Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

Punctuality – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations


Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, had for many years a volunteer lifesaving crew among its students which became famous. On September 8, 1860, the Lady Elgin, a crowded passenger steamer, foundered off the shore of Lake Michigan just above Evanston. One of the students gathered on the shore, Edward W. Spencer, a student in Garrett Biblical Institute, saw a woman clinging to some wreckage far out in the breakers. He threw off his coat and swam out through the heavy waves, succeeding in getting her back to the land in safety.

Sixteen times during that day did young Spencer brave those fierce waves, rescuing seventeen persons. Then he collapsed in a delirium of exhaustion. Ed Spencer slowly recovered from the exposure and exertion of that day, but never completely. With broken health he lived quietly, unable to enter upon his chosen lifework of the ministry, but exemplifying the teachings of Jesus Christ in his secluded life. He died in California, aged eighty-one. In a notice of his death, one paper said that not one of these seventeen rescued persons ever came to thank him.

– Aquilla Webb

[Reproduced with permission from Encylopedia of 15,000 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan, Communications, Inc., Dallas, TX, 1998, #13,983]

This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.