Celebrating 175

April 14: Lincoln Assassination (Good Friday 1865)

For only the seventh time since 1865, the dates of Holy Week 2017 are the same as they were when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Listed below are Epiphany parishioners and their connections with the last days of Holy Week 1865.

Hugh McCulloch (Secretary of the Treasury) attended a cabinet meeting at 11am; McCulloch later remarked, “I never saw Mr. Lincoln so cheerful and happy.”

Vinnie Ream (young, aspiring sculptor who was befriended by Lincoln) perhaps would have been present sketching Lincoln; later created memorial statue in U.S. Capitol rotunda

Margaret R. Stone (wife of Lincoln family physician, Dr. Robert King Stone) on April 14, Lincoln wrote a pass for Margaret, a friend and an escort to travel to Richmond, VA.

Joseph S. Sessford (Ford’s Theatre staff) working in the box office on the night of April 14.

Joseph B. Stewart (theatre attendee) sitting in front row; after hearing shot and seeing Booth jump, pursued him across the stage, yelling “Stop that man!”

Dr. AKA King (U.S. Army physician; theatre attendee) one of the doctors in the theatre that attended to Lincoln; helped carry the president across the street to Petersen House

Dr. Tullio Verdi (Sec. of State Steward’s personal physician) tended to Steward’s serious, but non life-threatening wounds after coordinated attack on several government officials

Benjamin West (young boy who lived in a house across alley from Ford’s Theatre) saw Booth exit the theatre after shooting; provided officers with one of first clues to finding him.

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April 13: Mary Ann Kendall Greene (1875)

Mary Ann Kendall was the first child of Amos and Mary Woolfolk Kendall. Amos Kendall was an influential journalist and politician whose writings and support of Andrew Jackson helped raise the Democratic Party to the national stage. Kendall contributed to newspapers, served as Jackson’s postmaster general, and was one of Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet” of personal advisers. Kendall’s investment in Samuel Morse’s telegraph made him a wealthy man. Kendall donated land to provide a home for the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (today’s Gallaudet University) and persuaded Congress to charter the new institution. He also contributed significantly to the construction of Calvary Baptist Church, in downtown Washington.

Mary Ann Kendall married Daniel Gold, the chief clerk in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. The Golds had two sons, one of which (William Jason Gold) became an Episcopal priest and seminary professor and was featured in this series on January 13. After Daniel Gold’s death, his will provided for his sons’ education, both of which graduated from Harvard. Mary Ann later married Joseph Greene. Three of Mary Ann Kendall Greene’s children were baptized at Epiphany within a matter of months in the midst of the Civil War. The Greenes traveled abroad after the Civil War as Joseph took a foreign service post. Mary Ann was troubled by constant respiratory distress, which may have been untreated tuberculosis, and the Greenes later moved west in search of a healthier climate. They eventually settled in Faribault, Minnesota, where Mary Ann died and is buried.

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April 12: William Marsh (1912)

The accompanying photograph of Abraham Lincoln was taken in May 1860, just two days after Lincoln won his party’s nomination for the presidency. A New Jersey convention delegate was visiting Lincoln in Springfield, IL and asked for a photograph. Lincoln replied he didn’t have a satisfactory one, but “we will walk out together and I will sit for one.” At fifty-one years old, Lincoln appears much younger in this photograph and innocent of the great toll the presidency would take on him. The local photographer was William Marsh. In the 1860 census, Marsh’s occupation is listed as “artist.” Photographers often described themselves as “artists” at the time. Marsh specialized in ambrotypes, a photograph which produces a positive image on a sheet of glass.

William Marsh’s life journey took many twists and turns. He was born in England and pursued a career in the railway industry before immigrating to the U.S. with his new bride in 1855. First they settled in Kansas where William managed a large landed estate for an English gentleman. When that agreement expired, the couple moved to Springfield, IL where William began working in the grain trade. Through some political articles he wrote, he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Marsh taught music to the Lincoln children and Lincoln was a frequent guest in the Marsh home. Once in Washington, Lincoln secured a clerk position for William at the Census Bureau. The Marshes first son was born shortly thereafter and on December 24, 1861, Lincoln Marsh was baptized at the Church of the Epiphany.

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April 11: John Lenthall (1882)

John Lenthall and his father shared two things. They both had the same name and also shared the same profession – architect. The elder Lenthall had immigrated to the United States from England in 1793 and worked as Clerk of the Works at the U.S. Capitol under architect Benjamin Latrobe. Lenthall was killed in a construction accident in the building’s north wing in 1808. His son was just one year old. The younger Lenthall began his career in 1823, when as a teenager he was employed at the Washington Navy Yard. He learned the trade of ship carpenter and received training by visiting shipyards in several European countries. Lenthall went on to become an important shipbuilder and naval architect. In 1853, he handled the reconstruction of the sailing frigate USS Constellation, which is anchored today in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The Lenthall family had close associations with Epiphany since the church’s founding. The elder John Lenthall and his wife, Jane, had three children. The oldest child, Mary, was Epiphany’s first Sunday school teacher and also the first organist. The second child, Elizabeth, married William J. Stone, a local engraver. In 1883, Elizabeth Stone gave money and land to Epiphany for the establishment of a home for widows, which would be named for her father (Lenthall Home for Widows). The third child, John, is the subject of this entry. The funerals of all three children took place at Epiphany before their interment in the family plot at Rock Creek Cemetery.

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April 10: Thomas Hart Benton (1858)

When Missouri entered the Union in 1820, Thomas Hart Benton became one of the state’s first two senators. He was the first U.S. Senator to serve for five terms (30 years). He is one of Missouri’s two statues in the National Statuary Collection in the U.S. Capitol. He is one of eight senators featured in John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage. He became a leading proponent of westward expansion in the new nation, dubbed by a journalist as “Manifest Destiny.” Seven states have a Benton County named for THB. The county seat of Arkansas’ Benton County is Bentonville, also named for Benton and the headquarters of Walmart. Over the years, Benton had favored slavery, but had gradually come to favor abolition. His opposition to the Compromise of 1850 cost him his Senate seat.

It’s anyone’s guess how Benton came to be associated with Epiphany and even how closely he was affiliated. Many biographical sources indicate he was Presbyterian. Benton had been in the Senate for 20 years by the time Epiphany was founded. His introduction to the parish may have come through a Georgetown school his daughter attended. Epiphany’s first rector and his wife both had connections there. Perhaps it was through a fellow Senator as there were several in Epiphany’s early history. The first evidence of the Benton family in Epiphany’s records is the marriage of the senator’s eldest daughter in 1847. Altogether, parish records include the marriages of two daughters, the baptisms of eight grandchildren, and finally the Washington funeral of Benton and his grandson, who died a day apart.

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April 9: Stephen Johnson Field (1899)

Stephen Johnson Field was the 38th justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and one of five appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. Field filled a newly created tenth Supreme Court seat, to achieve both regional balance (he was a Westerner) and political balance (he was a Democrat). The appointment would also give the Court someone familiar with real estate and mining issues. Field insisted on serving long enough to break John Marshall’s record of thirty-four years on the court. His colleagues asked him to resign due to his intermittent senility, but he refused, staying on until 1897. Field’s length of service was surpassed in the 1970’s by Justice William O. Douglas, who remains the longest serving justice to date.

Stephen J. Field was the sixth of nine children. Stephen’s younger brother was Cyrus Field, who became a millionaire investor and creator of the trans-Atlantic cable. After graduating from Williams College and studying law in Albany, Stephen headed west to California in the Gold Rush. A successful legal practice eventually gained him a seat on the California Supreme Court. It was from his position as Chief Justice that he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. After serving 34 years, 266 days, Field retired and then died two years later. His funeral is recorded in Epiphany’s register. In announcing the death, A Chicago Daily front-page story states, “The services will be held at the house at 10 o’clock, and will be conducted by the Rev. Randolph McKim, D.D., rector of the Church of the Epiphany, where Judge Field held a pew.”

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April 8: Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (1897)

“On April 8, 1897, the doors of the Episcopal Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital were thrown open for the reception of patients of all creeds and color who might be suffering with diseases of the eye, ear, nose or throat. Since its opening no sufferer unable to pay has been turned away, but thousands have entered and have been treated and relieved or cured, and have gone away with grateful hearts to speak of this merciful charity, which has been established and is maintained by the Christian men and women of Washington.”

With these words, Epiphany’s Parish Guide announced the beginning of a new outreach for the congregation. The hospital was to be administered under Episcopal Church auspices with the Bishop of Washington as president of its Board of Directors. The Church of the Epiphany established a hospital committee, which was very successful in raising money. Epiphany parishioners gave more than one-third of the funds that kept the hospital going during its first five years. The hospital continued to operate until 1958 when it merged with Garfield and Emergency Hospitals to from the Washington Hospital Center. The chapel at that new institution came from the former Episcopal Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital.

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April 7: Mary Cogswell Kinney (1877)

Mary C. Kinney’s image on her tombstone at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Mary Cogswell Kinney was the eldest daughter of the Rev. Jonathan Cogswell, D.D. and his first wife, Elizabeth Abbot. On both sides, Mary was descended from old New England families. Her father’s ancestors settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1635 and her mother’s family, the Abbots, in 1643 at Andover, where her great grandfather richly endowed the seminary, the oldest graduate school of theology in the United States. Mary was educated in New York. In 1833, Mary Cogswell married Franklin Sherwood Kinney, a prominent New York lawyer. When he died in 1871, his estate was said to be valued at $12 million.

Mary Kinney divided her time between New York City and Washington, D.C. A younger sister, Elizabeth, was married to Senator James Dixon of Connecticut. Elizabeth Dixon was a close personal friend of Mary Todd Lincoln. On the night of Lincoln’s assassination, Robert Todd Lincoln sent for Elizabeth Dixon to help care for his grief stricken mother. Elizabeth came with her sister Mary Kinney and Mary’s daughter, Constance. Elizabeth, Mary, and Constance sat with Mrs. Lincoln all through the night in the front parlor of Petersen House. After her death on April 7, 1877, Mary Kinney’s funeral was at the Church of the Epiphany. Mary’s obituary in the New York Herald stated, “She was a Christian lady, alike beautiful in mind and person and was characterized by great benevolence.”

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April 6: Jerome Henry Kidder (1889)

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Jerome Henry Kidder graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree before pursuing a medical degree from the University of Maryland. In the midst of his studies, the Civil War came up and Kidder enlisted in the 10th Maryland Volunteer Infantry. After completing his medical education, Dr. Kidder was commissioned an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Over the next eighteen years, he would work his way up to surgeon before resigning his commission. His naval service took him around the world. While stationed in the Asiatic squadron, he rendered medical aid to a distressed vessel of the Portuguese Navy, for which the King of Portugal awarded him the Military Order of Christ.

Dr. Kidder was ordered to join a scientific party sent out by the U.S. Government to observe the transit of Venus from the Kerguelen Islands, located in the southern Indian Ocean and considered to be one of the most isolated places on earth. In 1881 Dr. Kidder examined the proposed site for the new naval observatory at Washington, and his favorable opinion influenced the acceptance of the property. While on this duty, Dr. Kidder also suggested several changes in the American naval rations, based upon a study of their physiological value. Subsequent to his resignation from the navy, he was called upon to investigate the purity of the air in the House of Representatives Chamber at the Capitol, and in the lecture hall of the National Museum, in both instances securing practical results of great benefit. It was during this time in Washington that Dr. Kidder became associated with the Church of the Epiphany. His wife was confirmed and all three of his children were baptized there. After his death at age 46, Dr. Kidder’s funeral took place at Epiphany before his interment at Oak Hill Cemetery.

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April 5: Joseph K. Barnes (1883)

At a turbulent time in the nation’s history, Joseph K. Barnes served honorably as the 12th Surgeon General of the U.S. Army. His father, Judge Joseph Barnes had served for many years in the Philadelphia district court. The name Joseph had been used in his family for several generations. The middle initial “K” didn’t stand for anything, but was just something he inserted to distinguish himself from his father. His son and grandson bore the name Joseph, although both had middle names. Both of them followed in his army footsteps. In May 1862 after Barnes was ordered to report to Washington, he formed the acquaintance of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. This might have been the connection that brought Barnes to Epiphany, although the first official record of his presence doesn’t come until his son’s confirmation in 1868. Three years later, Barnes was baptized and later confirmed before joining Epiphany’s vestry.

After his death, Epiphany’s vestry memorialized Dr. Barnes with this: “For the past eleven years he has been a vestryman of this Parish, zealous at all times in promoting the welfare and the religious and charitable work of the church which he loved, and efficiently aiding by judicious counsel and cooperation all its undertakings. He was eminent, skillful, and successful in his profession as surgeon and physician, and distinguished for great administrative ability as the head of the medical department. He inaugurated the Medical History of the War; he founded the medical museum; and he brought the medical department to the highest state of efficiency. During the troublesome times of the late war, he earned the unbounded confidence of the secretary of war, Mr. Stanton, and held it unshaken to the last. His career was one of honor to himself and of great service to this country.”

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