American Street Preacher, Who Wedded Heiress, Was Driven From City, But Returns to Claim Wife and Child.

September 14, 1909


American Street Preacher, Who
Wedded Heiress, Was Driven
From City, But Returns to
Claim Wife and Child.

A wife's faith in her husband was vindicated yesterday when John Hobbs, a Seventh Day Baptist street preacher and incidentally a watchmaker, came to Kansas City from Dorchester, Neb., to claim his wife and child, whom he supposed to be in La Crosse, Kas., but who have been at the Helping Hand institute since August 29. Mrs. Hobbs, a pretty Mexican woman, came here in search of her husband practically in a destitute condition. Her 6-months-old babe was ill and the grief-crazed wife refused to eat or sleep during the first few days, believing her missing husband either was ill or dead.

The husband believed his wife and child were in La Crosse, where he left them, when he came to Kansas City in search of work. He traced them from the Kansas town here. Mrs. Hobbs is one of eight heirs to an estate in Mexico, said to be worth $1,000,000. During her search she refused to communicate with her relatives, or ask for financial aid.


"Didn't I tell you that he would find me," excitedly exclaimed the little Spanish senora over and over again to Mrs. Lila Scott, the matron, and Mrs. E. T. Brigham the assistant superintendent at the Helping Hand, when her husband with a package of letters and telegrams he had sent her, appeared at the institute.

About a year and a half ago pretty Amelia Lastra of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, met and fell in love with John Hobbs, an American missionary of the Seventh Day Baptist church in Mexico. Their religions differed and her family objected to the marriage but that counted for little. After the ceremony the young couple moved to another part of Mexico. While there Mrs. Hobbs learned that her father, Felippe Lastra, who owned two silver mines, was dead. Under the Mexican law the estate can not be divided until all of the heirs have given consent. Mrs. Hobbs is one of eight heirs.

Hobbs and his bride finally went to La Crosse, Kas., where the husband worked for a few weeks and then came to Kansas City where he expected to make a home for his wife and child. From that time until yesterday all trace of him was lost.


When Hobbs found his wife he carried a bundle of letters. They had been sent to La Crosse, Kas., where he had gone to find out why his wife did not reply to his letters or to the telegrams he had sent her. He said he had been preaching on the streets in Kansas City and was one of the street preachers arrested the latter part of August. He said he was given hours to leave the city and as he had no money had to walk. He made his way to Dorchester, Neb., where he got work and then sent for his wife.

It developed after he had explained his absence that Mrs. Hobbs had failed to notify the postoffice in La Cross her forwarding address. The couple left for Nebraska last night.