Edward Hanigan Denslow was born in 1844 in Mount Pleasant, Indiana to farmers Henry and Sarah Denslow. In his younger days he spent time traveling with the circus and theatrical companies in the west. He took up drinking but was “transformed” after marrying his first wife, Anna S. Johnson in 1865 and having three children. In 1873, he discovered that he possessed healing powers and opened an office in South Bend where he used laying-on of hands. He later opened a sanitarium in Sturgis, Michigan.
The South Bend Tribune, 27 November 1880, published a statement from Edward: “Since the publication of my Thanksgiving proclamation, I find that the question is often asked, how is it possible that the so-called magnetic and motorpathic healing can in any way produce beneficial effects upon diseased organizations? Without entering into a discussion of the subject here, I invite all interested in the matter to call at my office over Strayer’s gun store on Michigan Street and I will convince you there is nothing impossible or mysterious about it.”
Edward’s first wife, Anna, died in 1885, a year after his brother, Robert, passed, and a year before he lost their daughter Cora to illness in 1886. By that time, Edward was a well-known magnetic physician in South Bend. He married Clara Balfour of Bangor, Michigan in South Bend, Indiana in 1887, the same year his daughter Grace married. By 1890, he had moved his office to Sturgis, Michigan.
In the late 1880s, Edward became a missionary for the National Spiritualist Association. He traveled west to Wichita and Kansas City. In 1897, at the First Society of Spiritualists, Kansas City, he was a guest trance speaker.
The Kansas City Journal, 22 February 1897, wrote, “The subject of the address was the transference of thought on waves of ether. Dr. Denslow took the position that every wave of ether bore some one or more thoughts emanating from either the physical or spiritual world. He believed there was a tendency toward the refinement of ether and to increased sensitiveness on the part of the people, so that impressions derived from ether waves were more frequent and distinct than formerly.” He was quoted as saying: “I have never known a bad spirit. The spirits who seek to communicate with us are good spirits. Their influences are for the good, and by making ourselves susceptible to the thought transference received through the action of the ether we can place ourselves in communication with the natures which will exert upon us the best influences and neutralize the tendency to bad of the physical world.”
The Fort Wayne Sentinel, 6 Nov 1901, wrote, “Mr. Denslow is a highly developed medium and his life readings are of a high order of excellence and very satisfactory. Advice given upon all questions pertaining to the welfare of mankind.”
Edward, his second wife, Clara, and her sister died in a tragic fire in 1906. Clara, who had suffered with depression, decided to take her own life by dousing herself and then her husband with gasoline in their home. The resulting fire led to the three deaths. Edward was 62 and along with being a popular healer, was remembered for his membership in the Masons and the Knights Templar of Sturgis.