Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in
The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
The most important events of the century -- man's triumphs and tragedies -- have been chronicled on the front page of The Post. Nevertheless, there was always room for a little domestic drama here and there. An excerpt from The Post of July 18, 1909:
Special to The Washington Post
Chicago, July 17 --
Abill without parallel in the record of Cook County was filed today by James Phillips in a suit for $5,000 against the Rev. T.F. Dornblaser, pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Mr. Phillips, who married a daughter of Dr. Dornblaser, charges the minister with alienating his wife's affections. The bill, filed in the circuit court, in part, says:
"From the marriage of plaintiff in 1897 to the present time the action of the defendant has been one long list of repeated injuries and usurpations. Scarcely had the echoes of their marriage vows died away and plaintiff was seated in the home he had provided for his wife, when he was shocked, chagrined, and deeply wounded when his wife unfolded to his startled ears the unwelcomed news that on all spiritual and religious matters she would be dominated, influenced, guided, and controlled by the wishes, desires, and wordly interests of her father rather than of her husband.
"Plaintiff further charges and avers that in the course of time, while his wife, at the continued command, behest, and instance of her father, valiantly threw herself into the vortex of religious endeavors and gave her best strength, training, and wisdom to the multitudinous societies for the elevation of the heathen in all lands.
"While Mabel E. Phillips was away at these meetings for the uplifting of the pagan denizens of the Orient, the amelioration of the untutored Indian, and the civilizing of the wild men of Borneo; while a mother's love and unselfish compassion was being lavished on the dusky children of the jungle and the ebony tribes of the Fiji Islands, and messages of love and devotion were being dispatched to the wilds of Africa, at the same moment the plaintiff was condemned to wander in public parks, meekly pushing the baby carriage, exerting all his energies and his awkward masculine skill in the hard but vain effort to soothe the cries of a restless baby, who refused to be comforted by a man's clumsy efforts, the baby showing clear resentment at being left alone with its male parent.
"The mother -- the natural and sole source of its food supply -- was laboring strenuously meanwhile in a distant part of the city in the laudable effort to beguile the teething days of the children of the naked savage.
"Plaintiff was greatly hurt and humiliated at the looks and taunts of the passers-by; and crestfallen because in a public place he was compelled to exhibit his helplessness in such an emergency and confess his feeble effort to be a beneficent and effective nurse.
"When Mr. Immaculate seats himself at the head of the table, and Miss Hysteria in close proximity, with Miss Petulance, Mr. Cynic in attendance to reinforce, there is a small chance for Mr. Meek."
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