Caroline Andrus

AndrusFull-Frame02© 2014 Collis H. Davis, Jr.

In several news articles published in the Daily Press of Newport News, VA, USA prior to Caroline's death at age 85 on November 13, 1961, no mention was ever made of her former fiancee,
William Jones, the ethnologist who met with an untimely death in 1909 in the Philippines. Rather, Caroline W. Andrus put her life's earnings where her heart lay, in keeping the memory of William Jones alive through several important bequests. Although she gave small amounts of money to numerous religious, educational and missionary groups, her bequests to Harvard University and to the Episcopal Church of the Philippines were the most important in terms the of amount of the donations and their connection to the memory of William Jones.

AndrusNewsArticleIn her last will and testament dated August 26, 1959, Caroline Andrus donated well over $100,000 to create a scholarship account at Harvard University, Jones's alma mater, entitled the "William Jones -- 1900 Fund". It was to be used for any "student in anthropology or for any American Indian student in any Harvard department." But this money was not released to Harvard until after Caroline's maid, Mattie Kirby, passed away in 1988 who had been living on the interest of the principal amount left by Andrus.

The Domestic and Foreign Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church (U.S.A.) received $5,000 to build a chapel and a residence for priests in Cagayan River valley. Although church officials in the Philippines were unable to find any documentation about the bequest in 1998, the Archives of the Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas was able to locate a ledger entry identifying the Andrus Legacy. Once Church authorities in Quezon City learned of the location of the chapel, they recognized the chapel as being Saint Peter's Church and arranged for the investigator to visit there in Talifugo, near Conner, Apayao province in Northern Luzon. Although the chapel could technically be said to reside in Cagayan River valley, it is quite isolated, set in a picturesque valley surrounded by the forests of the Sierra Madre mountain range, and 250 kilometers from where William Jones lived and researched among the Ilongots. Once a battleground between the NPA (New Peoples Army) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the valley is quiet nowadays where mostly Isnig people from the mountains have settled since the early 1960s.

AndrusCUNewsArt_1Through correspondence with the then Bishop Ogilby, Andrus had prearranged the gift that would eventually be conveyed to the Church in 1965. Not surprisingly, both the chapel and priest residences were constructed in 1964 in anticipation of receiving the Andrus gift in due course. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this bequest is that, currently, there is no institutional memory of why the gift was made; much to their profound embarrassment, neither Rectors Fr. Malapit nor Fr. Darius Chokowen knew the history of how the residence and chapel came into being. No plaque, marker or notice of any kind was found at either structure during Davis's two visits there between 1998 and 2001.

St. Peter's Church is, architecturally, a curiosity as it resembles a typical American country church rather than the behemoth, fortress-like structures built by the Spaniards, and constructed entirely out of wood planks with a small non-functional belfry and an improvised bell, looking like a used artillery shell casing, hanging just above the entrance. This investigator was told that all of the Episcopal chapels are patterned after their American counterparts. Mass ApayaoChapel_1is held at St. Peter's only on Saturdays as the priest conducts Sunday Mass at the church in Conner. Perhaps the most striking thing of all is that the parishioners of St. Peter's, many of them rice farmers, speak very good English, due in great measure to the influence of the Episcopal church in the mountain region like Mountain Province, Kalinga and Apayao.

When told the story of William Jones, the reaction by Church officials was an uneasy silence; this probably explains why a historical marker was never placed on either premises in Apayao, and why the priests never knew the history of the gift that led to the construction of the chapel and priests' residence. To say that this omission of the William Jones connection was intentional cannot be determined as the correspondence between Andrus and Bishop Ogilby has been lost or destroyed.

The language that might have been used, in part, on such a marker, if Miss Andrus had any say about it, would likely be the same as that which can be found on a plaque at the Field Museum's Department of Anthropology and Jones's two tombstones in Echague and Manila, both of which are now missing.


Dedicated to the memory of William Jones, Ph.D

Born in Oklahoma, U.S.A. March 28, 1871

Killed March 28, 1909

A student of Indian and Filipino races,
and a friend to all primitive peoples.
 

© 2005-2016 Collis H. Davis, Jr.
All rights reserved.