Term: Chynoweth, Mary Hayes (1825-1905)
Definition: psychic healer and spiritual teacher; born in 1825 in upstate New York, she moved with her parents Abraham and Miriam Folsom to Waterloo, Wis., in 1850, where she worked as a school teacher. In 1853 she experienced a powerful vision, after which she was observed to speak in tongues, heal the sick through laying on of hands, and perform other apparently supernormal actions. She became a highly successful healer and teacher, whose admirers included some of Wisconsin's leading political and intellectual figures. In 1854 she married Anson B Hayes, a Waterloo farmer, and after his death married Madison attorney (and her patient) Thomas Chynoweth, who died shortly after. In 1883 she claimed that spiritual guidance led her to discover the sites of the Ashland and Germania iron mines in the Gogebic Range, which became the source of her family's fortune and the origin of the town of Hurley, in whose establishment she took an energetic interest. In 1887 she moved with her family and followers to a colony named Edenvale, in San Jose, Cal. She erected a 41,000 sq. ft. mansion there and for nearly two more decades continued to treat the sick free of charge, until her death at the age of 80. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.
[Source: Clay, Louisa Johnson. The Spirit Dominant: A Life of Mary Hayes Chynoweth (San Jose, 1914?)]