Samuel G. Ginner

From Kook Science

Samuel G. Ginner
Samuel G. Ginner - illo. (1899).jpg

Newspaper illustration of Ginner, 1899.

Born 4 June 1844(1844-06-04)
either New York or England [i]
Died 22 November 1915 (71)
Buffalo, Erie Co., New York

Samuel George Ginner (June 4, 1844 - November 22, 1915) was an American physician and Episcopalian who formed his own Church of America, investing himself as its Primate and Archbishop. Briefly, from 1897 through 1898, Ginner was the Supreme President of his short-lived Order of Minnehaha, a fraternal insurance concern based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, being later prosecuted and convicted for embezzling funds from the same.

Selected Bibliography

  • Ginner, Samuel G. (1897), Ritual and Secret Work, Order of Minnehaha of the United States, and Osseo, Son of the Evening Star, Saint Paul, Minn.: Pioneer Press Co. 
  • -- (1898), The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of America, Which is the Church of God; Together with Articles of Faith and Ritual., St. Paul, Minn. 

Press Coverage

Bellevue Medical College of Massachusetts (1880-1884)

Bellevue Medical College of Massachusetts was shown to be a diploma mill after two years of operation, albeit a perfectly legal one at the time, orchestrated by Rufus King Noyes. Solicitations listed Ginner as a faculty member as Professor of Medical Electricity and Physiology; for his part, Ginner apparently continued to offer blank diplomas from the concern even after it had been dissolved, giving a price of $75 for the M.D., with further opportunities for the purchaser to earn a $25 commission as a local agent selling the same diplomas.

Medicated Electricity (1883)

  • "A Great Invention!", Therapeutic Gazette 7 (1): 22, 15 Jan. 1883, 

    A PETITION for letters patent has been filed at Washington for what is in a certain sense one of the greatest inventions of the age, occupying the domain in medicine a similar relation to that occupied by the Keely motor in mechanics. The transcendent genius from which it is evolved finds its seat in the brain of one Dr. S. G. Ginner, of Bradford, Pa. It is really a wonderful contrivance and bids fair to revolutionize therapeutics. It is a contrivance for preparing and applying medicated electricity. It is constructed with two cells connected respectively with a series of batteries, including the galvanic, faradaic and static currents, which will extract from a watery solution of drug or chemical the active principle of the said drug or chemical which active principle will at the same time become amalgamated with the electric fluid, and may in this manner be passed through the human body producing the usual effect of the drug or chemical employed!! With this electrical device in a family, the stomach, rectum, subcutaneous areolar tissue and the various avenues through which we have been wont to administer medicines will be entirely superfluous to such an end. A logical application of this apparatus would, indeed, render stomach and alimentary tract mere ornamental appendages to the human form divine, for any of the purposes to which these organs have been put from time immemorial and counter to which the memory of even the anthropoid progenitors does not run.

    The inventor claims that he can introduce into the circulatory system opium, or morphine, and produce instant sleep. That he can introduce the active principles of epsom salts, with actual results to follow in less than thirty seconds. That he can sit in his office and hold conversation with a patient in the adjoining county by means of telephone, and that he can then, by a system of wire works, place him under medical treatment by introducing into him his medicated electric fluid, or current. That he can also saturate the electric fluid with the elements of disease contained in the cow-pox virus and thus vaccinate people at any distance — either 1 or 50 miles distant, and perhaps at 1,000 miles distant!!!

    If the active principle of medicinal vegetables can be more promptly and efficiently applied by this means is it unreasonable to believe that the soluble nutritive principles of vegetables may not be similarly applied? We think not, and we fell that we are on the eve of a new dispensation.

    The honest reader will exclaim that the patent office will never become a party to imposing such a device on a long suffering public. Honest reader, the ways of the patent office are mysterious and past finding out. Don't you wager any of your wealth that letters of patent will not be issued in response to the petition.

"National Silver Party" Candidate (1896)

Ginner sought to win a seat in Congress for the National Silver Party while in New Jersey. After the election, in 1897, Ginner would move westward to Minnesota, setting up shop in Saint Paul.

International Gold and Silver Bullion Corporation (1897)

Excommunication from Episcopal Church (1898)

Embezzlement from the Order of Minnehaha (1898-1899)

Back on the Street (1900)

American Rite of Masonry (1902)

or, the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the Ancient and Accepted American Rite of Masonry.

  • "A new Masonic order (so-called)", The American Tyler 16 (17): 402, 1 Mar. 1902, 

    A new Masonic order (so-called) has been established in Minnesota, according to the St. Paul News, which says of the new organization:

    St. Paul is the center of a new order, known to the copyright office as the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the Ancient and Accepted American Rite of Masonry, its more exact headquarters being at 282 West Seventh street, which is the present postoffice address of Samuel George Ginner, formerly bishop of the Church of America and founder of the order of Minnehaha, after the operations of which he sojourned for a time in Stillwater, Minn.

    The supreme grand secretary, who is the author of the secret code and ritualistic features of the order, modestly admits in announcing it that he "forgets more every five minutes than the average man learns in a lifetime," but he still remembers things dating back to Moses.

    It is estimated that the order founds its temples on the instructions of the Lord to Moses in Exodus, and that rams' skins dyed in red, and a mercy-seat of pure gold will be given proper prominence in the rites of the order.

    These, of course, are only in the first three degrees, which take the novitiate up to master carpenter. Ten more degrees make him grand elect and perfect, and the fifteenth sees him prince of Jerusalem.

    The seventeenth degree is the knight of the Rose Croix and the thirtieth is the Knight of Kadosch, titles very suggestive of the school of Masonry, which has been known locally for some time. The thirty-second degree lets the American Mason into the royal secret, and the thirty-third finds him perfect master in the Temple of Solomon.

    The cost of membership in this new order is $15, but for the charter members of lodge No. 1, the bargain counter price of $2.50 is made. Respectable young men over eighteen years of age will be admitted.

    Mr. Ginner says that the American Indians have a Masonry of their own, which has been entrusted to the new order and is the basis of its rites.

    (The reference to Ginner's having "sojourned" in Stillwater, naturally, refers to his incarceration at the Minnesota State Prison on embezzlement charges.)

The "Scotch Physician" (1904)

Another Year in the Penitentiary (1906)

Two and a Half Years in the Penitentiary (1909)

Illegal Use of the Mails (1912)

Christian Theosophical Society (1915)

Estate (1916)


  1. In Herringshaw's, Ginner claimed his birthplace was Hastings-on-the-Hudson, Westchester Co., New York, though, at other times, he claimed birth in England, and may have been born in Hastings, Sussex, England.