Newspaper Page Text
The following article, taken from
the Duluth News-Tribune, will be
of interest to the many local friends
of Rev. Frank Higgins, the "Lum
berjack Sky Pilot," who began his
missionary work among the lumber
jacks in Bemidji:
Duluth does not need to be intro
duced to the Rev. Frank Higgins,
"the Sky Pilot of the Lumberjacks,"
though it may be surprised to learn
that he has been discovered by the
effete east and placed beside Dr.
Wilfred Grenfell "in the gallery of
master Christians of this epoch."
For years Mr. Higgins has been a
member of the Duluth Presbytery
TH E REV. FRAN HIGGIN S
Norman Duncan Writes Wonderful Character Sketch of
the "Sky Pilot" of the Minnesota Lumber Camps.
Higgins Well Known Here.
and worked under the Presbyterian seemed to have impressed Norman
board of missions, coming frequently
to Duluth and telling the few people
who gathered to hear him of his
work in the lumber camps in this
part of the state.
'Higgins is a good man and
doing a splendid work," was a
phrase frequently heard from his
brothers in the faith but his name
and fame ended with the commen
dation of the denomination he repre
sented and thegratitude and devotion
of the few hundred ignorant, un
known men to whom he ministered.
But all this is changed and though
"Sky Pilot Higgins" worked in a
most obscure corner, "the world has
blazed a pathway to his door," and
his good work is known to thousands
of people. Norman Duncan, the
man who discovered Dr. Wilfred
Grenfell, the Labrador missionary,
left New York last winter and jour
neyed to the Minnesota lumber
camps to make a first hand study
of Higgins and his methods.
The result is that the leading
article of the July Harper,s it en
titled "HigginsA man's Christ-
ian," and the modest missionary is
being claimed in some way by the
whole state, such is the people's de
sire to claim a man after the east has
discovered him. The Minneapolis
and St. Paul papers are delighted to
remember that the Rev. Frank Hig
gins is known there and has receiv
ed aid in carrying on his work
from the churches in those cities.
The Pioneer Press says that "Min
nesota discovered Higgins some
years ago but repressive editors and
most churchmen gave only scant
space to printing his deeds or re
counting his expl oits. But the east
has the courage of its convictions
and never hesitates to proclaim its
The Pioneer Press is doubtless
right, but the point in question is
that Higgins is discovered, for Nor
man Duncan knows how to write a
character sketch. He gives a wonder
fully vivid picture of the big-hearted,
self-sacrificing man who straps a
pack on his back in the winter and
tramps the logging roads from camp
to camp, preaching in bunk houses
the simple gospel of Christ and in
the spring living that same gospel
when he becomes the brother of the
drunken lumberjacks that he may
save them from the horror and
misery of the annual spring debauch.
The thing about Higgins which
REV. FRANK HIGGINS,
The "Lumberjack Sky Pilot.
Duncan most is the fact that he is a
man as well as a parson, "in the
Minnesota woods," he tells us,
"fighting is just as necessary as
prayingjust as tender a profession
of Christ." The following extract
shows his style in sketching Higgins:
"A big, clean, rosy-cheeked man
in a Mackinaw coat and rubber
bootshardly distinguishable from
the lumberjack crew except for his
quick step and high glance and fine,
resolute waywent swiftly through
a Deer river saloon toward the snake
room in search of a lad from Toronto
was had in the camps besought to
be preserved from the vicissitudes
of the town.
"There goes the Pilot," said a
lumberjack at the bar. "Hello,
"Ain't you going to preach no
more at Camp Six?"
"Well, when the h1?
"Week from Thursday, Tom," the
vanishing man called back, "tell the
boys I'm coming."
"Know the Pilot?" the lumber
"Higgins' job," said he, earnestly,
"is keeping us boys out o' hell and
he's the only man on the job,"
Of this I had been informed.
"I want to tell ye, friend," the
lumberjack added, with honest rev
erence, "that he's a dd good
Christian, if ever there was one.
Ain't that right, Billy?"
"Higgins is a square man," the
"Hey, Bill! the lumberjack cried,
severely, reverting to the previous
interest, "where'd y' put the bottle?"
Higgins was then in the snake
room of the placea foul compart-
VOLUME 7. NUMBER 105. BEMIDJI, MINNESOTA, FRIDAY EVENING, AUGUST 20, 1909.
ment into which the stupefied and
delirious are thrown when they are
pennilesssearching the pockets of
the drunken boy from Toronto for
some leavings of his wages. "Not
a cent," said he bitterly. "They
haven't left him a cent! They've
got every penny of three months'
"Don't blame the boy," he pur
sued, in pain and infinite sympathy,
easing the lad's head on the floor
"it isn't all his fault. He came out
of the camps without telling me
and some cursed tin-horn gambler
met him, I supposeand he's only a
boyand they didn't give him a
showand oh, the pity of it, he's
been here only two days!"
The boy was in a stupor of intoxi
cation, but presently revived a little,
and turned very sick.
"That you, pilot," he said.
"Feel a bit better now?"
The boy sighed and collapsed, un
conscious Higgins remained in the
weltering filth of the room to ease
and care for him. 'Don't wait for
me, old man," said he, looking up
from the task. "I'll be busy for a
He who seeks shall find, and this
is the man whom Minnesota per
mitted New York to have the glory,
of discovering. At the coming
Christian Endeavor convention
Higgins will take a prominent part
in the evangelistic work, and it is
quite probable that St. Paul will be
ready then to acclaim him as its
own and give to him the credit an
other state had to lead the way in
Mr. Duncan devotes much space
to Higgin's methods of handling
men and also to an analysis of the
characteristics which have crowned
his work with success. But he tells
practically nothing of the man or
how he came to minister to the lum
berjacks. One might easily infer
from the article that Mr. Higgins
was a graduate of a college and a
theological seminary and in every
way the conventionally prepared
Handsome Muslin Gowns, QQf*
Fancy Guaze Vests, regular OC^
30c and 35c grades C5JG
One lot 36 inch Percale, special
THE BEMIDJI DAILY PIONEER
"BIG 'GENE" GRADY WAS
HAPPILY WED YESTERDAY
The Popular Cast Lake Pitcher Sprung
a Surprise on His Many
Cass Lake, Aug. 20.(Special to
Pioneer.)Big 'Gene Grady, the
pitcher of the local baseball team,
went and done it" yesterday and
the surprising part of it was, nobody
knew it until it was almost all over.
When the local ball team went to
Walker yesterday to play the team
at thas place no one thought any
thing when 'Gene hopped on the
train after assisting his lady friend.
But when the big fellow made his
way to the court house, the ball
tossers thought they would follow
'Gene made straight for the office
of the Clerk of Court and soon had
passed out to him a nice sheet of
A little later the supporters of
Grady on the diamond peeked
through the key-hole of Judge
Jamieson's office and saw the whole
The lucky girl was Miss Maud
Shoares, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
W. M. Shoares of this place..
'Gene pitched the game scheduled
like a real man, winning by the score
of 14 to 4.
Mr. and Mrs. Grady will make
their home in Cass Lake.
But Mr. Higgins' many friends in
Duluth know that he is wholly a self
made man and that he found it
difficult to get his license to preach
because he was not a graduate of a
theological seminary. Over twenty
years ago he came to Duluth as a
friendless, oennilass boy, got a *-0om
at the Bethel and did any honest
odd jobs he could find to do until he
had worked his way through high
Even at that time he was deter
mined to enter the ministry and his
AT THE BAZAAR STOR E
Muslin Drawers QQA
Fine Lisle Union Suits QQ
The new Crystal Cords and Bengaline, in all the new shades, Cff
Saturday only vUC
ftessalines, Saturday QQg*
SATURDAY, I E 21ST AT
THE BAZAAR STORE
missionary zeal carried him to the
lumber and mining camps around
Duluth where he preached to his
fellow men without money and with
out price. His earnestness and
force aroused the interest of a few
Duluthians among them Mr. Luke
Marvin and Mr. Ropie, who was
then superintendent of the Bethel
and an effort was made to secure
supply pulpits for the zealous young
preacher. However, it was some
years before he was regularly or
His first charge was the Presby
terian church at Bemidji where he
built up a thriving church and was
in every way the successful pastor.
But the lumberjacks came to Be
midji to squander their winter's
savings in the spring and an over
mastering desire to help them led
Mr. Higgins to change his pulpit in
a comfortable church edifice for a
pine table in a bunkhouse and his
title of Reverend for the less digni
fied but more meaningful sobriquet
of "Sky Pilot."
During the recent Gypsy Smith re
vivals in St. Paul Higgins never
missed a session and was often seen
taking notes during the talks of the
'Its too bad the boys in the
woods cannot hear this man," he
said one night after a particularly
stirring appeal. "I only hope I am
able to remember just a few of the
mighty things this mighty man
who has traveled every road from
the Salvation Army street struggle
up to 'the greatest auditoriums in
the world has said during these
days. It's just what my boys want.
And I am going back right away to
give it to them before it gets away
Trap Shoot Sunday, 2 P. M.
The Bemidji Rod and Gun Club
will hold their shoot at 2:00 o'clock
Sunday afternoon instead of at 9
o'clock in the forenoon as formerly
held. All members and friends
of the Club are requested to be
V. L. Ellis, Secretary.
Skirts, well made and
Gauze Pants, extra good OQA
1 ML MtM# ^^t^SL^^^^^rJ^
With nine automobiles now owned
in Bemidji and five others being
brought to the city overland, it is
pleasing news to autoists here to
know that a first-class garage is
assured for Bemidji, and that the
"auto stable" will be installed just
as soon as contractors can erect
John Moberg of this city, who
was the first autoist to bring a high
grade "machine" to Bemidji, has
purchased lots 21 and 22, block 12,
in the block north of the Pioneer
office, where he will have built a
thoroughly up-to-date garage for
The contract for the building has
been let to G. E. Kreatz, the local
contractor, who will at once begin
A N AUT0M0BIBLE GARAG E
WIL BE INSTALLE HERE
John Moberg Purchases Centrally-Located Site and Will
Erect Suitable Block for Housing Autos.
Bemidji Becoming Automobile Center.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. J. C.
Parker of this city was the scene
last evening of a happy party in
honor of Miss Lucy Gilder of St.
Paul, who is visiting in Bemidji as
a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Parker's
The large lawn of the Parker
home on Mississippi avenue was
decorated with fancy Japanese
lanterns and a large platform pro
vided a convenient place for
dancing, the music being furnished
by a fine Edison phonograph. "j. C,"
himself, was a good crier for an old
fashioned Virginia reel, doing him
self "proud" in the "yelling."
Miss McGarry of Chicago cleverly
recited and Mrs. James Guthrie of
this city added pleasure to the even
ing by rendering a beautiful song.
Lunch was served and the guests
departed after midnight each well
pleased with the hospitality of Mr.
and Mrs. Parker and their daughter.
Wednesday evening a large num*
ber of married people congregated
at the Parker residence in honor of
Mesdames Bowser, Mayo and Ryan,
who are expecting to leave the city
in the near future. The guests had
an excellent time aud the honored
guests were the recipients of many
regrets at their departure.
Old Comrades Meet Again.
G. P. Irish, one of the veteran
members of R. H. Carr Post, G. A.
R., was a participant in a very
pleasant event last night, when he
had the opportunity to entertain
William Wallace of Dayton, O., who
is here on a visit.
The acquaintance between Messrs.
Irish and Wallace began during the
civil war, when both gentlemen were
serving Uncle Sam in the Union
army. Mr. Irish was a member of
Co. T, Ninth Minnesota, and Mr.
Wallace belonged to Battery M,
Last night they celebrated their
birthday anniversary, both being 61
years of age yesteraay, and in honor
of the event a supper was served at
the home of Comrade Irish and the
evening was spent delightfully in
Mr. Wallace will remain in Bem
idji for a month, during which time
he will be a guest at the home of
Band Concert Friday Night.
The following is the program of
the concert which will be given by
the Bemidji band, at the city band
stand, on the dock Friday evening:
S. B. Stambaugh
SelectionFrom "The Honeymoon Trail"
Overture"Poet and Peasant" Suppe
Medley March"Down In Jungle Town"
Fantaise on "My Old Kentucky Home"
Russia. Japan and America) H. L. Alford
a-y*s&Asfc?--& jJr sjZ-i&^toS^-^x Jt$ **$?* J* &&&-
FORTY CENTS PER MONTH.
the work of laying' the foundation
and rushing the building to com
pletion, so that owners of autos
may have a proper "house" for their
The building will be one story
high, and will have a frontage of
fifty feet will be constructed entirely
of solid brick, with a concrete floor.
The front will be of pressed brick,
with stone trimmings, the whole to
be finished in a modern and up-to
date manner. The front entrance
will be large, and of glass, and an
office will also be in front, the
interior being so arranged as to
make a fine, large commodious gar
It is estimated that the new build
ing will cost about $4,000.
BIRD SEASON IS LATER
MUCH COMPLAINT MADE
Date of Season Changed from Septem
ber 1 to September 7. Unde
Many "kicks" have been made
on the change which the last legis
lature made in the date of the be
ginning of the open season for
killing ducks and chickens. The
season formerly opened on Septem
ber 1, but forseveral reasons known
only to the supporters of the State
Game & Fish commission, the date
was changed to September 7th.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press con
tained the following concerning the
change of date:
'The poor man is the chief suff
erer from the legislative enactment
changing the opening of the hunt
ing season from Sept. 1 to 7,' said
James Drummond, chief deputy
auditor, yesterday afternoon.
"Mr. Drummond, who greatly
enjoys a hunt, and who says he
believes in giving every man, rich or
poor, a chance for at least a few
days every season, is convinced that
the change in the law was made
through influence of well-to-do
'Formerly, when the season
opened on the first of the month,
thit office issued hundreds of hunter's
licenses on the Saturday before
Labor day. Working men availed
themselves of the opportunity to
hunt during Sunday and Monday.
But now they have been robbed of
this chance by legislative enact-
"The scale of hunters' licenses
was announced by hugs red-lettered
posters on the county auditor's door
Another reason given by some
parties who pretend to know the
reasons for some fool legislation is
that the Game and Fish commis
sion desired the date changed so as
to please the twin city sportemen
who did not care to hunt until after
the close of the state fair, which is
held this year from August 30-Sept. 4.
At any rate, we fail to see wherein
the change is at all beneficial to the
birds in question.
Card of Thanks.
We wish to return our heartfelt
thanks to the many generous friends
who stood by us, with such unwear
ing kindness during the time our
darling child was called upon to
suffer before entering upon "the rest
prepared for the children of God,"
and crossed to "the beautiful home
over there." Seldom have ariy in
need of sympathy and the most de
voted friendship received so full a
measure of the best fruits of the
Mr. and Mrs. Julius Dahl