On August 10, 1970, Jewel Spangler Smaus taped a conversation with George Washington Glover III, the grandson of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in hopes of documenting his eminent family’s history. The edifying and pleasant exchange taped that day would be the first of many oral history sessions conducted both in person and remotely and was the beginning of what would blossom into a cherished ten-year friendship, valued by both beyond the chronicling of historical memories.
The Jewel Spangler Smaus Collection, one of Daystar’s seminal acquisitions, contains approximately twenty-four hours worth of recorded oral history amassed by Mrs. Smaus over the course of her decade-long acquaintance with George. It is full of rich stories about his father’s (Mrs. Eddy’s son’s) teenage years and young adulthood in the Upper Midwest, frontier life in the Black Hills of South Dakota, trips to see his renowned grandmother in New England, and much more. Unmatched in their value to historians, primary sources are brimming with authenticity, and the Glover tapes are a fine example. Hearing first-person recollections of the past truly immerses one into another’s vivid memories in a very different way from the written word and act as an adjunct to written reminiscences. We think you’ll find, as you listen to George in his endearing manner tell stories about his much-loved father and grandmother, that his accounts are not only educational but quite touching.
Daystar has recently undertaken a project to transfer these audio cassette recordings to a digital format, making them more accessible to our library patrons. We also have compiled typed transcripts for about half of the twenty-four hours of content, facilitating the type of deeper research some visitors may choose to undertake here. This unique collection, so lovingly gathered and then donated by Jewel Spangler Smaus, is accessible to our guests exclusively at Daystar Foundation and Library in Oklahoma City to use and enjoy. Please make plans to visit us in person and listen to “our George” (as Mrs. Smaus affectionately referred to him) tell countless stories regarding the intriguing life of Mary Baker Eddy’s family “out West”– the Glovers of the Black Hills of South Dakota.
A collection of excerpts from these tapes has been put together, specifically consolidating George’s reminiscences about his visits with his grandmother at Pleasant View and Chestnut Hill. Click below to listen to one of these excerpts.