Celebrating 175

November 20: John Archer Lejeune (1942)

Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune, often referred to as “the greatest of all Leathernecks,” during his more than 40 years service with the U.S. Marine Corps, led the famed Second Division (Army) in World War I, and was Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps. John Archer Lejeune was born at Pointe Coupee, Louisiana in 1867. He attended Louisiana State University prior to his appointment as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1888. At the expiration of a two-year cruise as a cadet midshipman he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. With the outbreak of World War I, General Lejeune assumed command of the newly constructed Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia. His overseas service began in June 1918 when he arrived at Brest, France. Upon reporting to the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, he was assigned to command a brigade of the 32nd Division. On 28 July 1918, General Lejeune assumed command of the Second Division. He was the first Marine officer to hold an Army divisional command. Lejeune is included on a plaque at Epiphany that commemorates parishioners who served in World War I.

Lejeune was appointed as Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1920. Shortly afterwards, he and his wife became associated with the Church of the Epiphany. Lejeune was elected to the vestry in 1921 and became Junior Warden three years later, serving for the rest of his time in Washington. Upon the expiration of his second term as Commandant, General Lejeune accepted the position of superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, serving there until his resignation in October 1937. General Lejeune died on November 20, 1942 and was interred in the Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is named for one of the ablest officers of the American military forces, and one of the most distinguished soldiers of World War I.

< Previous     Next >

November 19: Lavinia Ellen Ream Hoxie (1914)

Lavinia Ellen “Vinnie” Ream Hoxie was an American sculptor. Her most famous work is the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. With that work, she became the first female to receive a government art commission. Vinnie was born in a log cabin in Madison, Wisconsin Territory. In 1861, her family moved to Washington, D.C. After her father’s health began to fail, she began working outside the home to support her family. Vinnie Ream was one of the first women to be employed by the federal government. She had innate artistic talents and sang at several local churches, including Epiphany, and for the wounded at Washington, D.C. hospitals during the Civil War. In 1863, Ream was introduced to sculptor Clark Mills. She became an apprentice in Mills’ sculpting studio the next year, at the age of seventeen.

In 1864, President Lincoln agreed to model for Vinnie in the morning for five months, and she created a bust of his figure. During this time, the two became friends. Following Lincoln’s assassination, two important things happened in Vinnie’s life. In June 1865, Vinnie and her sister Mary were baptized at Epiphany. A year later, Vinnie received the commission to do a statue of the slain president. In 1871, her white marble statue of Lincoln was unveiled in the United States Capitol rotunda. She opened a studio in Washington. George Armstrong Custer sat for a portrait bust. In 1876, she exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. She won a competition to do a statue of Admiral David G. Farragut, which stands in Farragut Square today. Ream married Richard L. Hoxie, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She died on November 20, 1914. Vinnie Ream Hoxie and her husband are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, marked by her statue of the Greek poet Sappho.

< Previous     Next >

November 18: Mary Appleton Foster (1913)

Mary Appleton Foster was an Army nurse during the American Civil War. For two weeks at the end of November 1862, Foster was assigned to Epiphany General Hospital, the name given to the Church of the Epiphany when it was converted into a military hospital during the war. Foster was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1829. During the summer of 1862, she was the Treasurer of the Ladies Soldiers Aid Society in Portsmouth. She left Portsmouth for Washington, D.C. on September 5, 1862 and once there stayed with some friends and began working as a nurse at a hospital that had been set up in a church on H Street. She fell ill and left Washington for a few weeks and that hospital closed. When she returned she went to Dorothea L. Dix and received an appointment as an Army nurse. She served at Epiphany General Hospital from November 21, 1862 to December 5, 1862, and then General Hospital, Fairfax Seminary (Virginia Theological Seminary) between December 1862 and April 1863. She then returned home to Portsmouth for a few months.

In October 1863 she accepted an invitation to go to St. Louis and work for the Western Sanitary Commission. She went from there to Nashville for a brief time, then down to New Orleans to help take charge of the Soldiers Home there. She sought and obtained a position with the 13th Army Corps Hospital that was in a huge cotton press. By March 1864 most of the patients had been sent north and the rest were sent to the Marine Hospital where she worked until June 1864. In 1865 she was at Finley and Harewood General Hospitals om Washington, D.C. In 1871 she and some other members of the Unitarian Church in Portsmouth founded a Young People’s Union and collected over 1000 books. When it closed in 1874 the books were stored in the basement of the Unitarian Church. In 1880 she came up with the idea of lending these books to the people of Portsmouth. After getting a temporary room at the Custom House, the Portsmouth Public Library opened on January 1, 1881, with Foster as one of the founders.

< Previous     Next >

November 17: Fourteenth Church Congress (1891)

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Church Congress in the United States was held in Washington, D.C., November 17-20, 1891. The Congress had been held almost annually since 1874 within the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. It was patterned on similar congresses held in the Church of England. Lay and clerical members gathered to discuss religious, moral or social matters, in which the church had an interest. It had no legislative authority, and there was no voting on the questions discussed. The meeting in November 1891 was the first time the Congress met in the nation’s capital. On November 17, proceedings began at the Church of the Epiphany with a service of Holy Communion followed by the Inaugural and Memorial Addresses. The subsequent discussions were held in the National Rifles’ Hall, on G Street, between Ninth and Tenth Streets. Topics for the discussions included “Theism and Evolution,” “Socialism,” “Relations of the Clergy to Politics,” and “New and Old Parochial Methods.”

The presiding officer of the Congress was typically the bishop of the diocese in which the meeting was held. Bishop Paret was not available, so he asked recently retired U.S. Senator and Epiphany parishioner George F. Edmunds to act in his place. The opening session at Epiphany included a forty-voice mixed choir and an address to an overflow crowd by the Bishop of Massachusetts, Phillips Brooks (depicted here). Known best as the lyricist of the Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Brooks was one of the great preachers of his day.

< Previous    Next >

November 16: Henry Carrington Bolton (1903)

H. Carrington Bolton was a celebrated chemist, author and scholar of national reputation on the history of chemistry. It was speculated that Bolton belonged to more scientific societies than any other American during the Gilded Age. Henry Carrington Bolton was born in New York City in 1843. Bolton graduated from Columbia College (New York) in 1862. He then studied abroad in Paris, Heidelberg and Göttingen where he received his PhD in 1866 from the University of Göttingen (Germany).  Bolton studied under many of the chemistry greats of the time: Wurtz, Dumas, Bunsen, Wohler and Hofmann. After his graduation, he spent some years in travel. From 1872 until 1877, he was assistant in quantitative analysis in the Columbia School of Mines. In 1874 he was appointed professor of chemistry in the Woman’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary. He resigned in 1877, when he became professor of chemistry and natural science in Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

The celebration of the centennial of chemistry at Northumberland, Pennsylvania, the home of Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen in 1774, was suggested and brought about by Bolton. Among his investigations, that of the action of organic acids on minerals is perhaps the most important, but most of his work was literary, and his private collection of early chemical books was unsurpassed in the United States. Bolton published large bibliographies of chemistry and later of all scientific periodicals, which are still used. Following his death in November 1903, Bolton’s funeral was held at the Church of the Epiphany before his interment in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York.

< Previous     Next >

November 15: Edward Henry Ingle+ (1920)

Edward Henry Ingle was an Episcopal priest who served several different parishes. The latter part of his career was spent at Epiphany where he was as an assistant from 1908 till his death in 1920. The Parish Guide newsletter printed the following obituary. “Rev. Edward Henry Ingle was born in Washington, 82 years ago. He was educated at Episcopal High School, at the University of Virginia, and at the Virginia Theological Seminary, where he was a classmate of Dr. McKim. In more than 50 years of active ministry he served the Church in Roanoke Parish, Salem, Virginia; St. Bartholomews, Baltimore, Maryland; Nice, France; Millwood, Virginia; and Ascension and Epiphany Parishes in this city. His gracious and loving personality had endeared him to many during his 12 years among us as Chaplain of the Church Home although he led a retired life, caring for his sorely afflicted wife until her death in 1917. He was buried with her in Congressional Cemetery. He died November 20, peacefully, and his funeral was conducted, November 22, in Epiphany Church by Bishop Harding, the Ministers of the Parish, Rev. Dr. A.C. Powell of Baltimore reading the Lesson.”

Ingle’s family was deeply rooted in Washington, D.C. His grandfather was one of the founders of Christ Church, Washington Parish in 1795. In 1907, Epiphany’s rector, Randolph McKim, persuaded the vestry to employ Ingle as an assistant for limited duty at $50 a month. Ingle continued in a very modestly paid status for ten years, and then served without pay until his death. Ingle’s death came just four months after that of Dr. McKim. Ingle’s tombstone at Congressional Cemetery reads, “Christ’s Faithful Soldier and Servant.”

< Previous     Next >

November 14: Epiphany Red Cross Auxiliary (1917-19)

After America entered World War I in April 1917, parishioners of the Church of the Epiphany became involved in a variety of actions in support of the war effort. For two years an Epiphany Auxiliary of the Red Cross with 125 or more members met three or more times a week to make garments, surgical dressings, and other items for service members. In 1918, the Navy’s Surgeon General specifically assigned Epiphany’s chapter the task of making “comfort and surgical pillows” for two hospital ships. Even after the fighting ended, the ladies of the Auxiliary continued to make dressings. A Parish Guide recruitment ad for auxiliary members in late 1919 stated, “’Nine by nine’ compresses for Walter Reed Hospital are being made in full determination to ‘carry on’ till the need is over, and it is predicted that some of our poor lads will be under repair for two years longer. Epiphany Branch urges old and new members to join in this work and good fellowship.”

A report of the Epiphany Church Red Cross Auxiliary for the period 1917-1919 gave the following accounting of items made: Surgical dressings – 22,209; Garments – 2,232; Linen Articles – 1,616; Comfort and bedside bags – 490; Knitted articles – 570; Pillows – 555; Socks mended, pairs – 824; Quilts given – 2; Pairs socks given – 60.

< Previous     Next >

November 13: Joseph Ernst Kuhn (1935)

Joseph E. Kuhn was a career officer in the United States Army. He attained the rank of major general, and was most notable for his command of the 79th Division during World War I, and his post-war commands of IX Corps, Schofield Barracks, and Vancouver Barracks. Kuhn was born in Leavenworth, Kansas. His parents were immigrants to America from Stuttgart, Germany. Kuhn graduated at the top of his United States Military Academy (USMA) class of 1885. Assigned to the Engineers, he supervised river and harbor projects in Detroit and San Francisco. He also served on the USMA faculty, and planned and oversaw construction of several buildings at the academy. In February 1893, Joseph Kuhn and Caroline Parker, daughter of Major R.C. Parker, were married at the Church of the Epiphany. Caroline Kuhn’s funeral took place at the church 23 years later.

During the Spanish-American War, Kuhn served as assistant to the Chief of Engineers, a role which included supervising Engineer projects related to the coastal defenses of the United States. Kuhn’s later career included serving as an observer of Japan’s army during the Russo-Japanese War, and Germany’s at the start of World War I. During the war, Kuhn commanded the 79th Division, and then the IX Corps. His post-war commands included the Camp Kearny demobilization center in California, Schofield Barracks and the 21st Infantry Brigade in Hawaii, and Vancouver Barracks and the 5th Infantry Brigade in Washington. Kuhn retired in 1925, and resided in San Diego, where he worked as a consulting engineer and became involved in civic causes and charities. He dies in San Diego, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

< Previous     Next >

November 12: William Grigsby Freeman (1866)

William Grigsby Freeman was a United States Army Officer. He made an inspection tour of the Department of Texas in 1853, and his reports on the military aspects of San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas, influenced the government’s involvement there and helped spur their growth to the cities they are today. Freeman was born in Virginia in 1815. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in 1834, and was assigned to the fourth artillery. He served in the Florida war, and was made first lieutenant for gallantry on several occasions. In 1840 he became instructor of infantry and artillery tactics at West Point, and in the following year served on the northern frontier at Buffalo, during the Canada border disturbances. From 1841 till 1849 he served as assistant in the adjutant general’s office in Washington, D.C.

It was during this time that he married Margaret Cassatt Coleman, granddaughter of Robert Coleman, a wealthy Pennsylvania industrialist. The marriage produced six children. The most significant to Epiphany would be two daughters, Isabel and Margaret, who would become significant benefactors to the church. Freeman was chief of staff to General Winfield Scott, commanding the army headquarters at New York. He was brevetted major in 1847, and lieutenant colonel in 1848, “for meritorious conduct, particularly in the performance of his duty in the prosecution of the war with Mexico.” He served as assistant adjutant general from 1853 till 1856, when he resigned on account of failing health, which prevented his taking part in the civil war. Freeman served on Epiphany’s vestry during the war. He died in Cornwall, Pennsylvania and was buried in the family plot in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. The head of his sarcophagus is shown in the accompanying photograph.

< Previous     Next >

November 11: Armistice Day Service (1925)

November 11 is Veterans Day, an annual public holiday where the persons who served in the United States Armed Forces are honored. It was originally called Armistice Day and marked the end of World War I. Major hostilities of the war were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. With Epiphany’s strong connections to World War I, there were several commemorative services at its conclusion. Four days after the armistice, a Service of Thanksgiving took place. On November 11, 1925, a special Armistice Day service was held at the church, which featured the first use of a new processional cross, which is still in use today. The following description of the service appeared in the Parish Guide newsletter.

“It was most inspiring to see, on Wednesday evening, for the first time in the history of this Parish, at a regular service, the Epiphany Choir emerging from the Parish Hall, singing the Processional Hymn, preceded by the Cross! Thus commenced a service that will go down in the history of this Parish as one of the most brilliant ever held in Epiphany. Special music was rendered by the full choir, including the famous “Alleluia,” by Beethoven, Kipling’s “Recessional” and other appropriate numbers. Just before the Recessional Hymn, which was sung accompanied by trumpeters from the Army Band, every one stood at rigid attention, facing the Altar, while Mr. Torovksy rendered “The Star Spangled Banner.” The Rector delivered the sermon, taking for his text, “What mean ye by this service?” Briefly sketching the most important political, religious and military crusades of the ages, Dr. Phillips rounded out his sermon by referring to the greatest of all crusaders – Jesus on the Cross of Calvary, and His Mission of Peace. The Rector paid a glowing tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their all for their country. Those in the Chancel, beside the Rector, included the Bishop of Washington, the Rev. Mr. Brock (a priest of the Church of England who rendered distinguished service in the World War, for which he was decorated many times), and the Rev. Messrs. Bomberger, Miller and Bradley of our staff. Included in the congregation were the Ambassador of Spain, the Ambassador of Mexico, the Ministers of Norway, Greece, Haiti, Latvia and Egypt, with their staffs; representatives of the Embassies or Legations of Argentina, Salvador, Chile, Cuba, France, and Poland.”

< Previous     Next >