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A Distinguished Southern Family
When Dr. Robert Stuart McArthur, the great
New York preacher, was filling Chatauqua engage
ments in Missouri last summer, he met one day Mrs.
H. B. Folk, the venerable mother of the famous re
form governor of that state—and mother, too, of
a whole half dozen sons who are distinguished as
men of great ability, character and achievement.
Bowing before her with that genial suavity of man
ner which the dominant Scotch blood in Dr. Mc-
Arthur makes beautiful everywhere, he took the
good woman’s hand and said: ‘ ‘ The Mother of
the Gracchi was ‘not in it’ compared with the
mother of the Folk boys.”
And verily the record verifies the sweeping dec
laration. In the order of their birth the inspiring
story, simply told, is this:
Dr. Edgar E. Folk, Baptist preacher, editor of the
Baptist and Reflector, a wise and honored leader of
the affairs of the great Baptist denomination in
the South; and president of the Anti-Saloon League
in Tennessee, leading in the campaign which has
closed hundreds of saloons during recent years.
Henry Folk, first honor graduate of Wake Forrest
College in the class of Thomas Dixon—acknowl
edged to be the brightest of all the sons, when death
cut short his brilliant and promising career.
Reau Folk, formerly editor of the Nashville Ban
ner and now State Treasurer of Tennessee.
Carey Folk, President for years respectively, of
Brownsville Female College and Boscobel College,
Joseph W. Folk, now Governor of Missouri after
the bravest, most startling and inspiring prosecu
tion of prominent grafters and boodlers the world
has ever seen—and—just as sure to be President of
the United States as he keeps on doing like he has
been doing—and the Lord preserves his life.
Humphrey Folk, Baptist preacher, a young man
of not only splendid promise but of present “per
And besides these six remarkable sons, this more
than “Mother of the Gracchi” has two queenly,
cultured, consecrated daughters, Misses May Folk,
Gertrude Folk, who are active workers in church
and literary circles.
It is natural, however, that special interest should
gather about that one of the sons who has startled
all America by his brave and successful efforts in
political and moral reform in Missouri. So much
has been written and printed about t*he remarka
ble young District Attorney who “just did his
duty” in St. Louis that details are unnecessary in
this brief sketch. All the world knows how the
honest, fearless manhood of Joseph W. Folk caused
him to attack wickedness in high places until un
scrupulous millionaires were hurled from their pe
destals of ill-gotten gain and grafting lawmakers
from their thrones of corruption and power to crouch
beneath the searchlight of Folk’s faithful investiga
tion and reek at last in prison and in chains. The
slumbering conscience of America awoke. The law,
long impotent and inactive, took heart again. In
a dozen states and more waves of moral and polit
ical reform are sweeping everywhere. They are
saying: “If Folk can do these things in Missouri
then we can put down grafting and coruption here.”
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been of
fered him to form great law firms in other cities;
the vice-presidential nomination was offered him
by the leaders of the Democratic party before the
last National Convention, but to all such offers this
young man of only thirty-seven, quietly smiles the
answer: “No, my duty is in Missouri now.”
A Christian Governor With a Christian Wife.
But after all, the most beautiful thing in the
sight of Christian men and women is this: Joseph
Wingate Folk is a devout Christian man From the
lofty position where his trueness and greatness have
placed him he bows at the foot of the Cross with
the faith of a little child. Converted at sixteen
and baptized by Rev. L. M. Trotter, then pastor of
By WILLIAM D. UPSHAW.
The Golden Age for May 10, 1906.
the Baptist church at Brownsville, Tenn., Joseph W.
Folk’s religion has been a part—indeed, the su
premest part of his brave, conquering life. He is
the kind of Christian man (lawyer and governor
now to the rear( who believes it is fashionable to go
to prayer meeting, and he does not believe that a
man should graduate from the Sabbath school until
he gets his diploma from the skies.
When I saw him at Lexington, Ky., last week,
where he stirred and blessed three thousand people
at the great Educational Conference, he was as
genial and approachable as when I met him at
Brownsville ten years ago where, in addition to vis
iting his parents, he was casting wistful glances to
ward the nearby home of a lovely neighbor girl—
Gertrude Glass, who has just enough culture, com
mon sense and old-time religion to fit her for queen
of the Governor’s mansion now or the White House
by and by.
When I took this great young Christian statesman
by the hand as he was ready to step into the carriage,
I could not help being personal: “God bless you.
We believe in you. We love you for what you are,
for what you are doing and for what you are
meaning to the cause of God and humanity.”
And he answered something like this: “I thank
you. When a man is being hammered and ham
mered all the time for doing his duty, I confess 'it
is rather refreshing to get out among the people
and find that somebody loves him.”
Thus spoke the truest type of modest but stal
wart Christian statesmanship in America today!
The Parents and the Old Homestead.
How natural that we should like to see and know
the childhood home of men and women who have be
come justly famous! The picture of the Folk
homestead which we give to our readers this week
looks very like it did when I was a fortunate guest
there for several days in the spring of ’96, when 1
lectured in Brownsville. Judge H. B. Folk, the
honored father of these honored sons was living
then, having preached the gospel and practiced law
until the -weight of years had brought him to a
grand old age. How companionable he was! What
fellowship we had together! For though the snows
of winter were on his head, the beauty and gladness
of springtime were holding a glad carnival in his
And the mother of that homelike home—the con
sort of Judge Folk’s rich and fruitful life! I can
not tell the story of her.
She was the stranger’s mother then as nearly as
one not my own could possibly be. And lam think
ing of those beautiful words of Charles Nichols
written nearly half a century ago before his gifted
pen grew still:
“My mother, 0 my mother!
How can I speak thy worth
? Thou dearest, purest emblem
Os Jesus here on earth!!”
Verily the truest meaning of mother found and
yet finds in this mother “the perfect touch.”
I can never forget how gentleness, so wondrous
and sweet, reigned in that home everywhere and all
the time. Between husband and wife, between the
lovely daughters of the home, between the visiting
sons—from parent to child and from child to par
ent—gentleness, gentleness everywhere!
Such confidence in each other! Such unvarying
devotion to Right! Such incense of Faith and
Praise around the family altar! No wonder every
child of that home became early by Faith a “new
born” child of God.
“Joe has done nothing except his duty,” said
the dear old mother, “All of my boys and girls
have been taught to be true to God whatever
“From scenes like these, old Scotia’s grandeur
And from a Christian home like this springs the
safety of America and the hope of the world.
News of the Week.
The Marathon race was won by William Sher
ring, of Hamilton, Ontario.
By a vote of 153 to 58, the house, May 1, decided
to continue the free distribution of garden and
“The Guardian,” Manchester, England, states
that Father Gapon, the former leader of the St.
Petersburg workingmen, was hanged by revolution
ists April 10th.
A dispatch from Berlin says several villages in
Saxony experienced four earthquake shocks April
28th. No damage was done, but the inhabitants
were greatly alarmed.
Spiridonova, the girl 21 years of age who shot
five bullets at the officer, Lugenovsky, has been
courtmartialed at Tamboy and condemned to be
The report of another royal marriage between
Princess Patricia of Connaught and the Crown
Prince of Portugal soon to be announced is credited
in society. The prince is nineteen and the princess
is a month or two older.
The statue of Benjamin Franklin, presented to
the city of Paris by John H. Harjes, and which
stands on the Place du Trocadero, was unveiled
The British garrison in Egypt is being strength
ened at the suggestion of Lord Cromer, the British
agent there, who considered the action advisable
in view of the unrest of the Turks over the Tabah
Charles F. Francis, of Troy, N. Y., who succeeds
Ballamy Storer, an ambassador to Austria, was a
passenger on the steamer Deutschland last week sail
ing for Hamburg. Mr. Francis is editor and prop
rietor of The Troy Times.
Great anxiety is felt in German official circles
over the gloomy prospect for the German estate
owners in the Russian Baltic provinces. Many of
their dwelling and farm buildings and a great part
of their grain and other stores have been devastated
during the insurrection, and even their capital
funds are quite unrealizable.
Announcement is made that former President
Grovjer Cleveland has accepted the position of
chairman of the board of advisors of the Jamestown
Exposition. The advisory board consists of 100
persons, prominent in their respective professions.
King Edward, Emperor Nicholas and Emperor
William will meet at Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of
Hesse, during the first week in September, ac
cording to The Pall Mall Gazette, which adds that
the Russian Emperor and Empress will leave Russia
at the end of August for a long visit to the Grand
Duke of Hesse.
Recent dispatches from Berlin state that the
government introduced in the Reichstag a project
for a law obliging automobilists to pay life annui
ties to those dependent on persons killed by their
motorists and to persons permanently injured by ac
cidents, amounts to be assessed by the courts, and
the owners of the machines and not the chauffeurs
to be responsible. The measure was referred to a
Another disaster has occurred in the Vesuvius
region. On April 28th great torrents of rain fell
accompanied by a stiff gale of wind, causing a heavy
avalanche of mud, sand, ashes and cinders to fall
over Somma and Santa Ana Statia, destroying
bridges, blocking roads and flooding habitations.
The terror of the inhabitants was extreme. No loss
of life is reported.