William H. Bach, born in 1864 in Wisconsin to Edward and Frances Bach. He married Evalina (Evie) P. Foote from Parishville, New York in 1887. They lived in St Paul, Missouri in the late 1880s and early 1890s and had no children. William was active in Mesmeric and Spiritualist circles in the 1890s. He spoke at places like the St. Paul Spiritual Alliance, the First Phenomenal Society of Springfield, Missouri and to Spiritualists in Atchison, Kansas.
The National Spiritualist Association of Churches was founded as the National Spiritualist Association of the United States of America (NSA) in 1893 during a convention in Chicago, Illinois. William was one of the NSA’s first leaders along with Harrison D. Barrett, Luther V. Moulton, Cora L. V. Scott, and James Martin Peebles.
William and Evalina moved to the Lily Dale, New York area in the late 1890s. They attended the 1897 Spiritualists convention in Washington, D.C. where William was elected treasurer for the lyceum. The following year, William and Evie became the first editors of The Sunflower, published from 1898—1909, semimonthly, then weekly, then semimonthly again by A. Gaston and F.G. Neelin, the Sunflower Publishing Co., and then Hamburg Publishing Co. It was individually owned by William but functioned as the journal for the Cassadaga Camp meeting and Lily Dale. The Sunflower Pagoda was also built in 1898 by William. It is located midway between the Grand Hotel and the Auditorium and carries a complete stock of books, stationery and other camping necessities.
William authored several publications, including: A History of Cassadaga Camp, printed as a premium for The Sunflower in 1899, Mediumship and its Development, and How to Mesmerize to Assist Development and Big Bible Stories.
In his book on mediumship, he wrote: “All manifestations of natural law are the result of Natural Conditions. We do not think there is a single reader of this book who will deny this premise.’ Our premise must be correct or our reasoning will be wrong. We are all, more or less, hero worshippers and it is hard to reach a solid, practical ba51s, throw all superstition to the winds and look at the practical side of things, which, to some, seem sacred.”
In 1905, William and Evie were listed as printers in the New York Census. The Buffalo Times, 30 June 1907, reported,” We regret that Mr. W.H. Bach, editor of ‘The Sunflower,’ advertises his plant and paper for sale, on account of ill health. It will be difficult to get another Mr. Bach. He is peculiarly gifted to do just that work.”
It’s unclear what happened to William. It’s possible that he married another woman and moved to California. In 1910, Evie was still using the last name Bach, was listed as a widow living with her mother in New York state, and was employed as a businesswoman. In 1925 she was still running a souvenir shop in Lily Dale.