A special booklet at the Daystar Library is one written by Jewel Spangler Smaus, author of Mary Baker Eddy: The Golden Days, in which she recorded her many visits in 1944 with Daisette McKenzie, a pupil of Mary Baker Eddy. In the preface of the booklet, Jewel writes:
“The following are notes made during a visit with Daisette McKenzie. These were made at her direction each day September 29th – October 12th after our daily visit. She spent generally about two hours with me…. The next day she would check the notes, making the needed corrections. This must have been in 1944. I asked Mrs. McKenzie for the visit because I needed healing, but mainly because I wanted to get close to Mary Baker Eddy—and I received both.”
Mrs. Smaus goes on to relate a touching and meaningful moment during this experience:
“One day, near the end of the visit, I was in my room, and the bells of The Mother Church began to ring—at that time when hymns are played. All at once, without any conscious thought about it, I found myself on my knees, tears streaming down my face. And I vowed at that time, to do all that I could to help our Leader and her church.”
And Mrs. Smaus continues:
“I believe that the years of work that preceded The Golden Days and the more recent years of research, are in part, an outgrowth of that experience. Mrs. McKenzie gave me a great and lasting love for Mrs. Eddy. Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel that was one of the reasons—this love for our Leader—that caused the early growth of the church.”
Jewel Spangler Smaus was originally from Palo Alto, California. She was inclined as a writer from childhood and ended up attending and graduating from the Stanford School of Journalism. She wrote her first article for The Christian Science Monitor while still in college, later becoming a reporter for United Press International.
Jewel researched the period in Mrs. Eddy’s life that she spent in the Carolinas, even finding the house in Charleston, South Carolina, that she and her first husband, George Glover, lived in. She also forged a strong relationship with Mrs. Eddy’s descendants in South Dakota in order to record more of Mrs. Eddy’s family history. She spent time traveling the country, giving talks about the history of Mrs. Eddy’s childhood experiences in New Hampshire, as covered in her book Mary Baker Eddy: The Golden Days, published in 1966 by The Christian Science Publishing Society.
Mrs. Smaus was an incredible researcher, as Erwin Canham, onetime editor of The Christian Science Monitor, said about her in the December 15, 1966 issue of that paper: “[Mrs. Smaus] dug into town records, the musty shelves of historical societies, and the still mustier attics of old Granite State families. She found a treasure trove of neglected or unknown information.”
Jewel Spangler Smaus had the opportunity to live in Bow, New Hampshire, for two years, where she delved deeply in local historical resources while writing The Golden Days. During her time there, she also co-wrote a book called America’s First Spaceman, about Alan Shepard, who was a friend from California and grew up in Derry, New Hampshire, right across the Merrimack River from Bow.
Jewel wrote several articles for The Christian Science Monitor, the first of which appeared in the December 14, 1938 issue. In addition to writing for The Christian Science Monitor and the other Christian Science periodicals, Jewel wrote historical pieces for Longyear Museum, which were printed in its Quarterly News publication.
Daisette Stocking [McKenzie] became interested in Christian Science in 1887. She was originally from Ohio and found Christian Science while living in Cleveland, joining and serving at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cleveland, in its early years. She relocated to Toronto to help start a second church there and also began the practice of Christian Science. Her first listing as a practitioner appeared in the March 1892 Christian Science Journal.
Daisette served as pastor of Second Church, Toronto, when students were still giving sermons before Mrs. Eddy ordained the Bible and Science and Health as pastor of the Christian Science Church in 1895. Mrs. McKenzie later recalled Mrs. Eddy’s words regarding this change in the following excerpt from the First Series of We Knew Mary Baker Eddy (p. 47):
“My students were preaching … and were sending me copies of their sermons. They grew worse and worse. Finally one came which was so great a mixture that if I had not known the fact, I should not have been able to tell whether the writer were a Christian Scientist, a spiritualist or a theosophist. I said to myself, ‘Something must be done and at once.’ I withdrew from all other work, and in solitude and almost ceaseless prayer I sought and found God’s will. At the end of three weeks I received the answer, and it came to me as naturally as dawns the morning light. ‘Why, of course, the Bible and Science and Health.’”
Daisette then became Second Reader at the Toronto church, reading citations from the Bible, while William McKenzie became First Reader, reading citations from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
The two later married, and both McKenzies were among a select group chosen to attend Mrs. Eddy’s last class in 1898. Upon completion, Daisette and William earned the designation C.S.B., thus eligible to become teachers of Christian Science.
Mrs. McKenzie contributed several articles to the Christian Science periodicals. She also served as President of The Mother Church for 1943-1944, the announcement of which was printed in The Christian Science Monitor of June 7, 1943.
Jewel’s spirit of exploration and examination added much to the understanding of Mrs. Eddy’s life, and Daystar is honored to have been the recipient of her research materials following her passing in 1990.