Who was this guy and what was he doing in Chester?
|Inside book cover of The Pasha of the Desert by Raphael Emmanuel.|
Area newspapers record that he spoke at the Zion Evangelical Church in Rochester, PA on Sunday morning, August 11, 1940 and earlier at an evening event held in Youngstown’s Grace Lutheran Church on July 14 on the subject of “Bible Lands Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
|"Sheik Emmanuel traces his ancestry back to King Nebuchadnezzar and comes from the land of the Patriarch Abraham." Berleley, CA Daily Gazette, Oct. 21, 1933.|
|The tourist home in Chester where Emmanuel was a lodger was known as The Timothy House run by Carrie Timothy and located on the land now occupied by the Hancock County Savings and Loan.|
It seems then that the man who caught my eye on the 1940 census was also attracting the attention of thousands of others back in his day. He must have been quite a celebrity in a small town like Chester, comprised mostly of shop keepers and mill workers. One can almost picture the scene in which a beaming Miss Timothy tells the census taker, “Oh, the lodger in Number 3? Why he is none other than Sheik Emmanuel, the Persian Prince!”
|The Reading Eagle of Nov. 24, 1939 states that Emmanuel "is a resident of Virginia and has been appearing in many churches of all denominations." |
|The Oxnard, CA Daily Courier July 15, 1921, explains that Emmanuel was indeed in California prior to his stay at The Timothy House in Chester, WV.|