S.P. Dinsmoor


Samuel Perry Dinsmoor...

...was born on March 8, 1843, in Ohio. He served in the Civil War as a nurse in the Union Army. After the war, Dinsmoor returned to Ohio and soon joined the Masonic Lodge. Joining this organization was a significant development in his philosophical outlook on life. He had grown up in a very religious home, but, like many who witnessed the inexplicable slaughter of the Civil War, began searching for other ways to understand humankind.

These were the days when the free-thought movement and a multitude of secret societies proliferated throughout the United States. Lectures on free-thought and scientific theory often were held in Masonic halls. Ohio was considered a "hotbed" of free-thought activity. Free-thought was the end point in the evolution of deism, a philosophical movement that developed in Europe in the eighteenth century. Deism gained a strong foothold on North American thought from about 1790 to 1840. Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Ethan Allen, among others, were adherents of its tenets. Freethinkers, although widely divergent in individual group focus, believed that any issue in life should be dealt with in a rational manner without resorting to emotional responses or to the dictates of tradition or religion.

Late in 1866, Dinsmoor moved to Illinois, where he taught school. In 1870, he married Frances Barlow Journey, a widow with two children. Frances and S.P. had five more children. In 1888, the Dinsmoor family moved to Lucas, Kansas, area and began to farm southeast of town.