From time to time I keep coming across items
from the early newspapers that do not fit into any particular category,
but I find them absolute "gems." MAW
The day which ushers us into the period of life called manhood is generally considered a bright one.
The past is lain aside to be used only in after years. A new leaf, as it were, is turned over, and we are thrown upon our own resources to battle with the world, to keep upon the common level of life or to go below, to soar above or to be sunk, perhaps, even to the lowest depths.
We feel that as our own master we must do the duty we feel we owe our maker and the world. We should not sit by waiting for something to come to us nor yet dreaming the time away.
We start out in our youth, perhaps with bright prospects, our banners and flags unfurled to the breeze, cheered with the thought that the fight will not last long nor the work be hard to accomplish. That when we shall have overcome the foes that are now before us, we can return to the bosom of our friend, repose in the dreamland of fame, and thus receive the rewards of our toil.
Yet we know it is indeed a conflict, more grand than any death dealing conflict that has ever taken place, one that should claim the most earnest attention from all persons, causing them to carve riches wherein they may place themselves not only to act upon the generations long after the curtain of their life has fallen, and the drama in which they have been actors has ended. Such is indeed the object of Life's Conflict.
We are now in the active part of this conflict. We must view the various fields of labor. The educational, the scientific, and artistic worlds are lying in all their brilliancy and power before us. We must use our own judgment in the selection of that which we, by nature, are best qualified to fill. We must know our mission and prepare ourselves accordingly; for when we join the mazy crowd in the whirl of life, we wish to have an aim in view, not to be blown hither and thither as by the winds, not to be possessed of a few dreamy ideas as many are, but a well defined path wherein we may tread, plucking the brightest jewels whereby we may decorate our minds, causing them to show forth in all their brilliancy and power, lighting up life's future with increased glow, gliding the waves that bear us on to eternity.
The sky may be starless and moonless and thick clouds may hide even the sun from view, yet there will be bright, green meadows to tread over and glorious sunshine in the beautiful beyond. There will be met those noble ones gone on before and who are now among the kings of thought who sit with a halo of light above their heads as tokens of the good they have accomplished. Possessed with the desire to follow in their footsteps, we can pass over the walks of earth as over the flowery path of an imaginary Eden, while others who do not desire this precious gem which lies at the end of the race, may trudge through weary wastes of a cursed earth.
Life's conflict is indeed sublime, it is grand, solemn, if viewed in all its bearingsthose vague colossal heroes, those shadowy myths of the famous Arabian nights would fade away before it.
Have we studied this subject? Do we know what our duty is in life? Are we educating ourselves to drive out this darkness of ignorance which is hovering over the world? Are we trying to make it as an island of pearls and opals, gleaming out of a sea of emeralds? Or are we unconcerned about the future? Do we not wish to call up memories which some day will be beautiful and blessed? Do we not wish to teach those who come after us how much more pleasant it is to be able to appreciate the beauties that surround us, than of going blindly through life with the idea of selfhood, only, in view? Cannot we devote ourselves to the right, be studious and earnest, and be guided by that star in the east, whose brightness was guide to the magicians?
Our labors for the elevation of mankind may be sneered at, and men upon whose bosom we fain would have leaned our throbbing head, fall back as from a pestilence, and leave us to engage in the weary conflict alone. But the songs from the golden rafters which have been over us, even looking at all that we have done, and noting things down for our future benefit, encourage us to go on in the good work; fight the good fight of faith and reap the rewards that await the diligent.
In this golden age, we can improve the talent we possess and reap a yet richer harvest.
There are gates ajar everywhere ready to receive us if we are prepared to enter, revealing vistas of wonder and glory to captivate the mind and exalt the soul.
In the warp and woof of our daily lives are woven gold and silver threads inspiring us with fresh courage.
Not all is to be sunshine, but some will be darknessnot all day, but partly night, not all smooth sea, but occasional boisterous ocean; not all balmy breeze, but now and then a sweeping hurricane.
After pleasure, may come pain; after joy, sorrow; with victory may come defeat; but be not discouraged, for life is indeed a magic chain and these are necessary links. While we are working for the good of all in this life, our aim should be toward that upward sphere where this life is leading us, where all around is beautiful and full of glory, where nothing is perishable, but all to last forever and forever.
That we may spend years upon earth to do good for mankind is our wish, for life thus spent is indeed noble, and its sweetness we wish to enjoy.
But when our sun has set, and the gathering darkness of the last night is upon us, when the beautiful tinted and gilded clouds are casting themselves as a veil over the silver-tipped mountains, inviting us to be wrapped in the folds, and heavens clear and mellow light is streaming through the gates which stand ajar ready for us to enter, and angels are beckoning us on toward that throne of purity, and holiness, and love, we would wish for a peaceful entrance into that beautiful Land of the Leal, where angelic we will be.
The past will be forgotten with the remembrance that "it is human to err, but divine to forgive."
All hurrying of life will be at an end, life's conflict over, and the problem of life solved.
[The above essay was read before the Centennial Literary Society of Beaver township, Cowley County. It was printed in the March 18, 1886, issue of the Winfield Courier.]
Mrs. Bennett Rinehart and Others wrote Blaze Marks on the Border.
On Pages 196 and 197 the following was stated with respect to the first church erected in Arkansas City. [They were incorrect with respect to title.]
Mrs. Austin Ramsey noted that in the first years of our town's history, people here represented the Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian, and United Presbyterian denomina- tions. Some feared that the town was becoming "over-churched."
An ecumenical merger was proposeda hall where people of all faiths should be free to worship; and ministers of all denominations should be free to preach. This hall was erected at a cost of $1,800 at 311 South 1st Street and was called the "Liberal" church. C. M. Scott, editor of the Traveler donated the land; a dance was held to pay for the pews.
The idea was ahead of its time and did not take hold with the people. Liberal Church, established in January of 1873, was disbanded in October of 1874 when the Presbyterians, its sponsors, were temporarily assigned to other parishes.
Thanks to Sam Dicks, Emporia State University Historian, who has been researching for data concerning two of the important founders of Arkansas City (Prof. Henry Brace Norton and Prof. Lyman Beecher Kellogg) I have been the recipient of data gathered from microfilm of the Emporia Daily Commonwealth.
As a result, I am able to give more detail about the first church in Arkansas City. Information was imparted to the Commonwealth by a correspondent from Arkansas City, who identified himself as "Rackensack."
The following are excerpts taken from this "Special Correspondent" of the newspaper.
The Commonwealth, December 27, 1873.
Arkansas City also boasts the only church spire in the Walnut valley.
The "Free church" of this city is one of the curiosities of theology. After the various sects had vainly tried to erect buildings and support services in the old style, a number of daring persons, representing various sects, came together and promulgated a constitution, of which the following preamble is the only allusion to a creed.
"We, the undersigned, desiring to form an organization for the maintenance of religious worship, accepting the gospel of Christ as the divinely appointed word of God, and denying the right of any pope, synod, or council to enforce upon us any other creed, do hereby organize ourselves into a religious society, called the `Free Church of Arkansas City.'"
This simple and thoroughly catholic style of organization has commended itself decidedly to the good sense of the people. A commodious house of worship has been erected, the only one in the place, and the society is prosperous and steadily increasing in numbers and influence.
The Commonwealth, Sunday Morning, May 30, 1875.
The Arkansas City Traveler says: "It was odd to learn of the Methodist Episcopal church occupying the saloon building for religious worship, but still odder to gaze on the Government license tacked upon the wall, authorizing the retailing of spirituous liquors during the hours of service."
The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, April 2, 1924.
ARKANSAS CITY, Kan., April 1. A solar phenomenon that lasted for thirty minutes was witnessed here this morning. A double ring about the sun, with a succession of sun-dogs, scintillated in the heavens, presenting a spectacle not seen here in the memory of the oldest inhabitant.
An aged Indian, in town for the day, said that according to an Indian legend, the phenomenon indicates a big flood this Spring.