I'm sure you know what a martyr is, but just in case. 

The simple definition is that a martyr is someone who is murdered for their religious beliefs. I didn't know we rolled that way, but according to Wikipedia, Sedalia was not interested in morality in the 1880's.

I know that we've heard all the stories about the prostitutes and the gambling and all that, it was a pretty rough time in downtown Sedalia, definitely. But to KILL a dude who was trying to clean it up?  That's harsh.


If you can't read it, here's what it says:

When the Salvation Army was established in Sedalia (in 1886), the Army's founder, William Booth, traveled from London to attend the event. When Captain George Parks was asked by The Sedalia Democrat why William Booth had purposed to locate "his salvation army" in Sedalia, Parks responded, "Because Sedalia is a desperately wicked city and if souls can be won to Christ in Sedalia, they can be won to Christ anywhere."

Parks was later beaten so severely in downtown Sedalia that he traveled home to Chicago where he died nearly a year later from his wounds, making him the first martyr for The Salvation Army in the United States.

So the main bro of the SA shows up, and his honcho said we were "desperately wicked".  I guess if I was a gambler or a saloon owner, I wouldn't want to be called wicked either.  Was he going around and trying to convert people by calling them jerks? Cos... that won't work. And why say that to the PAPER where everyone's going to read it?  I mean, they beat him to death for it. Nowadays I think most people subscribe to the adage of "hate the sin, love the sinner", so maybe he wasn't doing that.  It's pretty savage to beat a guy down, though.  Sedalia in the 1880s was pretty ruthless.  I'm glad I have my own little rock to live under when I hear stories like that!

Armingly yours,


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