Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903)


Ms 86, 1903

The Work at Yountville


August 9, 1903 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 12MR 315-317. +Note

Yesterday we drove to the Veterans’ Home at Yountville—a distance of thirteen miles—where I spoke in the chapel, according to previous announcement. The State has erected several large buildings at Yountville as a home and a hospital for aged and disabled soldiers. Nearly a thousand soldiers are cared for in this institution. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 1

For several months, services have been held regularly at the Veterans’ Home. A company of workers from this vicinity has visited the soldiers every other Sabbath, conducting a song service, speaking to them, and distributing reading matter among them. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 2

Yesterday I visited the Home for the first time. To the soldiers gathered in the chapel, I spoke from the fourteenth chapter of John. As I stood before them I saw many men of fine appearance. All seemed to be deeply interested and paid good attention. I spoke for thirty-five minutes. After the service was closed, several expressed themselves as being much pleased with my remarks. One old man said to me, “You spoke to us the words of life. It was good to hear them.” 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 3

One man was there in whom I feel a deep interest. In the early days of the message, in 1843 and ’44, Brother and Sister Foy of Brunswick, Maine, accepted the message of Christ’s soon coming. A few years later our people held meetings in Brunswick, and in Topsham, a city near to Brunswick. As a result, a few accepted the Sabbath truth, among whom were Brother and Sister Stockbridge Howland and their two daughters of Topsham and Brother Foy and his family of Brunswick. I was well acquainted with both families. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 4

Brother and Sister Howland are both sleeping in Jesus. They died true to the faith. Their daughters are still living. John, a son of Brother and Sister Foy, has for years been connected with the Battle Creek Sanitarium as gardener. A few weeks ago I learned to my surprise that the other son Stephen is at the Veterans’ Home at Yountville. I last saw him—then a lad of seven years—in Brunswick, Maine. Yesterday we renewed our acquaintance. He is now 50 years old. It was a most interesting meeting to us both. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 5

In the Soldiers’ Home at Yountville is an open door for service whereby we may reach needy souls. To labor for the salvation of the men in this home is as important missionary work as any to be found in India or China. I have sent down several copies of Desire of Ages and other of my books to be lent to the soldiers. Mr. Foy takes charge of them and circulates them among these who desire to read them. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 6

Good results are being seen from the efforts that are being put forth at Yountville. One man tells us that as a result of the services held by our people, his life has been changed. He used to spend most of his time in drinking and carousing with his companions, but he is now trying to live a Christian life. Some time ago a copy of Desire of Ages was lent to him, and he has read it over and over again. At last, thinking that he must soon return the book, he began to copy portions of it. Hearing of this, we presented him with a copy, and he seemed much pleased. During the week, a little company of soldiers meets together in the grove for prayer and Bible study. One man at the home is observing the Sabbath. 18LtMs, Ms 86, 1903, par. 7