Dr. E. F. Johnstone, Published Poet of "No Vermonters in Heaven"

Dr. E. F. Johnstone and Published Poet

Hello, Found your site with my great great grandfather's poem, "No Vermonter's in Heaven". Thought you might enjoy a little of his history.

It is really a small world. On my site in the Poetry Section a reference is made to this poem "No Vermonter's in Heaven" which was submitted to the Oxholm children and placed in their Magazine "Days of Milk and Honey". The poem was submitted by Richard A. Snelling, Governor.

Many year later K. Stauffer (The great great granddaughter) wrote me. This was a very welcomed e-mail. Father will be overjoyed! Thank You so much K.Stauffer for your permission to place this information on-line./jmc

K. Stauffer continues to say --Here is the information we have found on him: Dr. Ernest Fenwick Johnstone: Born in Waterville, Kings County, Nova Scotia, Canada on 12 April 1867. Later moved to the states living in Massachusetts, Connectecut and Vermont.

Was a published poet, and wrote the poem "No Vermonter's in Heaven". A poem that seems to be known by Vermonters. He was listed as a lawyer on his marriage certificate to his 1st wife Edna (Gray) in 1894. But it seems the trade he applied most was as an Extraction Dentist. He traveled around with horse and buggy in Orwell, Bristol, and a few other small towns in Vermont, pulling teeth. In later years it is said he drove around in his Model T, with a tool box full of teeth and extracting tools, applying his trade.

He and Edna had one child, Mildred Silvia. Ernest and Edna divorced at some point and Edna and their daughter moved on to southern California. Ernest married again in 1909 to Jessie (Mossman). They also had one daughter named Guenyth. He died in Bristol on 10 April 1938 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Bristol, Vermont.

Source for below: "A History of the Town of Orwell, Vermont, Dedicated to all citizens - Past & Present"; Compiled and organized by the Orwell Historical Society, 1988., page 59, Heading of "DENTISTS":"Dr. E. F. JOHNSTONE was a native of Nova Scotia. He practiced his profession in Brandon, Orwell, Shoreham, and Bristol. He died in the last named town in 1938 and his widow and daughter, Gwenyth, then resided in Burlington. While in Orwell he lived at the old Phelps homestead north of Orwell depot which is still known to many as the "Johnstone place." He was accustomed to drive around the countryside with a horse and buggy, stopping at various places to ply his trade, especially tooth pulling! He wrote poetry on the side, a sample of which is printed elsewhere in this book." And page 159, (one of his poems):

I dreamed that I went to the city of gold, To Heaven resplendent and fair; And, after I entered that beautiful fold, By one in authority there I was told That not a Vermonter was there!

"Impossible," said I. "A host from my town Have sought this delectable place, And each must be here with a harp and a crown, A conqueror's palm and clean linen gown Received through merited grace."

The angel replied, "All Vermonters come here When first they depart from the earth, But after a day or a month or a year They become restless and lonesome and homesick appear And sigh for the land of their birth.

"They tell of its many and beautiful hills Where forest majestic appear; Its rivers and lakes and its streams and its hills Where nature the purest of water distills, And they soon get dissatisfied here."

"They tell of ravines, wild, secluded and deep, Of clover-decked landscapes serene, Of towering mountains, imposing and steep Adown which the torrents exulting leap Through forests perennially green."
"We give them the best that the Kingdom provides, They have everything here that they want; But not a Vermonter in Heaven abides, A very short time period here he resides, Then hikes his way back to Vermont!"

[E. F. Johnstone]"

This poem has wandered widely through the American newspaper press and into other publications, into libraries, and business advertising, and it is usually credited to "Anonymous." The poem was copyrighted in 1915 by the author. Doctor Johnstone was born in Waterville, Nova Scotia, in 1867. He earned degrees at the University of Michigan in law and later in dentistry, which he practiced in Brandon, Orwell, Shoreham, and Bristol, where he died on April 8, 1938. The poem appeared in the Rutland Daily Herald and was written in 1914. Mrs. Johnstone explains the circumstances of the writing of the poem thus: "He was driving over Rochester Mountain in the fall of the year. It was in horse and buggy days, and he had ample opportunity to review the beauty about him as his horse eased his way down the mountain. Dr. Johnstone was always a lover of nature, and his great regard for it often overflowed in spontaneous verse as was the case with 'No Vermonters in Heaven'." So there are "no Vermonters in Heaven" for obvious reasons...

6:34 AM 7/12/2005 Long Over Due Update: Richard Snelling-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from Richard A. Snelling)
Richard Arkwright Snelling (February 18, 1927-August 14, 1991) he was the Governor of Vermont from 1977 to 1985 and from January 10, 1991 until his death.
A member of the United States Republican Party, he served in the Vermont state legislature for six terms.
He was first elected governor in 1976 and was re-elected four times, but left office in January 1985, choosing not to run in 1984. In 1990 he was once again elected, becoming the first Vermont governor to win five mandates. He died of a heart attack seven months after his final inauguration. The lieutenant governor, Democrat Howard Dean, was sworn in as governor.
His widow, Barbara Snelling, has since been elected as a state senator.
Barbara Snelling, who also served as Lt. Governor from 1992-1996, and as First Lady to Governor Richard A. Snelling, resigned for health reasons.
Senator Diane Snelling (Daughter) Ms. Diane Snelling, an artist and community activist, was appointed in January 2002 by Gov. Howard Dean to complete her mother's term in the Vermont Senate. Sen. Diane Snelling served on the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee and the Senate Education Committee..."I'm grateful that both of my parents have been excellent role models in the exercise of independent thinking."

Richard Arkwright Snelling (February 18, 1927- August 14, 1991)