Daily Archives: December 29, 2012

1922: Businessman Sylvanus F. Bowser

Note: Here is a man anyone would have thought an unfortunate soul with no hope and no chance — yet he succeeded despite everything.

From a 1922 issue of The American Magazine:


A Story That Makes You Take a New Grip on Yourself

If Sylvanus Bowser, with less than four months of schooling in his whole life, and with sickness, poverty, and hardship to contend with, could build up a business which girdles the earth, what decent excuse can the rest of us give for failure?

by John Kidder Rhodes

The teacher of a little country Sunday-school in Indiana, in the early sixties, offered a Bible as a prize for the pupil who was able to commit to memory the largest number of verses from the Scriptures within a given time. One of the pupils was a thirteen-year-old boy, timid and awkward, who lived with his parents in the neighborhood.

He never had been to school. . . . He did not know how to read. . . . He knew only the letters of the alphabet. . . . But he determined to win that Bible!

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