1838. After his education at Brown University he had been a pastor much beloved in the several churches of Connecticut and Massachusetts where he had served. It was while he was pastor of the Marlboro Chapel, a Congregational church, that he heard Miller lecture and later sent for copies of his sermon.

Although Fitch did not accept the teaching concerning the second coming of Christ at that time, the preaching of Miller fired his zeal, and he left Boston, traveling widely, conducting evangelistic meetings in the churches of New England, New York, and even as far west as Lake Erie. He eventually returned to Haverhill, Massachusetts, his former home. In some unaccountable way he felt that his power of witnessing for Christ had deserted him. He fell into a period of deep discouragement.

It seemed the doors of the churches now were shut to him. Where should he go to tell the message of God’s love and desire to make His people perfect in His love? He had fasted and prayed and wept before the Lord, but no way was open for him to continue. Then, as he sat there one cold December day, there came a knock at his door. When he opened it, there stepped within a stranger who said: “Brother Fitch, you do not know me, but I have known of you for four years, since you first inquired about the message of the Lord’s coming. For in that year I also heard this faith, and believed it, and began to preach it. My name is Josiah Litch, of Philadelphia.”

Then they talked together, and as Fitch told his new friend of his perplexities, Litch said to him, “Brother, you need the truth of Jesus’ coming with the message you have been preaching.”

Charles Fitch turned again to his Bible and studied the subject of Jesus’ coming. And again he was convinced, and now he put his whole soul into it. He expected, as did others who accepted this faith, that he would lose his friends, some of whom in his ministry of love had become very dear to him. And, of course, there were some who turned against him, but there were others who rejoiced with him in the faith of Jesus’ coming.

Now Charles Fitch found the ears of the people open to listen, and with Miller and Himes and Litch and others, he went forth to proclaim the soon coming of Jesus. It took him far away from his home most of the time. Traveling by foot and horse and stage and steamboat was hard; there was no certain pay; but there was gladness in his heart and voice as he went out to give the message.

Very soon, as he was lecturing on the visions of Daniel and John, there came to his mind a word from the prophet Habakkuk, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it,” and he sat down and devised what are believed to be the first prophetic charts used by the Advent preachers of those days.

In the latter part of 1842 Charles Fitch started for the West to proclaim the message. In those times the United States was not so large as now, and the territory beyond the Appalachian Mountains and around the Great Lakes was very little settled. There were as yet no railroads out there, but the rivers and the Great Lakes were beginning to be used by steamboats; and two canals in the State of Ohio, which connected Lake Erie with the Ohio River, had helped greatly to develop the country. Cincinnati, then the largest city, had about forty thousand people, and Cleveland, on Lake Erie, had about six thousand.

Fitch went to Cleveland, where he soon moved his family, and where he lived for the next two years. From this place he, with Elon Galusha and other ministers, went out over the State to the new and growing cities and the little towns, where the country people would come in to listen to the message. Akron and Marietta, the oldest towns in the State, were cities where the message was gladly received, and indeed all through this Western country the preachers of the Advent message found a people more ready to believe in Jesus’ coming than those in the older country of the East. These new settlers were deeply interested in education also, and they established schools such as Oberlin College, near Cleveland, where the students and some of the teachers largely supported themselves on the farm and in other industries, and where a true Christian education was in every way encouraged. At Oberlin there was great interest in the message Charles Fitch and his helpers brought, and many there turned to look for the coming of their Lord.

In Cleveland, Fitch found a Congregational church who were willing to let him use their building, fronting the public square, and from this church for perhaps a year the people of Cleveland in greater and greater numbers heard the message proclaimed. Finally the company of believers built a larger church, in which the work was continued. One who was then a young man living in Cleveland has told of hearing Charles Fitch preach. “He was a very winsome man,” he said, “slender, but well built, and with a smile that would disarm an enemy and which truly spoke the kindliness of his nature. He was a very powerful speaker, and under his preaching many nights I have seen hundreds, deeply convicted, rise and go forward to ask for prayers and salvation in the kingdom. There was a solemnity about the meetings that none, even of the most flippant, could resist or change. Fitch always had command of his audiences.

“One night, I remember, when at the close of his sermon he called for repentant sinners to come forward, a great lubberly fellow, whom I well knew, with others rose in the gallery and started to come down the stairs that led to the pulpit. Part way down he stumbled and almost fell the rest of the way. A laugh started among the lighter-minded in the audience, but Mr. Fitch called out, ‘Never mind, brother! It’s better to stumble into heaven than to walk straight into hell.’ And the laughing died as quickly as it had started.”

In the summer of 1844 William Miller, to whom Charles Fitch was very dear, went on a tour of the cities and country where Fitch had been working. He came to Cleveland and preached there, and then went on to other cities and towns as far as Cincinnati. And everywhere he found the people in great crowds eager to hear.

Not only did Fitch preach, but he published in Cleveland a paper called the Second Advent of Christ, which for two years carried far out through the northwestern country the message that he could not everywhere carry in person. A great love of the truth of Jesus’ near coming was thus planted in the hearts of the people; and, as will be noted, in later years the fruit of this sowing was reaped in the rapid progress of the message.

Charles Fitch, however, did not have long thereafter to labor. There appears a most interesting statement about his death and his coming reward in Early Writings, on page 17, 1945 edition. The cause of his death, in October, 1844, was a fever that was brought on in the following way. He had a large number of new believers who desired baptism, and others who had not yet made up their minds. The company who were ready went with him to the lake, and there were baptized. A cold wind was blowing as he, with them, started in his wet garments for home, and he was much chilled. But he had not gone far when he met another company from among those whom he had left behind, who now came desiring baptism. He went back with them to the lake and also immersed them. Then as they started home there came a third company whose conviction of sin and of Jesus’ salvation and of His soon coming had brought them to the decision. At their request he turned again and baptized them also. The next day, though ill from the effects of his chill, he rode in the cold wind some miles to another appointment. This proved too hard on him, and he was stricken down, and after an illness of several weeks he died. His last clear words, in answer to some who asked him of his faith, were, “I believe in the promises of God.”

Among all those in America who preached and taught the message of Jesus’ coming, perhaps none was so widely and deeply loved as Charles Fitch. He had a depth of love that reached high to his Savior and low and far to his fellow men. Always courageous, hopeful, and helpful, he interpreted the love of God not only in word but in deed, and he bound firmly in friendship and perfect love thousands to whom he ministered and hundreds with whom he labored. He did a great work, and he left a mark of his labors both upon the country where he preached and upon the methods of his successors. He may well be remembered as the beloved apostle of the Advent message.

Source: Pioneer Stories compiled by Theodore Lucas, 1956.