top of page

Banyan Street 1895

Carrie Nation in West Palm Beach

Brothels, booze in Banyan Street’s past



BANYAN STREET   Twenty-five years ago.  West Palm Beach voted to switch the name of First Street back to Banyan, ending 64 years of exile for the city’s most notorious road. From 2002 and 2009:  From 1925 to 1989, it was First Street. Before that, it was Banyan Street. The reason for the change all those years: sin.


     Brothels, booze in Banyan Street’s past.   It was renamed First Street from 1925 to 1989, when the original name was restored.In the 1890s, if you wanted whiskey, women or trouble in the fledgling city, Banyan Street was the only place to go.  It was the only street in town where alcohol was permitted — at least officially — and it earned the notorious nickname “Whiskey Street.”


     Its saloons, gambling halls and brothels operated around the clock, luring the laborers building the Palm Beach resorts.Post Time:


Temptation often crosses class lines. West Palm Beach’s first mayor, John Earman, was nearly booted from office in 1895 when he was charged with being “in a state of intoxication” in the company of a lady of the evening who went by “Specks.” Earman denied the charges and they were dismissed a month later.


     In 1904, fed-up local women called in the “Kansas Cyclone”: Carry Nation, the 6-foot-tall, black-clad, Bible-clutching matron of temperance who smashed saloons across America with her holy hatchet.There’s no indication she smashed any bars on Banyan, but the city finally decided in 1925 to change the street’s name to First Street.


That backfired when locals began calling it “Thirst Street.”On Nov. 6, 1989, apparently satisfied that time had buried Banyan’s sordid reputation, West Palm Beach restored its name.

Clematis Street  1916

The Immortal Six Hundred were a group of Southern heroes subjected to intentional war crimes by the U.S. Army during the closing year of the War Between the States. Their ordeal grew from the ongoing battle for control of the vital Southern city of Charleston, South Carolina. Union artillery on Morris Island had been bombarding civilian areas of Charleston for months in an intentional campaign of terror against the citizens of that beautiful but war-weary city.

Fed up with this deliberate targeting of women, children and other noncombatants, Major General Samuel Jones (then commanding the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) notified his Union counterpart, Major General J.G. Foster, that he was resorting to desperate measures: ...Five general officers and forty-five field officers of the Untied States Army, all of them prisoners of war, have been sent to this city for safe keeping. They have been turned over to Brigadier-General Ripley, commanding First Military District of this department, who will see that they are provided with commodious quarters in a part of the city occupied by non-combatants, the majority of whom are women and children. It is proper that I should inform you that it is part of the city which has been for many months exposed day and night to the fire of your guns.

Jones' notification to Foster, dated June 13, 1864, that he would use 50 Union prisoners of war as human shields to save the lives of women and children in Charleston electrified the U.S. Army. General Foster replied three days later, calling the move an "act of indefensible cruelty."
Foster then requested that Washington, D.C., authorize him to use an equal number of Confederate prisoners of war as human shields to protect not civilians, but the very walls of his artillery batteries. He was given an "equal" number of Confederate prisoners by order of the War Department.

Before these Southern officers could be put in place before Foster's ramparts, however, he received an unexpected letter from the Union prisoners of war in Charleston.  They had learned of his plans from the city's newspapers:...We think it just to ask for these officers every kindness and courtesy that you can extend them in acknowledgement of the fact that we, at this time, are as pleasantly and comfortably situated as is possible for 
prisoners of war, receiving from the Confederate authorities every privilege that we could desire or expect, nor are we unnecessarily exposed to fire. Jones sent a letter of his own to Foster, offering to exchange the prisoners then in his custody.  The Union high command refused, however, and instead ordered that an additional 500-600 prisoners of war be sent to Morris Island for use as human shields.

These additional prisoners also came from the Northern prison camp at Fort Delaware and left that place believing they were on their way to be exchanged.  Instead they found themselves packed into the hold of the ship Crescent City in conditions they compared to the "Black Hole of Calcutta." As the steamer made its way south, its first mate tried to slip bread and meat to the prisoners but was caught doing so and thrown into irons by the commander of the guards. Throughout the journey, the prisoners were told they would be exchanged. But finally, as they neared Charleston Harbor on September, 7, 1864 - after spending 18 days crammed into the hold of they Crescent City, they were told they would be used as human shields for the Union gun batteries on Morris Island.

On September 8, 1864, Brigadier General Rufus Saxton reported that the prisoners had been placed in the line of fire:...I have the honor to report that on yesterday the Rebel prisoners of war were safely landed and placed in the stockade in front of Fort Strong.On the second day that the prisoners were in place on Morris Island, the Union cannon they had been placed to protect suddenly all opened fire on Fort Sumter and Charleston. Confederate gunners across the harbor replied, doing their best to avoid hitting the men of the Immortal Six Hundred.

Having failed to provoke the Confederates into shelling their own men, the Union officers then subjected the prisoners to an intentional starvation diet of four hardtack crackers at breakfast, one-half pint of soup and lunch and nothing for supper. After six weeks confinement on Morris Island, 
the men of the Immortal Six Hundred were moved to Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia. There they were informed by their new commandant that he had requisitioned food, blankets and other supplies for them but that his request had been denied.

Instead, Col. P.P. Brown of the 127th new York told them that he had been ordered to feed them only "ten ounces of corn meal and one-half pint of onion pickle each twenty-four hours, as a ration, without salt, meat, grease, or vegetables." The prisoners also were deprived of clothing, shoes, blankets and warmth. Confined in an iron cage inside the walls of Fort Pulaski, their health grew worse and one by one they continued to die.The men of the Immortal Six Hundred were intentionally starved by the U.S. Army for sixty-three days. Scurvy erupted among them and the rate of sickness and death became alarming.  As one of the prisoners later wrote, "It was a pitiable sight to see human beings being starved to death by a 
government claiming to be civilized, humane, and religious."

Snow fell in Savannah on Christmas Day, 1864, and reached a depth of 4-inches on the parade ground of Fort Pulaski. The prisoners, however, were allowed no additional clothing, no blankets and no fires. They became, prisoner J. Ogden Murray later wrote, "walking skeletons." After General William Tecumseh Sherman took Savannah at the end of his March to the Sea in December 1864, his medical officers inspected the condition of the prisoners at Fort Pulaski and were shocked. On February 7, 1865, Brevet Major General. C. Grover, who had been placed in command at Savannah by General Sherman, reported that the prisoners were "in a condition of great suffering and exhaustion for want of sufficient food and clothing." He urged that they be helped.

Instead, their suffering continued with no relief. Prisoner Murray later wrote:...Language cannot describe our condition during the last days at Fort Pulaski, on the corn meal and pickle diet. Words are inadequate to make the picture. No pen can draw the ghastly picture and horrors of those 
days and nights....The prisoners did note the humanity of their guards at Fort Pulaski. Humiliated by the treatment of the human beings they were 
compelled to guard, soldiers from the 127th New York often slipped them loaves of bread and other items of food. The survivors of the Immortal Six Hundred remained at Fort Pulaski until March 1865 when they finally were loaded aboard ship and taken back to Fort Delaware. Thirteen of 
their comrades remained behind in the swampy soil of Cockspur Island where Fort Pulaski still stands today.

By the time they left Georgia, the men had become heroes to the people of the South. Subjected to intentional torture and starvation because a Southern general dared to threaten to use Union prisoners of war to stop the U.S. Army from firing on civilians, they were remembered by the people of the South for generations. Their memory is fading now, but their story is one that the nation would do well never to forget. A monument to the men of the Immortal Six Hundred can be seen today in the small cemetery by the moat of Fort Pulaski. It was placed there by the Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, on October 27, 2012. The thirteen men buried at Fort Pulaski came from six different Southern states: Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The cemetery and the fort itself are open to the public daily. 










John Lanier Home

Family home of Mary Lanier, wife of

Afred Sidney Campbell

Osceola County Historical Society Blog

Osceola County Family Spotlight: The Lanier Family


"Family" is the key word for the Laniers. The Lanier chronicle is but one example of a story repeated often in Central Florida History: cracker cowmen settling the land and building enterprises, relying on family support and inter-generational ties to create communities and ensure success. The extended Lanier family is well-known to long time Osceola County residents, marrying into other prioneer families and becoming prominent citizens.


The Lanier House, a part of the Pioneer Village, is an integral part of telling the story of one of Osceola County’s pioneering families. This home that currently lives at our Pioneer Village presents an example of the “Florida Cracker” architectural style, and is an original – built in Osceola County sometime in the late 1800s. Through this authentic structure, the Osceola County Historical Society is able to share the narrative of an average Pioneering family in Florida for growing generations.


Historical Background: 


John Lanier, family patriarch for the Lanier family, was called “one of Florida’s pioneer ‘Cattle Kings’” by Myrtle Hilliard Crow. He was born in 1805 and migrated to Florida sometime prior to his second marriage in 1839. He and his wife, along with their children, moved through Florida throughout the 1800s as John established himself as a cattle rancher. 


According to Crow’s book, “Old Tales and Trails,” the Lanier family arrived what is now Osceola County in the late 1860s as John searched for better cattle pasturage. They purchased property a few miles southwest of Kissimmee from Mrs. Malinda Yates, and began settling into their new home at “the Point.” 


John Lanier died in 1888 at the age of 83, leaving a large line of younger Laniers still farming and ranching in Osceola County. During the last decade of his life, John witnessed huge changes in Osceola County, including the huge Disston drainage projects that changed the shape of the land and water. 


Raymond Lanier, John’s grandson, is credited with purchasing the Lanier Home that is now located within the Pioneer Village. The Lanier House owned by the Osceola County Historical Society was originally located at 1964 Ham Brown Rd, and according to property tax records, it first appears as a taxable property in 1906. However, researchers believe that the house was built by Jonathan Strickland in the late 1800s, and sold to the Lanier family in 1905. 


The narrative for this house spans 100 years of history for the Lanier family, from John Lanier’s birth in 1805 and arrival in Florida in the 1830s, to his grandson Raymond’s purchase of a home and farm land in 1905 where he starts a family in the 1920s. It shows the Lanier family assisting each other over three generations, sharing work, property, and other resources. They represent a major theme in central Florida history as cattlemen migrate to the area with their families, settle down, establish communities, expand into vegetable and citrus, and start businesses to diversify their income.


The home itself is representative of the “Cracker House” style from the late 1800s in Florida. The double pen type or “dog-trot” house was commonly built in a log construction form in the region until the mid to late 19th century, and then continued to be constructed in dimensional lumber forms as the sawmill industry began to exploit the vast resources of yellow pine and cypress timber in the late 19th to early 20th century. The houses commonly have porches across their fronts, broad roof overhangs as their eaves, and gable ends that often extend beyond chimneys placed at the gable ends. The style is most associated with the ability to provide maximum shade from the sun to the interior spaces while also encouraging a cooling air flow around and through the structure. The construction of the house is very distinctive, and it is a unique survivor of the time period. It may be the only surviving example of frameless, “box” or “sawmill” construction in the region.


In 1986, the home was donated to the Osceola County Historical Society by Ross Lanier. It was relocated to the Bass Rd. location and restoration was completed to return the house back to what it would have looked like in its day. 


The unique construction of the home, as well as its importance as a relic of an Osceola County Pioneer family, makes this building incredibly rare and valuable to the history of Osceola County. 


It's clear that the Lanier family was and still is living history for Osceola County. If you'd like to see more Pioneer Family history or other Osceola history.

John B. Earman and His Two wives, Amanda Sites, and her cousin, Mary Ann Sites                                         (John B. and Amanda Earman were the parents of John Sites Earman)
John B Earman

Amanda Sites Earman

 Mary Ann Sites Earman

Published in the Palm Beach Post May 16, 1916

                 Col. John Wesley Burke 

     (Father of Susan Burke, wife of John Sites Earman)

Publisher, editor, politician, jurist, philanthropist, mason.

Editor of the Palm Beach Post from 1913 to 1920, Earman resigned to start the Palm Beach Independent, noted for its editorials. Earman became the only man ever elected to the Palm Beach City Commission running independent of the two major political parties. Governor Sidney


Catts appointed him chairman of the board of control and he became known as one of Catts major advisors during a stormy period of Florida's politics. He served three terms.


As a police court and was appointed municipal court judge. He became known for his philanthropic activities later in life.

J. L Earman Home,  217 Valencia Street, West Palm Beach, Florida
Home of J. L. Earman, 217 Valencia Street, West Palm Beach, Florida
Earman Oil Office Dedication 1960 L-R     Joe S. Earman,     Ralph Catron,                                                          CA Malcolm,   Joe H. Earman Sr.


Joseph Henry Earman Sr. Obituary


Joe Henry Earman Sr., 84, died May 4, 2010. He was born in Washington, D.C., and was a lifelong resident of Vero Beach. He enlisted in the Army Air Force at 17 and served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 until the end of the war. Upon returning to Vero Beach after the war he worked for his father, Joe S. Earman, at the Indian River Citrus Bank. In 1949,


he founded and was president of Earman Oil Co. until selling it in 1980. He also served as president of Vero Beach Ice and Storage and Blue Crystal Water and Ice Co. He was founder of Vero Chemical Distributors and was part owner with Jim Coffey of the Interstate 95/State Road 60 Union 76 Truck Stop. He also had other businesses throughout the Treasure Coast. In 1986, he served as general manager of the Wolf Laurel Golf and Ski Resort in Mars Hill, N.C. He was past president of the Vero Beach/Indian River County Chamber of Commerce and received the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1959.


He also was past president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association in 1968 to 1969, past president of the Wolf Laurel Property Owners Association and Blue Mountain Country Club and was past member of the Vero Beach Country Club. He was the first director of the Indian River County Civil Defense and served during hurricanes and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also served on the Indian River Memorial Hospital District Board of Trustees from 1966 through 1970, and was chairman for three of those years. From 1981 to 1989, he served on the Florida Inland Navigation District and served a term as its vice chairman. He also was the former chairman of the Indian River County Democratic Executive Committee from 1977 to 1979. He served as a political adviser to Florida Gov. Reuben Askew from 1972 to 1980 and as an energy adviser to President Jimmy Carter. He was one of the original founders of the 100 Club of Indian River County.


He also was the founder of the Swine Club, a hunting club he established with friends at the Charles T. Scott Ranch in Okeechobee County. He attended Woodberry Forest Prep School in Virginia, Vero Beach High School, University of Miami and the University of Florida.


Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Gladys Holmes Earman; daughters, Mary Beth Waddell of Jensen Beach and Gail Frierson of Easley, S.C.; son, Joseph H. Earman Jr. of Vero Beach; sister, Georgeanne Russell of Ashland, Ky.; brother, William A. Earman of Vero Beach; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild on the way.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimers/Parkinsons Foundation of Indian River County, 2300 Fifth Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960. services: A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. May 7 at the First United Methodist Church in Vero Beach, with the Rev. Richard Flick officiating. Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory in Vero Beach. A guest book is available at

John Burke Earman Patent
DESCRIPTION   (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 27, 1934. J. B. EARMAN 5 DENTAL SLAB Filed April 4, 1933 Patented Nov. 27, 1934 UNITED STATES PATENT} OFFICE.

DENTAL SLAB John Burke Earman, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Application April 4, 1933, Serial No. 664,436

3 Claims.

My invention relates to slabs used in dentistry for the preparation of fillings andother similar materials used in the art of dentistry and it particularly has for its object to provide a slab which may be given, at little or no expense, a fresh working surface at each operation without using up the slab or wearing out its working face.

Further, the invention has for an object to provide a dental slab with means temporarily to re- '10 tain a film or sheet of suitable material, such as celluloid, wax-paper, etc., the slab being made of any suitable hard material such as cement, stone or in fact almost any material which will give a hard working surface.

Further, it is an object to provide a slab over whose working face a thin sheet is removably held by a frame which has provisions cooperating with the slab for drawing the sheet taut and, by the weight of the frame supplemented by friction, holding the sheet in place taut while being used.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of my invention.

Figure 2 is a vertical longitudinal section of the same.

Figure 3 is a vertical longitudinal section showing the position of the parts when a new sheet is about to be secured to the slab.

In the drawing in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 represents the slab composed of cement, stone or other suitable hard material capable of taking on a hard surface which constitutes the working face 2 of the slab.

The slab has an ofiset portion 3 and a base surface 4, the latter being engaged by the skirt 8 of the frame 9 when in the assembled position.

The slab has a gutter or groove around the same and a rib 6 the latter entering the groove 10 of the frame 9. The frame 9 also has a rib 11 which is adapted to be received by the gutter or groove 5 of the slab 1 when the parts are assembled. The film or sheet 7 is laid over the working face 2 of the slab and then the frame 9 is placed on the same and pushed down from the position shown in Figure 3 to the position shown in Figure 2. This folds over the sheet and clamps its marginal portion between the slab and the frame. V

In lowering the frame 9 from the position shown in Figure 3 to fit the film to the slab, the lower border of the skirt 8 will grip the film 7 at the rib 6 on the slab. As the frame passes down around the slab the film is at an angle from the margin of the working face 2 of the slab to the border of the rib 6. Now as the frame is moved 5 farther down the rib 11 engages the film (its margin now being held by a skirt 8) and forces the film tight to the border of the slab, thus making the film tight on the face of the slab and creating a smooth working surface.

The frame is preferably made of heavy metal such as lead, non-corrosive iron, or the like, so that the weight of the frame plus the friction of the parts in contact will be sufiicient to hold the sheet taut over the working face 2.

A new sheet is used at the commencement of each operation so that in this way a fresh working surface is given the slab each time it is used.

The frame 9 may be provided with a knob 12 at each end to permit its easy withdrawal from the slab.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, it is thought the construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

What I claim is:

1. An appliance of the character described, comprising the combination with a slab having a working face, and having stepped sides and ends, the step having a downwardly cut V-shaped groove, a film placed over the working face and a frame embracing said stepped sides and ends of said slab and the marginal portion of the film, said frame having a downwardly directed V- shaped rib to enter said groove, said frame having a weighted and a skirt portion, the weighted portion serving to hold the frame down and effect the holding of the film taut over the working face of the slab, the upper face of said frame being downwardly beveled away from the slab.

2. A dental appliance of the character described comprising a slab provided with a raised work supporting body and an outstanding base portion, said outstanding base portion being provided with a vertical channelway extending entirely around the said block, a sheet of flexible material for disposition over the top surface of the block, a frame provided with a depending rib, said frame being adapted to snugly engage material, a frame for snug slidable fit over the side walls 6f the slab portion and being provided with 2. depending rib for nested disposition in the channel when the frame is urged downwardly and into the base to clamp the sheet in a U-shaped bend, said frame being provided with a depending apron outwardly offset with respect to the rib and adapted to snugly clamp the edge portion of the sheet against the side walls of the said base portion.


Earman Home in Vero Beach... Still held by family

Thomas Earman, Pioneer Family Member
May 16, 1986
Thomas Burke Earman, great-grandson of the first mayor of West Palm Beach, died Sunday in Charleston, S.C., in an automobile accident. He was 36.

Mr. Earman was the son of Dr. John Robert Earman and Ida Marguerite Prather Earman of West Palm Beach.

His great-grandfather, J.S. Earman, was the first mayor of West Palm Beach and his uncle, J.L. Earman, was a former publisher of the Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Times.

Mr. Earman, a West Palm Beach native, was a graduate of Palm Beach High School and Tulane University. He was a member of Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Charleston Sertoma Club and was on the board of directors for the Footlake Players.

Mr. Earman, a resident of Charleston, S.C., is survived by his wife, Bonnie Cushman Earman, and two sons, Taylor, 11, and Stuart, 8.

Other surviving members of his family include his parents, his grandmother, Sally Earman, of West Palm Beach, a sister, Kathleen E. Werner of West Palm Beach, and his brother, John Robert Earman Jr. of Palm Beach.

Memorial Services were held Tuesday in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Scherer, M. G. G. Rev. was the new Pastor of the Newberry Lutheran Congregation. He was born in NC, educated at VA, ordained 1883 and married Alice M. Ehrman of Bridgewater VA. on October 1886. Newberry Observer 6/15/1899; M. G. G. Scherer resigned his Pastorate in Newberry and will move to Charleston. Newberry Observer 9/12/1901; Rev. M. G. G. Scherer was conferred the degree of DD. Page 8, Newberry Observer 6/16/1903.










Paul Ehrman Scherer
129 Coming St. Charleston, South Carolina

By John BishopSunday, March 01, 1992

     Paul Scherer was born at Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, on June 22, 1892. He graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1911, and from the Mount Airy Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, in 1916. He was ordained to the ministry of the Lutheran Church in 1916.


     After a short period as the assistant pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Buffalo, New York, he served from 1919 to 1928 as instructor in homiletics at Mount Airy Seminary. At the same time he was pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City, a position he held from 1920 to 1945. From 1932 to 1945 he was the radio preacher on the Sunday Vesper program.In 1945, Scherer became Brown Professor of Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary in New York, a chair which he occupied with distinction until his retirement in 1960.


     His interest in homiletics and his desire to teach led him to become Visiting Professor of Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., during the academic year 1961-2. At the end of that time he accepted the invitation to occupy a similar post at Princeton Seminary, where he remained until illness forced him to relinquish his duties in 1968. He died the following year.We may learn much about Scherer's preaching methods from the Beecher Lectures which he delivered at Yale in 1943 under the title For We Have This Treasure. Scherer insists on the priority of preaching. Because the most creative and critical ages of the history of Christianity have been the ages of preaching, it follows that the first business of the preacher is to assign to preaching in his own thought and practice the dignity that belongs to it.Yet -- as with Phillips Brooks -- Scherer was convinced  the preaching office cannot be faithfully discharged without the care of souls.


     When he went to his church in New York he was told that regular pastoral visitation was neither essential nor particularly desired, but after a time he began to make his way in an orderly fashion into as many of the homes of his people as possible, and found that this greatly enriched his preaching.In the last two of the Beecher Lectures, Scherer reveals his own methods. He needed anywhere from 18 to 20 hours before he had his sermon ready. Much of the modern distaste for sermons, he says, may be due to the lethargy and sloth of many preachers. "It takes muscle and sweat to write a sermon. To fasten a man's attention and challenge his respect is not done lightly, no matter how worthy your material or how exalted your theme."Scherer insisted the morning hours should be reserved for serious study, especially of the Bible, which should be studied in a systematic way, book by book.


     He suggests that the preacher should always have on hand one book that is a little beyond him, since there is little profit to be had from reading what he himself might have written. "The clear and quick recording of illustrations; the copying out of quotations; the jotting down of some fleeting, suggestive line of thought; such material carefully gathered, preserved, perhaps even entered in a permanent book, not too laboriously indexed, is simply invaluable."

Paul Ehrman Scherer

The Burke Library Archives, Columbia University Libraries, Union Theological Seminary, New York Union Theological Seminary Archives 1 Finding Aid for Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, 1923 – 1968 Credit to: UTS2: Union Theological Seminary Records, Faculty Portraits, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York. Finding Aid prepared by: Brigette C. Kamsler, July 2015 With financial support from the Henry Luce Foundation Summary Information Creator: Paul Ehrman Scherer, 1892-1969 Title:


     Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers Inclusive dates: 1923-1968 Bulk dates: 1923-1932 Abstract: Lutheran, professor of homiletics, author, and one of America’s best-known preachers. Collection contains sermons, correspondence, newspaper clippings, ephemera and diaries. Size: 8 boxes, 4.00 linear feet Storage: Onsite storage Repository: The Burke Library Union Theological Seminary 3041 Broadway New York, NY 10027 Email: UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, 1923-1968 2 Brigette C. Kamsler 7/31/15 Administrative Information Provenance: Exact provenance unknown.


     Because Scherer worked at Union Theological Seminary for a number of years, it is believed the material was donated by him or his family. Access: Archival papers are available to registered readers for consultation by appointment only. Please contact archives staff by email to, or by postal mail to The Burke Library address on page 1, as far in advance as possible Burke Library staff is available for inquiries or to request a consultation on archival or special collections research. Access Restrictions: The collection is unrestricted to readers. Certain materials, however, are in a fragile condition, and this may necessitate restriction in handling and copying. Preferred Citation: Item description, UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, box #, and folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.




     Paul Ehrman Scherer was born on June 22, 1892 in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania to mother Alice Melvina Catherine (Ehrman) Scherer (1864-1941) and father Melancthon Gideon Groseclose Scherer (1861-1931), who was also a Lutheran preacher. The family moved to South Carolina was Paul was young, and he attended the College of Charleston, South Carolina, graduating in 1911 and again in 1913 with an MA. Paul received a BD from the Mount Airy Theological Seminary in 1916.


     Paul Scherer was appointed Assistant Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo New York, serving there from 1916-1918, and then Assistant Professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mount Airy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1918-1920. During this time frame, Paul married Lillie Fry Benbow in Buffalo on September 4, 1919; together they would have two daughters.


     Paul’s reputation as one of America’s best-known preachers came from his position as Pastor at the Holy Trinity Church in New York City, a post he held from 1920-1945. Paul left his position at Holy Trinity Church to focus on teaching, leaving his post on the Board to become Associate Professor of Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary (UTS) from 1945- 1947, and being promoted to Brown Professor of Homiletics at UTS from 1947-1960. The high quality of Scherer’s biblically and theologically oriented preaching and teaching made significant contributions to his students and colleagues during his 15 years at Union. Scherer also worked at Union during its “golden age,” when Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, James Muilenburg, Wilhelm Pauck and Cyril Richardson were all professors. According to Willis Stanley Gertner, who interviewed Scherer for his dissertation in 1967, Scherer said he: …Began to teach homiletics without an adequate concept of the principles of interpretation.


     It was as a theological professor at Union Seminary in New York that he began to wrestle most seriously with the problems of hermeneutics. The situation forced UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, 1923-1968 3 Brigette C. Kamsler 7/31/15 him to restudy the methods to discover what biblical interpretation really is and what governs it. His associates in the area of biblical theology were of inestimable value to him during this struggle, particularly James D. Smart, Union Seminary’s first professor of hermeneutics, and Samuel Terrien, professor of Old Testament. Scherer and Terrien together produced the commentary on Job for The Interpreter’s Bible. Terrien did the introductory and exegetical portion and Scherer did the exposition.


     Scherer reached a higher level of theological maturity during his years as professor at Union Seminary. He became an extremely competent biblical theologian, and as such began to deplore his earlier sermons as superficial and lacking in biblical and theological depth. As a teacher of homiletics, Scherer attempts to impart an attitude of confidence toward Scripture as a means by which God can speak, and an awareness of the creative presence of God in Christ. Paul Scherer left Union Theological Seminary in New York City to be a Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia from 1960-1961, followed by Visiting Professor in Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1961-1967. Paul Scherer died on March 16, 1969. Throughout his life, Paul Scherer earned a number of honorary degrees, including a DD from Roanoke College, 1923; LL.D. from the College of Charleston, 1935; Litt.D. from Wittenberg College, 1936; Heidelberg College, 1955; and L.H.D. Gettysburg College from 1939. He also published eight books during his lifetime, including: When God Hides, 1934; Facts that Undergird Life, 1938; The Place Where Thou Standest, 1942; For We Have This Treasure, 1944; Event in Eternity, 1945; The Plight of Freedom, 1948; Love Is a Spendthrift, 1961; and The Word of God, 1965. Sources: Gertner, Willis Stanley, “Paul E. Scherer: Preacher and Homiletician,” Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation at Wayne State University, 1967. Handy, Robert T. History of Union Theological Seminary in New York. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987. Union Theological Seminary Alumni Directory, 1836-1970, available online at:


Collection Scope and Content Note The collection contains sermons, a travel diary and correspondence. The majority of the collection consists of sermons, both in bound volume format and loose. The bound volumes contain the sermons by original date given, but also show when the sermon was given on other dates past the original. There are obvious additions, notes and re-writes throughout the volumes. The loose materials are largely the same; however they also include correspondence, newspaper clippings and pamphlets throughout the sermons. The material is organized by date, however it was more difficult to tell whether the dates were when the sermon was originally written, or a later date. UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, 1923-1968 4 Brigette C. Kamsler 7/31/15 The travel diary is from 1926 and the pages are mostly empty. Within the diary is a list of places visited in Naples, a postcard, and a ticket on the ship Majestic on the White Star Line. White Star Line Ticket, UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer Papers, box 8, and folder 3, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York. The correspondence is from various universities, organizations and churches, with which Scherer was involved. These include Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary, the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, the publisher Hodder and Stoughton Limited, and Southern Methodist University. The topics covered within the letters are both personal and professional. Also included are programs, mailings, and newspaper clippings. Processing Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. In 2015 the collection was fully processed for the first time as part of the Henry Luce Foundation grant. At this time, boxes were condensed and loose materials were taken out of binders.


     Further Sources The Burke Library contains a number of other collections related to Scherer’s work in homiletics and preaching, as well as the people he worked with for years. For more information, please see the Burke Library website. The Kentucky State Archives houses a collection of Scherer’s papers and consist of the Mullins Lectures at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville. These lectures concern preaching and are from 1957. For more information, please see their website. Princeton Theological Seminary contains four collections that include Scherer material.










Paul Ehrman Scherer
Lillie Fry Benbow
Pamela Benbow Scherer
Pamela Benbow Scherer

Throop's New President Cordially Indorses Plans of Board to Combine Technical Training with Liberal Culture
[Spec!:, to The Herald.l PASADENA, Sept. 23.—Arriving: on the Overland this morning from the east Dr. James A. B. Scherer, the newpresident of Throop Polytechnic Institute, already has settled in his apartments at 98 South Euclid avenue and attended his first faculty meeting. At chapel exercises tomorrow morning he will be introduced to the students. When asked his opinion of the plans already made Dr. Scherer said: "I feel that the ideas which the board has for the extension and broadening of the work are the right ones. If Throop can carry out those ideas of providing a scientific education second to none in the country, and at the same time a broad and liberal culture in the hu- j inanities, it will be doing something | which has never yet been done, and will lead the way for other technical schools to follow. "What the corntry wants is men r.ho are broadly cultured as well as specially trained, and men able to appreciate the value of both. All great educators with whom I have talked agree that such a condition is ideal and Throop will be unique if she can produce students of that type. And I do not see why she should not." For the past four years Dr. Scherer has been president of Newberry college in South Carolina. Previous to that he was for several years in the employ of the Japanese government in Japan and it the author of a number of books on that country. Dr. Scherer is married and has two children.

James A. B. Scherer
In 1908, James A. B. Scherer was appointed president of Throop Polytechnic Institute, the forerunner to Caltech. Pasadena philanthropist Amos Throop had established the school in November 1891, and astronomer George Ellery Hale, the first director of the Mount Wilson Laboratory and a member of Throop's board of trustees, appointed Scherer to lead the fledgling university. Prior to his arrival, Scherer had served as a Lutheran minister and teacher in Japan, cofounding the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tokyo in 1892. From 1904 to 1908—the year he arrived at Throop—he was president of Newberry College in South Carolina. In 1913, Throop Polytechnic Institute was renamed Throop College of Technology; just seven years later, in 1920—the year Scherer resigned to become director of the Southwest Museum—it became the California Institute of Technology. By then, and under Scherer's leadership, Caltech had 359 undergraduates and 9 graduate students, five buildings on a 22-acre campus, and a strong faculty that included Arthur Amos Noyes and Robert A. Millikan.

                Col. Edward R. Bradley

Palm Beach Pioneer and Philanthropist

E.R. Bradley: A colorful Palm Beach character
October 28, 2010    | Filed in: Eliot Kleinberg's Post Time columns.


Last week’s column on Guy Metcalf sparked a request that we profile another colorful pioneer, E.R. Bradley, who owned competing newspapers, albeit in different eras. Here’s a reprise of a December 2001 column:


Kentucky Col. Edward Riley Bradley operated his popular, but clearly illegal, casino in Palm Beach for a half-century.  The former livery boy was the only owner in history with four Kentucky Derby winners.


He would buy the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Times and Palm Beach Daily News in 1934.


He opened his Beach Club in 1898, just four years after Henry Flagler made Palm Beach a synonym for turn-of-the century indulgence.  Bradley’s club was renowned for its cuisine, but that wasn’t the draw. The white clapboard building on Royal Poinciana Way attracted tycoons who thought nothing of plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars at the tables.  It was a private club with a cadre of security guards. Membership was a who’s who.  Stung by poor patronage the first year, Bradley and his brother were about to abandon the club when they opted to break tradition and admit women.  But no single women or people younger than 25. No smoking inside. Drinks only with meals. Evening dress mandatory after 7 p.m.

Florida residents were barred; Bradley reportedly targeted society Northerners who could afford to lose big because he feared locals would end up on, or before, a grand jury.


Bradley made generous contributions to churches, charities, and politicians.

There were feeble attempts at raids, but he always got a tip, and by the time agents showed up, tables had been folded and guests swayed to an orchestra or sipped tea. Bradley, in ill health, closed the Beach Club in 1945 and died at 86 on Aug. 15, 1946; as per his will, the club was razed for Bradley Park. On his death, Joseph Kennedy lamented, Palm Beach “lost its zipperoo.”


Col. ER Bradley's Helen Black leads to the winner's circle










Groundbreaking for St. Edward Church, April 25, 1926. E.R. Bradley is in the foreground.  Yes, It was named for him.










Bradley Park Hotel.  Located across the street from Bradley's Beach Club.  It was the home of the the original E. R. Bradley's Saloon, before they moved across the intercoastal to West Palm Beach. "Remember dancing on the bar?" Now home to the World Class Trevini's

More about that Horseracing thing...

At the end of the 19th century, Col. Edward Riley Bradley - a self-proclaimed gambler, bookmaker, and owner-manager of several casinos - Informed by His physician was a more outdoor lifestyle That Might Be His beneficial to health.


Something as easy as taking walks or hikes Might Have done the trick, but This was much too slow-paced for Bradley. In His Mind, The most sensible thing to do was start a racing stable, Where Could I benefit from outdoor living Simultaneously while building an empire in a sport deeply intertwined With gambling. What a picture-perfect scenario!

Born on Dec. 12, 1859, Bradley was not really a colonel. , Although I partook in many different enterprises and activities During His younger days, military life was not Among them. The "colonel" was part of His Name whos an honorary title; I was a classic "Kentucky Colonel." Thanks to His achievements in horse racing, I Also Kentucky became a legend.


Having made the decision to delve into horse racing, Bradley - like many other successful sportsmen of the time - wasted little time buying up talented horses, Hundreds of acres of land and some quality broodmares to Establish a racing stable and breeding farm. Forty years later, I HAD irrevocably changed the sport of horse racing for the better, and the legacy of His breeding farm extends to this day.


Under the name of Idle Hour Stock Farm, Bradley bred more than 125 stakes winners from 1906 Through 1946, but it was the quality of These horses - and the quality of one broodmare in private - That had a lasting impact on the sport.


One of the first successful horses raced Bradley That was a tough-as-nails gelding by the name of Bad News. As a result of That success, Bradley Began the tradition of choosing names only That Began With horses the letter "B" for his. One Would Have Thought That Eventually Bradley would run out of names, but This was far from the case-while I did Eventually Have to use names like Bee Mac, Bric a Bac, Bymeabond, Bug Juice, and Bee Ann Mac, His creativity ensured That I never ran out of names. As a side effect, all of the best horses bred and raced've ever had "B" names. These included Bimelech, an unbeaten champion 2-year-old colt won the WHO later Preakness and Belmont Stakes; Blue Larkspur, WHO won four of six starts in 1929 en route to Being Recognized as Horse of the Year; and Busher, WHO beat ills on multiple occasions to Become One of only 12 fillies or seas That Have Been Recognized as a US Horse of the Year.

Some of Bradley's greatest Successes meat in the Kentucky Derby, a race That I dominated in the 1920s and 1930s. I won the race four times (as Both owner and breeder) During That timeframe, and - incredibly - His horses swept the first two finishing positions on two occasions. Interestingly, the best-Remembered of Bradley's Derby winners was the Least Accomplished as a racehorse: Brokers Tip won just one race in 14 career starts, but Had the good sense to make it count by scoring A Nose victory in the 1933 Kentucky Derby. Even still, it's very likely That I would be long forgotten if not for the fact That His jockey and the jockey of runner-up Head Play engaged in a fight down the homestretch in Which They Grabbed each other's silks and boots and even struck at each As They battled other for command of the race. Brokers Tip crossed the wire in front and, after an inquiry, the results Were left as posted.


But as Mentioned above, Bradley's greatest impact on the sport would come through one broodmare. At the end of 1930, Bradley Purchased a 4-year-old filly by the name of * La Troienne from a sale in Europe. As a racehorse, she HAD failed to win in seven starts, but the daughter of Teddy had a quality pedigree Suggested That Could she be a valuable broodmare. In the end, she PROVED to be much more than that. She produced five stakes winners That included the Bradley's champions Black Helen and Bimelech, but her daughters PROVED to be even more successful, and founded an epic, wide-spreading family of descendants That includes Affectionately, Allez France, Buckpasser, Easy Goer, Go for Gin, Mineshaft, More Than Ready, Pleasant Tap, Princess Rooney, Sea Hero, Smarty Jones and many other standouts.


Bradley passed away in 1946, and the majority of His horses Were Purchased by fellow racehorse breeders John Hay Whitney, Robert Kleberg, Jr., and Ogden Phipps. That group extended the legacy of Bradley's empire by breeding many champions of Their Own His quality from stock. To this day, breeders and racing fans alike still value the descendants of Bradley's horses, Particularly Those That descend from * The Troienne. His farm May be gone, but Bradley's legacy lives on.


- See more at:

Fun Facts

In Addition to Brokers Tip, Bradley won the Kentucky Derby Also With Behave Yourself in 1921, Bubbling Over in 1926, and Burgoo King in 1932.

Bradley was the breeder of 15 champions, Including 13 Whose names started with the letter "B" Baba Kenny, Balladier, Barn Swallow, Bazaar, Big Pebble, Bimelech, Helen Black, Blue Larkspur, Bridal Flower, Burgoo King, Busher, But Why Not, and By Jimminy. The other two champions I have bred-Miss Jemima and Oedipus-raced for other owners and Were not named by Bradley.

Along With His success in the Kentucky Derby, Bradley Also HAD his share of good fortune in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, winning the former on three occasions With Kalitan (1917), Burgoo King (1932), and Bimelech (1940) and the Latter twice with Blue Larkspur (1929) and Bimelech (1940)

From 1929 Through 1947, horses bred by Bradley won 21 championships, an average of more than one per year.

Three horses bred Bradley That Were RANKED on the  Blood-Horse 's list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century: Busher (# 40), Bimelech (# 84), and Blue Larkspur (# 100.)

bottom of page