Was writing about the importance of Rachel Flowers and her accomplishments to Messiah College’s community when I stumbled upon the biography of Meshach Paul Krikorian. Now, I have seen this biography many times and actually began to do some further research on Meshach, but was consumed with the Flowers project and never completed it. Out of boredom and curiosity, I have decided to restart this research and no it will not be a series just me writing this one post. Let’s begin.
Born in Hasanbeyli, Omanis, Turkey (Armenia) on April 7, 1890, Meshach and his family endured a great amount of persecution for being Armenian. From 1894 to 1896, 100,000 Armenians were massacred during the reign of Abdul-Hamid II. The treatment of Armenians by Turks led to Meshach fleeing to Egypt and then the United States in 1910. These attacks claimed the lives of his parents as well as most of his family. The Armenian Genocide from 1915 to 1916 resulted in the death of 1.5 million Armenians. In 1911, Meshach enrolled at Messiah, yet he did not complete his degree. He left for unknown reasons to pursue his degree elsewhere. He is the author of Armenia: Its Christian Faith and Persecution, Armenian Shepherd Boy—The Spirit of the Shepherd, The Conquered Conflicts of My Life, The Adjective of Antioch: An Interpretation of the Supreme Question, “What is it to be a Christian?”, The Prayer for the Pray less: A Preface to Our Lord’s Prayer, The Spirit of the Shepherd: An Interpretation of the Psalm Immortal, and quite a few other books pertaining to Armenians and Christianity.
At first I began to copy it word for word, but some of the statements were illegible. What I learned from his petition for naturalization was that he lived in Philadelphia, PA where he worked as a lecturer and preacher. He writes that he was born in Turkey arriving from France on October 14, 1910 on the vessel Rochambeau arriving at a port in New York City. He was married to Mary Ruth born November 24, 1896 in Pennsylvania and I believe they resided on Fifth Avenue.
Before Meshach even filed to become naturalized, he was drafted into WWI, I do not know if he fought, yet a draft records does exist. During this time, he resided in Los Angeles, California.
The birth date for Meshach on this document was listed as January 25, 1898. He was listed as being born in Turkey, but also Armenia. He worked as a student and preacher. He stated that his mother was dependent upon him, but I though she died, so I do not really know what to make of this. He listed as a request to be exempt that he was studying theology and pasturing a church. Other descriptions listed were that he was medium height with gray eyes, black hair, and no disabilities.
Meshach’s WWII registration draft was more legible. Thank you for whoever wrote in print and not cursive. By 1942, Meshach resided on 2213 Green Street Philadelphia, PA. He was 52 years old married to Mary Ruth Krikorian and pastor of the Armenian Methodist Church on 59th Cedar Street. His height was 5’4 inches and he weigh 155 pounds. He was listed as white with a sallow complexion (whatever that means), his eye color changed to brown, and his hair color was still black.
Now let’s go back to the 1930 Census:
Living on Green Street, Meshach resided with his wife and two lodgers. They lived in a rented home for $65 a month. Meshach was 39 years old and his wife was 33 years old. According to this record, they were married when he was 30 and she 23. His birthplace of course was Armenia and his wife’s Pennsylvania, Shippensburg to be exact. He worked as a clergyman and was not listed as a veteran, guess he was granted his claim of exemption from war.
In 1940, Meshach continued living in a rented home on Green Street with his wife. He was 52 and she was 45 years old. He worked 70 hours a week as a clergyman with a salary of $720. Sadly in 1956 his wife died and was married at Spring Hill Cemetery in Shippensburg Cemetery—Mary Ruth Icles Krikorian. They had moved from Green Street to 600 North 22nd Street. Below is the funeral bill.
I believe Meshach remarried to Miriam Krikorian. He passed away in December 1974 in the Harrisburg-Grantham Region. His wife died the same year.
Hope you enjoy this.
Well, until the next post.
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