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

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1903 November 2003

2nd, 1936 ... A News Palladium article sights Mary's House of David team, under John Tucker's management, have completed their most successful and prolific year to date. Playing 212 games with a record of 160 wins and 52 losses and traveling 30,000 miles across America, Canada and Mexico, before traveling to Hawaii for a late season tourney that yielded 11 wins and 2 losses. With John Tucker, George Anderson, "Doc" Tally, Cecil Tucker and Lewis Buck, all colony players, it is the pinnacle year of the House of David baseball history.

7th, 1903 ... "The City of David is Growing Fast", an article from the News Palladium highlighting the new properties and rapid growth in membership of the House of David, that was first called the "City of David".

7th, 1935 ... The House of David base ball club has propositioned Babe Ruth to play on the bearded nine's team in the forthcoming 1936 season, offering the Babe $35,000.00, and like Grover Cleveland Alexander (**and Babe Didrickson) will NOT have to grow whiskers. The offer is never consummated.

10th, 1927 ... the Decree from Judge Louis Fead has been made public, as the Palladium headlines "Dissolve the House of David" cover the top quarter of the daily paper. The opinion of the trial court will be appealed to the State Supreme Court.

12th, 1910 ... Benjamin Purnell arrested at Shiloh, upon a warrant based upon a complaint by former member Martin Swandt. Humphrey S. Gray will furnish $4500.00 to secure his release. The ensuing law suit is later settled without further headlines out of court.

13th, 1939 ... In celebration of her 77th birthday, Mary Purnell has published her 5th "Comforter", "The Book of Heaven". A compilation of oral communications taken from Mary over the past three years.

14th, 1927 ... "Mary To Stand By Benjamin", News Palladium headlines, with an article to follow that shows Mary's unwavering support and confidence in her husband's moral integrity and genuine spiritual authority.

16th, 1926 ... Benjamin Purnell is arrested at his Diamond House residence in a late evening raid by State police, and led by Bessie Woodworth Daniels, in collection of a Detroit Free Press reward for his apprehension. As the evening turns into early morning hours, it is realized that the date upon the warrant has expired, upon which Benjamin is hastily returned to the colony.

17th, 1926 ... Upon a new issued warrant, Benjamin Purnell is again arrested at his colony residence. His arraignment is heard, bond is set at $50,000.00 and he is bound over to the Circuit Court for trial. Upon the refusal of the judge to allow the House of David to meet the bond, "the following Benton Harbor business men and bankers: John R. Rice, Supervisor L.F. Sutherland, City Commissioner, D.B. Sutherland, Clarence O. Brown, J.J. Miller, former mayor, E. Leonard Smith and Charles A. Conkey put together the security. An addition bail was set at $20,000.00 was signed by J.J. Jakway, Benton Township Supervisor, and Earnest Stock of Benton Harbor. Benjamin Purnell was free to return home at the support of the financial leaders of the community.

18th, 1944 ... Mary Purnell's two visions of Adolph Hitler being dead and the war to soon be over is published around the globe, from Chicago to NY, to London and Sydney dailies carry the welcomed visionary's report.

26th, 1926 ... Chase Osborne, former Governor of Michigan released a statement today cautioning the public about the rumored problems at the House of David. "Former Governor comes to bat in defense of colony leader." Osborne himself, while governor, had made an unannounced tour of the colony and facilities, upon which he was quite satisfied that there was nothing clandestine about or going on at the colony.

26th, 1929 ... "Mary Seeks Dissolution of Colony", News Palladium article headline. The division within the House of David over two diverse leaders of differing offers in direction and future for the Israelite House of David has reached it high tide of turbulence. Judge Dewhirst failed in an attempt through the High Court to relieve Mary of colony authority, he then assembles an "official board" members meeting that approved a motion to have Mary removed from authority in the colony. The minutes to this meeting are filed in the Circuit Court. Mary counters with a cross-bill to dissolve the colony, and to hold all properties, monies and assets in trust, to be distributed equally amongst all present members.

In November 2000 Arcadia books published "The House of David Baseball Team". Written by Terry Bertolino and Joel Hawkins, the City of David archival collection of records and photographs was a major contributor to the publication's content. In the following year of 2001 SABR awarded the authors an award for the quality and research of the book.

1903 December 2003

7th, 1904 ... Francis Marion Thorpe arrives from Marshalltown, Iowa. Mary and Benjamin are on their world tour and are in Australia. Francis will serve the Israelite community for 54 years, as the colony secretary, Mary's trusted lieutenant, scribe for the colony meetings, manager of the Israelite base ball teams. He is, besides Mary and Benjamin Purnell, the single most important figure in the 100 years history.

8th, 1927 ... The State Supreme Court will "stay" the "Decree" of Judge Fead, until the highest court can review the case and hear the appellant's motion for redress.

9th, 1921 ... Judge H.T. Dewhirst, who has been a colony member and resident less than a year has become legal council and secretary to the board of directors. Francis Thorpe, who held that position for over a decade, will step down to become assistant-secretary.

14th, 1903 ... The first issue of the monthly 8 page paper, the Shiloh Messenger of Wisdom is off the press. An important historical date within the Israelite history, it marks the observance, called the "watch night", held by the Christian Israelites (5th Church), commemorating John Wroe's departure in ministry from Bradford, England on this date in 1822.

14th, 1933 ... The term "City of David" becomes a legal title, (Doing Business As), for Mary Purnell's new House of David colony. It has served over the years to differentiate between her colony and the Dewhirst faction's House of David.

14th, 1936 ... Mary Purnell, on this date, wrote two letters, one to Edward, Duke of Windsor, and Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson, in warm support and a congratulatory theme towards them both. As the House of Windsor recognizes a lineage back to the Old Testament King David, Mary addresses Edward as King David.

16th, 1927 ... The headlines through the SW Michigan region report the death of Benjamin Purnell at the House of David, at age 66. The appeal to the Supreme Court is still pending; cause of death was listed as tuberculosis and acute diabetes. His death changes the entire nature of the Supreme Court hearing, and brings the factionalism within the Israelite House of David to the forefront in controversy between Mary and Judge Dewhirst.

17th, 1907 ... The "By-Laws and Articles of Association are registered with the Berrien County Court house.

Christmas, 1930 ... Mary Purnell joyously celebrates her first Christmas in her brand new Shiloh administration building. She will host a Christmas dinner for 250, hold services up stairs in her new meeting parlor. The furnishings were a gift from the Newland family of Benton Harbor.

26th, 1903 ... Showing a picture of the Ark building, A News Palladium article calls the rapidly growing Israelite commonwealth, "City of David". The rapid growth in property holdings in the very first year, along with a quick rise in members coming in from Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Missouri was an indication that a city was in the plans for this original little party of 7 upon their arrival just 8 months ago.

In December of 1910 the third edition of "The Star of Bethlehem" was completed. 20,000 copies were printed at the new printing plant that was soon put into operation upon the fire and loss of the former press in 1907, in which a large stock of the 1903, second edition was destroyed. Even though the City of David printed a 4th edition, the third is still considered the "standard" printing.

In December 1915, volume 1 of the three volume set, "The Rolling Ball of Fire" , written by Benjamin Purnell, was published. Also in that month the first section of the "Book of Jasher" was printed and advertised by the House of David. An ancient Hebrew text mentioned in the Book of Joshua, of the Old Testament.

In December of 1916, the House of David published Benjamin Purnell's first complete booklet of poetry, "Glad Tidings of Great Joy". Also was published the Israelite Song book of most popular music used at the colony services.

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