Today in Michigan History

November 16, 1926

Commune leader Benjamin Purnell was arrested.

In 1895, Benjamin Purnell, a Kentucky-born itinerant preacher, declared himself the seventh in a series of messengers foretold in the Book of Revelation. For the next several years, Purnell and his wife, Mary, spread their message throughout the Midwest. In 1903 they settled in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and founded a religious communal society called the House of David. The House of David thrived, but immorality scandals plagued the commune and its leader. When state authorities arrested Purnell they charged him with fraud and immortality. The two-month trial ended badly for the House of David, leaving the 66-year-old Purnell exhausted. He soon died.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.