Ruth Alden Dow was born November 16, 1895 in Massillon, Ohio, the second child of Dow Chemical Company founder Herbert Henry Dow and his wife, Grace Ball Dow. She was tutored at home until high school and then attended the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband, Leland Doan. She and Mr. Doan resided in Midland at 1018 West Main Street, next door to her parents’ home, The Pines, where she grew up. Today, her house is the location of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
James Pardee, native of Cleveland, Ohio, was a high school and college classmate of Herbert H. Dow. In 1888, both graduated from what was then The Case School of Applied Science (now Case Western Reserve University). As a young civil engineer, Pardee was placed in charge of “bridges and viaducts, docks and wharves: for the city of Cleveland.” He achieved national acclaim in 1895, when he designed the Columbus St. Bridge over the city’s Cuyahoga River, the first electrically-powered “double swing” bridge in the United States. Pardee reacquainted himself with Herbert Dow at the dedication of the Columbus St. Bridge and Dow subsequently recruited Pardee to work for his fledgling Dow Process Company. Pardee became a strong financial backer of what would become The Dow Chemical Company, subsequently becoming its second largest shareholder.
He worked at Dow for many years in various business and consulting roles and was named Chairman of the Board in 1935. He died in 1944.
"Todos somos uno"... Those were the first words spoken from the pulpit which our St. John's mission team helped construct this past week. Here's the neat part- they weren't spoken by Padre Adolfo or his seminarian assistant David. They were spoken by Antonio, son of Mercedes, who is getting married today in the new Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas. He proclaimed them with arms outstretched as if he were hugging every one of us scattered about the new pews and furniture in the new church. Antonio's cooperative muscle enabled a second group to assemble pews simultaneously with the first while work on remaining (and new!) projects proceeded furiously. But beyond being able to finish more furniture pieces, Antonio's mano y mano work with us bore out his brief, impromptu sermon: Todos somos uno. All are one.
My expectation for my first mission trip was to go beyond helping others and hopefully have a wonderful personal learning experience. What I did not expect was the exchange of wonderful gifts. St. John's graciously has donated money to build a church, we have purchased Spanish copies of the Book of Common Prayer for the congregation, and crafted a beautiful banner to adorn the church walls. The people of San Isidro graciously gave our team's ladies plates painted by a Dominican artist and mugs for the gentlemen of our team. However, when I use the word gifts, regalos in Spanish, I don't mean tangible gifts but rather the kind that can only be felt in the heart and mind.
Our experience here in the DR has been great. We have met many in the community and the church members have welcomed and embraced us. We are grateful as are they for each other. So far most of my work has been to carry the boards in and out the door, multiple times a day!
This post gives a great summary of the work cut out (pun intended) for our mission group here in San Isidro: We arrived late Saturday night (more accurately early Sunday morning) and went to worship with the congregation at 11 that morning. We used the new worship space, tiled floors, painted walls, but plastic lawn chairs. What a change from last September when we were erecting rebar columns.
There's still much to do (isn't there always?!?) in the 24 hours before our eight team members connect at the Detroit airport for our week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic. And despite this being my first substantial international travel (no one in Michigan gives any credit for excursions to Canada), I'm at ease knowing the following...