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Flora Mayor, the youngest daughter of Reverand Joseph Bickersteth Mayor and Alexandrina Jessie, was born at Kingston Hill, Surrey, on 20th October 1872. Flora was an identical twin. As Sybil Oldfield has pointed out: "Her relationship with Alice proved immensely positive for much of her life. Some twins... suffer from confusion about their identities or engage in acute sibling rivalry, but both Flora and Alice Mayor seem to have had strong, individual, characters from birth."
Flora was educated with Alice at Surbiton High School. According to one of the other students, they were "appallingly clever" and Flora went on to win the Sixth Form Latin Prize. However, her main pleasure came from acting in school productions and she had the star part in Little Lord Fauntleroy.
After leaving school Flora and Alice were sent to the Moravian School of Montmirail in Switzerland in order to perfect their French. Flora found the school very strictly regulated: "You can't do a single thing here without asking permission. You can't wear a different dress, you can't leave the room even without asking first - at least if you do somebody comes up with an awestruck face." Sybil Oldfield points out: "Both the twins, now eighteen years old, were frequently corrected for their pride, their untidiness, talking too much English, banging the door, bad sewing, and for sitting with their legs crossed. Many of the English girls began to have attacks of hysteria and fainting fits."
In 1892 Flora went to Newnham College to study history. She enjoyed her time at university but did not spend enough time studying. Flora wrote to Alice saying: "I don't get compliments about my history. I guess I'm going to do awfully badly." Flora took part in several theatre productions. Flora explained to Alice: "The Acting is simply lovely, infinitely nicer than our School for Scandal. Of course it's more fun to stage-manage and have the best part." Alice later remarked: "When Flora was at Newnham she burnt the candle at both ends and her health never recovered."
While at Cambridge University she met Mary Sheepshanks, who became a life-long friend. Flora introduced her to her sister Alice: "Mary Sheepshanks is an awfully nice girl to talk to". Alice agreed: "We had lots of interesting talk. I think (Mary Sheepshanks) about the most interesting girl I know to talk to ... she talks a good deal about men and matrimony, religion, books, art (very intelligently which is more than most people do)... She is certainly very keen on men and would get on with them admirably I'm sure... it is inspiring to the intellect to have her to discuss things with, we differ exceedingly."
Another friend was Florence Melian Stawell. In a letter to Alice she explained how they met: "Miss Stawell was very nice and just think in the evening she asked me to dance with her and afterwards to come and see her. Unenlightened as you are you don't know what an honour that is but she is absolutely the Queen of the College... I did feel proud. She dances most splendidly."
Flora and Mary Sheepshanks both became friends with Bertrand Russell, a strong advocate of free love and women's suffrage. Both women became critical of organised religion. Mary's sister, Dorothy Sheepshanks, recalled that, "Mary came to hold very advanced views in many respects, views of which father disapproved." John Sheepshanks, who was Bishop of Norwich at the time, was so shocked by Mary's views on politics and religion that he insisted that Mary must not spend any of her future university vacations at home.
Flora also had trouble from her father, Reverand Joseph Bickersteth Mayor. He wrote to her about the dangers of developing progressive political and religious views at Newnham College: "You will probably meet people of advanced views at Newnham, and some of our friends thought we were rash in letting you go there, but it is no longer possible for women to go through the world with their eyes shut, and if the highest education is reserved for those who have already a tendency to scepticism, or who belong to agnostic homes, it will be a very bad look-out for English society in the future.... Your position is probably better than that of most of your companions, both socially and intellectually, and in time you ought to be able to exercise some influence. That God's blessing may be with you through this eventful year is the earnest wish and prayer of your affectionate father."
While at university Flora, Florence Melian Stawell and Mary Sheepshanks began to teach adult literacy classes in the poor working-class district of Barnwell. Mary came to the conclusion that she wished to spend the rest of her life helping those from disadvantaged background. Flora was not so committed to social reform as Mary. Edward Marsh wrote to Bertrand Russell about meeting Mayor and Stawell in Cambridge. "I met a lovely person on Sunday. Miss Stawell, whom Dickinson was nice enough to ask me to meet. I think she's very superior indeed - she seems to have quite a rare feeling for beauty in art, I hope we shall see more of her. Mayor's sister was there too, she seemed rather common and flippant in comparison."
After leaving university Mary Sheepshanks found work at the Women's University Settlement, later the Blackfriars Settlement, in Southwark. Flora Mayor visited the settlement but admitted to her sister Alice that she could not do that kind of work: "I felt rather shy though I must say the Settlement people are very nice... I don't think I shall go again... The children are rather revolting I think on the whole."
According to her biographer, Merryn Williams: "A lively girl, she threw herself so fervently into Cambridge pleasures that despite earlier academic achievement at school, she got only a third. For the next seven years she thrashed about in search of an occupation."
Flora Mayor told Mary Sheepshanks that she intended to become an actress. This was influenced by seeing Ellen Terry perform. She told her Alice: "Ellen Terry is just sublime. Her gestures are so awfully natural, and her voice thrills me to the marrowbone." In another letter to Alice she wrote about her future career. "I am much exercised about my future ... I am wondering whether I really am capable of writing or not. I feel sometimes I'm not really in the least clever and that it is futile thinking of anything even like research work, let alone writing my prophesied book. Now my dear girl think the problem seriously over. It's awful when one's self-complacency gets undermined. If only I could go on the stage, it's the one thing I feel sure of... I don't know what to do if father is set against the Stage. I do want it and I feel more and more it's the thing I'm most fitted for but if it really grieves him I can't do it. I want awfully to talk to Mother and him about it."
In her book, Spinsters of this Parish (1984) Sybil Oldfield has argued: "Theatre life was insecure and even sordid; only actresses and prostitutes then ever used make-up and the unchaperoned young women would necessarily hear bad language backstage and be thrown into undesirable company.... Flora also had a host of opponents within her immediate family. Her mother was totally against the stage on snobbish grounds; her father was opposed on spiritual and moral grounds."
In February 1897 Flora Mayor joined a small theatre group based in Hastings. As Flora told her sister Alice: "The company arrived in detachments, very ordinary rather flashy-looking, shop-walking young men and pretty girls. The leading lady is charming-looking ... I feel horribly ugly beside them. There was one awful lady who crept along with a most terrible smile, very wicked-looking, a sort of Potiphar's wife. The ladies of the company hate her and she tells disgusting stories to the men. She was good-looking in a way but very musty... The dressing rooms are rather horrid gloomy little holes, no hot water or anything of that sort, a pot to act as a slop-pail... Conversation in the dressing room is not inspiring, it is mostly about what cleanser one uses and what lodgings one is going to take in the next town.... It really does seem to me rather immoral in places, and the tone is low throughout. As to the acting none of it was very bad and none very good... These stage experiences have been well worth getting - this is private of course."
When the season came to an end Flora was dismissed from the company. The actor, Arthur Paterson, told her that she had a "good figure, striking eyes but a ugly mouth". She wrote in her diary that "he thought my appearance was against me for seeing managers first off." However, Paterson thought she had an attractive personality and added: "You must make them talk to you and then you can do what you like with them."
Flora and Mary Sheepshanks remained good friends. Sybil Oldfield, the author of Spinsters of this Parish (1984) pointed out: "From time to time during her vain assaults on the agents and actor-managers in the capital, Flora vvould call in for tea and sympathy with her friend Mary Sheepshanks in her lodgings in Stepney. Mary could always be relied upon for approval and encouragement in the matter of striking out independently and unconventionally, so Flora did not have to be at all defensive about the stage with her, but she did wish she could have reported a little more success. However, Mary did not depress Flora by claiming to be any more successful in life than she was. Flora could even feel that she was cheering Mary up by recounting her own inglorious struggle... One bond between the two of them, in addition to their wish to achieve something in the world, was their shared sense that they were not a success with men. Men might find both women stimulating to talk to, but they did not invite them out. Marriage was far from being their great aim in life; nonetheless it was a sore point that neither of them could, at the age of twenty-five, feel confident of any man's passionate affection."
While out of work she began writing her first novel, Mrs Hammond's Children. During this period her brother, Henry Mayor, introduced her to Ernest Shepherd. Shepherd was an architect with a strong interest in literature, theatre, music and art. Flora introduced Shepherd to Mary Sheepshanks. As a result he volunteered to teach students at her Morley College for Working Men and Women. Shepherd was a great success at the college: "His enthusiasm for church architecture and for conducting student excursions to local landmarks - in fact for every kind of antiquity - was infectious."
On 23rd June, 1900, Flora, Mary, Ernest and Frank Earp went to Queensgate House together. Flora wrote in her diary: "Mary Sheepshanks came to lunch looking very pretty. We met Ernest and Frank Earp and went on the river, most successful and most cheerful tea. Ernest was very lively, possibly owing to Mary. Mary talked a good deal about Mr. Fountain's engagement."
Flora's novel was nearly completed when she was employed by the Benson Shakespearian Company at the Lyric Theatre, in December 1900. Flora received no pay for the first six weeks, then 15 shillings a week thereafter. Over the next few months she had small parts in The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice. Flora was disturbed by the behaviour of some male members of the company. She wrote in her diary: "There is a great deal more pawing and squeezing from the managers than one is used to."
Ernest Shepherd came to see her in the plays. She wrote in her diary: "Ernest was so very nice. He is such a good friend, so awfully sympathetic. He said several times how lucky Benson was to have me." However, when the season came to an end, Flora was not retained. Flora Mayor returned to her novel writing. She showed the manuscript to Ernest, who encouraged her to send it to a publisher. It was rejected as not "being suitable neither for children nor for adults". Other publishers took a similar view but it was eventually accepted by a small firm called Johnson. Mrs Hammond's Children was brought out in September 1901 but it was ignored by the reviewers and sold very few copies.
Flora returned to the stage and got a small part in Our Boys, a comedy written by Henry James Byron. In 1902 she appeared in The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. This was followed by Bethlehem, a play by Laurence Housman that was part of a production by the feminist, Edith Craig. In January 1903 she joined the cast of The Eternal City, a popular play written by Hall Caine, in its tour of the provinces.
Ernest Shepherd had fallen in love with Flora but he was not earning enough money as an architect to marry her. In March 1903, Ernest took a well-paying post as part of the Architectural Survey of India. He then proposed to Flora. At first she hesitated because she did not want to be separated from her family. She wrote to her twin sister, Alice: "I don't like the thought of India... what am I to do without you?" Flora also suspected that Ernest was really in love with Mary Sheepshanks. This he denied and eventually she agreed to marry him.
Under instructions from Flora, Shepherd went to see Mary. That night he wrote to Flora: "I called on Mary Sheepshanks today and told her about ourselves; you know I said I should... Of course I did not expect her to care one way or the other and I don't think she did; but she spoke very nicely, and was pleased that I had come to tell her; so though it was very awkward, embarrassing and hateful I am very glad I did it."
In April 1903, Ernest Shepherd left for India and Flora agreed to travel to the country to get married later that year. He wrote to Flora on 11th July complaining about his colleagues: "The men are unutterably dull - they never talk of anything but sport and bridge; and are intensely competitive about tennis... I don't know anybody - never shall know anybody as far as I can see; everyone is so exceedingly reserved." However, he did grow to love the country. On 2nd August he wrote: "I believe I am getting to like India - The lovely bright sun and clear air, the beautiful views of the country through the arches of the mosque quadrangle." In their letters they made arrangements to get married in Bombay.
In October, 1903, Ernest Shepherd was taken ill and he was sent to hospital in Simla. He wrote to Flora on 7th of that month: "Don't be alarmed at this address... When I went to see the Doctor on Monday he said I wasn't getting on a bit and looked the picture of misery - which I thought a gross libel - and therefore I'd better go into hospital and take vigorous measures to get well, which seemed sensible."
Ernest Shepherd died on 22nd October, 1903. He had been suffering not only from malaria but also from an undiagnosed acute enteric disorder. Flora later recalled that the telegram said: "Deeply regret Mr Shepherd died yesterday, funeral today." In her diary she wrote: "I read it over and over but it really didn't convey anything."
A few days later Flora received a letter from Fanny Fawcett, the woman who nursed him in Simla, enclosing a lock of Ernest's hair: "He (Ernest Shepherd) was conscious up to the last, but very, very weak of course. Just at the end I asked him if he had any message for you, and he said Tell her I have never forgotten her, and his last words were Best Beloved. I send you some of his hair which we cut off for you. He looked so peaceful and he was taken to his last resting-place surrounded by friends and exquisite flowers. Forgive a complete stranger saying so, but oh! his love for you was so true and ever-present with him, and I want you to feel this and to know his last thoughts were yours."
Mary Bateson wrote: "I heard from Alice Gardner today. I can't invent one single word or thought of consolation, and I can't pretend. Try not to mourn too terribly... Many of us stumble along without meeting the one co-soul; to have known that there was such an one, and what life could hold, can't have been a thing to crush and blight you utterly and for ever: I mean somehow or other you must live upon the riches you have got within you."
Flora kept a grief journal where she carried out a conversation with Ernest. The final entry was nine years later: "It is just ten years ago since our engagement. I am forty. You seem so young, thirty-one. I always love best your letter to Alice and the one about Alice to me. Help me if you can to cure my faults and make me more tender, you are so much much more unselfish. Each year brings us nearer."
In April 1904, Flora's brother, Henry Mayor, who had been appointed classics master at Clifton College, suggested that they should set up house together in Bristol. She agreed and returned to writing. However, she suffered from chronic bronchial asthma, that had been aggravated by the emotional shock of Ernest's death.
Flora Mayor was a member of the National Union of Suffrage Societies. However, she rejected the militant tactics of the Women Social & Political Union. In a letter to Alice in 1907 she explained how Annie Kenney had tried to persuade her to join the WSPU: "I saw the little Kenney again, to whom I feel quite warmhearted. She again implored me to join her, but I would have none of her, chiefly for your sake you stupid ass... I think it is rather cowardly of me when I do feel it is right and important."
In another letter in April 1908 Flora admitted she had been told by a friend, Emily Leaf, that Charlotte Despard and Anne Cobden Sanderson, "might take to bomb-throwing". She added that the women were "getting almost irresponsible through the strain of the one idea". However, she admitted that: "I feel just as keen on Suffrage. Why should one fool make any difference to me?"
Flora Mayor published her next novel, The Third Miss Symons, in 1913. Sybil Oldfield has argued that in the book: "'We watch an intensely loving child become an interesting, clever schoolgirl and then deteriorate, through loneliness and emotional disappointment, into a nagging, jealous, petty-minded caricature of the typical spinster, as she bullies the chambermaid or cheats at Patience or turns two hours of her company into a bad-tempered nightmare... Finally Henrietta even perceived an answer to why she had been unloved. It had been her own anger towards all the world which had exacerbated her awful loneliness - her resentment at being rejected had led to her rejecting everyone in her turn, and therefore she had been more rejected still."
The book received several good reviews. The Daily Telegraph commented that: "In many ways this slim volume represents an extremely interesting experiment. It ranks as fiction, and yet it is entirely unlike the average provender of the circulating libraries. It is very short... being something between a half and a third the length of an ordinary novel. It is also completely unpopular in style, making no concession to the common taste for gush and sentiment, eschewing decoration of every kind, and keeping close to the bare, austere presentation of a single character... It deserves success more than 90% of the novels which commend themselves so glibly to the public taste. For the author, Miss F.M. Mayor, is a true artist, restrained but confident in touch... her elaborate study of a spinster's life... is brilliantly clever, actual, and sincere. Without the slightest attempt to play upon the feelings, it reaches to the very heart of things, and leaves the reader with an aching sense of the intolerable waste of human nature."
After comparing Flora Mayor to Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell the reviewer in the New Statesman added: "She uses English with a wise economy employed by few writers today; she moves the reader strongly again and again without ever resorting to hysterical methods; and she manages, above all, to interest one profoundly in the destinies of a wasted, unloved woman, whom in life nine-tenths of us would have passed by as boring or positively irritating. She enables us (unusual thing) to look at Henrietta from the outside and the inside at one and the same time."
On the outbreak of the First World War, some of Flora's friends such as Mary Sheepshanks and Bertrand Russell, were active in the anti-war movement. Sheepshanks was a leading figure in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom whereas Russell was one of England's best known pacifists and became chairman of the Non-Conscription Fellowship. Flora was a strong supporter of the war and in her letters she referred scornfully to "the Bertrand Russell gang" and "the Lytton Strachey set" and suggested that they should be sent to the trenches on the Western Front.
After the First World War Mayor began work on her third novel, The Rector's Daughter. According to her biographer, Sybil Oldfield, the novel is about the 35 year old Mary Jocelyn: "Motherless from a child, isolated physically from her brothers, mentally from her subnormal sister, emotionally from her withdrawn and chilly father, and considered odd by all the contemporaries of her own social class." Merryn Williams has pointed out: "This is a longer and more complex novel, concentrating on the inner life of a middle-aged spinster, Mary Jocelyn, her unconsummated love for a married clergyman, and her lonely death."
The book had difficulty finding a publisher until Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf offered to take it on a commission basis for the Hogarth Press. The book was extremely popular with Britain's main literary figures. E. M. Forster wrote to Flora saying that: "Mary Jocelyn begins as ridiculous and ends as dignified: this seemed to me a very great achievement." John Masefield, the future Poet Laureate, also wrote to Flora: "It is a remarkable book and confirms you in your remarkable rank... It is a great advance in every way on your other two stories, though you know that I thought and still think both of them most unusually good in their own ways."
Gerald Gould wrote in The Saturday Review: "Miss Mayor has taken the subject-matter of all the serials in all the journals suitable for home reading of the last century, and made it live.... She has the true novelist's divine incommunicable gift: no shadows flit across her pages: she has but to mention someone, give him a phrase to say or even to write, and he puts on solidity and permanence."
Sylvia Lynd, was another reviewer who was very enthusiastic about The Rector's Daughter, in Time and Tide: "The Rector's Daughter belongs to the finest English tradition of novel writing. It is like a bitter Cranford. Miss Mayor explores depths of feeling that Mrs Gaskell's generation perhaps did not know and certainly did not admit to knowing. Mrs Mayor's genius struggles with exasperation where Mrs. Gaskell's struggled with the much milder demon of sentimentality... The Rector's daughter, Mary Jocelyn, is one of those sad figures of whom it is said that nothing has ever happened to them. Mrs Mayor reveals the meaninglessness of that phrase."
Despite the good reviews the book sold badly and it was soon out of print. Over the next few years Flora concentrated on writing ghost-stories. During this period Flora developed right-wing opinions that alienated her from her friends such as Mary Sheepshanks who was active in the Labour Party.
In September 1926, Flora Mayor had a letter published in the Church of England weekly newspaper, The Guardian, about the General Strike. She accused the miners' leaders of exploiting the "natural weaknesses of greed, intellectual laziness and moral cowardice". She contrasted the miners' refusal to work a longer shift with "the clergy, the house-masters at public schools and civil servants, all of whom (like her own father and brothers) were willing to work much longer than eight hours a day out of their sense of duty". The editor pointed out that "miners, unlike public schoolmasters, do not have three-and-a-half months' annual holiday, nor do they earn more money when they are sixty than when they are twenty, nor can they ever afford to retire before they are old."
Flora Mayor's next novel The Squire's Daughter appeared in 1929. The main character, Sir Geoffrey De Lacey, fortunes are in decline and at the end is forced to sell off his centuries-old ancestral home. The story deals with the problems that this causes his daughter. Unlike her previous novels, it was disliked by the critics. Gerald Gould, who had written such a good review of The Rector's Daughter, argued that he found the daughter's selfishness and emptiness unbearable. He added that "apparently she had some sort of charm and attractiveness which her creator never succeeds in communicating."
Flora Mayor died at her home at 7 East Heath Road, Hampstead, on 28th January 1932 of pneumonia complicated by influenza, and is buried in Hampstead cemetery. John Masefield wrote an obituary for The Times but such was the decline in her reputation that they refused to publish it.
On 28th February 1941, John O'London's Weekly, published a tribute to Flora Mayor by Rosamond Lehmann. In the article, Lehmann praises The Rector's Daughter with the comment that: "It is the daughter, Mary Jocelyn, who makes the book particularly memorable. She is my favourite character in contemporary fiction: favourite in that she is completely real to me, deeply moving, evoking as vivid and valid a sense of sympathy, pity, and admiration as do the Bronte sisters each time I live with them and through them again in the pages of Mrs. Gaskell's biography."
The Rector's Daughter was republished as a Penguin Modern Classic in 1973. This was followed in 1979 by The Third Miss Symons that appeared in the Virago Modern Classic series.
The book you speak of (An African Farm) shows the reaction from Calvinism resulting in the most dreary scepticism and opening the way to positive immorality. It is of course clever, and when the writer gets into more healthy surroundings, she may perhaps become a useful teacher, but it is not in the least the book for young and thoughtless girls. You will probably meet people of advanced views at Newnham, and some of our friends thought we were rash in letting you go there, but it is no longer possible for women to go through the world with their eyes shut, and if the highest education is reserved for those who have already a tendency to scepticism, or who belong to agnostic homes, it will be a very bad look-out for English society in the future. You, I think, ought to be able "to prove all things and hold fast to truth". That God's blessing may be with you through this eventful year is the earnest wish and prayer of your affectionate father.
We had lots of interesting talk. it is inspiring to the intellect to have her to discuss things with, we differ exceedingly.
We do have fun here. It's such a different life from usual. I shall look back to it as most doux. We have awfully interesting discussions usually after supper. We talk about religious things pretty often, also books a good bit... The bicycle is fascinating... it's much easier than skating - not so tiring. Mounting is a trial and one must have knickerbockers for it ... Has Judith said anything to you about the mock-Parliament debate? Yesterday I got up at 7 and played my tennis tie and beat her easily ... After dinner we had dancing. It was lovely. I do enjoy the dancing so. If you'll believe it I've had one or two compliments on my steering. Am reading Wages of Sin. Fiction Library has kept me horribly busy also I had to hold a beastly Newspaper meeting ... Miss Stawell was very nice and just think in the evening she asked me to dance with her and afterwards to come and see her. She dances most splendidly... The Acting is simply lovely, infinitely nicer than our School for Scandal. Of course it's more fun to stage-manage and have the best part. I did funk doing that beastly washing scene but all, dons included, have been most complimentary. We gave a performance for Newnham yesterday, people yelled out "Speech" but I wouldn't do that. They put me up for Vice-President of Debate which was rather jolly ... Altogether Newnham is as rapturous as ever.
I met a lovely person on Sunday. Mayor's sister was there too, she seemed rather common and flippant in comparison.
I am much exercised about my future ... If only I could go on the stage, it's the one thing I feel sure of, that I am dramatic. I don't know if that means I could act... I want awfully to talk to Mother and him about it.
I went to a Miss Fowler who manages the Invalid Aid and she gave me two children to visit - one a three year-old paralytic boy, the other I hadn't time to go and see as the Mother of Albert (the baby) talked such a lot. She lives in a room about the size of the bath-room. I've never seen anyone so poor... Happily she's a chatterer so she's easy enough to get on with. I felt rather shy though I must say the Settlement people are very nice but have not the faculty of making one at home and one feels that they are frightfully critical. The basket-making class was rather silly because there were too many helpers for the children. The children are rather revolting I think on the whole.
The company arrived in detachments, very ordinary rather flashy-looking, shop-walking young men and pretty girls. She was good-looking in a way but very musty...The dressing rooms are rather horrid gloomy little holes, no hot water or anything of that sort, a pot to act as a slop-pail... Conversation in the dressing room is not inspiring, it is mostly about what cleanser one uses and what lodgings one is going to take in the next town. I have only heard one of them say a single interesting thing about the acting, it is all arrangements or make-up... The play I think is rather a questionable one. These stage experiences have been well worth getting - this is private of course.
From time to time during her vain assaults on the agents and actor-managers in the capital, Flora vvould call in for tea and sympathy with her friend Mary Sheepshanks in her lodgings in Stepney. Marriage was far from being their great aim in life; nonetheless it was a sore point that neither of them could, at the age of twenty-five, feel confident of any man's passionate affection.
I was too ill to think properly but I managed to send the wire off telling him (Ernest Shepherd) to come. It did not strike me first what the probable meaning was. When it did I tried to put it out of my head...
I had hardly come back to these dismal Macclesfield lodgings when Ernest came... and from his extreme nervousness and stammerings and his looking so awfully ill I felt sure what was up. I said would he come out and have tea at a hotel, our lodgings were so horrid. As soon as we got outside he began."Do you think I look different."I said "I think you look ill."Then he told me of India and he said "Now you must know what I want to say?"I said "no I didn't."
Then with much stammering he said, would I go with him?
I said "Yes, I think I should". And then immediately afterwards felt I couldn't. I said I did not know if I could leave you. He is as nice as can be. If I don't like the thought of India I am to stop in England and he will come over but that would be too unfair. Still, what am I to do without you?... I don't think I feel in love, in fact it is all so horribly oppressive and exciting... I do feel giving up the Stage awfully, I suppose you can't understand it... Being kissed is so odd.
Then about 4 o'clock Mother came in and said she wanted to say something to me... Mother said: Did I feel well? She said it very tenderly and I saw she was crying. I thought she was overcome thinking of India. I said, "Yes darling, quite well." Then I seemed to know there was something. I said: "Is there any bad news? Is it about Ernest" Mother showed me Mr Marshall's telegram: "Regret to say Mr Shepherd's condition very critical. Please inform Miss Mayor."
My dear, dearest, I have just got Mr Marshall's telegram telling me about you. I feel in a maze and can't think of anything. Darling if God spares you to me I shall come out at once, for you must not be alone. My own darling I must tell you how I love you, and I can't find any words. Then I think of your love for me and of our goodbye in Warwick Square and my last sight of you at Dover. In your last letter you said I was not to "absent me from felicity". I did not feel anxious only sorry for the dull time for you. And now all this three weeks I don't know what has been happening. Have you been all the while keeping back from me how ill you were? If I knew what it was, I might bear it better. Oh this horrible India.
It's no good darling, I can't write a long letter till I know more. Only you don't know how I wish I was out with you and doing something for you, and here I can do nothing and know absolutely nothing... Goodbye dear darling, God be with you and take care of you.
I kept turning over those words "very critical" wondering what ray of hope could be got from them and how I did pray all that long long day...
In the morning, Friday, the 23rd there was no more news and I began to hope a little. I thought I would go out to India that evening if I could... I went up at once to Warwick Square. As I got near I thought they might have a message and the blinds might be down. I was relieved beyond measure that they were up. Gertrude opened the door. I said was there any news? She said "No", and I felt so relieved. I began crying rather hysterically and I think we got more cheerful together. Then there was a ring. Gertrude went to the door. I heard a boy saying "Telegram for Miss Sinclair". Gertrude took it. Of course we both guessed. The one hope had been there would be no wire. She opened it, looked at it, and nodded to me. She couldn't speak. We went into the library. I sat down on the sofa and she knelt by me just saying over and over again sobbing, "My darling, my darling"... I was quite blank and dazed... Marshall's telegram said: "Deeply regret Mr Shepherd died yesterday, funeral today." I read it over and over but it really didn't convey anything... I don't know how long we stayed in the Library. Daisy came in and Gertrude told her and then Auntie. She went upstairs alone first of all, then she came down crying rather hysterically. She said "Poor child, this is cruel, it's cruel." Then Mother and Alice came. Gertrude went out and told them. I heard Mother's exclamation of horror. Then I went out. Alice said "You must let us comfort you." I don't know what I felt - miles away from everything I think. We went back - oh it was such a radiant Autumn day.
Alice and I came upstairs and Mother told Father. He knocked at our door and Alice said to me "Here's Father!" He came up and kissed me very tenderly. I don't know how the afternoon passed. Robin was coming in the evening and I wanted to tell him myself... When he came he said "What is it Flora?" I said: "I've got something to tell you. Ernest is dead". He turned away and I said "You must comfort me." He came back and seized me in his arms and carried me somehow to the sofa. Then he kept saying "Oh Flora, oh my dear Flora". I was so much touched, so very much for... he is cold and reserved and I thought the coldness was growing.
He (Ernest Shepherd) was conscious up to the last, but very, very weak of course. Just at the end I asked him if he had any message for you, and he said "Tell her I have never forgotten her", and his last words were "Best Beloved". Forgive a complete stranger saying so, but oh! his love for you was so true and ever-present with him, and I want you to feel this and to know his last thoughts were yours.... remember your tender kind folks about you, who have loved you all your days and put that decent outward face upon it which will be a little consoling to them and in the end help you.
I heard from Alice Gardner today. Try not to mourn too terribly...
Many of us stumble along without meeting the one co-soul; to have known that there was such an one, and what life could hold, can't have been a thing to crush and blight you utterly and for ever: I mean somehow or other you must live upon the riches you have got within you. But damn my moralizing, it's easy for me you'll think.
It is just ten years ago since our engagement. Each year brings us nearer.
I saw the little Kenney again, to whom I feel quite warmhearted. She again implored me to join her, but I would have none of her, chiefly for your sake you stupid ass. I thought about that text whosoever loves mother or sister etc. cannot be my disciple and I think it is rather cowardly of me when I do feel it is right and important.
In many ways this slim volume represents an extremely interesting experiment. Without the slightest attempt to play upon the feelings, it reaches to the very heart of things, and leaves the reader with an aching sense of the intolerable waste of human nature.
She is in the tradition, though her performance is not yet on the level of Jane Austen and Mrs Gaskell. But she uses English with a wise economy employed by few writers today; she moves the reader strongly again and again without ever resorting to hysterical methods; and she manages, above all, to interest one profoundly in the destinies of a wasted, unloved woman, whom in life nine-tenths of us would have passed by as boring or positively irritating. She enables us (unusual thing) to look at Henrietta from the outside and the inside at one and the same time.
Miss Mayor has taken the subject-matter of all the serials in all the journals suitable for home reading of the last century, and made it live. The scholarly, selfish old rector, blind to the needs and hungers of his plain, unselfish daughter: the neighbouring parson, who loves the plain daughter for her goodness but marries somebody else who is beautiful and then finds that beauty in a wife isn't everything: the wife who is going to run away with a dashing young soldier, but loses her looks through an unfortunate operation at the crucial moment and discovers that it was those looks, and not her spirit's self, that the young soldier wanted to run away with: the apposite recovery of her looks after she has been reconciled to her husband - here they are, and yet how different they seem! Can it be that things really did, and do, happen thus - that the journals suitable for home reading learnt them in the first place from life? For in Miss Mayor's hands they are far more real, far nearer to experience, than all the sly quests and exquisite analyses which pass for realism now. She has the true novelist's divine incommunicable gift: no shadows flit across her pages: she has but to mention someone, give him a phrase to say or even to write, and he puts on solidity and permanence.
The Rector's Daughter belongs to the finest English tradition of novel writing. Gaskell's struggled with the much milder demon of sentimentality...
The Rector's daughter, Mary Jocelyn, is one of those sad figures of whom it is said that nothing has ever happened to them. Mrs Mayor reveals the meaninglessness of that phrase. Mary Jocelyn's `nothing' is a full and rich state of being.
42 years after disappearance, N.Y. woman found alive in Massachusetts
LOWELL, Mass. -- A woman who disappeared from upstate New York after being dropped off for a doctor's appointment 42 years ago has been found suffering from dementia and living in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, authorities said.
The sheriff's office in Sullivan County, New York, said Flora Stevens, 78, was using the last name Harris when detectives tracked her down this week at the residence in Lowell, near Boston.
Officials said they've been unable to figure out details of what happened to her between the time she disappeared in August 1975 and when she was finally found.
"Technology has changed so much and you research so much, so fast," Det. Rich Morgan of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office told CBS Boston.
Police said Stevens was an employee of a Catskills resort when her husband dropped her off for a doctor's appointment at a hospital in Monticello, 75 miles northwest of New York City. When he returned to pick her up, she wasn't there.
Detectives got a break in September, thanks to a query from a New York State Police investigator working on a different cold case. The unidentified remains of a woman had been found in neighboring Orange County, and the investigator said they roughly matched Stevens' general characteristics.
The state police investigators asked Sullivan County for help tracking down any relatives who could provide a DNA sample for possible identification. During a records search, Morgan discovered someone was using Stevens' Social Security number at an assisted-living facility in Lowell, Massachusetts.
New York detectives traveled to Lowell this week to meet Stevens, who was using the name Flora Harris.
According to CBS Boston, authorities showed Stevens an old photo from when she was 36 years old.
"She says, 'That's me,' or me, she responded with one word, me," said Morgan.
Stevens, who has dementia, could not share her story.
"Same first name, different last name, but same birth date and social security," said Morgan. "We really don't know the circumstances of why or how she disappeared. She had psychiatric problems leading up to that point."
Her medical records under her new name show she lived in nursing homes in New Hampshire and New York City before arriving in Lowell in 2001, police said.
Stevens' husband died in 1985, and she apparently has no living relatives, officials said.
First published on October 27, 2017 / 10:53 AM
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The epidemiological revolution of the 20th century
Until 100 years ago the epidemiological scenario of human diseases had substantially remained unchanged. The 20th century has been characterized by a fantastic advance in life expectancy and by a shift from infectious to chronic degenerative diseases as prevailing causes of death. As an example of the epidemiological revolution in a developed country, we reconstructed, year by year from 1901 to 2000, the situation in Italy. Reference to the situation in other countries is also made. Both crude and age-adjusted mortality data were made available for males and females. A new turning point became evident in the second half of the 20th century with the decline of mortality for cardiovascular diseases and, more recently, for tumors. This review discusses the roots and rationale for these epidemiological changes. The discoveries made in the area of biomedical sciences, the progress in preventive and curative medicine, and the improvement of hygienic conditions have been so spectacular that 1 million lives are saved every year in Italy as compared with the late 19th century.
Brief History of Mabinay
Mabinay was originally carved from the barrios of Bais and then formed a municipality in 1960. A few years later, more barrios from Bais and Manjuyod were annexed, growing Mabinay into the municipality it has become today. The border town to Negros Occidental has a Provincial Highway running through it, which links Negros Oriental with the province in the western area of the island. This allows for a constantly growing economy and plenty of travelers. Since its founding, Mabinay has gone nowhere but up. The city continues to grow due to its incredible amount of crops and the tourists who continue stopping there each year.
The Langub Festival is one of the largest events occurring in the Mabinay region. The festival called “Langub” is held annuals on the 24th of January. The Langub is held to coincide with the town fiesta in honor of Sto. Nino, which is held on January 24th each year. Fairs, sporting events, entertainment, pageants, street dancing and more all occur during the festival. It is the perfect time for travelers to experience the rich history that is on offer in the Philippines province. Colorful dress and vintage clothing are worn throughout the festival to commemorate the history gone by.
How to get to Mabinay
The municipality lies in the heart of Negros, roughly 90 kilometers north of Dumaguete City. With an own vehicle, one will need about 2 hours from Dumaguete. As the town is also along the route of the public buses from Dumaguete to Bacolod it is really easy to jump on a Ceres Bus and relax for the next 3 to 3.5 hours. The buses will stop at the Mabinay Bus Terminal from where one gets a ride to the hotel or even will be picked up.
The Ceres non-aircon bus to Mabinay costs just above 230 Php, for the air-conditioned bus the one-way ticket is 20 Peso more. Just go to the Ceres Bus Terminal close to Robinsons Mall, get into the right bus (going to Mabinay or Bacolod via Mabinay).
Sit down and relax. Some-when during your trip, you will be asked to get your ticket by one of the assistants. If your Lodge or Hotel lays en-route ask the assistant to stop there, so you can jump off right in front of it, or in just a short walking distance. The entrance of the Bulwang Caves are also close to the street and one can jump off directly there too.
Tourist Attractions of Mabinay
Mabinay becomes more and more one of the tourist hot spots not only of Negros Oriental but of the whole region of the Central Visayas. Its sprawling vistas cannot be beaten anywhere in the country and the exploration options offered in the cave-capital is unparalleled. There are plenty of opportunities for the “underworld” explorer to locate the heart of Mabinay by delving into these caves and exploring their wonders.
However, not only “spelunkers” and “cavemen” will have a great time in the heart of Negros. The whole region is boasting with rich flora and fauna. Those passing along the paved coastal roads of Negros Oriental should – no doubt – take a detour and stop off in Mabinay for the local culture and natural attractions.
Board of Trustees Reports 4/20/2021.
Village Board Swearing-In April 5, 2021
Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, and therefore offer the most sustainable habitat. A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction.
Exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world or were cultivated by humans into forms that don&rsquot exist in nature do not support wildlife as well as native plants. Occasionally, they can even escape into the wild and become invasive exotics that destroy natural habitat.
Native plants help the environment the most when planted in places that match their growing requirements. They will thrive in the soils, moisture and weather of your region. That means less supplemental watering, which can be wasteful, and pest problems that require toxic chemicals. Native plants also assist in managing rain water runoff and maintain healthy soil as their root systems are deep and keep soil from being compacted.
Native Plant Finder
Bring your garden to life! Enter your zip code to discover the best native plants, attract butterflies and moths, and support birds and other fauna. Native Plant Finder is an indispensable tool, based on the research of Dr. Douglas Tallamy of the University of Delaware and in partnership with the United States Forest Service.
Check out the presentation by Dr. Doug Tallamy, Nature&rsquos Best Hope, and be inspired by his call to action that supports our Garden for Wildlife vision: To revolutionize the way people garden and landscape to benefit wildlife and communities.
Discovering the native plants where you live can also define a unique sense of place and heritage for your garden habitat while preserving the natural history of the flora and fauna of your region.
Root systems of Non-Native vs. Native Mid-Atlantic Plants. Source: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
We invite you to Escape to the Past, explore our rich heritage and see rural beauty in Carroll County. Follow one or all of the scenic tours available in our county or take the Interurban Trolley for that added element of history on your driving tour. Carroll County is located amid the Wabash & Tippecanoe Rivers and Wildcat and Deer Creeks.
The 1845 Adams Mill and nearby fully restored Covered Bridge are near Cutler
Indiana's oldest continually used bridge, the 1837 Burnett's Creek Stone Arch—a cut stone structure is near Lockport. Lockport also holds two National Register sites, The Burris House and Potawatomi Spring. The stone building served as an inn while the spring was a well-know watering place for Indians and early settlers.
History is preserved throughout the county. It offers a view of life in which people are linked together through a common respect for the land and for each other.
Pittsburg was home of the "Great Dam" just east of town. This dam allowed navigation of the Wabash River and provided water for the canal and a side-cut to Pittsburg. Vigilantes blew up the dam in 1881. The coming railroad ended the canal's reign.
Flora Mayor - History
Carondelet was founded in 1767 by Clement DeLore de Treget, just a little ways north of a temporary settlement made by Catholic Missionaries at the mouth of the River des Peres in 1702. He built his home at the base of what is now Elwood Street near the river, but above the flood stage. A park now rests just beyond where the house once stood. DeLore was born in Quercy, France, and was a former French naval officer, and was apparently appointed syndic or representative by the Spanish government. This allowed him to sell or grant lots to settlers.
He was soon joined by other Frenchmen from nearby Cahokia across the river. This French Creole beginning would affect Carondelet well into the 1840s. DeLore laid out the Commonfields in an area that stretched from present day Virgina Ave in the east to Morgansford Road in the west and from Lafayette in the south to Meramac Street in the north. More Commons area was laid out to the south for grazing, stretching as far as River de Peres. This commons was expanded by Lt. Governor Zenon Trudeau to stretch to a mile beyond what is now Jefferson Barracks in 1796. The intial lots in the village its self were 150 feet square with four lots forming a 300 square foot block. This was as with other French settlements like New Orleans and Mobile.
Carondelet was originally called Louisburg in honour of King Louis XV of France, and then Prairie a Catalan, after one of the settlers, Louis Catalan. Finally in 1794, it was named Carondelet in honor of Baron Francois Louis Hector de Carondelet, a Fleming appointed the Spanish governor of Louisiana. It has bore other names as well. In its early days it was refered to as Delor's Village, and Vide Poche which means "empty pocket." Judge Wilson Primm suggested this was due to the Carondelet citizens skill at gambling. They would send their Saint Louis neighbors home with empty pockets.
The village proper originally laid south from Bellerive Park towards the River des Peres, and east from present day Broadway to the edge of the bluffs. The Spanish census of 1796 showed Carondelet to have 181 citizens. By 1850, Carondelet had a population of 1,265. On August 27, 1832 Carondelet was incorporated as a town by the County Court. Its town hall was at Bowen Street and Broadway with a large elm as a meeting tree in the yard. The first trustees were Eugene Leitensdorfer, Louis Fassenor, Auguste Stube, Louis Guion, and Joseph Chatillion. On March 1, 1851, Carondelet was incorporated by an act of the State Legislature as a city. The papers of incorporation decreed the area of the town to be from "Cave Spring" to what is now Michigan Ave, then south for 2,640 yards and east to the Mississippi. The first mayor was Dr. William Taussig, a Bohemian immigrant and medical doctor. In 1862, the city offices were moved to the southeast corner of Broadway and Loughborough.
In 1819, the first church was built and named, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph of the Angels. The altar and pews had been purchased at an auction in Saint Louis. They came from the log church that had stood where the Old Cathedral stands now. In 1859, the parish was renamed simply St. Mary and St. Joseph. Saint Mary and Saint Joesph's now stands in the same area.
On July 8, 1826 1,702 acres of the Commons were sold to the United States government for five dollars. This was to become Jefferson Barracks, although it was initally called Cantonment Adams in honour of then president John Qunicy Adams. By 1829, five hundred troops were stationed there, and it served as a training school for infantry recruits. They lived in tents until 1837 when the buildings were finally completed. Eventually, a hospital would be constructed there as well as many other facilities.
In 1836, at the invitation of Bishop Rosati, the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph came to Carondelet. The order had been founded in Le Puy, France, by a Jesuit priest in 1647. The order had been disbanded with the persecution of Catholics that followed the French Revolution, but reformed in 1807. Upon arrival, the nuns quickly set about educating the children of Carondelet. Initally only four sisters were working out of a small log cabin. Yet, by September, 1837 with the arrival of two more nuns that had stayed behind in France to learn sign language, they had founded the Saint Joseph Insitute for the Deaf. The order, at one time disbanded, saw its true rebirth in Carondelet, and has since spread all over the United States and to other countries.
Well into the 1840s, French Creole was the prefered language of Carondelet, and French customs prevailed. The citizens of Carondelet were characterized as lazy and uneducated. They made their living by selling food and firewood to St. Louis. By the late 1840s this began to change. Jacob Steins, a German immigrant acquired land south of the old French settlement in 1846. He built a home at what is now the corner of Steins and Rielly, and began encouraging other Germans to move to Carondelet. Initally, the Germans worked in the limestone quarries on the bluffs, and used this same stone to build their homes (quite a few of which still survive). By 1850, almost half of Carondelet consisted of Germans. The city council in 1851 authorized the publication of the city ordiances in English and German. More newcomers would follow in 1849 when a cholera epidemic and the great fire of St. Louis would force some wealthy citizens to flee the city for Carondelet. Judge Wilson Primm moved to what is now 6220 Michigan on what was the outskirts of Carondelet. Henry T. Blow had moved two years earlier to west of what is now Virginia Avenue. Blow, even though a Virginian, helped fund Dred Scott's lawyers in his effort to obtain freedom in 1848. Taylor Blow (Henry's brother), whose family had owned Dred prior to Irene Emerson, eventually bought him his freedom.
In 1855, the railroad came to Carondelet as tracks were laid between Carondelet and the Arsenal. Full railroad service started in 1858, with extensive machine shops being built in Carondelet in 1859. The St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad ran iron ore to the iron works in Carondelet and was a major boom to the small city. Extensive passenger service also took place between Carondelet, Kirkwood, and Saint Louis. It was at this time soldier turned farmer Ulysses S. Grant delivered firewood to the wealthier Carondelet residents. Grant, trained in engineering at West Point applied for a position as superintendant of county roads. Dr. Taussig of Carondelet who was on the county court rejected his application on the grounds Grant had married into a slave holding family. Carondelet was growing rapidly as young men like Louis G. Picot moved in and built homes. Picot's home located southeast of the Sisters of Saint Joesph was a small castle with a four story tower.
On the eve of the the Civil War, Carondelet like the rest of the State had divided sympathies. The 1859 election for mayor was a heated one and that year the Republicans were elected to all of the city offices but two. Once the war began, many southern sympathizers joined the Confederate Army. The German settlers however, were decidedly pro-Union and lead by Henry T. Blow, who would become a Congressman, and serve as Lincoln's minister to Venezeuela. After the war, President Grant made him minister to Brazil. Three Union companies were formed in the area of Carondelet, and one Conferderate lead by Captain James S. Loughborough and Col. John S. Bowen. Col. John S. Bowen (later General) designed the defences of Vicksburg that allowed that city to hold out so long. The defenses were eventually overwhelmed by armies commanded by Carondelet's wood hauler, General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant stated in his memoirs at the time of the surender regarding Bowen, "I had been a neighbor of Bowen's in Missouri, and knew him well and favorably before the war." Bowen died not long after Vicksburg of dysentery, after having refused Grant's offer of assistance from the Union Medical Corps.
Castle builder Picot fled to Canada to avoid giving a loyalty oath to the Union. Union forces then seized a hotel he was building in Saint Louis, and tried to seize the castle two months later. Henry T. Blow interceded on Picot's wife's behalf however, and she was allowed to stay. Primus Emerson of Carondelet Marine Railway went to Mempsis where he built the ironclad the Arkansas for the Confederate navy. He returned to Carondelet to operate the Carondelet Marine Railway and Dock Company. It went on to build five riverboats, but then burned in May, 1866.
Union ironclads were built at Carondelet. James Eads leased the Carondelet Marine Railway Company (at the foot of Davis Street, near the mouth of the River des Peres). It was then known as Eads' Union Marine Works or the Union Iron-Works or simply Marine Railway. It built the following Cario class ships "Baron De Kalb" (originally the "St. Louis", but renamed as another ship already bore the name), "Carondelet", "Louisville" and the "Pittsburgh." Also built by Eads at Carondelet were the following ironclads and river monitors "Fort Henry", "Essex", Neosho, "Osage", "Choctaw", "Winnebago", "Milwaukee", and the "Chickasaw". Many of these vessels saw important action. The Carondelet was principal in action at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Vicksburg. Eads' company is still in operation as the St. Louis Ship-Federal Barge, Inc, one of the largest barge builders in the world. Eads also designed and built the Eads Bridge. As the bridge was being built, it stirred much controversy, and efforts were made to stop its construction. These stopped when Dr. Taussig and Eads traveled to Washington and talked to President Grant in 1873. Grant, not bitter over Taussig costing him a job as a county engineer, and remembering Eads' gunboats ensured the bridge was finished.
The war however did not stop Carondelet's slow growth. In 1865 the population of Carondelet was 4,534. Despite this growth, in April, 1870, by act of the State Legislature, Carondelet was annexed to the City of St. Louis. The city council held its last meeting on Monday, April 4, 1870. The citizens of Carondelet had little say in the matter, and there was much resentment on the part of some of the citizens of Carondelet. Never the less, Carondelet initially benefited from being absorbed by its larger sister. The St. Louis park and library system came to Carondelet. Carondelet Park was opened on July 4, 1876. Its land was once part of the Carondelet Commons.
New schools were built as well. And in September, 1873, Susan Blow, daughter of Henry Blow, founded the first continuous public school kindergarten in the United States. She had studied the idea in Germany, where it had been developed by Friedrich Frobel. Upon her return, she convinced St. Louis Public School Superintendant Dr. William Torrey Harris to allow her to experiment with the idea of a kindergarten at the Des Peres School in Carondelet. The school building is now the home of the Carondelet Historical Society. By 1881, every public school in St. Louis had a kindergarten class. Eventually, the idea would spread across the United States, and by 1900 200,000 children were in public kindergartens.
In July, 1877, Carondelet with the rest of St. Louis became a part of a major labor crisis. Wage cuts by the railroads led to a massive strike by local workers across the nation. Carondelet as the iron working capital of the region became central to the strike. Carondelet iron workers marched on Olive Blvd. and seized quantities of zinc, iron, and steel in Carondelet. Carondelet businessmen formed a safety committee in reaction, but with mostly iron workers in attendance, the committee was made of mostly of strikers and a few businessmen like Charles Chouteau of the Vulcan Iron Works. The whole affair ended peacefully without the riots of other cities.
The next 20 years were prosperous ones for Carondelet. The Carondelet branch of the St. Louis Library opened in 1884, and new business buildings were being built. The iron works prospered as well. New homes of the Romanesque style were being bult along Michigan, Virginia, and Vermont Streets in the '90s. Electic streetcars were added as well, making the ride from Carondelet to downtown St. Louis in about twenty minutes.
The new century brought more improvements to Carondelet. John Scullin argued for Carondelet to be the site of the 1903 World's Fair, but lost as the fair committee felt that Forest Park would be the better site. In 1908, the present library building was completed. And Bellerive Park was completed at the same time with its view over the Mississippi River. Saint Anthony's Church was built in 1910 with its twin steeples making an obvious landmark. Other churches built in the area at the time were St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Michigan Ave and the Carondelet Christian Church. Adolphus and August Busch built many taverns on the old Carondelet Commons, and theses unique buildings added character to the neighborhood. It was a time of rapid growth when the Carondelet Commons was quickly filling with houses, churches, and businesses.
On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany and entered World War I. A good number of men from Carondelet served, many of them only second generation German Americans. With the end of the war, growth continued in Carondelet. The Woodward School was completed in 1921, and houses were going up on Bellerive Ave. The Kingshighway Methodist Church was completed in 1925. St. Cecilia Parish built a new church in 1926 with beautiful Romanesque exterior with twin steeples, and a nearly Gothic interior. In 1926, the present YMCA building was constructed. From 1919 until 1925, the Carondelet YMCA had been meeting in storefronts. Also during this time, Holly Hills subdivision was laid out, and the first building permit issued in 1926. This area continues to be one of the most beautiful in Carondelet.
The Great Depression hit Carondelet gradually. Many of its businesses survived for a while after the stock market crash. Enventually, many of them closed. Even still many businesses held on. South Broadway had always been the primary business street, and was home to dime stores, diners, and candy shops. Barter replaced money as a means of transactions during this time with business owners trading goods and services. The WPA stabilized the banks of the River de Peres at this time. The small creek had been a nuisance flooding often and being a general health hazard. Also formed around this time was the Spanish Society, a meeting place for Spanish residents of Carondelet to play cards and talk. World War II ended the depression for Carondelet as factories were hiring for steel workers, sewing machine operators, and the assembly lines. Over 300 men from Carondelet served in the war. After it was over, the Carondelet area still experienced growth. The area south of Carondelet Park began to see development, and to the west of it. Harry Keough, a Carondelet native went on to win fame with soccer's 1950 World Cup competition. Keough captained the American team which knocked the favorite English team out of the play offs. And in 1953, Raymond Tucker of Carondelet was elected mayor of St. Louis.
In the 1960s, Interstate 55 was built through Carondelet. Its construction severed old Carondelet from many of the newer sections, and the area east of the Interstate went into gradual decline. This decline has continued, although it has never seen the decay that other parts of the city have. In the last few years, some recovery has been made. Many of the old houses in the older section are being refurbished, and while businesses have not returned to South Broadway, with time and effort, perhaps they will. The Carondelet Historical Society was founded in 1966 and has managed to keep most of Carondelet's history alive. In 1981 the Historical Society bought the Des Peres School and turned it into a historical center complete with a restoration of Susan Blow's 1873 classroom. The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation was founded in 1973 and has aided the elderly in maintianing their homes. And in 1985 the South Broadway Merchants Association opened with the goal of attracting new businesses. Carondelet begins the 21st Century with about 11,000 citizens and one of the lowest crime rates in the city. It has a very small town feel, and is beginning to be seen as a favoured place to live.
St. Croix: Facts & History
The last of the Native Indian people to inhabit St. Croix were the Carib. Originally from the Guiana region of South America, the Carib people were not the first Indians on St. Croix. They had gained presence of the islands from the Tainos or Arawaks in the early 1400’s. It was however the Carib that greeted Columbus on his second voyage through the islands.
Christopher Columbus visited St. Croix on November 14th, 1493 on his second voyage to the New World. Columbus named the island Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). The explorers anchored off a natural bay west of Christiansted, known today as Salt River. Some two-dozen armed men from Columbus’ fleet went ashore to explore. These men were met by defensive arrows to which they retreated. The Salt River site is the first and only positively documented site associated with Columbus’ exploration of the New World on what is today a U.S. territory.
The Caribs continued their existence on St. Croix for about a decade following Columbus’ visit. During this period, they had established an understanding of mutual coexistence with the Spanish on Puerto Rico. This understanding was concluded when a Spanish adventurer raided St. Croix for Carib slaves. The Caribs joined in an effort with the Tainos of Puerto Rico, against the Spanish. For their uprising they were condemned to be destroyed by the Spanish Crown. With ‘legalized’ extermination and military action imminent the Caribs permanently abandoned St. Croix.
Although Columbus landed on Croix in the name of Spain, the first to establish themselves on St. Croix were the Dutch and English with a small number of French Protestants. In 1625 both countries, Britain and the Netherlands, co-existed on the island. This mutually beneficial relationship of sharing St. Croix ended without question when the islands Dutch governor killed the English counterpart. The English retaliated, leaving the Dutch governor dead. Many years of battles over possession of the island followed between the two powers.
Dutch and French settlers slowly retreated leaving the English in power of St. Croix. The colony grew under British rule. The Spanish, on nearby Puerto Rico, were concerned by the growth. In a surprise attack the Spanish landed on St. Croix and killed many settlers and forced the others to leave. The French heard of the overthrow of the English and took the opportunity to move in themselves and take over St. Croix from the Spanish. This was around 1650. Philippe de Poincy, an official of the Knights of Malta, sent 160 of his best troops to capture St. Croix. He succeeded and then quickly sent some three hundred planters from St. Kitts to establish settlements on the newly captured colony.
French West India Company
Seeking to establish a stronger hold on St. Croix, Louis XIV decided that the French Crown should take over. In 1665 the French West India Company was formed and sent to St. Croix. The Company rule did not do very well and lasted only seven years. The King dissolved the Company and replaced it with Crown rule. The French Crown continued to claim ownership of St. Croix although they had basically abandoned the island. Most of the French settlers had left the island by 1695.
Danish West Indies Company
On June 13,1733 the Danish West Indies Company bought the island from France. The Danish West Indian Company wasted no time in sending settlers to St. Croix to form their new colony. Under the leadership of Frederik Moth, a new town at Christiansted was planned within the first year.
In 1747, St. Croix was given its own government, separate from St. Thomas and St. John. Under strict regulations, the planters soon became frustrated with company rule. In 1753 the planters of the three islands petitioned the King to buy out the company. In 1754 the islands became a royal colony. With the crown directly involved a long period of growth followed. The Crown designated the most lucrative of the islands – St. Croix – as the new capital for all three islands. Thus, the capital of St. Thomas and St. John was moved from Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas to Christiansted where it remained until 1871 when it was returned to Charlotte Amalie.
For some time St. Croix was one of the wealthiest islands in the West Indies. The prosperity was due greatly to sugar cultivation, rum production and slave labor. St. Croix’s economy existed through trade. The island exported five commodities sugar, rum, cotton, molasses and hard woods and imported almost everything it needed.
The price of sugar in the world market was stable for the first decades of the 19th century and St. Croix’s plantation owners were doing well. In 1803 the population of the island was 30,000 with 26,500 being slaves engaged in planting and processing sugar cane. Prosperity however came to a halt with the closure of Denmark’s role in the slave trade. St. Croix had played an important role in the triangular trade route that connected Europe, Africa and the Caribbean in a trade of human cargo, sugar and rum. Around this same time competing beet sugar prices caused a sharp decline in the profitability of cultivating sugarcane. An increasing number of slave revolts motivated governor general of 21 years Peter von Scholten to abolished slavery in the Danish colonies on July 3rd, 1848. With all these factors playing a role St. Croix’s economy by the end of the 1820’s was nearing ruin.
The late 1800’s was a period filled with changes, rebellions and progress. Some of the most famous leaders were Queen Mary, Bodhoe and David Hamilton Jackson. Their efforts and those of other residents were extolled for the good of the local population on issues like improvement of living conditions, freedom of press, education and labor laws.
United States Virgin Islands
In 1917 St. Croix along with the islands of St. John and St. Thomas were purchased by the United States of America from the Danish government for military reasons. In the late 1930’s St. Croix’s agriculturally based economy was not improving. Economic insecurity continued until the fifties, when tourism became a leading industry in the U.S.V.I.
Today St. Croix is U.S. territory with the main industries being tourism, agriculture and oil refinery. One of the most renowned attractions in the U.S.V.I., the Buck Island National Park is located a short distance from the St. Croix shore. Recently the first casino in the U.S.V.I. was built on St. Croix.
Note: The information contained in this brief history was compiled from “Fateful Encounters Salt River 1493-1525, a National Park Publication dated November 14, 1993.” and “Christiansted, National Historic Site published by the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior”.
Awards & Recognitions
2018 &ndash AZ TechCelerator&rsquos Global Concierge program wins Westmarc&rsquos Best of the West
2018 &ndash AZ TechCelerator accepted into the Global Soft Landings Network under the International Business Innovation Association (inBIA).
2018 - Surprise awarded International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for the annual Surprise Retail Survey. &ldquoBronze Excellence in Economic Development Award&rdquo in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More.
Human Service & Community Vitality
2017 &ndash City of Surprise selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America&rsquos Best Intergenerational Communities Awards
2018 &ndash Phoenix Business Journal recognizes Surprise Resource Center partner as Health Care Heroes award finalist
2021 - Surprise named 6th safest city in Arizona by Safewise.com
2017, 2019 - Surprise Fire-Medical Department awarded American Heart Association&rsquos Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award
Recreation & Tourism
2017 - Community and Recreation Services awarded gold and silver in multiple categories on at the 23rd Annual APS Arizona Talent in Event Concepts Awards
2018 - Surprise Stadium, spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City royals, ranked the No. 1 Spring Training stadium in Arizona USA TODAY
2018 &ndash Surprise&rsquos Adaptive Spring Sports Training Clinic wins the &ldquoOutstanding Program &ndash Adaptive Program Award&rdquo for populations over 100,000 at the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association Awards