Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mary Josephine Kemper Rogan

21 March 1939 | Address to Assembly of Presbytery of Ohio Valley by Reverend Jesse Halsey
Mr. Moderator—

Would it seem an intrusion for me [to] introduce at this time a brief memorial tribute to that “elect lady” Mrs. John Rogan who this morning passed through the gates into the nearer presence, of her Lord? My only qualification is the proud fact that for many years she has honored me with her friendship (and that her Minister is in the Chair and her close friend and former pastor Dr. Wilson is not present).

Mary Josephine Kemper Rogan was born almost a century ago. Hers was a proud heritage—and she has added luster to her inheritance. Her grandfather’s James Spring Kemper was the founder of Presbyterianism in this part of the Ohio valley. Mrs. Rogan carried on the great tradition of that ancestry. The sterling qualities of character that put duty first, that accept obligations rather than asserting right’s or privileges, these qualities dwelt in her, without measure.

Rejoicing ever in the truth, always patient, always kind her ministry of active usefulness, curtailed this last decade by the oncoming of years, found its continuance even unto the last, in sympathetic and generous interest in every good word and work.

“Patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints” in faith and by good works she adorned the doctrine of God her Savior.

She has fought the good fight and kept the faith; we rejoice in her translation, and we can almost hear her Master say, “Well done, enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord,” thou hast been faithful.”

Let me add two words more, one from the Pilgrim’s Progress, which she loved:
“When the day drew on that Christiana must be gone, behold all the banks beyond the river were full of horses and chariots that were come down from above to accompany her to the city gate. So she went forth and entered the river, with a beacon of farewell to those who followed. The last words she was heard to say were these—“Lord I come to be with Thee and bless Thee.” So her children and her friends returned to their place, for those that waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. So she went and called, and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of joy that her husband Christian had entered with long before her.” 
And this penned by her beloved pastor and long-time friend—
I landed on this rock, the Earth;
There met me at the gates of birth
A loving woman kind and fair
With gentle eyes and silken hair
That seemed with all its silken strands,
As plaything for my baby hands.
Here for the hungry guest was food
Divinely mingled, fit and good;
And when the wearied nursling wept
Her arms wound round him while he slept.
from Greater Cincinnati Memorial Project
History of East Walnut Hills from Sotheby's
Early in Cincinnati’s history, Walnut Hills included East Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Avondale, and an area north of Eden Park. Therefore, the history of East Walnut Hills must begin with Walnut Hills - supposedly named for the many walnut trees that were there to greet the first visitors.

The recorded history of Walnut Hills begins with the arrival of Presbyterian minister, Reverend James Kemper, in 1791. In 1804, Rev. Kemper replaced his original make-shift dwelling with a sturdy log cabin for his family. The Kemper clan lived in this cabin until 1897. It was considered such an important artifact in the early development of Cincinnati, that it was moved first to the Cincinnati Zoo, and later to the Heritage Village in Sharon Park. It’s one of the very oldest residences in Ohio that is still standing. 

By 1819, the Walnut Presbyterian Church was built in the area of what is now the corner of William Howard Taft and Gilbert Avenue. In the East Walnut Hills area the first church was actually a converted barn that Francis Fortman donated so that resident Catholics could gather. This barn was located on McMillan Street opposite Hackberry. Soon thereafter, the first stone church was built in 1850 on the SW corner of Taft and Hackberry. 

In 1866, East Walnut Hills officially became a separate neighborhood entity. Founders include Henry Westjohn, W. W. Scarborough (grocery merchant), Francis Fortman, and Joseph Kleine, and John Baker (lumberman). These original landowners built fantastic homes, such as John Baker's home, that matched their success.

These empire builders wanted church that reflected their own magnificent success and which would rival the great churches of their European homeland. Thus, in 1879, the St. Francis de Sales Church was completed. Created in a Middle German, French Gothic architectural style, this church cost $200,000 to build. Inside, you will see one of the most magnificent altars in the Midwest. Outside, at 230 feet, this is also one of the tallest churches in Cincinnati.

It was in their homes, however, that these early wealthy citizens expressed their place in society. East Walnut Hills has, for its size, one of the largest collections of stunningly beautiful homes in Cincinnati. Many are on quite large lots. A substantial number of homes in this neighborhood are made of brick or stucco. This is because, in some areas, a condition to build was that the home could not be a wood frame house. 

Two styles of architecture were popular among the early residents. Romantic and Colonial Revival. Examples of Romantic architecture can be seen in the homes at: 1887 Madison Road - (The Baker House), 1831 Keys Crescent - (The Keys/Hollister House), 1831 Keys Crescent - (The Dexter House), and 3036 Fairfield Avenue - (The Bates House).

Some excellent examples of Colonial Revivial architecture are: 2957 and 2999 Annwood, 2928 Wold Avenue, 1854 Keys Crescent, and - 2766 Baker Place - which is currently for sale.
2766 Baker Place was designed and built in 1902 Elzner & Anderson, one of the most prestigious architectural firms in early Cincinnati. Built for Charles & Lily Livingood - Charles was the personal executive to Mary Emery, one of the pillars of early Cincinnati and noted philanthropist. It was Charles Livingood who supervised Mary Emery's visionary development of Mariemont. Lily Livingood was the great-grandaughter of General William Lytle, for whom Lytle Park was named. William Lytle was the surveyor of the Northwest Territories.

The Luedeking House  Luedeking House on Keys Crescent was the last architecturally important residence constructed before the start of the Great Depression.

Other landmarks of note.The Seventh Presbyterian Church was erected in 1886 and the firehouse was built in 1888. East Walnut Hills is home to The Cincinnati Tennis Club, one of the oldest tennis clubs in the nation! It is located on Dexter Avenue, in the same place where it was originally built in 1899.
With its fantastic architecture, views of the Ohio River, lovely parks, shopping, dining, proximity to downtown, O’Bryonville, and Hyde Park ... East Walnut Hills is truly one of Cincinnati’s gems. Here is a link to the East Walnut Hills Community website.

“A Puritan in Babylon”

Jesse Halsey's review of A Puritan in Babylon, The Story of Calvin Coolidge, by William Allen White, The Macmilliam Company, 1938

A best seller surely, “definitive” likely.

The Kansas editor looks at the Yankee politician and with shrewd observations, keen appraisals, and dogged persistence tracks his subject (neither victim nor hero) through the decades.

Some college prank involving the revolutions of a pot-bellied stove down a dormitory stairway; young Coolidge questioned disclaims responsibility—“It wasn’t my stove.” True to form he meets the successive emergencies of life from there on to the oil scandals—“not my stove.”

“Money honest” refusing lucrative positions, unsmirched by any suspicion of ever having been bought, he “avoided the big problems” (as he said to Will Rogers) and so “became an attitude rather than an executive” (so says Mr. White). On the verge of economic earthquake—“a time of momentous decision”—“yet the President apparently knew nothing of it. Certainly did nothing about it.”

“A man who has been President is not free—“ no business offer (there were plenty) allured him after his term. He died a poor man, earning every penny—and making it “work.”

Praise there is—but “faint praise” that often amounts to damnation. Fair is the author and painstaking. He is faithful to his thesis equaling Gamaliel Bradford, but hipped on no psycho-analytical procedure. His sources are many of the personal—sometimes it seems as if it hurt him as a friend to tell all the truth, but he does tell it.

Coolidge was shy and taciturn, often impolite and boorish. White charges it up to the repression of a Puritan background, his mother’s death, and (later) to his boy’s. “Plymouth never entirely died out of his heart. Inside him that little boy—sentimental, mischievous sometimes inconsiderate and cruel—never grew up.”

New Hampshire’s governor stood by Gov. Coolidge for five hours during a parade when the rainbow division came home after the war and Coolidge spoke to him just once in the five hours! At a White House weekend when the Whites and a few intimate friends were present, the President was almost dumb except one night when sitting next to Mrs. White he talked at length quietly to her. It was after his boy had died—the White’s had lost a girl of twelve!

General Edwards under criticism for some war statement met Gov. Coolidge. “Hello, Chatterbox,” ventured the general. “Well, General, I notice what I don’t say gets me in less trouble than what you do say.” “His habit of silent cerebral cogitation make him conspicuous sometimes but never notorious,” so comments the author.

“While I have differed with my subordinates, I have always supported loyally my superiors” . . . “Stated cynically and therefore not entirely truthfully, this means that Calvin Coolidge always knew on which side his bread was buttered.”

There is a lot of gossip here picked up as only a newspaper man can pick. And then deleted and appraised as a good biographer should and as only William Allen White can.

Mr. White has a knowledge of economics, of war-time history, of politics and of American life and middle-class psychology that admirably fit him for his task (at times it seems like his labor of love). He is critical and appreciative; he preached little but hits hard. He reveals an era and a dynasty, now gone forever. We hope his next biography will be on Henry Cabot Lodge. We have a notion he might uncork his vials as he has not in his lives either of Calvin Coolidge or of Woodrow Wilson.

Passover Prayer

   O taste and see
The S and the church
X our Passover
This is my comm—

  ~eloved let us love
If any man come
Whosoever is chief am
Not every one that
COME unto me
Blesse hunger
Behold I stand at door
Ask and it shall
I beseech
Beloved now are we

Bless the Lord

What shall separate us

--Reverend Jesse Halsey

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jesse Halsey: Notes on Sermons 1937-38


The harassed mayor of a major American city lately confessed to a group of his friends that he constantly turned to certain of the great poets in times of stress as the best source of sustenance and balance. While others might find “escape” in detective stories he read Milton aloud and envies Macaulay who knew Paradise Lost by heart and once repeated four books of it while crossing the Irish Sea. The mayor said that once in time of grave personal crisis he found in Browning, “the courage to go on,” and added that Browing’s great spiritual message is that of courage rather than optimism. A memory stored with great poetry is as an arsenal for the soul.

“It shall be 
A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like to me,
Thou shalt love and be loved by, forever; a Hand like this hand 
Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!"

See the Christ stand. Robert Browning

They that trust in The Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever. Ps 125 1-2

READ: Your Favorite Psalm Aloud.

PRAYER. Unto Thee life I up mine eyes O Thou dwellest in the heavens, in thanksgiving for all the forms of loveliness and strength that speak Thy praise and reveal Thy nearness to human hearts and minds. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait and in his word do I hope, through Christ the Word Incarnate. Amen.

IN ALL POINTS . . . like as we are that rebellious boy of yesterday who was being ‘educated’ in life’s best school used to wonder about Jesus the carpenter’s boy of Nazareth. He hardly dared to wonder even about HIM. But the preposterous parallel that he confided to no one, but carried in his secret heart, brought sweetness to many a bitter day. Jesus (too, he said to himself), Jesus wanted to go to the Jerusalem Schools, but for eighteen years stayed home to push a plane—and support his mother and sisters and brothers. That always brought help.

And that boy is but one of millions who have, to this hour, found help in Him—in what He did and what he said and what He was (AND IS).

“Go and do thou likewise” Luke 10:37

And . . . and . . . and . . . it is the heart of the parable—this conjunction. It is God’s plus sign; “and took, took him to the inn, and too care of him” and . . . This is God’s plus sign. Always adding, going second miles Himself, “while we ere yet sinners Christ died for us. Goodness and mercy peruse us, new every morning, fresh every evening are the tokens of his love. He loadeth us with benefits.

Can we afford to be stingy?

Read. Luke 10: 25-37

O Thou who givest us richly all things to enjoy, make us good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Grateful hearts come from Thee, and to Thee returns our Thanks. Thou are the source of all blessing. Things material spiritual and material—all are Thine, and we are Thine. Make us to realize our debt to Thee, and when we have given all, forgive us still our debts. For Christ’s sake. Amen.

TWO neighbors in the old days had gone to California in the gold rush. Young men and adventurous they had started out after selling all they had to by stock in the ship that should carry them round Cape Horn. One man struck it rich and came home to settle down in affluence, the other lost the little he had and came home to spend his days hoeing corn for his neighbors.

Uncle William and Grandfather and the Gold-rush

(Uncle Tom and none of the glamour of Kansas.)

LENT means Springtime. Let this be the Springtime of the soul. God is stirring in nature. Snows and sudden frost hinder her coming but come she will and must. Let God work naturally in your heart and life. No artificial apparatus is needed. Quiet, meditation, prayer, the Bible, and great poetry, the quiet stars, the out of doors, these were among Jesus’ sources of spiritual help. “As he was so are ye in the world.”

O GOD, who hast made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and didst send thy blessed Son to preach peace to them that are afar off, and to them that are nigh; grant that all the peoples who sit in darkness and the shadow of death may feel after thee and find Thee; and hasten, O Lord, the fulfillment of thy promise to pour out the Spirit upon all flesh; through Jesus Christ our Loud. Amen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quotes on Gratitude

While I would fain have some tincture of all the virtues, there is no quality I would rather have, and be thought to have, than gratitude. For it is not only the greatest virtue, but even the mother of all the rest. –Cicero

Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought. It must be born with men, or else all the obligations in the world will not create it. –Lord Halifax

In every thing give “Thanks.” –St. Paul

"The Scottie"

“The Scottie is at heart a gentleman—deep-natured, reserved, honorable, patient, tolerant, and courageous. He never whines or complains: he meets life as he finds it, with an instinctive philosophy of stoical intrepidity, and a mellow understanding. He is calm and firm—and stubborn. He minds his own business—and minds it well. He is independent, and incapable of an underhand act. He is loyal—and he remembers. He’s a Spartan and can suffer pain without whimpering. He will attack a lion or a tiger if his rights are invaded. And he may die in the struggle; but he never shows the white feather or runs away. He is the grandest and the most admirable of all sports—forthright and brave. You know exactly where you stand with a Scottie; and if you are a friend, he is gentle and loving and protective.”

--S.S. van Dine
The Kennel Murder Case—Scribner’s 1933.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Depression Era Applicant Report for Mothers Pension

The Brice family lives in the upper and less congested area of the West End. Their home consists of four medium size rooms on the first floor of a two story building at 1629 Dudley Street. The home is neatly furnished. The furnishings are typical of that seen in the home of the lower middle group. Mrs. Brice is a fair housekeeper and although there are times when the house is untidy, in general the home has a neat appearance. The home is partly surrounded by a small yard which affords play space for the children and a flower garden.


Insurance—Mr. Brice has a straight life insurance with the U.S. Mutual Insurance Company, fee $.50 per week--$350.00.

Applicant’s Husband
Mr. Brice, age 43, is a heavy set man of neat appearance. He talks in an intelligent manner although he has only an elementary education. He is an outgoing person with a congenial manner and makes friends readily. He is quick tempered, irrational and emotional. He was formerly employed as a skilled laborer by Dickson & Wycoff Contractor. He is now physically unable to work because of injuries received in a fall September 30, 1930.

Mrs. Brice, age 36, is a medium built person of neat appearance. She is a practical and intelligent person. Her interest is centered in her home and children for whom she has high ambitions. Mrs. Brice is the dominant person in the home. She is very aggressive and at times rather emotional. She was employed for the first time last year. Her work was unsatisfactory. Her employer described her as being indifferent and not knowing how to work.

Alphonso, age 15. A healthy well mannered youngster of neat appearance, who presents no problem in either his home or school life. He is in the Eighth grade at Bloom Junior High School.

Inez—age 14, has a pleasant disposition and presents no behavior problem. She is slightly cripple, one leg being shorter than the other. Inez is in the Seventh grade.

Clarence—age 12, is a healthy and active youngster. He is well adjusted and presents no problem. He is in the Fifth grade.

Budget (Monthly budget according to Mothers Pension Schedule)
Food                            $45.84
Clothing                      $12.08
Rent                            $15.00
Gas and Electric         $2.48
Coal                             $5.75
Insurance                   $1.00
Household Articles    $1.73
Health                         $1.08
Cleaning Materials    $1.73
Recreation                  $3.00

The Brices have no income. The family is now being supported by funds from Social agencies.

We recommend that this family be accepted for Mother’s Pension and allotted a monthly budget of $89.69.

Collateral Visits:
Dr. Henry Clark—805 W. 9th Street and Shoemaker Clinic.
Mrs. Georgia Charles—752 Clark Street—Sister to Mrs. Brice.
Sand School—Dr. Albert Pearlman -14th Seventh Street.

Children's Sermon

“The Association Follows the Flag on Land and Sea”
Army Y.M.C.A. Fort Thomas, KY | Clinton Wunder, Building Secretary

The Christian Herald | Submitted for Children’s Sermon page
If not accepted please return--postage enclosed
Jesse Halsey, 2726 Cleinview Ave, Cincinnati, O | Seventh Presbyterian Church

We have two little men at our house—and they live in the cellar. Isn’t that a strange place to keep them? It must be cold there in winter at times. Possibly these hot days they enjoy the cool weather that is found in the cellar. These little men have a fine room with steel walls, all nicely painted. It is fitted up very comfortably, but it has no bed, for they never go to sleep. They are on guard duty and a sentry never sleeps, you know, but must always watch. Day and night these little men protect our home.

Last Sunday night one of these guards lost his life. It was during that heavy thunder storm and there came a great crash of thunder, our lights went out. In the morning we had no electricity for light or for the fan or the iron or the electric toaster. This little guard who gave his life to save us from the danger of the lightening was named “Mr. Fuse.” Our guards are two brothers—both named “Fuse,” of course. The one who lost his life was “Mr. Twenty Ampere Fuse” and his older brother is named “Mr. Thirty-Ampere Fuse.” Little “Twenty Ampere Fuse” was weaker than his brother and the giant who tried to enter the house took his life, but the stronger brother successfully resisted , or possibly because the younger brother resisted so valiantly the giant never reached “Mr. Thirty Amperes”—at any rate he is here today, hearty and well. (Place fuse on pulpit.)

During ordinary days and nights these guards would open the bridge and let our friend “Mr. Electricity” in to help us in the house, but when the Giant Lightening gets loose and comes down the wires, the Fuse Guards throw up the bridge—one or both of them—and sacrifice their lives that the Giant can not come in and hurt us.

This little sentry (place other fuse on pulpit) gave his life to save us from danger and here is his stronger brother who was able to withstand the attack of the Giant, but was just as willing to die to protect us as his brother. Let us place these fuses here as a monument to our heroic guard that kept faithful watch last Sunday night to save some other little folks who live at our house from danger.


I have been thinking this week of the guard that stands at the entrance of our life to protect us from danger. His name is “Mr. Conscience.” He pleasantly introduces us to many happy things in life, just as the fuses bring useful electricity into our homes. But when pleasures become harmful Conscience warns us against the danger. If we obey the voice of Conscious we are safe; if we neglect his warning we are bound to be harmed. If we fail to take the warning that the guard gives time after time, the guard gives up his life in desperation, just as the fuse burned out in keeping the Giant out of the house, and we can go on our way and Conscious won’t “prick” us any more.

Some of our pleasures become our worst enemies, just as the helpful “Electricity” is first cousin to the “Giant Electricity.” Conscious, like these “Fuse Brothers,” will always admit the things that are helpful and uplifting, but will try and bar the way against evil things that come to us, and against the things which are good when properly used but harmful when used improperly or in too large a measure.

These fuses are marked with XX on the back and I have told you to obey your conscience because it also, is marked with X. That is, you have a Christian conscience—and Christ’s name, you know, began with X in the language that St. Paul and many of the early Christians used. It is because you have been to church and Sunday school and been taught the will of Christ that you can afford to listen to your conscious. Christ, our Master, who gave His life freely, to save us from danger, has also given us His Spirit to guide us, and as our conscience is marked with X we will be guided in doing Christlike things and hindered in doing the things that are unlike Him.