Danville W. Starrett, who is mentioned in the Minneapolis Tribune story below, was born in Maine on Oct. 20, 1859. He moved to California, married a woman named Mary F. Lyons and owned a company that manufactured pumps. He is listed as the patent holder on a compressed air pump and something called a “liquid-impelling apparatus." People have earned Wikipedia entries for far less.

At some point he turned his attention from manufacturing to the curative powers of the mind. He wrote several books on the topic, including “Mental Therapeutics, or How to Cure all Diseases With the Mind” (1908), “Discoveries Which Make Mental Therapeutics and the Transmission of Mental Communications an Exact Science” (1908) and “The Last Lap” (1915). He dedicated the first book to his mother, Cordelia, who was “a great root and herb doctor” in her day.

The essence of his pitch: You can harness the powers of your mind to cure any illness and live indefinitely. Did his methods work? Depends on how you define “indefinitely.” Starrett himself died in Alameda, Calif., in 1946 at the somewhat unimpressive age of 87.

Seventy Sign Pledge to
Attend Indefinite Life
Society Banquet in 2000

Oakland, Calif., Oct. 7. – (By Cosmopolitan News Service.) – Seventy residents of this city have signed a pledge that they will attend a banquet of the Indefinite Physical [Life] society at the Palace hotel, San Francisco, in the year 2000. A room has been reserved for that date.
D.W. Starrett, president of the organization, aged 62, has the appearance of a man 20 years younger. He declares that by using his system anyone can live indefinitely. Those signing the pledge have been practicing his methods of prolonging life for several months.


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