A NEW LIGHT: "THE FIRST FORTY"

Dick B.

A NEW LIGHT: "THE FIRST FORTY"

A Chronological Survey of the early AA Pioneers*

(1934-1938)

Compiled and Presented by Richard K., July 9, 2003

Copyright 2003 – Golden Text Productions

 *All statistics included in this survey were taken from the following sources:

(1ed) * Alcoholics Anonymous," 1st Edition, Works Publishing Co., 1939

(PIO) * "Pass It On," Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984

(BOB) * "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers," Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980

(GT) * Statistical report on "Big Book" authors, annotated by George Trotter

(FA) * "History of the Alcoholics movement up to the formation of the Alcoholic Foundation on Aug, 11, 1938," a report to the Rockefeller Foundation by Frank Amos, 1938

(NO) * "Authors of the Stories from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous," biographies by Nancy O., from "Silkworth.net" website

(SSW) * From the scrapbook of Jim Burwell, sobriety verified by Sue Smith Windows

(MK) * "How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder," by Mitchell K., AA Big Book Study Group, 1999

"It was on a November day in that year (1937) when Dr. Bob and I sat in his living room, counting the noses of our recoveries. There had been failures galore, but now we could see some startling successes too. A hard core of very grim, last-gasp cases had by then been sober a couple of years, an unheard-of development. There were twenty or more such people. All told we figured that upwards of forty alcoholics were staying bone dry.

As we carefully rechecked this score, it suddenly burst upon us that a new light was shining into the dark world of the alcoholic…At last we were sure. There would be no more flying totally blind. We actually wept for joy, and Bob and Anne and I bowed our heads in silent thanks."

- Bill Wilson, ‘Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age,’ AAWS, Inc., 1957, p. 76

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

1934, 12/11 Bill Wilson New York Success 1 Bill’s Story

1935, 06/10 Dr. Bob Smith Akron Success 2 The Doctor’s Nightmare

(MK – SOB @6/17/35)

1935, June Eddie Reilly Akron Failure*

*(RJK-Though originally failed, Eddie became permanently sober in 1949)

1935, June Dr. McK Akron Failure

1935, June Bill Dotson Akron Success 3 Alcoholic Anonymous #3

1935, August Ernie Galbraith Akron Success 4 The Seven Month Slip

(GT: SOB 7/35) (NO-Failure)

1935, August Wes Wymans NY Failure*

**(RJK-Though originally failed, Wes became permanently sober in 1949, as did Eddie Reilly)

1935, Sept. Hank Parkhurst New York Success* 5 The Unbeliever

(NO – SOB Oct. or Nov. 1935) * (RJK-Returned to drinking > 1 yr following the "counting noses")

1935, Sept. Phil Smith Akron Success

(RJK-One brief slip in 1937)

1935, October John Henry "Fitz" Mayo New York Success 6 Our Southern Friend

(SSW- SOB 10/36) (GT: SOB 11/36)

1935 Freddie B. NY Failure

1935 Brooke B. NY Failure

1935 Bill R. NY Failure

1935 Ernest M. NY Failure

1935 Herb D. NY Failure

1935 Alec NY Failure

1935 Russ R. NY Failure

1935 Bill C. NY Failure

1935 "Victor" Akron Failure

1935 "Lil" Akron Failure

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

1936, Jan. Harold Grisinger Akron Success

(SSW-Died sober)

1936, Feb. Walter Bray Akron Success The Back-Slider

(GT: SOB 2/36) (NO-Relapsed and Detoxed Aug. 1939)

1936, April Joe Doppler Akron Success 8 The European Drinker

1936, April Myron Williams NY Success Hindsight

1936, July Paul Stanley Akron Success 9 Truth Freed Me

1936, Sept. J. D. Holmes Akron Success 10

(SSW-No slips)

1936, Sept. Holland Spencer Akron Success

1936, Dec. Bob Oviatt Akron Success The Salesman

(BW-"stayed dry continuously" (SSW-No slips) (1stEd: Slip May 1937) (NO-1 Slip May 1937)

1937, Feb. Dick Stanley Akron Success 10 The Car Smasher

Don McLean NY Success

1937, Feb. Bill Ruddell NY Success) A Businessman’s Recovery

(NO-Failure)

1937, Feb. Lloyd Tate Akron Success

(NO- SOB 2/37) (SSW: SOB 9/37) (GT: SOB 11/37)

1937, Feb. Bill Van Horn Akron Success Ward of the Probate Court

(BOB: SOB 2/37) (GT: SOB 5/37) (SSW-No slips) (NO-One Slip Later)

1937, Mar. Harry Zoellers Akron Success A Close Shave

1937, March Florence Rankin NY Success* A Feminine Victory

*(RJK-Florence returned to drinking following the Big Book publication and committed suicide)

1937, April Earl Treat Akron Success 13 He Sold Himself Short (2nd)

(SSW-No slips) (NO-One slip July 1937)

1937, April Bob Evans Akron Success

1937, May Wally Gillam Akron Success (NO-1 Slip Later) Fired Again

1937, May Charlie Simonson Akron Success Riding the Rods

1937, July Jim Scott Akron Success Traveler, Editor, Scholar

(GT: SOB 7/37) (NO- SOB 7/37) (SSW- SOB 9/38)

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

1937, July Paul Kellogg NY Failure

1937, Sept. Bill Jones Akron (Cleveland) Success

(SSW-No slips) (BOB-Bob Evans says Jones had a slip)

1937, Oct. Jack Williams NY Success Hindsight

1937, Nov. Tom Lucas Akron Success My Wife and I

(GT: SOB 11/35) (NO-First SOB Nov. 1935)

1937 Jane S. Akron (Cleveland) Failure

(BOB-Sober "a few months")

NOTE** "Successes" and "Failures" are denoted for individuals who were either sober or drinking at the time of Bill’s and Bob’s headcount in November of 1937. – Richard K.

***Post-Headcount***

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

1937, Dec. Ned Poynter NY Unknown

(RJK-Noted by Frank Amos)

1938, Jan. Jim Burwell NY Success

1938, Feb. Clarence Snyder Akron (Cleveland) Success Home Brewmeister

1938, Feb. Charlie Jones Akron Success

1938, Feb. Ray Campbell NY Success An Artist’s Concept

1938, Feb. Van Wagner NY Unknown

1938, Feb. Jack Darrow NY Unknown

1938, Feb. Norman Hunt NY Success Educated Agnostic

(GT-SOB 6/38)

1938, Feb. Harold Sears NY Success Smile With Me, At Me

(NO-Slips in June)

1938, April Capt. Coxe NY Unknown

1938, May Abby Goldrick Akron Success He Thought He Could Drink…(2nd)

1938, May Bert Taylor NY Unknown

1038, May Bob Taylor NY Unknown

1938, June George Williams NY Unknown

1938, June Joseph Taylor NY Unknown

1938, June Harry Brick NY Success A Different Slant

(NO-Failure)

1938, June Ralph Furlong NY Success Another Prodigal Story

(NO- SOB 6/6/38)

1938, July Bud Emerson NY Unknown

1938, Sept. Archie Trowbridge Akron Success The Fearful One

(GT: SOB 11/38)

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

1938, Sept. Horace Maher NY Success On His Way

1938, Oct. John Dolan Akron Success

1938, Dec. Vaughan Phelps Akron Success

1938, Dec. Horace Chrystal NY Unknown

1938 Bill H. Akron (Cleveland) Failure*

*(RJK-Clarence’s first "baby," later permanently sober)

1939, Jan. Pat Cooper California Success Lone Endeavor

(NO- Slipped, Back in 1944)

Unknown Sobriety Dates

Date Name Area Result AA# BB Story /Comments

N/A Delmar Tyron Akron Success Ace-Full Seven Eleven

(NO- Success)

N/A Doc Moran Akron Unknown

(RJK-Wally Gillam remembrance)

N/A Harold Grissom Akron Unknown

(RJK-J. D. Holmes remembrance)

N/A Dr. Howard S. Akron Unknown

(RJK-Frank Amos remembrance)

End of Article Two

Compiled and Presented by Richard K., July 9, 2003

Copyright 2003 – Golden Text Productions

 

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