Club Minutes: Mutual Improvement Association, 1896-1900

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Oak Grove. On the charming afternoon of 8/26 1897 the Association assembled at the home of Margaret S. Hallowell, twelve members were present with ten guests. Messages of love were received by Anna F. Gilpin and Elizabeth C. Davis who were prevented by indisposition from being with us, the secretary too being absent. Sarah E. Stabler was asked to serve in her stead.

The sentiment given by M.S.H. was "It is only the small soul that ever cherishes bitterness, for the climate of a large and loving heart is too warm for such a frigid plant. The article read by Lydia G. Thomas pictured home life as free from Bickerings where the business man can drop anchor at eventide laying aside all care and worry in the refuge of a happy home. Her other selection gave the experience of a liquor dealer who had gone out of the trade from honest conviction of its nefarious character.

Albina Stabler was excused. Mary G. Colt read "Three women" a " take off" on the Bicycle. Ellen Farquhar's contribution told of the Klondike that wonderful country only known to us since June 15th 1897. Rebecca M. Stabler read for Sarah H. Stone an address delivered by Susan B. Anthony on the occasion of the recent Anthony reunion at her birthplace in South Adams Mass. where she first saw the light 2/20/1820.

Sarah T. Miller's theme was the improvement in farm life, science having entered every domain and creation, witness an instance

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in Kansas where barbed wire fences have been made to do duty as telephone wires! Elizabeth G. Thomas gave some beautiful extracts -- "Religion is to love practice, to long for right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits, to love the truth, to be sincere, to love liberty, to love wife and children and make a happy home, to love the beautiful in art and nature, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to fill life with the warmth of loving words and generous deeds, to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to see the calm beyond the storm" *

Mary E. Moore read lines "Amen" by F. G. Browning and Mary Reese's contribution "Renunciation" was given by Juliet Bartlett.

Sally A. Bond's article contrasted a woman's duty in old times with that of today.

Then adjourned to Mt. Airy on 9/30 1897 at 2.30 P.M.

Sarah E. Stabler sec per tem

*By Robert Ingerssoll

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Mt. Airy. Despite hovering clouds and an east wind most of the Association gathered in the cheery parlor at Mt. Airy, on the afternoon of 9/20 1897, when a warm welcome, the dear children, an open fire and bright flowers made us forget the gray landscape and hardly notice the dashing of the rain against the windows as the evening shadows lengthened. Sickness and absence from home had prevented some members and several guests from attending but Harriet Jackson, Anna J. Speakman, Beulah S. Thomas, Cornelia A. Stabler, Mary P. T. Jackson, Pattie T. Farquhar, Mary E. and Ellen H. Thomas, Sarah T. Moore and her Virginia M. P. Stabler were acceptably with us.

The sentiment of our hostess may be described as much in little - "In the heart of man a cry, In the heart of God - reply"; she also contributed a beautiful poem "The Weaver". Mary G. Colt, who had been engrossed of late in nursing, was excused but she read an amusing clipping loaned by Mary Jackson, the story of a " new woman" who cycled, golfed and kodaked, was a "Dame" and a "Daughter" and belonged to so many societies and had so many social calls that the shock of finding an unappropriated hour on her tablet had proved fatal. Sarah H. Stone gave us some interesting facts on the subject of wasps, one kind building their nests by stripping off the outside casing of wood so neatly and methodically as a carpenter prepares weather boarding and on

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the same general principle. Lydia G. Thomas article was a plea for cheerful Christianity closing with the incident of a cripple having been seen to push a banana skin, with great difficulty, into the gutter, because he could not let the passers by be in danger of an injury which had disabled him for life.

Beulah S. Thomas read "No star is ever lost we once have seen, We always may be what we one have been. The hopes that lost in some for distance seem. May be the truer life and this the dream"

Sarah E Stabler's offerings were a fine poem, "Hope" and an excellent scrap "Remember that the little things in life, whether good or bad, count far more with those we love than we ever know. We should be watchful of our words and our actions. The little things make life easy or hard". A Magazine " Success with Flowers" was handed round the circle and all who knew it praised the paper. Pattie T. Farquhar read extracts from one of Mary A. Sivermore's spirited addresses which declared it was better to live five years the latter part of this century than all fifty of the first half. One hundred and sixty colleges in this country are now open to women. Pattie T. Farquhar also brought up the subject of visiting the jail and almhouse at Rockville and several expressed a desire to accompany her on this duty.

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Elizabeth G. Thomas gave us considerable information with regard to the national flowers and shrubs selected by different countries as their emblems which was new to most of us apparently.

Anna F. Gilpin sent her love to the Association by telephone and said she had hoped to be with us but was prevented by the storm.

Sarah T. Miller told us of the Illinois Yearly Meeting which she had recently attended and a young peoples' meeting where a little child had recited an amusing poem by James Whitcomb Riley without shocking anybody.

Mrs. Jackson gave admirable definitions of the word " Home" and we regret that only two were caught on the fly "Where we grumble most and are treated best". "A novel of strife shut out, a world of love shut in". Mary Jackson's excellent communications were brief and fitting - "Be a light in the window if you cannot be a star in the sky", and Father Graham's advice - An insult is like mud, it will brush off much better when it is dry". Ellen H. Thomas recited by request, Thomas K. Beecher's darkey serman "The Ship of Faith" and then a cute piece "The Boot Black" was highly appreciated. The secretary read an article describing a trip to the Mammoth Cave by her husband and self a few weeks since when they were on their way home from the Nahville Exposition. Adjourned to Wrenwood.

Mary Bentley Thomas sec.

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