The central character in Margaret Deland's tales of Old Chester is the minister Dr. Lavendar. He is a wonderful character. One wishes he were a real person.
In an interview in the New York Times of March 28, 1920, Mrs. Deland has the following to say about Dr. Lavendar:
"She denied him a flesh-and-blood embodiment but she said he was a composite of her husband, and an uncle of hers, Dr. William Campbell, once President of Rutgers College. 'But Dr. Lavendar was also made up,' she said; 'I had thought of an old minister as a moving factor in a series of stories of plain folk; so I just put certain qualities, like butter and eggs, together, and Dr. Lavendar was the cake.'"
The article goes on to say that people had written to Mrs. Deland to ask for Dr. Lavendar's address so that they might put themselves under his spiritual guidance. It would indeed be wonderful to have someone like Dr. Lavendar in one's life. He is a wonderful combination of common sense and spiritual light and has a way with those who seek his guidance in Mrs. Deland's tales of Old Chester.