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Walter Vrooman

Walter Vrooman was born at Macon, Missouri, January 8, 1869, one of the six sons of Judge H. P. Vrooman.  When Walter was five years of age the family moved to Topeka, Kas., where he attended the public schools.  At thirteen he ran away from home and traveled extensively over the Western States, keeping up his studies, however, so that he entered Harvard University in 1888.

     In 1895 he married Mary L. Grafflin, of Baltimore, Md., and came to settle in Missouri.

     In 1898 he went to England, remaining there two year, and founding Ruskin Hall in Oxford.

     He returned to Missouri, selected Trenton as the point to establish Ruskin College, the American counterpart of the English institution; and in Trenton organized the first stores of the Western Cooperative Association.

     1902 saw the headquarters of the movement in Kansas City, whence the branches were organized in the various States.  In 1902, also, he presented and expounded his Purposive Philosophy, an application of the thought-power of the past to the conditions of the present, and the evolution of the race.  In a series of free lectures in Athenaeum Hall he explained the social standpoint, a new system of ethics, whereby the determination of right and wrong is dependent on the promotion or hindrance of the attainment of the Hierarchy of Life for this planet.
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