Doris and the Schuesslers of Los Angeles

Using DNA to identify grandparents

The Missionary Man

On June 21, 1931, Only 4½ months before signing Doris’s birth certificate, 27-year-old Leon Lewis Harrop graduated from The College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. Dr. Harrop spent a few years in Los Angeles after graduation, but occupational license records show his primary residence was in Raymonville, TX.

According to the 1932 Los Angeles city directory, Leon and his wife Marjorie were living at 1627 New Jersey Street in the Boyle Heights district. Boyle Heights was the location listed as Doris’s place of birth. The Cruikshanks lived in south Los Angeles, about 10 miles from the Harrops.

Leon and Marjorie didn’t stay in California for very long. A 1935 San Bernardino newspaper article mentioned the Harrops were living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Leon had been continuing his studies abroad and the couple were about to depart for Penang, in what is now Malaysia, to work as medical missionaries.

Dr. Leon Harrop Loma Linda
The San Bernardino County Sun, 10 Dec 1935

A visitor to the clinic in Penang shared the following account of his meeting with Dr. Harrop:

Dr. and [Mrs.] L. L. Harrop soon arrived and showed me through the institution which is nicely equipped, after which we went over to the clinic…I was much impressed with the kindly way the doctor treated his patients, and needless to say they respond to his treatment by showing their good will and confidence in him…Usually it requires many months, in the conservative East, for a new doctor to establish himself, but it is a pleasure to report that in this particular instance the high standard set by [the prior missionary physician] has continued since Dr. Harrop took over the work. Dr. Harrop is to be congratulated.1

World Peace or Atomic Destruction?

When the Harrops returned from Penang, Leon began lecturing in Texas.

Dr. L.L. Harrop Seventh Day Adventist
The Monitor McAllen, Texas 09 Mar 1947, Sun • Page 3

But life wasn’t all fire and brimstone for Dr. Harrop. He had a fun side, too. In 1954, he was elected president of the Gulf Coast Magic Club.  The doctor who delivered baby Doris was a part-time magician. He made her birth parents disappear from the record books.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Dr. Leon Harrop Named Magic Club President
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 18 Jan 1954, Mon • Page 13
The Guild, headquartered in Pensacola Florida, is part of The International Brotherhood of Magicians,2 which was formed in 1922. Harrop must have been quite a skilled illusionist to be named Gulf Coast Club president as well as the president of the Texas Association of Magicians3.
Alliance of Magicians
Sorry for the completely irrelevant Arrested Development reference, but I couldn’t resist.
Dr. L.L. Harrop of Texas was nothing like Dr. L.L. Trump of Wisconsin. Along with attending magician conventions, Leon and his wife kept busy obeying the law and doing all sorts of charitable things.
Marjorie helped children with cognitive disabilities.
Mr and Mrs Harrop Help Children
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) 14 Sep 1956, Fri

Leon taught people how to stay healthy with weight loss…

Dr. Harrop Helps People Lose Weight
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) 09 Sep 1962, Sun

…and entertained kids with magic tricks.

Dr. L.L. Harrop pulls a rabbit out of his hat
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) 09 Sep 1962, Sun

These details about the Harrops may seem tangential to Doris’s story, but I’ve included them in case someone else out there has a birth certificate with Leon Lewis Harrop’s signature on it. There’s a chance the good doctor signed more than one fake birth record.

Although I did end up figuring out who Doris’s mother was, I don’t know how she or Hallard knew Dr. Harrop. I also only have theories about Dr. Harrop’s connection to the Cruikshanks. Maybe someone out there reading this will have some answers. Please contact me if you do.

(Click on page 3 to continue)

  1. “Terry, C.L. “Far Eastward Bound.” Far Eastern Divisional Outlook 25 (December 1936): 4.

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