Please note, if you find a copy of this book to read, that it was written by a journalist who seemed to be more interested in sensationalism than accurate writing. There are many inaccuracies in this book and is not an accurate accounting of Rev. Isaac's life. Many of the inaccuracies could have been easily verified and corrected (if he wanted to). Marberry also apparently avoided all living family members while writing the book, some of whom were mentioned in the book.
(I think this article might be from the New York Herald Tribune, 1947)
Book Review of M. M. Marberry's book
BOOKS AND THINGS
By LEWIS GANNETT
I do not recall ever seeing the name of Isaac H. [S.] Kalloch before I opened M. M. Marberry's "The Golden Voice" (Farrar, Straus, $4), but obviously he is a man whom Stewart Holbrook should have included in his racy catalogue of "Lost Men of American History." For this was a man of power, even if of blighted power.
Forgotten Man of Power
Mr. Marberry, a Chicago newspaper man, met Kalloch's name three times before he settled down to investigate the man's career. Once, Marberry read that Richard Henry Dana, the author of "Two Years Before the Mast," had in 1857 defended the parson in an adultery trial in Boston, and that the stenographic report of the trial sold 300,000 copies--- a tidy sale even today. Again, glancing through a memorial issue of an Ottawa, Kan., newspaper, he caught the name of I. S. Kalloch, recorded as founder of Ottawa's first newspaper, and further described as "preacher, college president, railroad superintendent, editor, gentleman, farmer, town promoter, politician, horse trader, swindler and cheat." Finally, Marberry discovered that Kalloch had been elected Mayor of San Francisco in 1879, on a Workingman's party ticket, that he had been shot by an editor during the campaign, and that later his son shot and killed the editor.
It made Mr. Marberry powerfully curious. He passed a year digging through newspaper files and forgotten and scurrilous pamphlets. He learned that when Kalloch died in 1887, the newspaper whose founder had shot him gave ten obscure lines to his obituary. But before that!
"The Snorting Sorrel Stallion of the Kaw Bottom"
Kalloch, a sixth-generation new England (the name is Scottish in origin) was born in Rockland, Me., in 1831. He was a preacher's son, and when he was eighteen, a year after he had been expelled from Colby College for rowdy pranking--- he was himself ordained as a Baptist clergyman. He preached so lustily that when he was twenty-three he was called to the pulpit of Tremont Temple in Boston, where he at once attracted the largest Sunday morning crowds in Boston's religious history. Isaac was a 6-foot, 220 pound, red- headed man of fire, and he had a voice like a trumpet. But he had his biggest crowd when he returned to the pulpit after standing trial for adultery. The police shut the doors an hour before the service was scheduled to begin.
The jury had voted eight to four for acquittal, though most of the Boston newspapers obviously assumed that the clergyman had been guilty. Kalloch preached powerfully for six months after the trial, then departed for John Brown's "Bloody Kansas." In his absence Tremont Temple's congregations shrank from 2,500 to eighty; but on Kalloch's return the Temple thrived again. so did the New York Baptist Church in which Isaac preached in an interval between his second and third trips to Kansas.
In Kansas the energetic Kalloch founded a couple of colleges and several newspapers, practiced law and somewhat dubious finance, raced horses, ran a liquorous hotel, promoted scientific farming and occasionally returned to evangelism. People who didn't like Isaac called him "the Snorting Sorrel Stallion or the Kaw Bottom." One of his revivalist sermons was embarrassingly successful. His son Randolph hit Isaac's sawdust trail, proclaiming that he had lived twelve years in unbelief and wanted to reform. But Randolph wasn't yet quite twelve years old.
In the City of the Wicked
Isaac left for San Francisco in 1875 because, as he explained to his Leavenworth congregation, "there are more wicked people of both sexes in that city that I ever met in my life and I feel called by God to convert them." Cynics said that Isaac was so deep in debt he needed a change of scene. Anyway, San Francisco welcomed him. His Metropolitan Temple on the west coast was soon outshining Boston's Tremont Temple, and Isaac began mixing politics with religion--- at first against Dennis Kearney's Sandlotters--- "Communists. . . democracy run mad," Isaac called them--- and, after they had won a few elections, in alliance with them.
In 1879 Kalloch ran for mayor. When Charles DeYoung, the founder of "The San Francisco Chronicle," dug up some of the more lurid episodes in his past, Kalloch publicly expressed his opinion of DeYoung's mother. Words were used fore freely then than now, but DeYoung was annoyed and went after Kalloch with a gun, thereby, perhaps, assuring the preacher's triumphant election. DeYoung, of course, went scot free, and financed another pamphlet exposing Kalloch. Kalloch's son Milton read it, did a little preliminary drinking, then went to "The Chronicle" office and shot Charles DeYoung dead. Milton was tried and acquitted; Isaac was elected mayor and impeached in office--- but nothing came of that, either.
In fact, nothing much came of Kalloch's whole life. this is the mystery on which Mr. Marberry doesn't dwell. He digs out the facts, embellishes them with a newspaper man's eye for colorful detail, and leaves the reader bewildered. What was the secret of Kalloch's power? Was he a fakir, just unbalanced, or, in the main, a victim of calumny? Mr. Marberry is content to paint a gaudy portrait and leave it unexplained.