HENRY WISE – Age 35 – The Squealer
FROM THE BOOK “BLUE EYED SIX” BY Wayne H. Anspach: A true story from the late 19th century about four men who insured the town hobo and then hired a humble butcher and local ruffian to murder him so they could collect the insurance money…. all six having blue eyes!
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I know an insurance agent in Lebanon, and he will put him in any company we want him in.” I replied to Israel, “It would be right enough, but I don’t want to be penned up or anybody to lose his life through me.” Israel replied, “You don’t need to be afraid of anything, you wouldn’t have need to talk with this man.” I asked him then, “Who is this man?” “Why, it is Joe Raber. I intend to put him out of the way.” I then said, “I don’t want to have anything to do with it Israel, I intend to go West” “That would be just the thing, then you would have plenty of money to buy a nice farm,” he said. (Discussion between Henry Wise and Israel Brandt)
HENRY WISE – “The Squealer” (age 35) was born in Monroe Valley, Lebanon County on the 4th of June 1845 and his parents were of American origin. He had not much chance to go to school being compelled to assist his father in supporting the family. At the age of fourteen his brother-in-law and he went to Gold Mine Gap in the winter to cut wood, as he was obliged to handle the axe and do a man’s work. At 17 he worked at Rausch Creek coal mines and was the most industrious man in the company.
He first sought religion at this time and kept in the narrow path for about 7 months, when he was seduced by the world again and felt ashamed whenever he met a Christian Brother. Married at 19 and with his wife, in 6 or 7 years, he began to seek religion again and was faithful for about 18 months. After his baptism by Rausch Gap in Cold Springs he was grossly insulted by someone and Satan got the upper hand with him again and he got angry and ceased praying because he thought he was mocking the Lord.
Continuing to work in the mines or tie making for the rail road for 5 or 6 years in Dauphin County, he then moved back to Fishing Creek Valley where he and his wife determined to make one more effort to overcome the devil and succeeded to follow the precepts of the Lord for two or three years. But being compelled to work in the mines on Sunday he could not apply himself faithfully and backslid from following once again. He related many instances in the mines when he was an instrument in God’s hand to save several lives by warning them of falling rock in time not to be crushed. On one instance his close friend was crushed and Wise could not warn him in time leading to his death. Wise loved him so much that he collected over sixty dollars to give him a decent funeral and tombstone. He and his wife made up their minds to go west to live in a more moral and safe atmosphere but were unable to sell their property and therefore were diverted from his purpose.
It was then that Israel Brant began promising him how easily money could be raised without incurring any risk but with a small outlay golden visions of wealth could be his. After constant badgering by Brandt, Wise finally agreed to help pay for the insurance policies on Raber.
Once apprehended and in jail Wise was strongly impressed with the load of sin he was carrying, and like Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress, thought he would turn over a new leaf and start fresh on his hard journey towards Mount Zion on which journey he claimed to be still proceeding. His conduct in jail was good and he passed the greater part praying and singing.
LOBO COMMENTS: Henry Wise was a typical novice Christian who did not receive proper discipleship and influence from the Body of Christ through regular attendance at a local church. Hence his frequent backsliding and mis-understanding of the Biblical doctrine which teaches that one cannot lose their salvation once saved. Without learning the precepts of the scriptures he was easily tempted and offended and walked away from the Faith. Once in the sanctuary of his jail cell with nothing to do other than pray, sing and read the Scriptures, his Faith was strengthened like never before. He repented of his sins, found forgiveness in Christ and became a shining light in that dark place. It was in this context which caused him to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to his Maker and then reveal the entire conspiracy to the authorities. He mistakenly thought his confession would save him from the gallows and eventually stood prematurely before his Maker.
THE BIBLE: As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word of God that ye may grow thereby. Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the Devil walketh about seeking whom he may devour. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (1 Peter 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8; Joshua 1:9; John 10:27-30; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:24-25)
Next up Jesiah Hummel, The Ladies Man!