HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Smiles and Tears, or Larimore and His Boys
Author: F. D. Srygley
Publisher: Guardian of Truth Foundation, reprinted in 2006
Related website: http://www.ceibooks.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Srygley, F. D. Smiles and Tears, or Larimore and His Boys (published in 1889 and republished in 1955 by Gospel Advocate Co., Nashville, TN; reprinted in 2006 by Guardian of Truth Foundation, then P. O. Box 9670, Bowling Green, KY 42102, now 220 S. Marion St,, Athens, AL 35611). Theophilus Brown Larimore (1843-1929) was born in East Tennessee and raised in poverty and obscurity. While attending Mossy Crock Baptist College in Eastern Tennessee, he was mustered for a short tour in the Confederate Army. Following his release, he moved to Hopkinsville, KY, where he obeyed the gospel on his 21st birthday anniversary, July 10, 1864, and later began preaching the gospel in 1866. Between preaching, teaching, and working as a logger, he took a course at Franklin College near Nashville, TN, under Tolbert Fanning, graduating as valedictorian of his class in 1867. After his move to north Alabama and marriage to Miss Ester Gresham, they determined to establish a school for boys and girls at Mars Hill, near Florence, AL.
There were many men who graduated as faithful gospel preachers from the Mars Hill school, including the author of this book, Fletcher Douglas Srygley (1856–1900). After seventeen busy years, the school was closed because of the increasing demand for Larimore to do evangelistic work. He traveled from Maine to Mexico, from the Carolinas to California, preaching twice a day and three times every Sunday. He held many gospel meetings which lasted for several weeks at a time, his longest being at Sherman, TX, beginning January 4, 1894, continuing twenty-two weeks and one day, where he preached three hundred and thirty-three sermons. For a while, he located in Louisville, KY, to labor regularly with a congregation there.
In 1911, Larimore’s evangelistic work took him from British Columbia to Eastern Canada, and from Mexico to Cuba, and he preached regularly until 1929 when his health prevented him from traveling. He passed from this life March 18, 1929, at Santa Ana, CA, in his 86th year. This account by one of his students of events that took place in the Larimore’s life is a combination of biography, religious history, and doctrinal studies, bringing out changes that took place in religious doctrines and customs during the 1800s. Srygley also edited Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore, Volume, originally published in 1900 by the Gospel Advocate Publishing Company. Another similar book by Srygley about a different pioneer preacher is Seventy Years In Dixie: Recollections and Sayings of T. W. Caskey and Others.