Friday, August 05, 2005

Dr. James Wilkins Haines ~ Quaker Physician, Minister, Educator and Spiritualist (1849-1893)

Dr. James Wilkins Haines, M.D. of Waynesville, Ohio was a practicing Quaker, a recognized Quaker minister of Miami Monthly Meeting, a learned man who was an educator, a spiritualist, and in the eyes of some, an erratic genius. Another Quaker physician, Dr. Robert Furnas was in partnership with Dr. Haines.

Dr. Haines was the third president/principal of Miami Valley Institute ~ A Hicksite Quaker College in Springboro, Ohio. He accepted the position of Professor of Physics and Chemistry in August of 1874. He became in 1878 the President/ Principal as well as Professor of Natural Science at Miami Valley College. The Miami-Gazette newspaper on August 5, 1874 reported:

Dr. James W. Haines has accepted the chair of Professor of Physics and Chemistry in Miami Valley Institute~ a position we have no doubt our popular and talented young townsman is admirably qualified to fill with honor to himself and advantage to this growing college.

Unfortunately, Dr. James W. Haines life had a touch of scandal and he had compromised the college in 1879 due to his behavior and was disowned by the Society of Friends. Miami Valley College would only survive two more years. Dr. Haines would apologize for his behavior and would be reinstated as a Friend (see below).

He was dogged most of the year of 1879 by a malpractice suit and other business and domestic problems that lead to his disownment from The Society of Friends. The case of John W. Sears vs. James W. Haines would go to trial on November 4th. The plaintiff in the case won and was to receive $2800.00. Dr. Haines would eventually appeal and the settlement would be revised (Case #5698, John W. Sears vs. James W. Haines, Appearance Docket #10, 5601-6000, pp. 99-105, Final Record Book #30, Court of Common Pleas, Warren County, Ohio, October Term A. D. 1880, pp. 500-506, Box 216).

Dr. Haines was also sued in 1878-1879 by Mary (aka Mollie) Bonner for a Breach of Marriage Contract (Case #5738, James W. Haines vs. Mary Bonner, General Index #2, 1870-1889, Appearance Docket #10, 5601-6000, 1878-1879, p. 138, Box 203, Final Record Book #28, Court of Common Pleas, Warren Co., Ohio, p. 135). The details of this failed relationship are not known but must have excited some public stir in 1879. It was reported in The Western Star on June 26th, 1879:

BONNER-HAINES. This is not a marriage notice, as the heading would indicate. Neither is it the opposite ~~a divorce notice. But it is akin to both. The notorious breach of promise case of Mary Bonner against Dr. J. Haines is settled; not by the marriage of the parties, for be it remembered the gay doctor married a Brooklyn lady a few days ago; nor by a trial in the Court; but by the payment by the Doctor of the sum of $1,000.00 to Miss Bonner as a salve for her lacerated affections. Pretty dear price for a few sickly sighs, a few whispered words of love, and probably a few cold Quaker kisses.

It was also reported in the Xenia Gazette:

The suit of Miss Mamie Bonner of this city against Dr. J. W. Haines of Waynesville, for breach of promise, has been dismissed, Dr. Haines withdrawing his answer, and paying $1,000.00 and costs. Thus he acknowledges the justice and truth of Miss Bonner’s claim, and himself to have been in the wrong, a fact no one in this vicinity ever doubted (printed in The Western Star, July 3rd, 1879).

On June 28th, 1879 Mary Bonner won the judgment and $1,000.00. On the 1880 Census, Dr. Haines is listed with a wife, Eva, who is 22, nine years younger than he. These awkward events in his life negatively impacted his relationship with The Society of Friends. Scandal had touched the monthly meetings’ most prominent and charismatic minister. It could also be possible that he was involved to some degree in his father's entanglements in the Miami Valley Narrow Gauge Railway scandal. Dr. Haines apologized to the Friends of Miami Monthly Meeting for his behavior:

The following acknowledgement has been read and accepted: Dear Friends: Having for some time past, engaged in a multiplicity of business as to be beyond my ability to meet promptly, all my promises ~~ And having, through unwatchfulness, become entangled in matters that have hindered my growth in the ministry, and brought reproach upon the Truth, I feel to condemn the same, and trust that Friends will overlook them, and restore me to the unity and Christian Fellowship of the Society ~~ James W. Haines (Minutes of Miami Monthly Meeting of Women Friends held 23rd of 7th mo. 1879, page 179, located in the Quaker Archive, Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio).

The erudite Dr. Haines was also often criticized for his deep belief in spiritualism (see The Waynesville News, July 22, 1893). His devotion to spiritualism could have also created a strain in his relationship with the members of Miami Monthly Meeting (Hicksite).

Dr. Haines, was homeopathic physician and surgeon. His office was in his home in Waynesville. He was the only child of Seth Silver Haines of Waynesville. He died at an early age, in his 45th year, at his parent’s home in Waynesville. He was known as an excellent teacher and school director as well as the inventor of a patent medicine, which he claimed to be able to cure alcoholism. It was known as “Dr. James Haines’ Golden Specific”. His father built a sanitarium in 1861 on the Haines property (Union Place Farm directly south of Waynesville) where boarders could be treated with Golden Specific. He was quite a campaigner for Temperance traveling to give lectures not only in this area but, for example, in New York City. The Miami-Gazette reported on October 22nd, 1879 that The New York Sun of Monday says:

Dr. James Haines said, in a temperance meeting at Haverly’s Theatre, yesterday; "Bad men are in power, bad men are candidates for office, bad government stares us in the face. This is caused by the awful power of drink".

Dr. Haines was a prominent Quaker traveling minister. He was respected as a fine preacher and speaker in much demand. There are many references in the Miami-Gazette to his speaking during Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite) and also at other churches in the area.

The following are two obituaries found in the Ohioana Room vertical files for Dr. James W. Haines:

Dr. James W. Haines, who died at the home of his father, Hon. Seth Silver Haines in Waynesville, Sunday was a leading spirit in the intellectual life of that town and past twenty-five years. In childhood he was noted as a student who was years in advance of his companions in learning and judgment. His sermons, after he became a minister in the Quaker church, were brilliant to a degree that placed him in the very front rank as a pulpit orator, but they were not always fully in accord with the teachings of the Friends. He seemed to enjoy the study of medicine more than the practice of it, and there have been few medical men in Warren County who had so thoroughly prepared themselves for their professional work as he had. He was the discoverer of the first cure for drunkenness that ever attracted wide attention, and there is not a newspaper of large circulation in the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland or the West Indies today that does not contain the advertisement of the company that now owns the remedy. They have spent as much as $100,000 per year to keep it before the public and have had a large patronage in return. As is usually the case, Dr. Haines never derived much profit from his valuable discovery. Like many men who have opened the way for other men to make fortunes, he had very little business ability himself and allowed others to reap the rich harvest he had sown (This obituary is not labeled or dated. Probably the Western Star).
Dr. James W. Haines, only child of Hon. S. S. Haines and wife, died at the home of his parents on Sunday at 2 P.M. July 16th in his forty-fifth year. From the first grave fears were entertained as to the result and the worst soon came to be dreaded, although everyone was unwilling to admit it. They hoped against hope and the face of the inevitable, clinging to a bare possibility. It was been our pleasure to know Dr. Haines as a neighbor, friends and physician for many years and he was always the same, cheerful, generous hearted, and ready to make any sacrifice for this friends or for the sale of humanity. As a physician and surgeon his skill was readily recognized and appreciated, and his presence in the sickroom cheering and brightening all with whom he came in contact. His gifts of mind made him a general favorite, and in all the relations of life he was equal to its requirements. He manifested a deep interest in public enterprises, especially in our school, frequently visiting each department, and occasionally favored the pupils of the high school with a practical lecture; as a school director he had few equals. He will be sadly missed in every walk of life. His mind was clear to the last moment and during all his sickness he expressed perfect trust in his Savior, and was anxious to depart and be with Him. During the last moments he assured his sorrowing parents that, standing on the brink of eternity, all was bright and peaceful beyond. The way seems especially dark to the saddened hearts of his devoted parents, who see no happiness in the years to come without the presence of their loved one. Mr. and Mrs. Haines have the sympathy of the entire community, who mourn with them. His funeral occurred on Tuesday, the 18th, at 1 P.M., at the home of his parents. (This obituary is not labeled or dated. Probably the Miami-Gazette).
According to the Friends Intelligencer (7th mo. 29, 1893, p. 473) he died First-day afternoon, Seventh month 16, 1893, at the residence of his parents, at Waynesville, Ohio, in the 45th year of his age. His last illness was of short duration, and his physical sufferings were great; his intellect was clear to the hour of his dissolution. He expressed a willingness to depart, and was sustained by the faith, that death was but a translation to a higher and happier state of existence. He was a recognized minister of the Miami Monthly Meeting of Friends at an unusually early age in life. Friends Nixon G. Brown, Frederick Clayton, and Charles F. Chapman spoke to the large assembly of friends at the funeral.

Dr. James W. Haines is buried next to his parents in the Haines plot in Miami Cemetery in Corwin, Ohio, Section F. HIs wife, Eva, is not buried there.


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