This chapter opens with an apocalyptic world view, strangely evocative of present-day circumstances.

She comments on the fame of the Cody name and it's history, with some details about her great-grandfather, here named as Philip III (55), his life in Canada and that family's migration to Cleveland over frozen Lake Erie, her grandfather, named as Philip IV (148), and his committment to utopian socialism, and her Uncles Darwin and Aldus' Civil War service. From her sources of family letters and wills, she cites the values of pious charity, community spirit and gender equality.

Contained within is a seeming paradox of religious devotion and scientific discovery in the naming of Darwin as well as the aspiration and disappointment of social change. She is witness to the genius that arises from the tragic failure of the Sheboygan commune to resolve that false conflict and satisfy both ideals.


The Family

          In this day of fighting pollution, crime in the streets, and worry  about nuclear war, distrust in the leadership of our political parties, and concern as to whether we can find a human being who could possibly lead our nation out of the multiplicity of problems before us, it may seem almost useless to spend time and energy on the story of one peaceful, devout family.

Most people connect the name "Cody" with Buffalo Bill, Colonel William F. Cody, scout and showman. The title of this book  indicates that it is about another type of person on another branch of the same tree. Yes, it is about them that I would write, those whose concern for mankind is deep and active. One of these was Mary Cody who went to Manila, Phillipines, at the end of the Spanish American War, on one of the first boat loads of teachers and missionaries in the year 1900. The idea that I must read hun- dreds of her letters and compile this story kept pushing into my mind.  I believe there is a great power outside ourselves working in  the world for righteousness. I hope that in writing this family account, I am contributing a small amount toward that power, in the belief that God is a Spirit, the World is His and He is working in thousands of miraculous ways to combat the evil which terrifies so many of His Family. Let us pray continually that His Spirit will manifest itself in marvelous unforeseen ways. Each of us must open our minds to learn how we can contribute—even in so small a way as this account of one of His Families.

But before we proceed to Mary Cody’s biography, it seems fitting to give a brief statement about her father’s antecedents. In old  records from 1698 found in Hopkintown and Beverly, Massachu- sells, we read of Philip LaGody, who made his mark on deeds and documents. He was a Hugenot whose name later was signed "Philip  Cody". The wills are all rather beautiful and quite similar. first, they give a preamble of appreciation to God for his goodness, In the Glory of God and praise for his Majesty King George in his generosity, having donated to them land in the Province of what was later named Massachusetts. Then, there would follow the Wills:  the  first Philip, then Joseph, next Philip II, Philip lll and Philip  IV,  whose son was Lindus Cody, Mary's and my father. Some


sentences from these wills are indicative of simple faith such as "calling to mind and my morality" and "commending my soul unto the  hands of a merciful God" or "hoping to be saved through the goodness of my Blessed Saviour."

In these wills there were always admonitions to those who came after to "remember the poor and give alms". The records that  follow in this line of Joseph and Philip Cody reveal that they were consistently members of Protestant churches in various com- munities and towns, and their children baptized therein. The wills showed an exactness, to land, barns, homes, fences, furniture, cattle, horses and first, naming wives as inheritors. One of our father’s early ancestors, Philip, moved several times. He went to Canada where he lived outside of Toronto Township, leasing his farm and doing surveying. He owned a tavern, was a constable and  served on juries. He set a pattern for posterity, as he made a deed for some land "in perpetuity" for the suitable use of a build- ing,  and there he erected a free church of the Protestant faith, also a school, and "all for the public use if needful". That small church made of stone is still standing, nearly 250 years old, leaving quaint evidence of pioneering days and setting a pattern for devout Codys.    On the inner wall of the entrance of the Toronto Church is a bronze tablet which commemorates the donors. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio, later in life and either purchased or staked out land  in the heart of Cleveland where he built a home.


His son, Philip IV, my father’s father, was a brilliant scholar, doctor and a lawyer. There were no fancy leather or parchment documents in those days, only a nice, heavy paper on which was written that Philip Cody had "received and completed the course in medicine" and  on  another  heavy  paper,  written  with  many  flour-


ishes, the statement that he was a fully trained lawyer. He married Harriett Sherwin, about whose father we have a long letter written by a leading citizen of Cleveland, stating that he was connected with many philanthropies. He was Ahimaas Sherwin, a bugle boy in the American Revolution, who is buried near the entrance to Cleveland’s enormous Lakeview Cemetery. Philip IV, while studying law became a follower of the teachings of Fourier. What was there in him to make him so zealous? Why did he sell much of his inheritance and form a group of doubtful followers and go into the wilderness of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in order to carry out the idealistic teachings of Fourier, each family putting all their goods and money into a common fund and supposedly living entirely for each other? The doubtful "followers" took all that Philip Cody had, except his log cabin, after having imposed on his legal knowledge— and de- manding care from him as to their physical needs, this because of his medical training. When he died of brain fever, at the age of 31, they buried him in an unknown, unmarked grave. The writings re- garding his beliefs which he left behind are full of wisdom, idealism and fortitude. He laid down his life for his friends, and those who scarsely understood the teachings of the Mystic, Fourier. When Philip died, he left his wife, Harriet, and their three sons, Lindus, Darwin and Aldus. By a round about and difficult route, by boat, and carriage and stage coach, Harriet’s brother, Frank Sherwin, arrived at the Sheboygan log cabin and brought his sister and her boys to their grandfather's home outside Cleveland. Harriet’s father as trustee had discreetly saved out of Philip's early inheritance, e- nough to care for his daughter and three boys. Darwin stayed with Grandfather Sherwin, while Lindus and Aldus were boarded out with other relatives. ln their teens, these two boys returned to the family homestead where they made their living on farming and grow- ing strawberries, doing this until they reached the age for their inheritance. As young men, both Darwin and Aldus served in the Civil War. There is a small book and original letters about "Darwin Cody’s" Civil War experiences in the Columbus, Ohio, Archeological Library.

This family did not destroy letters, so I found boxes and boxes which had been moved from Lincoln, Nebraska, a family home tor about five years, back to Cleveland and thence down to Cody Villa, Babson Park, Florida. In one box I found one half of an old will copied from a Massachusetts record and in another box the other half of that will. The string on some bundles of letters had broken. Many letters were scarcely readable. Some went back to  the  days when there were no stamps—only the post office official mark; but these letters contain the spirit of a vigorous and devout family.


The International Cody Family Association