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On July 15, 1901, three subdivisions of Zion City lots were thrown open and quickly sold -or, rather, leased for 1,100 years.

A small, square, one-story frame building was put up at the corner of Shiloh Boulevard-the main east and west street-and Elijah Avenue-the main north and south street. In this were housed the Zion City offices of Zion City Bank and Zion Land and Invest­ment Association. Here Deacon Jesse A. Stoneham was in charge. The railroad company built a small temporary station near Shiloh Boulevard and it be­gan to do a lively business before the roof was laid.

With ink still wet on their leases, hundreds of those who had bought lots began to build their homes. All through the winter they had been amateur architects, since most of them could not, or thought they could not, afford to engage the services of a professional.

Herbert and St. John Worcester had worked all winter on a plan for a civic center, residential zones, and landscape architecture. The General Overseer's unexpected return had found their plan incomplete. They begged for time, but pressure of thousands of families impatient to build their homes was so great that they two could as easily have held back a spring freshet with their bare hands.

Many people lived in tents while they built their



houses. The cheapest, ugliest, barest kind of make­shift shacks were thrown up.

Many people had leased lots and expected to save money for many years before putting up their houses. But they were caught in the mad rush to get out of Chicago and other big cities and live in clean and holy Zion City.

Opening the gates of Zion City on July 15 was but an incident in what, to the General Overseer, was a more portentous event. This was Zion's first Feast of Tabernacles. Preparations for this great gathering had begun when he returned from Europe in Jan­uary.

Equipment for a camp to shelter thousands of peo­ple, including a "big top," or assembly tent, had been bought.

Deacon Fred Jeffords had been instructed to pre­pare to feed thousands of people three times a day.

For two weeks in July, Zion people from all over the world were commanded to gather in Zion City, live in tents, and "Keep the Feast of Tabernacles." The General Overseer preached and wrote editorials about it. He made effective use of a passage of Scrip­ture which read: "There shall be the plague, where­with the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles."

This was a part of the restoration of all things.

People came. The tents were filled and many found rooms in homes of residents of the city. Dr. Dowie and his family spent that two weeks and most of the summer in the former Luther Nettus horne, which had been richly furnished and christened Temple Cottage.



Deacon Worcester and his staff were moved into temporary quarters in Zion Lace Industries building.

The General Overseer announced that every adult in Zion City must attend the early morning meet­ing every morning at half past six, and the evening meeting every evening at half past seven.

After three days of the "feast," Herbert went to see his chief.

"General Overseer," he said, "would it be possible for you to excuse our workmen from the early morn­ing meetings?"

"Why?" flaring up, "don't they want to attend?"

"Oh, yes, they're only too glad to. But they don't get on the job until nearly ten o'clock and we're get­ting way behind. Their pay goes on just the same, and three hours' pay for every person employed in Zion City is a whole lotta money."

"Well, it's my money, isn't it? You must not let your interest in building blind you to the vastly more important work God is doing here. These physical things are important and I am glad you do not want to neglect them or see them neglected. I am a business man myself and I know the value of the pennies. But God has also called me to restore all things before our Lord shall come. It is especially important that those who have the actual work of building the city should hear me. Never fear, Herbert, my son, they will do more for God and for Zion when they have heard these messages."

"Very well, General Overseer," said Herbert, un­convinced.

"By the way, Herbert," asked the General Overseer,



"what has become of your poor, foolish brother?"

"Ezra's opinions and mine differ in some ways, General Overseer, but I've no right to call him fool­ish on that account-or to keep silent when some one else does, which amounts to the same thing."

"But when a man sets up his poor, little, puny. opinions against God's, he's a fool"

"Not every man knows what God's opinions are -but I'll not argue. I've made my protest."

Dr. Dowie sat looking at his young challenger, his eyes twinkling, mustache twitching. Then he said, "But you have not answered my question-where is your brother and what is he doing?"

"He's working at a lathe in a furniture factory on the North Side."

"Can he make a living for his family? I feel for his dear, lovely children."

"Well, it's quite a scramble for him, but I'm able to help him out a little."

"Your generosity does you far more credit than· your judgment," said the great man, crossly. "He and his family are his responsibility, not yours. You will have a family of your own some day. Your duty is to them. Don't take your own children's bread and give it to-deserters and apostates."

Herbert made no reply-he intended to keep on helping Ezra.

Meanwhile Dr. Dowie was talking on.

"I've another pathetic letter from a poor girl who is suffering from a very common form of vice and is making a brave fight to overcome it. I've prayed for



her many times and God has answered my prayers; but the Devil deceives her and she falls. Pray for her.

"It is pitiful to hear, as I do almost daily, the con­fessions of women who suffer from unsatisfied desire. There are so many more good women than good men, that many must go through life without marriage, or if their husbands die cannot marry again. Many of them fall into sin.

"You ought to marry, Herbert. God said, ‘It is not good for man to live alone.' And there are hundreds of beautiful, Godly young women in Zion who need a husband."

Herbert was horrified. It was not the first time he had heard scandalous secrets from Zion's confessional. The General Overseer demanded these confessions-­the more secret and the more shameful, the stronger the demand-as the price of answer to prayer.

"Oh, why," he implored to himself, as his spiritual leader went on about the duty of getting married, "why don't I tell him that I never want to hear about another confession? Why don't I refuse to listen? He'd be insulted to death, I suppose, but it'd prob'ly do us both good. Well, then, why don't I do it? Gosh, I don't dare. If I ever started to talk to him about that I'd blow up and say things I wouldn't mean. Anyhow, it's his business. I guess, if it was wrong, God wouldn't continue to answer his prayer."

As if to add force to this thought, Captain Erdman knocked and immediately came in, excited.

"Here's Deacon Evans, General Overseer. His baby's dyin'."

Deacon Evans, short, stocky, dressed in overalls,



and sweat-stained shirt; his Welsh face, though pale, serene with his confidence in Dr. Dowie, entered carrying a child about a year old. Herbert thought the baby dead. His waxen face looked chill and stiff, the half-closed eyelids were blue, the lower jaw had fallen, the body lay limp.

With a murmur of affectionate sympathy, Dr. Dowie snatched off his skull cap, closed his eyes, lifted his face heavenward, laid hands on the child's head and chest, and prayed. The prayer was only a sen­tence so softly spoken that those who stood by scarcely heard. Instantly the child opened his eyes and color flowed into his cheeks. He sat up and looked at the group gathered round him. Seeing Dr. Dowie, he laughed, crowed, and held out his arms. "My dotah, my dotah!" he said. Smiling and crooning, the bearded prophet took the little one, caressed and kissed him, to the child's great delight, then handed him back to his weeping father.

"Now what can you do with a man like that?" Herbert asked himself as he hurried away to his office.

Zion's First Feast of Tabernacles closed with a fare­well meeting for Wilbur Glenn Voliva.

This capable young man had made so good a record for himself as Elder-in-charge of North Side Zion Tabernacle in Chicago that he was transferred to Cincinnati, which boasted the largest and most im­portant branch of the Church. There he had proved even more valuable to Zion. He had then been or­dained overseer and designated to administer all branches in Australia and New Zealand-in other words, he was appointed overseer for Australasia. He




and his wife and a corps of elders and evangelists were about to depart for the Antipodes. The General Overseer praised them all extravagantly-especially Overseer Voliva-and all Zion did them honor.





Herbert stepped down from the train in Zion City and was glad to see his assistant waiting for him with horse and buggy.

"Have you heard the latest?" asked Jesse. "I guess all my troubles with the ladies are over. The General Overseer handed out a new code of rules at the big tent last night:

"No more picnics in the parks or parties in the homes without Overseer Darling's permission [Over­seer Darling now lived in Zion City and was a kind of resident pastor], and then not unless some elder or deacon is present.

"No more walks or rides by young folks in pairs, unless there's a chaperon along.

"No young man shall call on a young lady more than once a week or more than three times altogether without going to Overseer Darling and announcing his intentions. If the overseer doesn't approve of those intentions, they are nipped in the bud. Nobody can get engaged or married without the General Overseer s express permission.

"No young man callin' on a young woman can sit with her alone in a closed room.

"Engaged couples, as always in Zion, shall not hug or kiss.

"Bathers and swimmers in the lake are now roped



off-ladies to the south, men to the north, married couples with their infant children between.

“Next winter young men and women must not skate or coast together, men must not put on women's skates for them, and the skatin' pond is to be roped off as the beach is now.

“All ordained officers, members of Zion Guard, and married folks are to keep their eyes peeled and re­port promptly any breakin' of. these rules. If they see anything and don't report it, they're equally guilty. Zion City must be a safe place for young peo­ple! Now what do you think of that?"

Herbert groaned.

“He'll have to change all that, Jesse," he said. "Some darned old maid's been filling him up with crazy no­tions. Why, if he tries that he'll have boys and girls going to the Devil behind every bush in Zion City!"

The next day Dr. Dowie sent for him.

"Ah, Herbert, my boy," beamed the preacher, "how are you? Keeping close to God?"

"Yes, General Overseer."

(Herbert had once answered this frequent ques­tion by modestly saying, "I'm trying to, General Overseer." "Trying means you do not succeed. It's a weak word, Herbert, and a weak way. Only three letters in try, and-it's like using only three fingers of your hand. Trust has five letters and is strong like your whole hand. Trust God, Herbert, and lie will keep you close to Himself." After that Herbert threw modesty away and always answered, "Yes, General Overseer," although he had no clear idea of what keeping close to God meant.)




"Come join me--I'm just having lunch."

They strolled through the magnificent new library to a cozy study where the General Overseer did his editorial work. The lunch served there was delicious and Herbert was again glad of a change from the main dining-room.

"Well, Herbert, my son, tell me how the work in Zion City is progressing," prompted the doctor, as he helped himself to breast of turkey.

Herbert reported on progress and further plans were discussed.

Then the General Overseer said: "Overseer Darling tells me some of our young men want a grand-stand built on that corner of Shiloh Park where they've been playing ball. I'm in two minds about it. I want our young people to enjoy innocent recreation, and' I am willing they should use that bit of Zion's land for their games, but I do not want them to become too much interested. David says, rightly, "The Lord … taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.' I want the hearts of Zion's young men and young women to be fixed upon God and God's work. Do you know anything about these ball-players and their plans?"

"Not much, General Overseer, except that they have organized a couple of teams and play there an hour or two evenings and on Saturday afternoons. I know some of the players and they seem to be fine, loyal Zion men."

"I don't like their playing Saturday afternoon.




They would do well to be in communion with God, in preparation for the Lord's Day."

"Well, it's about the only time they have, General Overseer. Everybody in Zion City is working hard, long hours, and these young fellows, many of 'em, shut up in offices, need some activity in the open air to keep 'em fit."

""Not one of them works as hard or as many hours as I do, and I keep fit, as you call it, by faith in God and not by a stupid capering after a ball. If they did not make a God of their belly they would keep their bodies healthy, as I do, without exercise."

"But you get as much exercise as any of us, Gen­eral Overseer," laughed Herbert. "I doubt if any young chap in Zion could stand the mere physical effort of your sermons during the Feast of Taber­nacles. It takes muscle--and a lot of it-to fill the auditorium with your voice for three or four hours. Besides, you run all over the platform and make a lot of mighty vigorous gestures."

The preacher's face glowed with pleasure, his eyes twinkled, his mustache twitched. "So you think these mighty young athletes could not keep pace with your little General Overseer?" he asked.

"Not one of 'em," said Herbert stoutly. "They'd collapse if they tried it."

"’Well, I don't want to expect too much of young people. After all, "The glory of a young man is in his strength.' You had better have Worcester draw up a plan and see that the boys get their grand-stand."

"This reminds me, General Overseer. I'm afraid



you'll have a lot of trouble with the young folks over the rules you 'made at Zion City Wednesday night. Even a good deal of foolishness in the open is better than clandestine affairs. The first year I was in col­lege they had a whole lot of rules for the boys and girls-and they were mighty strict. And that year two of the girls had to leave college for forced mar­riages, three were expelled for climbing out of dor­mitory windows to meet their lovers, and ten boys were expelled for one cause or another. And those were only the ones that got caught. Then rules were abolished and the students put on their honor. During three years more I was there I never heard of any college girl going bad. Course, some 0' the boys ran after loose girls in town, but there was mighty little of that compared to what there had been that first year. "

“But your college experience, Herbert, has nothing to do with Zion City. Evidently your authorities made rules and did not or could not enforce them. In Zion City we will not only make rules, we will see that they are enforced. The physical passions of young people are too strong for them to be permitted to dally about with each other for hours at a time. Look at the boys and girls right here in Chicago. They have plenty of freedom. They are on their honor, as you call it. They dance together all night, they sit for hours side by side in the theaters watching plays that rouse their passions, they go off all day long and half the night on their bicycles. And they are rotten with sin."

“Perhaps so, General Overseer. I've no way of



knowing. But I'll venture to say that immorality is rare among young people of the class and type we have in Zion City. Even if it is not, the trouble is only aggravated by driving them out in the dark. Besides, I'm young myself and I know that you itch to break a rule just for the fun and excitement of it."

“Do you feel like that about these rules?"

"No, the thing is too serious, and I've got some­thing more interesting to do. That's why I'm in favor of games and sports for young people. It gives them a healthy outlet for their excess spirits and energy."

"They'd better find an outlet in the work of Zion Seventies," growled the head of Zion. uI see your point of view, Herbert, and I respect your sincerity. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm sure you're wrong. The rules stand."

"Very well, General Overseer. Since the rules are to stand, I myself earnestly hope I'm wrong."

Herbert was to recall this conversation many times in the years that followed, and to wonder if the Gen­eral Overseer remembered it.

As he stepped into the corridor from the General Overseer's suite Herbert stopped and turned at the sound of his name. In the doorway of Captain Erd­man's office stood a slender, somewhat overdressed woman.

"Excuse me," she said, "I'm Mrs. Mindbank. Can you tell me when I can see Doctor Dowie?"

Her voice was deep, throaty, thick with honey.

"I'm sorry I can't. Captain Erdman and Deacon Murray have charge of his appointments."

"Oh," she cried, taking his arm in a white-gloved



hand, while her voice rounded out and became orator­ical, "I must see him. I've had the most glorious spiritual rebirth and I have a wonderful message from God for him,

Herbert tried to back away.

"Come," she said, "you are close to the General Overseer. I'll tell you about it. We can sit here in Captain Erdman's office."

"I'm sorry-" he began, pulling away.

"Oh, no, Deacon," she protested. "Do not pass by such a glorious privilege. This spiritual rebirth-"

She had drawn him to a settee and sat beside him, her shoulder and knee pressed against his, her hand still convulsively caressing his arm. His discomfort grew. Her breath was unpleasant, despite the heroic efforts of sensen, and the mingled odors of neglected armpits and cheap violet scent took his attention away from the spiritual benefits she offered.

"Excuse me," he interrupted, rising, "I'm sorry-" A door opened and the General Overseer came out of his suite, on his way downstairs to dinner. Seeing Herbert and Mrs. Mindbank he came into the office. "Were you waiting to see me?" he asked the woman.

"Oh, yes, General Overseer. Thank God, He has given me this precious opportunity to deliver His message to you!"

"You have a message from God to me?" he asked emphasizing both pronouns.

"Yes, dear General Overseer. I have had such a marvelous experience in answer to prayer, and I'm so divinely happy-"

"What is this message?" he interrupted.




"It is the glorious privilege of every child of God to receive the gift of perfect holiness."

"And you have achieved holiness?" asked Dr. Dowie, his eyes twinkling.

"Oh, yes, praise the Lord. I've been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb-I cannot sin."

"Perfectly clean?" he asked, taking out his always immaculate white silk handkerchief.

"Perfectly clean, General Overseer, according to His precious promise."

Swift and sudden the preacher's hand shot out. The handkerchief over his finger tip slid around the woman's neck and came away showing a black streak.

"Go and wash your dirty neck," he said, suddenly stern, "before you come to me with any messages about being perfectly clean."

Taking Herbert's arm he turned and walked out, leaving Mrs. Mindbank speechless.

Before his next visit to Zion City, Herbert was shocked to hear from Jesse by telephone that Deacon Vallore, contractor, had tried to find a short way out of his thick-flying financial troubles by drowning himself in the lake.

"He's left an awful mess," Jesse reported. "Con­tracts· partly finished, debts here, in Kenosha, Wau­kegan' and Chicago, workmen unpaid, money col­lected from owners and sunk. I don't know what we'll do with it."

Herbert immediately reported to Dr. Dowie, and in half an hour was on his way to Zion City with the General Overseer, Deacons Halsey and Worcester, and Attorney Endicott. Vallore had left a frantic note,



blaming no one but himself, and ending, "When the Devil gets me, he'll get his own:'

Before this little group returned to Chicago that evening, arrangements had been made to bury poor Vallore in Waukegan-the General Overseer would not permit a suicide to sleep with the just in Zion City; all his bills had been paid out of Zion funds; his unfinished contracts had been taken over, tem­porarily, by Zion Land and Investment Association; and a new organization, Zion Building and Manufac­turing Association had been swiftly created to do all construction work, both public and private.

Independent contractors had been called in, made to show their books, and notified that they might work for the new association as foremen or superin­tendents, but could not continue to make contracts. If their accounts were satisfactory, they were per­mitted to finish a building under construction. If not, the new association would take the contracts off their hands.

The “B. and M..," as it immediately began to be called, was to be under the management of Deacon Thomas R. Gaines, a quiet, scholarly man, highly trained in physics and engineering, who knew more about construction and finance than he did about people.


John and Nancy Harrow were going with Herbert to Zion City. On the train Herbert gaily pointed out bits of blood-red, burnt-orange, golden-brown, dusky purple, and lacquered-yellow foliage still clinging to trees; marshlands and meadows almost incredible in



the pink and apricot tones of their dry grasses; and vivid blue glimpses of the lake. John responded to his friend's mood.

"Jove, if I'd known the country was so glorious, I'd've come long ago."

"Is Zion City growing up as beautiful as you hoped, Herbert?" asked Nancy.

"Why, of course-" he began. Then he stopped, laughed confusedly, and went on, "As a matter of fact, Nan, I've had my eye so close to streets and culverts, lot and block numbers, and a whole lot of other merely useful things, I haven't noticed. But-­now you ask me-I'm afraid it's still a little crude."

"Well, take a good look at it to-day," she counseled. "You may want to do something about it."

Jesse met them with his surrey.

"Peace to thee, brother."

“Peace to thee be multiplied, Deacon."

These salutations boomed and rolled everywhere about them. Tears rose in John's eyes.

"My word! That's inspiring," he exclaimed. "Jove! What a future this city can have!"

They were passing along Elijah Avenue, in front of Zion City General Stores. Wagons, buggies, car­riages were moving all about them, people hurried up and down the street, in and out of the stores. Through plate glass windows could be seen hundreds of shoppers and busy clerks, in a vacant lot across the street a crowd of boys were screaming happily over a ball game, on the other corner a gang of men with two teams of horses was digging an excavation for a new building.



A steam whistle on the power-house sent a deep-­toned roar across the city.

At the sound every vehicle stopped, every pedes­trian stood in his tracks, clerks and shoppers in the stores seemed turned to stone, the boys' shouts were  silent and they became a group of statuary, every workman grounded his pick or shovel. Every boy's and man's hat was removed. Sounds from other parts of the city were stilled, and for a moment the sud­den silence was like a blow.

The whistle blew again and everybody came to life.

“Jove!" breathed John. "What a scene! I wouldn't have missed it for a thousand dollars. So that's your nine o'clock moment of prayer, when thousands of people clear around the world, twice every day, bow and pray for Zion, for the General Overseer, and for the coming of the Kingdom of God! No wonder' nothing can stop this movement!"

Driving about the city, Herbert saw it with new eyes-and was appalled.

Lacking funds for the houses they had hoped to build,· many had put up only a lean-to kitchen or a rear quarter, planning to add the greater part later. Some could not buy even shingles or siding, but left the walls of their dwellings covered with building pa­per, black with tar. Among the completed homes, there were cupolas, dormers, towers, gables, cornices, and other enormities of ornamentation stuck on where they did not belong, distressing lines and awk­ward proportions, resulting from ambitious, home­made plans. When amateur architects had added paint, in hard raw colors and fantastic designs, the




result made Herbert's toes curl in his shoes and brought out cold sweat ..

As summer had waned, vacant lots and subdi­visions, 300-foot-wide main 'boulevards, parks, and other public lands had grown up to weeds and ragged grass. It was, of course, impossible to pave-or even macadamize-all the many miles of streets, and they were wildernesses of swirling dust.

There were few street lights, no waterworks, no gas, no sewers. Many lots were still vacant. Wide gaps, weed-grown and here and there crossed by short-cut paths, lay between the houses, giving the city a lonely, windswept air of desolation.

“Of course, it looks like the Old Scratch now," Herbert said. "It's new. It's in a hurry.

“But you just wait! Once we get our breath, we'll tear down these emergency shacks and show you something in urban beauty the world's never been able to reach before."

Nancy laughed, commiseratingly. "But what're you going to do about Stranshaw's delirium here, and Hunnemyer's sunburst over there, and Beckslaw's nightmare we saw on Enoch Avenue, and all the overgrown dry-goods boxes and wedding­-cakes? You can't tear down people's homes and make 'em build according to your taste. Mrs. Stranshaw fairly weeps with joy every time she looks at that howling frenzy she and her little deacon designed and built for themselves on Elisha Avenue."