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Anderson, Garland (1886–31 May 1939), playwright and minister, was born in Wichita, Kansas. Little is known about his parents, although his mother is said to have been an active reformer and a poet. Garland completed four years of school (the only formal education he ever received) before his father moved his family to California to take a job as a janitor in the post office. The following year Garland’s mother died, and at age twelve he left home to become a newsboy, selling the ...

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Cayce, Edgar (18 March 1877–03 January 1945), psychic "reader" and influential figure in "alternative" medicine and spirituality, psychic “reader” and influential figure in “alternative” medicine and spirituality, was born near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the son of Leslie B. Cayce, a tobacco farmer and small-town businessman, and Carrie Elizabeth Major. Cayce was raised in the Christian church (Disciples of Christ), taught Sunday school, and always saw himself as a Christian and active churchgoer. He left school while a teenager to become apprenticed to a photographer and pursued photography as a career for the first part of his life. He married Gertrude Evans in 1903; the union produced three sons. The couple initially made their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where Cayce set up a photography business. In 1909 he moved the business to Selma, Alabama....

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Evans, Warren Felt (23 December 1817–04 September 1889), author of books on mental healing and metaphysical religion, was born in Rockingham, Vermont, the son of Eli Evans and Sarah Edson, farmers. He married M. Charlotte Tinker in 1840; they had three children. After spending a few years at Middlebury and Dartmouth Colleges, he was ordained a Methodist Episcopal minister in New Hampshire in 1844. Evans served in eleven different churches before his interest in the writings of the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg prompted him to resign from the Methodist ministry in 1864 and join the New Church of Jerusalem. For years he had been afflicted with a nervous disorder resulting in chronic poor health. The so-called “regular physicians” of the time and their various medicines had proved of no help. Then, in 1863, Evans visited the famed mental healer ...

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Quimby, Phineas Parkhurst (16 February 1802–16 January 1866), mental healer, was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, the son of Jonathan Quimby a blacksmith, and Susannah White. At the age of two, his family moved to Belfast, Maine. He received a common school education and then was apprenticed to the local clockmaker. He proved fairly adept at mechanical work and invented several mechanical devices such as a steering apparatus for boats, an improved chain saw, and a clock movement. In 1827 he married Susannah Haraden, with whom he had four children....

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Sanapia (20 May 1895–23 January 1979), Native American medicine woman, [also reported as 1984 and 1986]), was born in Medicine Park, near Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the daughter of a Comanche father named David Poafpybitty, a farmer who had assimilated to white society and converted to Christianity, and a traditional Comanche-Arapaho mother, a shaman named Chappy (or Chapty). Given the Christian name Mary Poafpybitty at birth, Sanapia was raised, according to Comanche matrilineal custom, by her mother and maternal grandmother, both established medicine women....

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Urrea, Teresa (15 October 1873–11 January 1906), healer, psychic, and mystic, was born on a ranch near Ocoroni, Sinaloa, Mexico, the daughter of Tomás Urrea, a wealthy rancher, and Cayetana Chavez, a poor mestiza of Tehueco origin. Her parents were not married. Born in a humble ...