A TRUE AMERICAN: Each of John’s books are about Civil War orphans and each story is based on actual events in our history. When the war started there were only two orphanage’s in St. Louis, with a growing number of children to care for. the Mullanphy Orphanage, and the St. Louis Protestant Orphanage.
When started in 1827 and 1834 these two facilities cared for a few dozen children, but with the outbreak of Cholera in 1849, the Gold Rush of 1849, then the Civil War twelve years later they found themselves taking care of over 2,000 children when war broke out. When the Civil War ended there were no less than 24 orphanage’s in St. Louis city trying to care for more than 20,000 children, with another 20,000 or so struggling to survive on the streets of the Gateway. Many of these unfortunate children became what we know today as Cowboys. They were of German, Irish and Dutch descent. Prior to this time in our history, we did not use the term Cowboy. Just so you know, what we call cowboys today were actually boys at the time of the Civil War. The Gaslight Boys series pays homage to these children and the Gaslight district of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1861 it wasn’t a district, all anyone had was gaslight.
John T. Wayne the American Civil War author is the grandson of John Wayne (the actor) though he had no idea the first 54 years of his life. Growing up he attended schools all over the state of Missouri, where he learned the true history of the US Civil War. John is a chip off the old block, believing in God, individual responsibility and the idea of a free America.
John began writing his stories in 1985 while attending the University of Oregon. It was there he lost his daughter Kimberly to Cancer. He soon left Oregon and returned home to Missouri where he met his current wife Donna. After 30 years together, they have some incredible stories to share.
When I was looking for a publisher, I came across Mocking-Bird Lane Press and wondered, because my Uncle Buddy and Aunt Vivian lived at 2410 Mocking-Bird lane in Florissant, Missouri my entire life. Once I met Regina, I knew they were the right publisher for me. I got the best publisher in Arkansas, and I get to keep my best memories alive through name association.
The Gaslight Boys series chronicles the lives of orphaned children. There are more than 76 books in the works, and every story is tied to the St. Louis area, hence The Gaslight Boys series. Charles Dickens is credited with being the first Gaslight Boy, but there were many Gaslight Children created by the War Between the States from 1861 – 1865 and beyond. John T. Wayne’s stories bring to life the true struggle of these children who grew up to become great in their own right. Some of them became great, some became outlaws, and some died short of the chance.
Look for his autobiography in late 2018. AN AMERICAN HERITAGE tells the story of how he grew up not knowing his true grandfather, and how he learned at age 54 that it was in fact the Duke of Hollywood.