May 17, 2012

'James Sharp, styling himself "Elijah II" ...'

"A Band of Holy Rollers"
News item from the Ocala Evening Star, Ocala, Fla., Dec. 10, 1908:

"Oklahoma City, Dec 9 -- James Sharp, styling himself 'Elijah II,' at the head of a party of religious fanatics calling themselves 'Holy Rollers' first appeared in Oklahoma City in March, 1905. Sharp, his wife, a young man named Green and a boy said to have been Sharp's son, all nude, headed a procession of their followers one cold day in March, 1905 and attempted to parade the town.

They were arrested but allowed to go free providing they left the city. They went to the country south of Oklahoma City and camped until late in the summer following. Then they became so obnoxious to the farmers that they were again arrested. A second time they were let off with a promise to leave the territory which they did, going to Colorado. Getting into similar trouble there they traveled up the Pacific coast and finally reached Canada last summer."