Here, Gertrude tells us of her family life in Cleveland and how her parents Lindus(148/2) and Armelia imbued their children, friends and neighbors with the values they held so closely.

Harriet, the eldest, was teaching Sunday School at 14 and later active in the sufferage movement and president of her chapter of the Women's Christian Temerance Union. Henry, was in Cleveland real estate, furthering the cause through affordable housing. Frank helped electrify Colbalt, ONT while he lived there, while Arthur volunteered and served with the Ohio Calvary regiment throughout the Spanish-American War and later traveled to India and Japan to visit his sisters.

But sister Ethel graduated from the Cleveland Kindergarten Training School in 1902 and the National College of Education in Chicago, and then with her husband, Dr. Sam Higginbottom, went to India, established an agricultural school and received the British Kaiser-i-hind medal for their work. In something worthy of Masterpiece Theater, she had upstaged her elder sister! Also recollected is Lindus' first cousins, Buffalo Bill and his sister Julia, and her memories of her father's Abolitionist past in Bloody Kansas.

Gertrude contrasts their school days and tells how Mary was inspired to missionary work. Mary was born in 1871, the fifth of ten children, attended Cleveland Public schools and Oberlin preparatory. She graduated from the Cleveland Kindergarten Training School in 1898. After graduating from the National Kindergarten College in Chicago, she qualified as a teacher for the Methodist Episcopal Women's Foreign Missionary Society in 1899 and was in Manila by 1900, assuaging the hurts of the Spanish-American War.


Remembrances from Early Years

Grandson of Dr. Philip Cody
My Father and Mother, Who Started Seven Churches in Their Life Together

Lindus Cody, my father, had a life of sailing, farming and building homes, not single homes, here and there but streets of homes. When 21 years of age, he came into his inheritance and married Armelia Farnsworth on October 16, 1861. They raised nine children of whom Mary Cody was the fourth and I who write was the last one. Being in my 89th year, I feel impelled to write for future generations, of some of the memories of my childhood, especially of  Mary.

Father Cody was imbued with the fundamentalist doctrines of his day. He was concerned over the soul’s salvation of those near and dear to him. He got to thinking about his cousin, Buffalo Bill, Colonel William F. Cody. So when the great show was in town one day, my father went to Buffalo Bill’s tent and said, "Bill, I am worried over   your  soul's  salvation".    Very  quickly  Colonel  Cody  replied,


“Lindus, I do not know how much show I have for heaven, but I know  I have the Greatest Show on Earth”.

By praising my parents and our antecedents for their devout ways, I do not wish to demean the contribution which Colonel Cody made to the “Opening of the West” to settlers, his Pony Express, his work of bringing in buffalo meat to feed the army of immigrants who laid the tracks and rails for the first transcontinental railroad. But I must say here that in my opinion, Colonel Cody’s father, Isaac, was a greater man in his way than his son. He was determined to save Iowa and later Kansas territories for the Lincoln party. “The Union”, as it was called. He brought in immigrants to settle in tents and huts on his own acres so as to get their votes for Lincoln. His enemies pursued him constantly to take his life. His early death was due to hiding in wet cornfields and secret hiding places while his wife and children explained to the groups of men who came for him, “he is  away and nowhere near.”

Julia, Buffalo Bill’s sister, lived in our home for many months and told of one time when their father was in hiding near the house, how the girls all put on heavy boots and went stamping around up- stairs while the mother explained to their father’s enemies, that friends of Isaac were upstairs, having arrived to protect them. Julia told us many stories of the early days. After her father’s death, she  went to visit cousins in Iowa. Lincoln was there to speak and some one told him of Isaac Cody’s daughter being in the area. He sent for her to come. Julia proudly related how the cousins out- fitted  her in their best garments so she would have a nice appear- ance before President-Elect Lincoln. He praised her father before all  the audience, speaking of the family’s work to hold Kansas to the  Union and to help abolish slavery. Julia said, “then he hugged me”. She was proud of her father—a Cody who had been concern- d in his own way with the needs of his country—was he not among the concerned Cody’s?

In our family, we had family morning prayers when the Bible was read aloud. “Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to  all the people,” and “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" were verses which rang in our minds as children. My father, Lindus Cody, established, or helped generously in estab- lishing, seven churches in his lifetime.

Many people have written that they watched members of this devout Cody family over the years and absorbed, perhaps un- consciously, the spirit  and  essence  of  their  lives.   One  grandson


wrote of Dr. Sam Higginbottom and Ethel, my sister. “They gave a moral tone to my life at college and later to my life ambitions.” A friend, in a recent letter, “Have you ever stopped to think about how deeply my own life has been blessed and broadened by the friendship, dear to me, of all of your family. I can at this moment see your delicate, gentle little mother and your vigorous, vital father, as plainly as though they had just walked through the door of this room. They had the gift of enriching life for all with whom they had contact. They left a marvelous heritage.”

Mary was part of that heritage. The word for Mary is “dauntless”. She feared no uncertainty or grave new situation. After high school, she spent a year at Oberlin College, about 1895, where she stayed with an elderly cousin and her husband on the outskirts of the town. Evidently she did not get into student act- ivities or to know very many, but she learned a great deal. Later in life, she congratulated me on my ability to stick to it and finish my four year (1909) to graduation. But I went to Oberlin with a high school friend who introduced me to many students. Her father had been Minister to Paris where she lived a year and she was wrapped in self-assurance and gaiety. She kidded me about my seriousness and talked me out of some of my religious fundamentalist ideas. Oberlin was called “The seat of Higher Criticism” and I fell into that, with my closed mind, which soon opened under Dr. Henry Churchill King’s Bible class.

After sister Mary left Oberlin, she heard about the need for teachers out in an Indian reservation. That appealed to her and she felt she was qualified to meet the situation in a mission school. Later, she said of that experience, “I do not know who learned the most, the children or I myself”. They soon observed her limits, and she her own. She was trying to teach the word “red” at the black- board when one boy said, “Teacher, end of apron, you got red apron tail”. She wrote, “If only I could have taught by the object method, we could have gained ground; as it was, my class was riotous and undisciplined”. She felt the need for more schooling. After that one year of eye-opening about herself, she returned home and went to Cleveland Kindergarten Training School. Many young people would have folded up, stayed home after that Indian Reserva- tion experience, but Mary was dauntless. To her that was in the past and a lesson not to be brooded over. She was deeply impress- ed with the practical value of the new kindergarten school and the all round physical, intellectual and spiritual training which it aims to give a child.


After her two years of training, she was offered a kinder- garten in a social settlement where Italian immigrants were in pre- dominance, but, in the province of God, she was delayed after serving the Fall months there, by a building project. In the home of a friend she met Miss Julia Wisner, home on furlough from a Burma Mission. It was through her influence she met Bishop Thoburn in charge of the missionary projects in Asian countries. He soon sized up Mary as having the metal to meet the exhaustive work in foreign lands. He asked her to accompany Miss Wisner to the Phillipines. Little did Mary realize that some day she would be serving in four Asian countries, building up new kindergarten training schools, sub- stituting for missionaries on furlough and other very demanding jobs. It was asked that she become a Methodist, so she joined the Epworth Euclid Church. Apparently our parents were on their winter trip to Florida and sister Grace and I were alone with Mary in the Cleveland home when the "send off” time came. Our parents had met Miss Wisner and knowing their dauntless daughter, felt she would meet her responsibilities and any hazards of the venture. Sister Grace helped Mary with her preparations and packing. She had a beautiful gray silk dress made for Mary’s departure-reception and a most becoming gray hat to match. I learned from one letter that in that period I was the morale builder and comforter when any days of doubt came for Mary. The church gave them a charming recep- tion with speeches by leaders and suitable gifts. Her new Pastor, Dr. Pickard, spoke of Mary’s virtues as a new prospect representing them as one of their own missionaries. Mary looked so beautiful with the color in her cheeks heightened by the excitement. I hurried to my father’s office and wrote a long letter about the whole occasion and mailed it from the main city post office so that our parents could quickly know about their daughter’s glowing send off. It was a supreme occasion in my grammar school girl’s eyes, but I wept alone by myself over the loss of this dearest of my sisters.

Sister Mary’s correspondence with family and parents was voluminous. She wrote fast on thin rice paper, the cheapest corres- pondence paper, and she wrote sometimes on both sides of the paper. If I had not read them all before my eyes grew dim, there would have been no history of her life. The paper was crumbling and the bundles, tied according to various countries, had broken apart. However, I felt that I owed it to future generations to let them know at least a part of her pattern of courage and service to human- ity. The miracle of Godliness should be revealed wherever it is found. It takes hold of the spirit and desires of individuals in various ways. They are then impelled to a life of service, not always recognized perhaps, but they are helping the needy in our world to go


forward. Some would call it “The Holy Spirit”, others would say it is the power outside ourselves working for righteousness. What- ever you call it, it works in mysterious ways, God’s wonders to perform.


The International Cody Family Association