MARY'S CITY of DAVID - The Israelite House of David as reorganized by Mary Purnell

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1903 February 2003

2nd, 1927 ... A News Palladium article written by L. Andrew Larsen gives a defense towards the House of David people and Benjamin Purnell, and states, "The House of David is Benton Harbor's best bet".

9th, 1912 ... The Michigan State Superintendent gave the House of David rights to operate their own schools at the colony. The original "Ark" bldg. was used for the classroom setting.

15th, 1927 ... A news Palladium article written by a local citizen sites the State's Attorney general for persecuting before prosecuting the House of David. The article asks that the trial be in the courts not in the sensationalist newspapers, a trial of facts not unproven assumptions. The article goes on to observe that no other arrests had ever been made at the House of David and that the colony people were good, industrious and above average intelligent folks.

16th, 1903 ... A letter dated the 16th, from Albert Baushke of 212 Colfax Avenue, reveals an answer to a prior letter received from Mary and Benjamin, at Fostoria, Ohio, that Benton Harbor had been the chosen location for the newly formed Israelite House of David to make its official home. Albert and a circle of 9 at Benton Harbor are first humbled and then elated. Baushke sends a profile of the twin cities area along with a donation of $500.00 for the Purnell's to make the trip.

16th, 1903 ... Hettie Purnell is killed on her first day of work at a Fostoria, Ohio fireworks factory. An explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the building and killed all within. Hettie had just turned 16 twelve days before; her body was only identified by the birthday ring she had received from Cora Mooney. This event placed an ugly damper on the Purnell plans for departure to Benton Harbor within several weeks to start the official site of the newborn Seventh Church. Though there were local animosities stirred by a Fostoria preacher, Benjamin published a public thank you for all of the kindness, gifts and support that citizens of the town had shown to them in their time of heavy sorrow.

21st, 1922 ... The House of David asks the city of Benton Harbor for rights to build over and cover the alley way, mid-block, between Wall and west Main. Their $200,000.00 hotel plans call for a continuous structure the entire block that included a 4th floor auditorium theatre and a roof garden. The main portion of the structure would rise 7 stories and the remainder would go up 4 floors. At one point in the construction, Benjamin Purnell had the builders tear up the foundation footings and re-poor the foundation all for 7 stories. Much later, during the 1960s, Federal officials would declare "Mary's Fireproof Hotel" the safest location in the twin cities in case of nuclear war. The building in its construction was entirely concrete with facing blocks poured using a formula of hematite on the surface that made it sparkle brilliantly in the sunlight. The idea was attributed to Benjamin Purnell; all of the tonnage of structural parts were manufactured at the House of David, transported to the downtown location and erected by the colony engineers and builders. William Wright and George Whiffen of the colony signed the blue prints.

22nd, 1930 ... Mary Purnell and Judge H.T. Dewhirst arrived at an out-of-court settlement in division and distribution of properties, monies and all assets between both factions. Mary agrees to a much lesser portion of property values, a paltry $60,000.00 of what she knows, but cannot prove, is available, and chooses to walk away from the comforts and wealth's that she helped her husband, the late Benjamin Purnell, establish. Her reasoning is simply to end the bitterness of internal strife, to avoid more costly litigation over what she was leaving uncontested, and the light of an opportunity to reorganize and continue her orthodox efforts of teaching and proliferating her faith.

23rd, 1935 ... "By-laws and Articles of Association" were officially drawn up and register with the Berrien County Court for the Israelite House of David as reorganized by Mary Purnell.

In the month of February in 1911 the House of David first advertised the printing of Mary Purnell's, Comforter #1, and the Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch, long held as mythical, was later found among the Dead Sea scrolls. It is a manuscript found in the early 19th century by Stanhope Bruce, a Bishop of the Church of England, and a believer in Joanna Southcott. The book as traveled down the lineage of seven churches as part of the doctrinal texts.

In 1913 the House of David first advertised their Vegetarian Cookbook, 1912, in conjunction with their Eden Springs Park Restaurant, beginning in 1908.

In 1932 Mary's new colony press finished its first publication, the "Fourth Comforter", a book that had been hand written in 1926, typed into 4 copies, but Judge Dewhirst disallowed her usage of the colony printing press for its publication.

In 1936 Mary's City of David published, "Mary's Story of the Separation of the Two Manner of People in the House of David". A publication to meet the demand to know Mary's story of what really happened within the House of David after her husband's death in 1927. It is today still available at the City of David, and is a rare booklet having only one limited number of imprints.

In 2002 Carl Payne of Mary's City of David, along with Judy Sutton and guest artist, Tom Costello, recorded and released, "Faithful Endeavors" CD.

1903 March 2003

11th, 2002 ... A letter drafted by attorneys for Mary's City of David, in package with a criticism by the colony secretary, R. James Taylor, and supporting letters from Clare E. Adkin, Christopher Cook (MetroCom International), Robert Myers, Curator, 1839 Courthouse Museum, Thomas Meldrim, freelance research writer, and Rick Ast, journalist for the Herald Palladium, asking the removal of erroneous and damaging journalism on the Detroit News website pages: "Rearview Mirror", article on the House of David. Within 2 weeks the article was removed from the web site pages.

12th, 1944 ... Mary Purnell publishes her "sixth Comforter, "The Book of Paradise". Mary's last major publication. She would write 6 primary volumes of a set called "The Comforter, the Mother's Book", co-authored the 4 volume "Star of Bethlehem", 1902, and sent out continuously 291 monthly letters from 1926, which are considered a major portion of her inspirational volumes.

12th, 1912 ... Mary's second "Comforter" is published and advertised from the House of David.

14th, 1930 ... The Israelite House of David as reorganized by Mary Purnell, comes into being in a tent meeting/service on Eastman Avenue. The document of association and by-laws is read to all the attendees in the presence of Attorney Barnard, upon which all 215 present signed the Roll of membership and acceptance, followed by singing and a brief message from Mary. Sawdust on the dirt floor, seating collected from various sources, electric lights wired in for the occasion and no heat excepting in the fervency and conviction of those assembled.

17th, 1903 ... Mary and Benjamin, John Schneider, Coy Purnell, Cora and Paul Mooney, and Charles Norris arrive in Benton Harbor, greeted by the Albert and Louis Baushke families, and John Fowler, of 221 Superior Street. The Fowler residence will serve as an immediate headquarters. Silas Mooney is also awaiting the arrival of his wife Cora and son Paul to Benton Harbor, where he was sent ahead to search out prime agricultural properties in the county. Albert Baushke's prophecy to his family of several years prior is accomplished at the arrival of the Seventh Messenger.

25th, 1905 ... 85 Australians arrive in Benton Harbor with Mary and Benjamin Purnell, to join the Israelite House of David. A world tour, beginning in October, 1904, brought the Purnells to Melbourne, several weeks before Christmas, and these members of the fifth church, the Christian Israelites (founded by John Wroe at Bradford, England, 1822) embarked for Benton Harbor. A crucial Wroe prophecy was fulfilled in the December arrival and subsequent meetings while at Melbourne. The Christian Israelite following had previously received a copy of the Star of Bethlehem in 1903, upon which they based their acceptance of the "further message". Amongst this party were to become some of the most notable names in the House of David history to date.

28th, 1923 ... A News Palladium article entitled, "Score of House of David women and girls take stand and declare Benjamin Purnell innocent of charges", One after another they denounce Hansels". In looking back to the trials that ensued, the House of David produced more witnesses to Benjamin's credit than did the plaintiffs in accusation. Clare Adkin's publication, "Brother Benjamin", 1990, states the history correctly as his research discovered the State's legal hierarchy had already decided upon a guilty verdict, which they saw as popular with the electorate. And, so picked a one man grand jury, Judge Louis Fead, to bring the desired results without the chance of an open citizens jury trial. After all, not one witness could be procured from Berrien County in behalf of the plaintiffs.

In the month of March, 1907, the "Preacher's Book" was printed in German, for the Israelite preachers in Germany.

1941, "Gabriel's Vision" is published at Mary's City of David. At first attributed to Benjamin Purnell, then later it was rescinded as Benjamin's authority, and advertised without author. A rare publication of depth and insight, it is still available at Mary's City of David and remains a mystery as to its author.

1975, Mary's Hotel in downtown Benton Harbor is evenly exchanged, in a swap of deeds, for a 120-acre property on Lake Chapin, near Berrien Springs, and was adjacent to the colony property of the 660-acre "Rocky" farm. Mary's Café in the hotel was one of downtown Benton Harbor's last popular breakfast and lunch destinations before the exodus from the bustling inner city in favor of more popular and new outlying shopping malls.

1903 April 2003

1st, 1930 ... The date set by the courts for Mary and her fellows to vacate the House of David properties. And she did so, in walking 2 blocks down the street to her new headquarters at 240 Eastman Avenue, a two story, full basement, framed cottage, named "Mary's House" to this day.

3rd, 1903 ... The Israelite House of David, Church of the New Eve, and Body of Christ was officially established at Benton Harbor .

3rd, 2001 ... Mary's City of David in conjunction with Raoust and Partners of Hampton, Virginia, have won "Best of Show" in the regional "Addy Awards" for best posters (3) on the history of Israelite House of David base ball. One of the posters went on to win an award in Communication Arts magazine in the same quarter of the year.

6th, 1999 ...  R. James Taylor of Mary's City of David speaks to an auditorium full at the Fort Miami Heritage Society, in Saint Joseph, Michigan. The talk is in conjunction with an exhibit on the Israelite House of David, and is the first public speaking in explanation of the Israelite faith and teachings, by anyone from the Israelite colonies in almost 50 years, since Mary Purnell's last sermons at her City of David auditorium in the early 1950s. A second part to this program will be heard from Taylor on May 13th.

7th, 1935 ... Before the largest crowd at the local field, the House of David (Mary's) team defeated the Humble Oilers, the "pride of east Texas" 1 to 0 in twelve innings. It was called the finest athletic competition ever seen at the local field.

13th, 1903 ... Mary and Benjamin Purnell conduct their first public, open-air meeting at the Benton Hotel, corner of Pipestone and Main Street.

17th, 1930 ... "First professional baseball by electric light. Independence witnesses world debut of night baseball on park of locals". Newly installed electric lighting towers at Riverside Park, Independence, Kansas is where the history of night baseball began. Before 1200 fans, amongst whom were baseball owners and sports writers, the Independence Producers dominated Mary's House of David team of Anderson, Tucker and Tally, 9 to 1.

The House of David had used portable night lighting systems for several years prior, carrying a gasoline electrical generator, poles and flood lighting lamps, as they barnstormed across America.

20th, 1935 ... Playing at Refugio, Texas, and handily defeating the Refugio Firemen, 13 to 3, John Tucker, Manager and first baseman, (a native Texan from Tyler) made a phenomenal base ball record of fielding at first base. Of 27 outs in nine innings, Tucker was credited with 23; he made 14 putouts in a row, and in 6 of the nine innings he put out all three batters.

23rd, 1935 ... A record crowd of 6300 watched the (Mary's) House of David team beat La Junta, 6 to 4, at Laredo, Texas.

27th, 1956 ... The Samuel Coy Purnell case was settled, as the City of David paid out $7500.00 to quiet further litigation attempts. It was proven that the colony properties were all held in trust, in the name of Mary Purnell, and were not held as personal property by the same. Mary Purnell's grandson had sued the colony upon his grand mother's death in August, 1953, for rights to properties and assets as a legal heir. It was the first case tried by attorney John Globensky, the new partner to the law firm of Gray and Gray.

During the month of April, 1932, "Ascent to the Mount of Vision", Jane Lead, 1698, was published as the second publication fresh off of Mary's new City of David press.


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