Marius John was one of the “Thomasites” (American teachers) that was sent to the Philippines to educate Filipinos in 1901. Before his teaching assignment in Baao, in 1900 he was in the United States hospital service of Co. M, 17th infantry, stationed in Alcala, Pangasinan.
In April 1941, after the launching of the book “Philippine Saga” by Marius John, a narrative on his experiences in Baao, his hometown of Sterling, Illinois, newspaper “Sterling Daily Gazette” featured him on the second page, entitled — “Former Sterling Man honored by Philippine City, Marius John Named Adopted Father of the Town of Baao, P.I.”.
Consequently, the news article was about the resolution passed to the municipal council of Baao by Mayor Luis G. Dato honoring Marius John as the Adopted Father of Baao.
Former Sterling Man, Marius John, Honored by Philippine City
Marius John former Sterling man and author of “Philippine Saga” said to be the outstanding book on life in the glamorous Philippines has been honored by being made Adopted Father of the town of Baao, Camarines Sur the city where most of the action of the book took place.The action naming Mr John as Adopted Father of the town was taken at a special session of the municipal town on Feb 15 Señor Luis G. Dato alcalde in the chair. Excerpts from Mr. Johns book were read to the council after which the resolution of respect was passed.
A part of the resolution showing the deep regard in which the former Sterling man is held by the residents of the Philippine city follows:
“Whereas, this same publication has awakened in the hearts of the people of Baao a deep satisfaction as well as great comfort for the fact that until this day the man who had been sent by the government of the United States of America to this corner of the Philippines to instill the spirit of democracy still has preserved his health and energy and continues to labor spiritually for the good of the people to whom he imparted his instruction.”
“Whereas, the citizens of Baao, impelled by a sentiment of gratitude, desire to express their appreciation in apparent and solemn manner, unanimously adopted the request through the power invested in the municipal council, confirming officially its earnest desire to confer the title of Adopted Father of the town of Baao upon Mr. Marius John that upon adoption of this resolution a copy be sent to the same requesting him to accept this humble tribute which a grateful people offer him.”
Mr. John, whose father was once publisher of The Gazette was born in this city and graduated from the Sterling schools and business college. Later he attended the George school in Pennsylvania and Stanford university. He served in the United States army during the Philippine wars and later returned to the islands as the first American school teacher at Baao.
Mr John’s book has been ordered for the Sterling public library and should be here shortly.
Source: Sterling Daily Gazette
Sterling, Illinois, U.S.
April 1, 1941