Reviewing Charles Lummis’s housebook is similar to successfully panning for gold. A good deal of material is carefully “sifted,” and “nuggets” are frequently found in the form of signatures, artwork, and comments made by the many historically significant people who visited Lummis at his home. In fact, I’m certain most prospectors would be overjoyed to have the same level of success in their activities as I have had in “panning” the housebook for interesting information. Here, then, are more “nuggets” I found in the “pan”:
- Leonard Wood—Harvard Medical School physician who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Governor General of the Philippines, and Military Governor of Cuba. At the start of the Spanish-American War, Wood and future President Theodore Roosevelt organized the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as the “Rough Riders.” At one time, Wood was the personal physician to U.S. Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. He also received the Medal of Honor for bravery during the campaign against Geronimo in the southwestern United States. While stationed at Fort McPherson in Atlanta in 1893, Wood enrolled in graduate school at Georgia Tech, then known as the Georgia School of Technology, and became the school’s football coach and, as a player, its team captain. His brain is still held at Yale University’s School of Medicine as part of the historic medical collection of Dr. Harvey Cushing, the American physician who pioneered brain surgery. Cushing successfully operated on a tumor in Wood’s brain and has been credited with extending his life almost two decades.
- Eulogio Gregorio Clemente Gillow y Zavala—first Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Antequera, located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. He is credited with building on his own estate the first hydroelectric plant in Latin America. He also worked to get a railway connection between Mexico City and Oaxaca and to open schools and preserve a number of the city’s colonial churches.
- Bertha Lincoln Heustis—lecturer, writer, and an accredited correspondent at the White House during the administration of Woodrow Wilson. She published three volumes of poems and short stories, wrote book reviews for many publications, and produced and directed motion picture shorts.
- Amado Chaves—leader in the development of the territory and, later, state of New Mexico. He was the first territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction, served as the Mayor of Santa Fe, and later served as State Senator from the district. He was a close friend of Charles Lummis, who named one of his sons after him.
- Wilfred L. Kihn—portrait painter and illustrator specializing in portraits of American Indians. He spent many years visiting and living with tribes in the western United States and was admitted to the Blackfoot tribe in Montana in 1920.
- Alberta N. Hall (aka Alberta N. Burton)—composer who created musical settings for twenty-six of L. Frank Baum’s poems in The Songs of Father Goose, a follow-up to Baum’s first great success, Father Goose. As I am sure you know, Baum also authored The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- James Oppenheim—American novelist and poet. He is best known for the poem Bread and Roses, which was once set to music by singer John Denver.
- Henry O’Melveny—a founder of O’Melveny and Myers, one of the United States’ largest and most distinguished law firms.
- Ernest Arthur Gardener—English archeologist who once was Director of the British School of Archaeology in Athens, Greece.
- Richmond P. Hobson—U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who was a Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic actions during the Spanish-American War. He later was a U.S. Representative from Alabama. After leaving Congress, Hobson became very active in the cause of banning drugs and alcohol, later receiving the nickname “The Father of American Prohibition.”
- William Wendt—one of California’s best-known landscape painters.
- Ivy Ledbetter Lee—considered by some to be the “founder of modern public relations.” He also is supposedly the first person to suggest to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. that he give Rockefeller Center the family name.
In the next Harbach and the Housebook, you will meet one of America’s foremost artists whose work caught the nation’s attention and played a major role in the creation of the world’s first national park. You’ll also be introduced to one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known clients. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.