Arkansas Conference President, 1899-1903
His Early Years
Asa Edgar Field was born in September 1863 in Montcalm County, Michigan to an unstable home life. His mother, Cynthia, married James Harrison Field shortly after the death of her first husband. She had two children from her first marriage, ages five and six. Asa was the oldest child of this marriage and Cynthia and James had three more children. They divorced around 1885 and both soon remarried. Cynthia had four husbands over her lifetime and James had three wives (Ancestry, 2019). His dysfunctional early life was to have a major influence later in Asa’s life. Asa went from Michigan to Princeton, Kansas, when he was twenty years old. He probably joined the Adventist faith around this time and soon became an ordained minister. He married Laura L. Blow on September 10, 1884, who along with her family, had embraced the advent message when she was eight years of age (Review, 1936). The Fields had two daughters, Vesta and Florence (Ancestry, 2019).
Years of Ministry
In the spring of 1899, Chester C. McReynolds, who had been the Arkansas conference president from 1891 to 1893, and in the meantime had been the conference president of Kansas and then Texas, was called back to Arkansas to serve as acting president. At the 1899 conference session, Elder McReynolds was elected as president and Asa E. Field was chosen to be vice president (Beeler, 1996). At the December 1899 conference session “the resignation of Elder C. McReynolds, as president, was accepted, and Elder Asa E. Field was chosen to fill the vacancy” (Kilgore, 1900). Elder Asa E. Field continued as president until 1903. Following his term as Arkansas Conference president, Elder Field and his family moved to Oklahoma City, where he pastored the Oklahoma City church (Yearbook, 1904-1906). Laura Field served as the Sabbath School secretary and helped with the children’s department at camp meetings and other events.
In 1906 the Fields moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where Elder Field began to study in the Chiropractic School of Medicine. Soon after he began his practice in 1908, Mrs. Jennie Swenson became one of his patients. Mrs. Field began to accuse Dr. Asa Field of paying too much attention to Mrs. Swenson. In May 1911, William G. Swenson obtained a divorce from Jennie. Then Laura Field sued Dr. Field for divorce. On October 8, 1911, Dr. Field married Jennie. As soon as she obtained her divorce, Laura Field sued Jenny Swenson Field for $10,000 damages for alienating the affections of Dr. Field (Osborne, 1911). After the divorce, Laura Fields went to Spokane, Washington, and lived with their daughter, Vesta. Laura remained true to her faith until her death on February 19, 1936 (Kilgore, 1936).
In 1929 Dr. Field divorced Jennie and moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he worked as an intern at the State Penitentiary Hospital. On July 15, 1931, he married a widow, Ella Byrd in Rogers, Arkansas (Ancestry, 2011). Dr. Asa E. Field died in Olathe, Kansas, on April 20, 1934 (Grave, 2007).
(1911, Oct. 12). Weds His Co-Respondent. Osborne County Farmer, p. 1.
Ancestry.com. (2011). Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.
Ancestry Family Trees. (2019, Sep. 13). Asa Edgar Field, Cynthia Brown Fisk, James Harrison Field, Laura L. Blow. Retrieved from ancestry.com.
Beeler, Charles R. (1996). A History of Seventh-day Adventists in Arkansas and Louisiana 1888-1996.Keene: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, p. 43.
Find a Grave. (2007, Dec. 4). Dr. Asa E. Field. Retrieved from findagrave.com.
Kilgore, R. M. (1900, Feb. 2). Review and Herald, p. 125.
Ibid. (1936, Apr. 16). p. 22.
(1904 – 1906) Yearbook of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination. Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association.