Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our Nation Is to Be Destroyed…Tomorrow-Part 4

This will be the final installment of this topic because the Ozark’s History Trail will diverge to other occasions & events.  In the past three installments, we have looked at national newspaper accounts in the past.  Now, we shall delve into a local newspapers, The Baxter Bulletin & The Cotter Courier , and see how a poor farmer & merchant receives inspiration behind a plow and takes his Ozark family on a world expedition.

Name Spelling
In covering this story, the spelling of Mr. Wilhite’s name can be: Whillhite, Willhite, Wilhite, or White. Fortunately, this story is so remarkable, it was still fairly easy to follow. Therefore, for the sake of documenting in as much accuracy as possible, I will use all the variances of spelling.

If you remember the last blog, Mr. Wilhite had made some might earth-moving statements.

The Baxter Bulletin
Predicted End of World August 31.
The Rev. White, formally of, Hopewell, this country, predicted the end of the world would occur August 31. He left his farm here July 22nd, sailed for England, where he preached on the streets of London until they sent him back to this country. He arrives in New York destitute and was cared for by the Municipal Charity Association. He claims that he is sent by the Lord to preach 40 days and that all who did not hearken to him would be carried off by a strange disease. Mrs. Wilhite, his wife, has expressed her desire to “quit gallivanting” and to go back home.

Now…Back in Baxter County
The Baxter Bulletin
Wants His Homestead Back.
Testimony has been taken before Clerk Eatman Monday in one of the oddest contest cases, in all probability that has ever come before the Land Office in the Harrison District.

The case was Sam White vs. Sarah Bodenhamer, of Hopewell. It may be remembered by many that Sam White is the man who predicted last summer that the United States would be destroyed. Believing in this prediction, he sold and gave away all his belongings. Getting all the ready cash out of these he could, he went to London, England, where he preached his gospel on the streets until the authorities took him in charge and deported him to the United States. He landed in New York and the people there sent him back to Arkansas. The Case in question is about his homestead that he was living on at the time he left. He relinquished to the defendant in this case at the time $25. And now he wants it back. Upon his return he came to Mountain Home and county authorities had him examined. The doctors pronounced him insane and the cause was several bullets in his head. Shortly after he came back he was in this office and stated he was evidently insane at the time he made his prediction and left on his trip. He also stated that his condition was always worse in the summer time than in the winter, the heat seeming to affect him. When he relinquished his homestead it is said he told that party that it wouldn’t do her any good as she would burn up within 40 days. After he was judged insane last fall, his wife was appointed his guardian by the court. Much interest is being taken in this case in this part of the county and the decision will be greatly looked forward to.

The Baxter Bulletin
Whilhite Wins Contest In Local Land Office.
The land office at Harrison, last week rendered a decision in favor of Sam Whilhite, who was contesting for his homestead which he sold for a small sum before starting out last summer to convert the world to his way of thinking. He is the man who went to London, England, and other places predicting that the world was coming to an end on a certain date. The department of interior at Washington has to affirm the Harrison land office decision before he can get possession.
Closing Thoughts…
A Paradigm Shift…The Right Timing.
Inspiration is the breath that gives our souls life; it is one of the qualities that make us unique in all of creation.

Though we may be misguided by others standard, it is where we receive our calling in life.  Although I may not agree with Samuel Wilhite’s doctrine, I honestly respect the willingness to forsake all for his convictions. Nevertheless, Dear Reader, while looking at my past, I cannot throw stones at Mr. Wilhite.  I have missed it, made mistakes, blunders the timing, and sinned.  However, I too, personally, believe we have the capacity and we were created to influence and change lives.

This story harkens me back to the Bible to a man named Elisha.  He was plowing in the field till he met the prophet of God, Elijah.  Elisha knew his time had come; his life would change forever. He was to be Elijah’s protégé; it was on the job training.  Once he received inspiration from the Lord, he burned his plow and sacrificed his oxen.  All bridges were burned as he embarked on his voyage.

I was raised and taught we were made ‘for such a time as this.”

What is the “this” in your life?

Is it time to step out and take a risk in the face of controversy and the fear of rejection?

Though it may seem you are stuck behind the plow of life, your inspiration will come.

Plod on pilgrim. Keep your hand to the plow.

Consistency plows the field. Determining focus will bring the furrows straight.

Keep your resolve to the task. Be committed to forsake all…unswerving.

Do not let Samuel Wilhite’s journey be a point for naysayers, but let it show a hard fought epiphany will not strand even the wayfarer or citizen.

These are the lessons that echo out of our Ozarks’ History.

Comments? My email address is:

Works Cited:
Shiras, Tom. “Predicted End of World August 31.” Baxter Bulletin 6.37 (02 Sept., 1907) A1-1.
Shiras, Tom. “Want His Homestead Back.” Baxter Bulletin 7.8 (02 Feb, 1908) A1-1.
Shiras, Tom. “Whilhite Wins Contest In Local Land Office.” Baxter Bulletin 8.8 (07 Sept., 1908) A1-1

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