Tributes to Anna Wait
From Mrs. A.G. Lord
And Dr. Sarah Cole
Lincoln Republican, 18 May 1916A tribute from Mrs. A.G. Lord, who is now ill at her home in Washington, D.C.
I regret more than language can express my inability to attend the services commemorating the life of one of the Kansas pioneers, whose every line of work was calculated to conduce to holy living, oftentimes demand sacrifices and privation; but there was never a moment of shrinking from duty, however unpopular that duty might be, as so many of the Kansas people can testify truthfully. Ever a power of righteousness in the home life, and school life, the editorial life and the suffrage campaigns, when these subjects were not so popular as they are in the 20th century, she was laying the foundation for a future and better civilization.
No one could meet with her for an hour without inevitably becoming impressed with the fact that they had seen one of God’s angels of sweetness and purity, kindliness and truth.
No person with whom I have ever been associated has been more a part of my innermost being than has Anna C. Wait through the long years of pioneer life in Lincoln county, in the uplift of humanity. Then in the succeeding years of Kansas life in Topeka, where I was making a home for college boys, while at the same time I was talking the gospel of Christ to the prisoners behind the bars, and then still later as superintendent of a Kansas Florence Crittenton mission work, was traveling through the state, often speaking in every church in the entire counties visited.
Mrs. Wait was ever following my work with earnest, prayerful Godspeed every step of the way. But all these words Anna C. Wait yet speaketh and will through all eternal years.
Lincoln Republican, 25 May 1916I wish to take this opportunity to add a word of tribute to the memory of my dear friend, Mrs. Anna C. Wait. Years ago, when I first came to Kansas as a teacher, a stranger and at a distance of halfway across the continent from home, Mrs. Wait was one of the first to make it pleasant for me, not only by entertaining me in her home but by making me feel at home at all times when at her house. When I first came to Kansas, I was rather a frail young woman. I took the Kansas fever which impaired, rather than improved my otherwise delicate health. When Dr. Salllie Goff returned after graduating as a doctor, Mrs. Wait advised me to take treatment of her, took me into her home and gave me board at a price that I could afford to pay. When I was cured I thought that there was a work that I could do for other women and girls if I would study medicine and Mrs. Wait encouraged me, when others said “it is a man’s work.” Mrs. Wait said “there is work for women among women and girls.” Thus I was encouraged. I was fortunate in attending a school, The State University of Iowa, where all the professors of the department were favorable to women and gave women equal opportunity with men. There I had the opportunity and served an internship in the Homeopathic hospital which gave me an insight into hospital work that fitted me for the work that came to me here in Lincoln. After practicing eight years and the schools had raised their requirements, I went to Chicago and took another year and received a full degree from the Hanneman Medical College. After I graduated I visited my people in the east and then came to Kansas landing in Lincoln on the 8th day of July 1898 with my good sister Hannah who has helped me and others so much. Before I came I had written to Mrs. Wait asking her advice. She advised me to come and when we arrived found she had made arrangements for a place close in where we could live and begin the practice of my profession. When we decided to build a home the Waits had not yet decided to sell any part of the Wait block so we leased the lot for 20 years with satisfactory agreements. When two lives had been saved by bringing those patients to us we thought that a place for the care of the sick was needed here. Thus the sanitarium idea was developed. I had leased a 50 foot lot from her but to build a sanitarium we needed more ground and Mrs. Wait said “go ahead and use what you need.” Thus she encouraged me by allowing me to build on land not covered by lease. Later I bought the lot from Mrs. Wait, paying her full value.
Mrs. Wait did more than any other person, yes, more than all other friend combined, to help me do what I have done. She did it by her words of encouragement, by speaking a good word for the work at all times when opportunity offered and by her good advice. Only once did I fail to follow her advice and the people of the community know what a mistake that was. Mrs. Wait knew what I did not, but she was so faithful to the principle not to tell anything unfavorable about any one even though it was true, that she did not give me any reason for her advice [can’t read one line] mistake had been made, Mrs. Wait took me in her arms and comforted me as a mother comforts her child, giving me that which money could not buy: her full sympathy, which was wide and deep, the helping hand that any of us could give to those who need our kindness. Surely she was a friend to the friendless and a mother to the motherless. I shall miss her greatly. – Sarah A. Cole
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