Wednesday, December 26, 2012

From the Manse

2726 Cleinview Ave., Cincinnati | 1937 & 2012 

Never, through the years, have we been quite so grateful as this year, for the warm security and comfort of the lovely house that the generosity of the congregation has provided for the minister and his family. Built and maintained by the Church, we are privileged to live beneath the shelter of its roof. You have been good to us. From our home, which your thought has built, each member of our household gathered here for Christmas, sends Hearty Greetings and Good Will.
Christmas, A.D. 1937.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jesse Halsey | McCormick

Jesse Halsey | Chalmer’s Place | 1952 | photo by Bill Colwell

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Preface to 150 Years of Presbyterianism in the Ohio Valley 1790-1940

Macauley somewhere intimates that those who have no pride in their forbears are likely to leave little that their descendants can take pride in. Our pioneering progenitors were men and women unafraid. They had convictions that steeled them against cowardice. Trusting in a fore-ordaining God, the events and circumstances of the changing scene were related to Eternal Patterns.

Our comforts, made possible by the privations of the Fathers, may yet prove our ruin. Unless we, in their spirit, meet the perils that multiply in our own time, dire things shall surely befall us. We have become soft. Sacrificial devotion to great causes, spending and being spent, frontier simplicity and directness practiced in some form—these things seem necessary to every generation lest moral fibre disintegrate. Active practice of the right is our salvation; not mere denunciation of evil.

Many “isms” of our time have become living religion to millions of people. We need to beware lest the Religion that lived in our Fathers degenerate, in us, to a mere “ism.”

Again we join fervently in the ancient prayer to God of every generation—theirs and ours—“Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children, and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us, yea the work of our hands, establish Thou it.”

Jesse Halsey
General Chairman of the 150th Anniversary Committee

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Raymond Swartzback | Student of Jesse's


January 07, 2003

Raymond H., Rev., D.D. Pastor Emeritus First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, New York. 

Raymond H. Swartzback, 79, an urban pastor who was a champion for social justice and was active in the struggle for civil rights died December 14, 2002, after a brief illness. He was a man who loved Jesus, ''the man'', and genuinely loved people, preaching, and listening to other people's stories. Ray set about to make friends of his neighbors. In this he was aided and abetted by a rare and genuine ability to practice Christian love. 

''When God says, 'love thy neighbor,' he means for us to love him no matter who or what he is. The whole Christian message becomes irrelevant unless we put into action these beliefs, we say with our lips.''

Ray was one of the first leaders of Urban Ministry. In 1975 he accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, Queens, the oldest continuously worshiping Presbyterian congregation in the country. Prior to 1975 the membership of this church was 1500, but ''white flight'' had reduced the membership to 89 people. There was talk of Relocation, Abandonment, Sell-Out; however, that small band of members said, ''We will not be moved,'' and they opened their doors to the new immigrants who were moving into Jamaica, Queens. Today First Church Jamaica has a membership of over 800 from 33 birth nations. At the 333'rd Anniversary and Sanctuary Rededication in 1996 Ray counseled the congregation, ''Do not adopt a Sanctuary mentality. Do not allow this beautiful Sanctuary to become a place to play church, a soul gymnasium to practice spiritual exercises, but let it be a fueling station for involvement in the world out there.'' 

Mr. Swartzback was born in Baltimore, MD, to John and Florence Swartzback. He graduated from City College, Baltimore, Maryville College, Maryville, TN, and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL. Upon graduation from seminary in 1950 he was drawn to the churches of the inner-city. His first parish was a two-point mission field in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1956 he went to Calvary Presbyterian Church, Detroit, MI, a struggling congregation in a changing neighborhood. Here he trained eleven seminary graduate interns for work in urban ministry. Later he copastored Glenville Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, OH before going to Jamaica. 

During the Viet-Nam War years, he accepted a call to Westminster Presbyterian Church on the College of Wooster campus, where he extended his ministry to counseling students during those turbulent years. During WW II Ray served in Europe from 1942 to 1945 as a platoon leader of the 30th Division, 117 Infantry, where he received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Ray received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Alma College, Alma, MI, and The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH. He taught New Testament Literature at the University of Cincinnati, and for eleven years was a lecturer at the Presbyterian Institute on Industrial Relations at McCormick Seminary in Chicago. He has been identified with many ministerial, labor, and civic organizations. 

He is survived by his devoted wife Jane Hays Swartzback of 55 years, and three daughters Linda Pratt (Jeff) of Millersburg, OH; Carol Kirk (John) of New Marshfield; and Susan Quinones of Athens, and nine grandchildren. A scholarship fund in his name has been established at McCormick Theological Seminary, 555 S. Woodlawn, Chicago IL. The Celebration of his life will be held on January 11 at 4:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Athens, Ohio. The Session and congregation of First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica thanks this fearless leader for his outstanding service to the church of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Bill Schram | Student of Jesse

Rev. Dr. William C. "Bill" Schram, 91

August 10, 2012 | Pelham Weekly

Rev. Dr. William C. “Bill” Schram, who served as pastor of Huguenot Memorial Church in Pelham Manor from 1959-1973, died on August 1, 2012. He was a resident at Shell Point, Fort Myers, FL. He was 91.

During his service at Huguenot Memorial Church, the church facility as it is today was completed. The Library bears his name.

Born in Cincinnati, OH in 1921, he was a graduate of Walnut Hills High School. He attended Williams College and graduated in 1946 following service in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He went on to Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he earned a degree in Divinity and met his wife, Elizabeth “Topper” Case Schram. They were married Sept. 6, 1947, and Bill was ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA.

After serving as pastor at Huguenot Memorial Church for 14 years, (1959-1973), the Rev. Schram became pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH in 1974.

He served on regional and national levels of the Presbyterian Church in many capacities over his entire ministry.

Following his retirement, he taught preaching at United Seminary in Dayton, OH and served three years as seasonal pastor at Chapel by the Sea, Captiva Island, FL. He and his wife relocated to the area, living first on Sanibel Island and then at Shell Point in Fort Myers. He stayed active in retirement, served as a visitation pastor at The Sanibel Congregational UCC church, was active on an affordable housing board on Sanibel and served on the board of the local Planned Parenthood. He embodied the words, “Old ministers never retire. They just go out to pastor.”

The Rev. Schram is survived by Topper, his wife of 65 years; sons and daughters-in-law William and Jen, Robert and Patricia and Thomas and Cindy; and grandchildren Jessica, Katharine, Nichole, Thomas, Cody and Jesse. His three sons all graduated from Pelham Memorial High School.

A memorial service was held on Aug. 8 at the Sanibel Congregational Church. The family suggests that donations be made to your local Planned Parenthood chapter.

A memorial service at Huguenot Memorial Church will take place sometime after mid-September, due to ongoing renovation work in the Sanctuary. Please call the church after Labor Day, or visit the church web site for full information.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Cameron Boys | Southampton

The town was growing; first by a few summer boarders, then by a substantial influx of summer cottagers (Yorkers as we called them). Naturally some permanent residents were added. Among these was a Scotch family of size; the father was a skilled plumber and soon came to affluence, but in the first year they lived in the back street, as we who lived on Main Street called it. Its real name was Windmill Lane because in the old days three windmills were on or near it; I remember one of them, Cap’n Bill White’s. Well, the Cameron boys, one bigger than me and one younger, soon joined our gang and were often on our place where the crowd “hung out” playing around the haystacks or on rainy days in the big barn.

I had work to do—farm chores. In the early years, fetching the kindling and corn cobs to build the fires (we burned only wood); then looking for the eggs, driving the cows, later helping with the milking. One evening when I was milking the older Scottie was plaguing me and at a close range, I let him have it, squirting milk in a sizeable stream and all over him. When he had cleared his eyes and got his breath he ran over to the hen house, grabbed some eggs and began a barrage. He was the pitcher of our ball team and the eggs reached their mark—I was covered. (Fortunately, all the eggs were fresh.) I hurriedly hung up the milk pail, grabbed a trace from the harness closet and chased my friend down the back lot through the little gate into the road and half way to his home, lashing him with all my strength. He was heavy and I was light and swift; he got aplenty. He [Alex Cameron, Jr., mayor of Southampton 1943-1953] is mayor of the village now, and has been for half a dozen years; has the leading plumbing business in the county and has held the village tax rate down to the lowest in the state.

--from Jesse Halsey | autobiography 1950 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jesse Halsey | Root Commission

When the Root Commission left Russia, they cabled the State Department that hut work must be immediately developed with the Russian army. Now, the Root Commission was not an overall contingent. They attended state functions and dinners. Kerensky and his ministers put the best foot forward and the Commission, like most of the rest of the world, was fooled. One member, Charles Edward Russell, a socialist, got away from the dinners, listened to the soap-box orators and put in a minority report, which was disregarded.

The War Council hustled ten of us over the continent and across the Pacific toward the “Eastern Front.” A list of required equipment included a Prince Albert and a dress suit! I told the management that I was going to war and not to a pink tea; so into my duffel bag went three pairs of overalls and some flannel shirts.

Things blew up in Russia soon after we arrived. I was glad that my preacher clothes were at home. We crossed Siberia and were in Moscow when the Bolsheviks gained control in November (1917). The soldiers were swarming home from the front, determined to be there when the land was divided. Everyone was a “tavarish,” a comrade. Officers lost their gold braid and shoulder straps, and often their necks, as well. A committee ran the government—no longer a Czar. Why not a committee for the army also? If the regiment needs no colonel, the individual needs no boss. “Doszedenia” “Nichevo.”

I have gone in my flannel shirt where the British Admiral could not come, except as my guest. For nearly six months I ran the American headquarters on the Mourman coast, where there was an ice free port three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle. I acted as chaplain for the British fleet (because I went to school in Edinburgh, the Admiral, in spite of the overalls, which I never wore on Sundays—gave me a commission as if the established church of Scotland.) For six months, I read the English service, to meet the regulations, and then preached.

Elihu Root

In 1912, as a result of his work to bring nations together through arbitration and cooperation, Root received the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the outbreak of World War I, Root opposed President Woodrow Wilson's policy of neutrality. Root actively promoted the Preparedness Movement to get the United States ready for actual participation in the war. He was a leading advocate of American entry into the war on the side of the British and French, because he feared the militarism of Germany would be bad for the world and bad for the United States.

He did support Wilson once the United States entered the war.

In June 1916, Root was proposed for the Republican presidential nomination but declined, stating that he was too old to bear the burden of the Presidency.[3] At the Republican National Convention, Root reached his peak strength of 103 votes on the first ballot. The Republican presidential nomination went to Charles Evans Hughes, who lost the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
In June 1917, at age 72, he was sent to Russia by President Wilson as leader of the so-called Root Commission to arrange American co-operation with the new revolutionary government. The AFL's James Duncan, socialist Charles Edward Russell, general Hugh L. Scott, admiral James H. Glennon, New York banker Samuel R. Bertron, John Mott and Charles Richard Crane were members of Root's mission. They traveled from Vladivostok across Siberia in the Czar's former train. Root remained in Petrograd for close to a month, and was not much impressed by what he saw. The Russians, he said, "are sincerely, kindly, good people but confused and dazed." He summed up his attitude to the Provisional Government very trenchantly: "No fight, no loans."

John Frank Stevens

John Frank Stevens
Following the collapse of Imperial Russia in 1917, leaders of the provisional government appealed to President Wilson for help with their transportation systems. Stevens was selected to chair a board of prominent U.S. railroad experts sent to Russia to rationalize and manage a system that was in disarray; among his work was on the Trans-Siberian Railway. After the overthrow of the provisional government, the board's work ceased. Stevens remained in Allied-occupied Manchuria and in 1919 headed the Inter-Allied Technical Board charged with the administration and operation of the Chinese Eastern and Siberian railways. He remained in an advisory capacity until occupying Allied troops were withdrawn; he finally left in 1923. After his return to the United States Stevens continued to work as a consulting engineer, ending his career in Baltimore in the early 1930s. He was awarded the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal in 1930. He then retired to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he died at the age of 90 in 1943.

Gayety at Southampton | 1895

June 23, 1895 | The New York Times

Summer Life at Long Island’s Great Resort

SOUTHAMPTON, L.I. June 22—As the season advances, this popular east end cottage resort resumes its old-time gayety. All the houses are now occupied. Many plans are being perfected for driving parties, teas, dances, and other social pastimes, and the present season promised to be a lively and jolly one among the cottage contingent. There is probably not another Summer place on Long Island that has such a large number of costly and fashionable drags, tally-hos, and other equipages as are to be seen upon the shady thoroughfares of this village. The many pretty drive in the north woods are much sought by merry driving parties, as are also the breezy and picturesque roads on Shinnecock Hills, leading to the golf links.

The bathing pavilions at the ocean shore opened for the season today. The facilities are better than ever this season, and especial attention has been paid to the safety and convenience of the bathers. Two bathing masters will be in constant attendance during the day to help anyone who may be in danger. The bathing at this pint is admitted to be the finest along the coast, owing to the peculiar form of the shore and the absence of the gravel bottom.


The Meadow Club courts present a gala appearance each morning. It is customary to play tennis until noon, when, after the season opens a grand rush is made to the beach and to Agawam Lake, a short distance away, where bathing suits are donned and bathing is indulged in. Among the most enthusiastic bathers are the Misses Barney (nieces of William C. Whitney), the Misses Moeran, The Misses Walton of Brooklyn, the Misses Russell, Mrs. T. G. Thomas, Mrs. Metcalfe Thomas, Messrs. Edward Bell, Roderick Terry, Dr. Thomas, Dr. George A. Dixon, the Rev. William S. Rainsford, and William Walton.

William Walton and family of Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, have arrived at their handsome Summer village at Hampton Park.

Walter E. Parfitt and family of Brooklyn are at their Summer place at Bridgehampton.

P. G. Bartlett, the lawyer, of New York has rented a cottage at Bridgehampton for the season.


The Art School at Shinnecock Hills has opened, and whole umbrellas can be seen in all directions about the hills. William M. Chase, who has charge of the school, has arrived at his cottage on the hills. The large dormitory, which has been built since last season, near the studio, is proving a great convenience to the students, who, in past Summers, have been obliged to put up at neighboring farmhouses, and who did not receive in a great many instances good entertainment.


The Southampton Village Trustees have decided to change the name of Windmill Lane to Agawam Avenue, and to apply this designation also to the continuation of the same street past Salem H. Wales’s house to Elihu Root’s corner. As this street is of generous width, the Trustees have violated all precedents in our village. Hitherto the name “avenue” has been applied only to narrow alleys and by-roads, while streets of this width have been designated largely as “lanes” as, for example, First Neck Lane, Gin Lane, Halsey’s Neck Lane, &c, all wide roadways.

The Shinnecock Indians, who have not been very friendly in past seasons with the art students, have buried the hatchet and signed a treaty of peace with Art Village, as the little settlement of studios on the eastern slope of the hills is called. Last Summer some of the Indians demanded tribute from the artists for the privilege of sketching on their reservation, which is situated on a neck of land about a mile away from the Art Village. The artists refused to reimburse the redmen, and on several occasions the students were attached by the Indians, and were obliged to withdraw from the field minus their sketching paraphernalia.

It is proposed to erect a six-thousand dollar addition to the Union School Building in this village. A meeting will soon be held to vote on the matter.

The car containing material for the new chapel and addition to the Presbyterian Church was burned at Middleport, this State, one day the past week.

A number of students from the art department of Pratt Institute of Brooklyn will spend their vacation at Art Village, Shinnecock Hills. The art students of the Brooklyn Institute will also attend the art school this season.

Salem H. Wales of New York, who has a handsome Summer place adjoining his son-in-law’s, Elihu Root, on the west shore of Lake Agawam, has been receiving the first congratulations of his numerous cottage friends for his appointment by Mayor Strong as a member of the new East River Bridge Commission. Mr. Wales is one of Southampton’s pioneer cottage residents, and takes a deep interest in the welfare of the village. He is a Director of the Southampton Bank, an officer of the Rogers Memorial Library Association, and a member of the Village Improvement Association.

List of Southampton Folks Influential to Jesse

from the folder marked "HALSEY AUTOBIOGRAPHY Carbons," this half page of notes reads:

Ed Foster – Natural Prayer
Miss Mallory – Cheating Boy
Frank Corwith – Fold Paper
Pop Johnson – Black Shoes
Madison - Boy like that.
Jen Baird- Ella Bennett
Father and 46 Psalm
Dr. Campbell – Leave it there
Wilson – Any other way
Edgar Hildreth
M Jagger-
Lil Halsey
Chas Foster – Pro Bono Publico
Encouragement – M. Jagger
Chas A. Jagger
Wm H Pierson
M. A Herrick – Thank God; best part of Education
Warren Hildreth – Don’t you think you ought to?
Honesty. Encouragement –
Abigail and Book – Poetry

Hildreth-Whitaker | 1913

Published: May 11, 1913Copyright © The New York Times