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Joseph Arch

Joseph Arch

Joseph Arch, the son of a farm labourer, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, on 10th November, 1826. After attending school for three years Joseph started work at the age of nine as a bird scarer on a local farm. Over the next few years he developed the skills of hedging, ditching and mowing.

On 3rd February, 1847, Arch married Mary Anne Mills, the daughter of a carpenter. A year later Arch became a Primitive Methodist lay preacher. In many of his sermons he dealt with the financial problems of farm labourers. He developed a reputation as a radical and in 1872 he was approached by a group of men who sought his help in forming a farm workers' union. Arch agreed to their request and during the next few months members increased rapidly. On 29th May, 1872, the National Agricultural Labourers' Union was established and Joseph Arch was elected as its full-time President. Within two years the union had over 86,000 members, over one-tenth of the farm work force in Britain.

The Canadian government invited Joseph Arch to visit its country in 1873 where he examined the suitability of the country for British emigration. Arch was impressed with what he saw and during the next few years the union helped over 40,000 farm labourers and their families to emigrate to Canada and Australia.

As well as trying to improve his members' pay and conditions, Arch also campaigned for the extension of the franchise. William Gladstone, the leader of the Liberal Government, was sympathetic to these demands and this resulted in the passing of he 1884 Parliamentary Reform Act.

In the 1885 General Election, Joseph Arch was elected as the Liberal Party MP for North-West Norfolk. Arch, the first agricultural labourer to be a member of the House of Commons. In 1893 Arch was appointed as a member of the Royal Commission on the Aged Poor.

Joseph Arch retired from Parliament before the 1900 General Election. He retired to Barford where he lived until his death on 26th March, 1922.

Another abiding memory concerns the tireless industry of these agricultural workers. I doubt whether men and women ever worked harder, and I do not believe that necessary and honourable toil was ever more inadequately rewarded. They had no recreation beyond a perhaps weekly and half-ashamed visit to the public house, or an occasional social event at one of the local chapels.

If the position of the agricultural labourer today is an improvement upon the prevailing fifty years ago, it is in no small degree due to the organization started by Joseph Arch. The farm labourer today enjoys the full rights of British citizenship; he can take part in the local or national government of his country; he is, in so far as he is organised, a part of the labour movement; his social status has been raised; he is entitled to receive compensation for accidents; he has the consoling assurance of the old-age pension; he enjoys some little improvement in housing and sanitation, medical treatment, and sick pay for himself, though not for his wife and children.

Joseph Story

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Joseph Story, (born Sept. 18, 1779, Marblehead, Mass., U.S.—died Sept. 10, 1845, Cambridge, Mass.), associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (1811–45), who joined Chief Justice John Marshall in giving juristic support to the development of American nationalism. While also teaching law at Harvard (1829–45), he delivered lectures that he elaborated into a monumental series of nine legal commentaries, some of which had international influence.

After graduation from Harvard, Story practiced law at Salem, Mass. (1801–11), became prominent in the Jeffersonian Republican (afterward called the Democratic) Party, was elected to the state legislature (1805), served part of a term in the U.S. House of Representatives (1808–09), returned to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1810), and was chosen its speaker (1811).

In November 1811 President James Madison appointed Story, at the age of only 32 and without judicial experience, to the Supreme Court. The President did so despite the opposition of Jefferson, who believed Story had contributed to the failure of the foreign trade embargo enacted during Jefferson’s presidency. Although Madison thought Story would contest the Federalist Party nationalism of Chief Justice Marshall, the new justice soon joined Marshall in construing the Constitution broadly in favour of expanding federal power. His opinion for the court in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (1816) established the appellate authority of the Supreme Court over the highest state courts in all civil cases involving the federal Constitution, statutes, and treaties. This decision was called by Charles Warren, historian of the Supreme Court, “the keystone of the whole arch of Federal judicial power.”

From the death of Marshall (July 6, 1835) until the confirmation of Roger Brooke Taney as his successor (March 16, 1836), Story presided over the court. In Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 16 Peters 539 (1842), Story, who opposed slavery, upheld the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 in order to strike down state statutes concerning the recapture of escaped slaves. In Swift v. Tyson, 16 Peters 1 (1842 overruled 1938), he, in effect, created a “federal common law” for commercial cases by holding that federal trial courts, taking jurisdiction when the parties were citizens of different states, need not follow decisions by the courts of the state in which the cause of action arose.

In 1829 Story accepted the first Dane professorship of law, founded specifically for him at Harvard Law School by a writer on law, Nathan Dane. The endowment paid for the publication of Story’s commentaries: Bailments (1832), On the Constitution, 3 vol. (1833), The Conflict of Laws (1834), Equity Jurisprudence, 2 vol. (1836), Equity Pleadings (1838), Agency (1839), Partnership (1841), Bills of Exchange (1843), and Promissory Notes (1845). His works on equity made him, along with Chancellor James Kent of New York, a founder of equity jurisprudence in the United States. The commentary on conflicts affected numerous statutes and treaties of Latin American nations. Alexis de Tocqueville drew heavily on Story’s constitutional commentary.

History of Masonry

There are no known Masonic documents before about 1400. The earliest records tell a story of Masonry originating during Old Testament times. The oldest surviving minutes of Masonic lodges date to about 1600 and indicate that the organization was primarily concerned with regulating the trade of stonemasonry. Later minutes show that the lodges were gradually overtaken by men who were not stonemasons. These members transformed the organization from a trade guild into a fraternity.

Masons told a story about how their ancient forebears had learned stonemasonry, used it to build Solomon’s temple, protected the temple site, and held knowledge about their craft as a closely guarded secret. 3 By Joseph Smith’s day, the boundaries between Masonry’s early European history and its founding myths and traditions had long since been blurred. The rituals of Freemasonry appear to have originated in early modern Europe. 4 Aspects of these ceremonies bear resemblance to religious rites in many cultures, ancient and modern. 5

The popularity of Freemasonry peaked in the United States between 1790 and 1826. Prominent American founders George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were Masons, and well-known politicians such as Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay later participated in the fraternity. 6 Even so, some Americans in Joseph Smith’s day were concerned by the secretive and exclusive nature of Masonry. 7 These “anti-Masons” formed societies, published newspapers, and, for a time, organized as a national political party. 8 In spite of this movement, secret societies like the Masons flourished in the United States, and Masonic lodges were established in most large communities. 9

The Left Eye of Horus: Jah-Bul-On & The 'Holy' Royal Arch [of Enoch] Degree

Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment ceremony was copied directly from occultic rites in Masonry. The Mormon temple ceremony has no connection whatsoever with Christianity. On March 15, 1842, Joe Smith became an Entered Apprentice Mason, and the next day he became a Master Mason. The usual thirty-day wait between degrees was waived by Abraham Jonas, Grandmaster of the Illinois Lodge. Joe Smith admitted to being a Mason in his History of the Church (vol. 4, p. 551)

The all-seeing eye of Freemasonry is a promient feature on the Salt Lake City Temple in Utah

Under the date of March 15, 1842 his entry is, "In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office" (History of the Church vol. 4, p. 551).

The very next day he noted becoming a Master Mason, "I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree" (Ibid., p. 552).

Dr. Reed Durham, who was president of the Mormon History Association, noted:

"There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry. It is also obvious that the Nauvoo Temple architecture was in part, at least, Masonically influenced. Indeed, it appears that there was an intentional attempt to utilize Masonic symbols and motifs. . . ." (Mormon Miscellaneous, pub. David C. Martin, October, 1975, pp. 11-16). Here is the remainder of Dr. Reed Durham's address.

Less than two months after becoming a Master Mason, Joe Smith introduced the Endowment ceremony. For the Endowment ceremony, Joe Smith copied Masonic rites from a book called Freemasonry Exposed (1827) by William Morgan. When one compares the Nauvoo ceremony with the Masonic rite in Morgan's book, one easily sees the Masonic influence on the Mormon rite. The two rites resemble each other to the point of being identical at places. Morgan's account was an expose of his local York Rite's "Craft" degrees.

One can easily see the similarities between Masonic and Mormon rites. The penalty for revealing the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, Smith copied from the penalty of disclosing the first degree (Entered Apprentice) of Freemasonry. Ashamed and embarrassed about Smith's copying Masonic rites for the Endowment ceremony, Mormon officials expunged the Five Points of Fellowship and the Penalties from the Endowment in 1990.

Moroni is a demon and not an angel

The Masonic influence is throughout Mormon temple architecture. At the Salt Lake City Temple, over a window of the east central tower, is the All-seeing-Eye. The All-seeing-Eye is taken from the left eye, the "moon" or "sound" eye of Horus. Horus is a detestable pagan god, the son of Osiris and Isis. There is much pagan Egyptian mythology in the roots of Masonry and Mormonism.

Besides the All-seeing-eye, the Salt Lake City temple also has as a part of its architecture Ursa Major, cloudstones, starstones, sunstones, moonstones, earthstones, Saturnstones and the demon Moroni. The clasped hands on the Salt Lake City temple were also derived from Masonic symbolism. The Mormon beehive is a Masonic emblem of industry and virtue. The 1854 architect's drawing of the south elevation has Saturnstones over each sunstone on the main buttresses of the central body of the temple. In 1870, Brigham Young moved the Saturnstones to a more obscure pattern atop five of the six spires of the temple. The sixth and highest topped is with the demon Moroni.

Next to Moroni, the Saturnstones have the loftiest place on the building. The pagan Roman god Saturn is the source of the Saturnstone. In Mormon symbolism, Moroni, the blood spurting ghost of a Spaniard who was murdered as an enchantment to guard treasure, occupies the loftiest position on the temple. The next highest position is occupied by a symbol for the pagan god Saturn.

At the seventh degree in Masonry, the "Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch," the initiate learns "God's" secret name: Jahbulon. The name Jahbulon is a composite name from Jah-Bul-On. It joins Jehovah (Jah) with two pagan gods, the pagan Canaanite deity Baal (Bul) and the Egyptian god Osiris (On). According to Masonic authorities Henry Wilson Coil and Malcom C. Duncan, "Jah" refers to Jehovah. "Bul" refers to the Assyrian or Canaanite deity Baal, and "On" refers to the Egyptian deity Osiris (Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, New York, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1961, pp. 516-517 Malcom C. Duncan,Masonic Ritual and Monitor, New York, David Mckay Co., nd., p. 226 Dr. Ron Carlson, Fast Facts on False Teachings, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House, 1994, p. 86).

This is strong evidence that Joe Smith's LDS "church" is satanic at its roots. In the Bible, God does not allow His name to be mixed with pagan gods. Baal and Egyptian gods are all completely detestable in God's eyes. God is a very jealous God, and He has severe consequences for those who worship another. Much of the Bible is about the hammer coming down hard on Hebrews who fooled with Baal or other pagan gods.

Joseph Smith died giving the Masonic Signal of Distress

In his book exposing Freemasonry, William Morgan revealed how Masons signal for the aid of fellow Masons "in case of distress": "The sign is given by raising both hands and arms to the elbows, perpendicularly, one on each side of the head, the elbows forming a square. The words accompanying this sign, in case of distress, are, 'O Lord, my God! is there no help for the widow's son?'" (Morgan, p. 76).

Mormon bishop John D. Lee, who was executed for his part in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, wrote about Smith's giving the Masonic distress sign before dying, "Joseph left the door, sprang through the window, and cried out, 'Oh Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow's son!'" (Confessions of John D. Lee, reprint of 1880 ed., p. 153)

Less than one month after Joe Smith's death, the Mormon periodicalTimes and Seasons referred to Smith's giving, as his last words, the Masonic distress sign, " . . . with uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition and benevolence of Savages or Pagans. They were both Masons in good standing. . . . Joseph's last exclamation was 'O Lord my God!' " (Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 585).

LDS "apostle" Heber C. Kimball also admitted that Joe Smith gave the Masonic distress sign just before dying, "Joseph, leaping the fatal window, gave the Masonic Signal of Distress." (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball an Apostle, the Father and Founder of the British Mission, Salt Lake City: The Kimball Family, 1888, p. 26).

Joe Smith had placed his hopes of Salvation in a false hope, in that which cannot save. Those who follow Smith's religion likewise will share Smith's fate in hell.

Radical Objects: Casts of Joseph Arch’s Hands

Object number, 75/16/1-2, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), Reading

These are plaster casts of Joseph Arch’s (1826-1919) hands. Joseph Arch worked as hedger and ditcher in Barford, Warwickshire and went on to found the National Agricultural Labourer’s Union (NALU) in 1872. There were other, regional unions representing farm workers at the time, but the NALU was the largest, and at its peak in 1874 the membership stood at 86,214.

Though the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) archive has other holdings relating to Arch (some personal diaries and ledgers) and the NALU (collecting boxes) they haven’t been able to find anything out, so far, that relates the casts or their production. All that is recorded is that they are on permanent loan from the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers (NUAAW), Headland House, and that the casts were produced in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The only additional information in the accession file at MERL is their dimensions: their length is 18cm, their breadth (across the knuckles) is 12cm.

No one seems to have any information about how or why the casts were made. They were made during Arch’s lifetime, and perhaps they were made in preparation for a sculpture or statue, but if this is the case no other element survives, and neither does the final product. If they were made to represent him for posterity, which would seem right for the period of manufacture, it is also odd that they neither hold the tools of his trade, nor seem posed to represent a moment of political performance, such as a speech.

Arch began his political career as a radical at a time when farm workers had no vote. Following franchise reforms, Arch eventually became the first labouring man to enter Parliament. First elected to Parliament as the Liberal candidate for North-West Norfolk in 1885, losing his seat with Gladstone’s defeat in June 1886, he later served as Liberal MP for North-West Norfolk from 1892 until his retirement in 1900.

Arch’s own version of his story, which he told in his autobiography From Ploughtail to Parliament (1898) – edited by the Countess of Warwick – is somewhat overblown. And, by the end of his career he had lost touch with those he had initially sought to represent. But, his role in trade unionism, as an agricultural labourer who spoke with and for other agricultural labourers, is nonetheless important. If the hands were made to remind us of his worth as the first labourer to be elected to Parliament, or his significance to agricultural trade unionism, then so let it be. Certainly Arch was prone to self-aggrandisement, and by the end of his career had become detached from the interests of agricultural labourers, but he had also come a very, very long way. Despite his tendency to pomposity, his achievements are not to be dismissed.

But, what is perhaps most striking about the plaster casts is that they do not fit our expectations of what the hands of an agricultural labourer ought to look like. Somehow, we would expect a labourer’s hands to be heavy, calloused and weather-beaten, but these seem quite small, almost delicate. This may be because, by the time that they were made Arch had already been working as a representative of labourers, rather than as a labourer himself. Men, especially from the labouring class, were also smaller in his day than our own. The plaster itself is a material that smoothes roughness, and makes its subject seem statue-like, rather than real. But, it is also quite probable that Arch’s hands are simply typical of those of an actual labouring man, not stereotypical examples of heroic rustic strength. It is this that makes the objects more striking for me. They do not simply record the passing presence of a radical man, but they also make us think about what it was like to work as a labourer at a time when there was no choice, when the work involved was hard, physical labour, regardless of capacity.

Karen Sayer is Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Trinity University

The Designated collections of the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) can be explored on their website.

Joseph Arch - History

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Archdiocesan parishes record all celebrations of baptism, confirmation, and marriage in their sacramental registers. First communion and funeral rites are occasionally available as well. The Archives only holds the sacramental records of closed parishes open parishes maintain their own registers. Availability of sacramental certificates is limited to the participant in the sacrament, and only the participant can request his or her own record. All requests for certificates or information from the sacramental registers (e.g. date of marriage, date of confirmation, sponsor’s name) must be accompanied by the request form below and $10 processing fee. The fee for genealogical information or certificates is $20. The fee for official genealogical certificates for dual citizenship is $50 and must be accompanied by the proper documentation. See the genealogy policy for more details.

Sacramental Request (PDF)
Forma Para Libertar Archivos Sacramentales (PDF)

Records for approximately 400 closed Catholic schools are located at the Archives. Grammar school records may include grades, attendance sheets, test scores and health records. High school records are generally limited to transcripts. Only the student can request a copy of his/her transcript or student file. Open archdiocesan schools maintain their own student records. The fee for an official transcript or education/graduation verification letter is $10. The fee for genealogical or directory information (which may include pupil’s address, phone number, dates of attendance, and parish) is $20.

Chicago was once home to several orphanages and houses for troubled youth. The Archives and Records Center houses client files for Angel Guardian Orphanage, St. Hedwig and St. Joseph Home for the Friendless/St. Joseph Carondelet, as well as admittance registers for St. Mary and St. Joseph Orphanages, St. Mary’s Training School and House of the Good Shepherd. Client files may include sacramental certificates, grades, health records and visitor information. A person can only request his/her own orphanage file, with an initial research fee of $10. Additional photocopy fees may occur. The fee for genealogical information is $20, and may include admittance and discharge information, dates of attendance, parish, and address. No original records are released for genealogical purposes. See genealogy policy for more details.

In Files, a History of Sexual Abuse by Priests in Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO — One priest, the Rev. William J. Cloutier, was accused of raping a boy in his summer cottage, locking the door when the 13-year-old started screaming, and then brandishing a handgun while threatening to kill him if he told anyone. Another, the Rev. Robert C. Becker, would take boys to a trailer where, they said, he slept beside them and molested them. And the Rev. Joseph R. Bennett was accused of raping a girl with the handle of a paten, a plate used to hold eucharistic bread.

Thousands of documents gleaned from the personnel files of the Archdiocese of Chicago were released to the public on Tuesday, unspooling a lurid history of abuse by priests and halting responses from bishops in the country’s third-largest archdiocese. In each case, the priests ultimately died or were ousted from ministry, and in most cases, the allegations were never proved in a criminal court. But the documents suggest that church officials were at times quite solicitous toward priests accused of abuse.

In one remarkable instance in 1997, Gov. Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin was persuaded to allow the body of an abusive priest’s mother to be brought to the prison where the priest, the Rev. Norbert J. Maday, was incarcerated so he could pay his respects. Cardinal Francis E. George, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago, described the accommodation in a thank-you note as “an exceptional act of charity.”

Cardinal George’s predecessor, Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, opted not to defrock the same priest, writing a letter to him in prison declaring that “you have suffered enough by your present deprivation of ministry and your incarceration.”

On Tuesday, shortly after the documents were posted online, the Archdiocese of Chicago published on its website a statement again apologizing for abuse by priests and declaring, “the Archdiocese acknowledges that its leaders made some decisions decades ago that are now difficult to justify.”

“We realize the information included in these documents is upsetting,” the statement said. “It is painful to read. It is not the Church we know or the Church we want to be.”

A few hours later, abuse victims and their lawyers gathered in the 23rd-floor ballroom of a downtown hotel, lined up in front of posters and a video screen displaying photographs of priests accused of abusing minors. At the side of a lectern sat three cardboard boxes filled with copies of the files.


Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who has represented numerous victims of clergy sexual abuse around the nation, said the documents depicted a “systematic, ongoing, decades-long, continuous pattern of conscious choices by top officials of the archdiocese,” and argued that church officials were complicit in the abuse when they failed to remove abusers from ministry.

“The priorities have been demonstrated to have been the protection of the offenders and the reputation of the archdiocese,” he said. Later, turning to the victims beside him, he said, “These children were not as important to them as the clergy were.”

Most of the abuse described in the documents was alleged to have taken place years ago about half of the accused priests are dead, and many of the victims have already been given financial settlements from the archdiocese. Some of the documents have previously been available online, and have received attention in local news reports, as a result of criminal prosecutions and civil suits.

But the victims have pressed for public release of the files, arguing that the comprehensive set of documents will provide an important form of reckoning, chronicling what church officials did, and did not do, when they learned of accusations that priests had molested minors.

“For some of us it will be answers, for some of us it will be peace of mind, for some of us it’s wanting to know, but for all of us it’s a start,” said Angel Santiago, 47, who won a $700,000 settlement from the archdiocese in 2011 after accusing the Rev. Joseph L. Fitzharris of abusing him in the early 1980s. “It’s a little more weight off my shoulders,” he said, “but I still carry some of it.”

Father Fitzharris, who acknowledged abusing multiple boys, was defrocked in 2009. Father Cloutier, whose threats with the gun were investigated but not prosecuted by the local police in 1979, went on to face further accusations of abuse he resigned from the priesthood in 1993 and died in 2003. Father Becker, who in 1986 wrote in a letter to Cardinal Bernardin about “how full of shame I feel for having betrayed you and the archdiocese,” died in 1989. Father Bennett, who denied most of the many accusations against him, resigned from the priesthood in 2012.

The personnel files of accused priests have previously been made public in other American dioceses, including Boston and Los Angeles, generally as a result of litigation. Most of the documents have been published in an online archive, BishopAccountability.org.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has paid about $100 million to settle abuse allegations against priests. The archdiocese has also posted to its website a list of 65 priests — none still in ministry — who the church said have been credibly accused of abusing minors the documents released Tuesday concern 30 priests whose files were subject to negotiations with victims’ lawyers.

A lawyer for the accused priests, Joseph V. Roddy, said the documents’ accusations should be read with caution, because “some were tested in criminal court, but in the vast majority of cases, they’re just allegations.”

An archdiocesan lawyer told reporters last week that 95 percent of the allegations in the files concerned conduct before 1988, and none after 1996 14 of the 30 accused priests are dead, and none are still serving in ministry. Cardinal George, who has been the archbishop of Chicago since 1997, has said he never met many of the priests.

The release of the Chicago files comes as Cardinal George, a 77-year-old cancer survivor and one of the leading intellectuals in the American church hierarchy, is awaiting permission from the Vatican to retire. Pope Francis’ choice of a new archbishop of Chicago will be closely watched as it will probably be the pope’s first appointment to lead a major American see.

Although the abuse described in the documents took place before Cardinal George became archbishop, many of the victims first came forward after his arrival some of the files concern cases in which Cardinal George’s response has been questioned, including that of the Father Bennett, whose disciplinary proceeding the cardinal briefly delayed, and Father Maday, whose prison sentence the cardinal sought to reduce.

“It would be a great fulfillment of the millennium spirit to see your captive heart set free,” Cardinal George wrote to the incarcerated Father Maday in 2000. But the cardinal later changed his mind. In 2007, after several more people had come forward to say they had been abused by Father Maday, the cardinal wrote to a parole commission, saying he was seeking to defrock the priest.

The documents also shed new light on the handling of abusers by Cardinal Bernardin, a highly regarded figure in American Catholic history, and one of the first prominent church figures to act strongly against clergy sexual abuse by naming a board in 1992 to investigate future accusations. Cardinal Bernardin had occasionally given abusive priests second chances — for example, he allowed Father Fitzharris a new parish assignment, with the caveat that he should not be allowed unsupervised contact with high-school-age boys, after the priest had been criminally charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old.

Joseph Arch - History

"A Hundred Years of Yesterdays:
A Centennial History of the People of Orange County and their communities"
Reprinted in May 1992 for Laguna Beach Heritage Month.

Steep cliffs, water-etched coves, rolling hills, and deep canyons surround a small, flat basin where vacationers used to come in the summer to escape the inland heat. Eventually a little village grew up along the sea with year-round residents.

Laguna Beach and her adjoining community, South Laguna, are unique in Orange County for their dramatic topography. This includes steep coastal mountains that plunge into the sea and over thirty individual coves and beaches along an eight-and-a-half mile stretch from Three Arch Bay on the south to Crystal Cove on the North.

Although North Laguna was a part of the San Joaquin Rancho, downtown Laguna and South Laguna were never part of a Spanish or Mexican land grant but remained government land available for homesteading. Through the Timber-Culture Act of 1871, migration to the Golden West was encouraged. Families began to arrive and stake out their 160-acre claims and plant the required ten acres of trees - in Laguna's case always the Australian eucalyptus. The groves planted in the 1880's helped form the character of Laguna and added much-needed shade, although as lumber they were virtually useless. The groves grew so prodigiously that in the 1910's, trees had to be cut down by the dozen to carve out space for the growing community.

In 1871, Eugene Salter, the first American settler of South Laguna, claimed part of Aliso Canyon. He soon moved away and his 152 acres and one-room shack were claimed by George and Sarah Thurston. They came from Utah with six of their eventual thirteen children. Their three-year old girl was stolen by Indians on the journey and was never found. Their son, Joseph Thurston, chronicled the family's life and times in "Laguna Beach of Early Days" (1947). George Thurston raised vegetables and melons and sold them in Los Angeles, which was then a five day trip by wagon. The family name is remembered in Thurston Intermediate School, Thurston St., and Sarah Thurston Park in Laguna Canyon

The Brooks brothers, William and Nathaniel, arrived and settled in 1876. Both are referred to as the "father of Laguna" depending on which source is cited. They were Laguna Beach's first homesteaders - the first pioneers to stay longer than one summer in a tent. William H. Brooks came from Downey on a hunting trip to Laguna, following an old Indian trail though the Canyon. Later he filed on the 169.24 acres at Arch Beach (now Diamond St.) and laid out a subdivision. He was also Laguna's first stagecoach driver. Nathaniel Brooks brought water from Bluebird Canyon through a series of pipes and tunnels to Arch Beach. They temporarily sold out to another pioneer, Hubbard Goff (remembered in Goff St. and Goff Island). In 1886 he opened the first hostelry in Laguna, the Arch Beach Hotel.

During the southern California real estate boom of the 1880s Arch Beach was a separate community. It was granted a post office in 1889, two years before Laguna had one. From May 15, 1891, to September 17, 1904, Laguna Beach was called "Lagona," a corruption of the Spanish word for lagoon. The first postmasters were Hub Goff at Arch Beach and Joseph Yoch in Laguna

South Laguna, under the name "Three Arches", had Mrs. Grace Powers as postmistress. The following year, residents voted for a new name. "South Laguna" was not one of the choices on the ballot, but it won by a write-in vote.

In 1878, John Damron acquired 528 acres near the mouth of Laguna Canyon, including Temple Hills and the "flats" above Arch Beach. The property was later purchased by George Rogers for $1,000 and was subdivided into lots. The Rogers home stood on the site of the present city hall. Rogers and his daughter Elizabeth are credited with planting the huge pepper tree that stands in front of city hall. Rogers built a one-room school adjacent to his home for his eight children and hired a teacher. Several other children attended as well, marking this as Laguna's first real attempt at public education. This building later became the home of the Old Joe Lucas, the Portuguese fisherman who spoke English only while swearing. He was Laguna's first "Greeter", the predecessor of the famous greeter Eiler Larson, who waved to motorists on the highway from the 1940's through the 1960's.

The next school was built in Laguna Canyon by the Mormons who settled near the intersection of El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon Road. The school was built in 1888 for twenty children with their teacher, Mr. W.S. Brown. In 1893, this building was moved to the Canyon Acres area, then to Legion and Through streets where it became a church and later the art studio of Joseph Kleitsch. Building materials did not grow on trees (at least not on eucalyptus tress), and most buildings were recycled in the early days.

The third school was built on Park Ave. in 1908 on the site of the old cemetery. This two-room school was soon outgrown and was moved down the hill to its present location where it is used as the Legion Hall. When grading the road for the next school in 1928, the bones of Capt. Oliver Brooks were accidentally exhumed and were moved to a cemetery in Santa Ana. There are an estimated dozen burials still underneath the present high school, which was finally constructed in 1935. Prior to that time, students were bused to Tustin High.

Always a tourist town, Laguna Beach opened its second hotel in 1889. It was built by Henry Goff and purchased by Joseph Yoch for $600. Yoch also bought the defunct Arch Beach Hotel. He had it cut into three sections, moved it into town, and joined it to his hotel, creating a massive establishment of thirty bedrooms and two bathrooms. This hotel was condemned in 1928, and the present Hotel Laguna opened the following year on the same site. The next vacation retreat was the Brooks House, built in 1892. It was a red, two-story Victorian structure located on the present site of the Isch Building. Unfortunately, the hotel burned down before the paint was completely dry.

Elmer Jahraus came to Laguna from Santa Ana in 1903 and soon opened a cigar factory in the lower floor of the Yoch Hotel. In 1913, he opened Laguna Lumber which is significant in that this enabled the community to grow at unprecedented rates. Prior to the lumberyard, construction materials were hauled by mule down Laguna Canyon, or were floated in on the tide from boats, usually the schooner Emma.

In South Laguna, the Egans, Shrewsburys, Andersons, and Goffs were homesteaders raising beans and melons. South Laguna had several close calls with commercialism. In 1889, the Santa Fe Railroad purchased Goff Island (now Treasure Island) and planned a depot and resort. When the tracks were laid inland instead, those plans failed. The depression of the 1890's saved South Laguna from an urbanized future.

Other early residents included Oscar Warling and Fred Trefren who operated a stage line to El Toro and Santa Ana which ran daily from 1884 to 1901. John Nicholas Isch ran the livery stable (on the site of the present Isch Building). He also ran a grocery and was one of the early postmasters. Known for his trusting ways, he never locked up when he went fishing. Customers came in to shop and to pick up their own mail. They could pay the next time they came in. For a number of years, the only telephone in a town was in the store. The phone was connected with the Irvine ranch house, and messages could be relayed from there to the outside world.

North Laguna, called Laguna Cliffs, was developed by Howard Heiseler, L.C. McKnight, and the Thumb Brothers. In 1905, they subdivided and laid out the only streets in Laguna that run at straight angles to one another. Water was piped in from Laguna Canyon, and this was the first neighborhood offering water with every lot. Wells had been used for years and water was hauled in barrels from Laguna or Aliso canyons into town. It had been said "Laguna was long on scenery and short on improvements, especially drinking water." The first important artists to arrive was Norman St. Clair. Who took the train from Los Angeles and the stagecoach from El Toro. He made lots of sketches of the area. He exhibited throughout California, attracted other artists, and a tradition was born.

As news of the picturesque village spread, the artists came in droves. They included Frank Cuprien, Gardner Symonds, William Wendt, William Daniell, Anna Hills, and William Alexander Griffith. Some artists banded together in 1913 and rented a small wooden building that had been a church, dance hall and meeting place. Under the leadership of Edgar A. Payne (who painted the mural in the movie theater), the artists refurbished the building and held their first exhibition in August, 1918. Three hundred people attended the first day and 2000 the first month. They seemed to be onto something big. This showing was the beginning of the Laguna Beach Art Association and the Museum of Art. Today Laguna continues to be an artistic focal point of Orange County - a major center for arts and crafts.

Laguna Beach is also home to the internationally known Festival of the Arts - Pageant of the Masters. The first pageant ever held in Laguna was an Indian pageant promoted by Isaac Frazee. It was called Kitshi Manido and was held in the large eucalyptus grove at sleepy Hollow (corner of Catalina and Arroyo Chico streets). The second Kitshi was held in 1927 in Laguna Canyon on the Boys Club property. In 1932, Roy M. Ropp conceived of the idea of a pageant and art festival. El Paseo (a little street by Hotel Laguna) was used as the site. Booths were set up and a stage was built on which people posed against painted backdrops to recreate great works of art. Eventually, James Irvine donated a small canyon for the pageant, and on the tenth anniversary of the festival, Irvine Bowl was dedicated.

Laguna's "village" character still remains in spite of growth and commercialism. No small part of this charm is due to the shaggy eucalyptus and one-of-a-kind architecture. Also, the relative isolation in which Laguna exists, surrounded by mountains, ocean, and greenbelts, keep the town a little different from neighboring cities. This geography makes it unlikely that Laguna will ever be absorbed into a major urban continuum. Concerned citizens work hard to acquire land just to leave it alone. Other groups work hard to promote laws permitting little change. The artistic spirit prevails, and it seems likely that Laguna's charm will be here for a long time to come. - Karen Turnbull 1988

I just couldn't help but toss this in too. From the 1952 presidential campaign.

NOTE: See the amazing and very rare historic photos of South Laguna Beach from the personal photo collection of Howard Wilson, the authors father. - A fantastic look back for those who wonder what it was like before civilization hit!

Joseph the Righteous?

Jewish commentaries, both traditional and modern, generally view Joseph as a complex character who was ultimately a righteous person. Though some commentators such as Sforno acknowledge the immaturity of his actions when dealing with his brothers in his youth, still Joseph is largely regarded as an admirable figure for maintaining his Israelite identity in spite of his 20-year separation from his family. Tradition notably refers to Joseph as a tzadik (righteous person), and several commentators point to Joseph&rsquos naming of his sons in Hebrew as a premiere example of his dedication.

Even with Joseph&rsquos more questionable actions, like not contacting his family once he became viceroy of Egypt, or testing his brothers by accusing them of being spies, the commentators refer us back to Joseph&rsquos adherence to the messages of his dreams. Both Rashi and Nahmanides validate Joseph&rsquos actions by positing that he knew the importance of fulfilling those prophecies. For these commentators, the ends of fulfilling God&rsquos will justified the means of Joseph&rsquos actions.

Watch the video: The Day We Celebrated Joseph Arch MP- Short Intro Version (January 2022).