Club Minutes: Mutual Improvement Association, 1912-1916

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Bound 201-page ledger containing original, handwritten minutes from December 6, 1912 to October 19, 1916 for the Mutual Improvement Association society located in Sandy Spring, Maryland. The Mutual Improvement Association has met continuously since May 1, 1857.

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so charming she wanted all her friends to read.

Perhaps her hearers were more familiar with the many sided Charles Lutridge Dodgson, but she was amazed to find he was not only a very successful preacher, but an eminent mathematician and an Oxford graduate who secured many honors by hard study and close application. The hand that penned, -

“How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail And pour the waters of the Nile On every golden scale?

How cheerfully he seems to grin, How neatly spread his claws And welcome little fishes in With gently smiling jaws”,

gave us this thought regarding laughter, -

“I do not believe God means us to divide life into halves, - to wear a grave face on Sunday and to think it out of place even so much as to mention Him on a week-day. Surely the children’s innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem; and if I have written anything to add to those stores of healthy amusement that are laid upon books for the children I love so well, it is surely something I may hope to look back upon without shame or sorrow, when my turn comes to walk through the valley of Shadows.”

Adjourned to the home of Sarah T. Miller on 10th, 9th. Afterwards changed to meet with our friend Virginia Holtzman of Washington on the same date, by special invitation.

Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

Report to Club Federation

“The Mutual Improvement Association” of Sandy Spring, has nothing exciting or unusual to report on this occasion. Our sessions are well attended despite the fact that many of the members have passed the 60th milestone of life, and some of their homes are from 4 to 7 miles apart. We shall adhere to our

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old plan of no regular program, nor chosen subject; each is called on in turn, for a contribution at each meeting.

These may be a brief article or poem, a new receipt, or method of performing a household task; a question; selections from a book enjoyed by the reader, or an acct. of a recent trip.

Letters from friends in Alaska, Europe, Asia, Calif., Panama, and Bermuda have frequently been shared with us.

We invariably have guests who are invited to take part in our informal proceedings. Nearly all such visitors can and will talk entertainingly of clubs for women in their own city or vicinity. The hostess for the day is expected to give a pithy sentiment directly after the minutes are read. This little custom we should be sorry to relinquish, and possibly our co-workers of the Federation may care to hear a few of these “forewords”, as we have sometimes termed them. “The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.”

“He who is true to the best he knows to-day, will be true to a better best to-morrow.”

“I wish all tired people did but know the blessedness of anchoring the business-ships of our daily lives as the Sat. draws to a close, leaving them to ride peacefully upon the flow or ebb-tide until Monday morning shall come again.”

“To be long-lived it is needful, as we grow older, to worry less and work more; to ride less and to walk more; drink less and breath more; eat less, chew more; preach less, practice more.”

“Make the best of everything, Think the best of everybody, Hope the best for yourself.”

“It seems to me the real way to enjoy life is to accept its ordinary duties and turn them into pleasures by taking interest in them.” “Kindness is contagious; if you go around with a fully developed case your neighbors will be sure to catch it.”

We signed petitions of the Parcel Post; for The Lincoln Highway, in preference to a memorial

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46 (Report to Federation, con.) 1913 Mt.Airy 11-9-1913

Greek Temple, and for a compulsory education law, with the same success that has crowned similar efforts in past years, so far as two of these measures were concerned. Like one of Dicken’s characters we “have formed and expressed a variety of opinions” upon other subjects, - the wanton destruction of shade trees along our roads, by telephone and telegraph companies, the uplift of our colored citizens and the establishment of a tuberculosis camp.

All of which seed, sown by the wayside may eventually bear fruit to be gathered by the next generation.

Cordially yours,

Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y. 9-16-1913. Ednor, Md.

Mt. Airy. 11-9-1913

11-9-1913 found our Society holding its 696th session with Sarah T. Miller who was accused of trying to prove to her allaround daughter Rebecca that she was capable herself of managing two large gatherings in one week. Guests were Ella G. Willson, Margaret B. Magruder, Hannah B. Stabler, Anabel Page, Helen R. Shoemaker, Helen B. Lea, Mary P. T. Jackson, Anna T. Nesbitt, Martha Vickers, Pattie T. Farquhar, Eliz. Tatum, Fanny L. Dickinson, Mrs. Baynes, Ethel McKaye, Mary Moore Thomas, Eliz. I. Scott and Elizabeth Moore.

Eliz C. Davis and M. E. Gilpin reported an interesting mtg. of the Co. Federation of Clubs, but they both thought the time had come to condense all reports of local clubs into one, as there are 28 such auxiliaries to be heard from now.

The Sec’y gave her long-enduring friends a chance to elect a new officer in her stead, but as some one frankly stated they still “preferred the ills they had“ rather than “fly to those they knew not of”, she consented to serve again.

Sarah T. Miller’s excellent sentiment was copied of that we are sure, but must have been lost in

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transit to “Belmont”, to our humiliation, - thus furnishing another proof of incapacity and decrepitude.

S.J. M’s second offering was from “The Hollins Magazine of 1911, an essay by her grand-daughter Julia D. Thom upon “A Quaker Meeting”, beginning “There is a spot I know which seems ever pervaded with the Sabbath hush; and this peaceful place has been the heart of a thriving community, carrying on its various occupations briskly all around. On Sunday, 1st day, as they call it, there is an added quiet over this hallowed spot, & the very glamour of the sunshine seems shut out. To one who is a stranger to the silent form of worship it may at first seem irksome, but if he continue long in the way of attending, he will come to love it as do those raised in the faith.”

Helen B. Lea read by request, a letter from her grandson, Paul Barstow, aged 10 yrs. He had decided he wanted to become a farmer and have 100 acres, 50 horses and cows, 20 sheep, 20 pigs and 200 hens, - the whole plan very well expressed for such an infant in agriculture. Helen told of the children of Methuen schools raising vegetables as one of their lessons and how much interest was manifested.

Harriet I. Lea’s selection from “Success” was upon “The Art of Letting Go” – “We held on to a great many things last year which we should have let go – shaken off entirely. In the first place we should expel from our minds completely the things which cannot be helped, - our past misfortunes, the trivial occurrences which have mortified or humiliated us. Thinking of them not only does no good, but it robs us of our peace and comfort. The art of forgetting is a great one and we should learn it at any cost. We want all we can get of sunshine, encouragement and inspiration. Life is too short to dwell on things which only hinder our growth.”

Estelle T. Moore kindly gave a most entertaining acct. of her recent trip to Panama and the South American Coast where she had an inspiring view of The Andes. The vessel touched at Kingston, Jamaica, a bustling city whose fruit

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markets were wonderful in variety. At Colon they encountered a fierce heat, over 100 [symbol for degrees] in the shade we understand. The ride in a motor upon a wall 30 ft. side was a novel experience. The natives are a degraded race living in mud huts and the chocolate-colored children dressed in nature’s livery, are rather shocking to strangers though their unconsciousness of the pact palliates the offense. Coconuts are in profusion and the trees are said to yield one nut a day.

Rebecca T. Stabler brought a little poem by John Russell Hayes, - “Waste Not Your Hour,” –

“O, weary women with few hours of ease Whose time is taken up with clubs and teas – Waster not your hour! Learn wisdom in the fields From birds and roses and the murmuring trees.

O, weary men, whose business let you find Small leisure for the master of the mind Waste not your hour! Pause now and then to dream Let up a little on your steady grind.

Go back, my friends, to your forefathers’ days; Revive their calm, serene, untroubled ways. Waste not your hour! The gods look pityingly down While human hearts grow cold and faith decays.

Anna T. Nesbitt asked if any present took an active interest in “The Florence Crittenden Home” which needed garments for mothers and babies. It was proposed The Asso. contribute each something useful in that line at their next meeting.

Mary E. Thomas wished to recommend a little book “Pollyanna” which she liked extremely. Few had read it apparently. A. N. T. Wafle through her sister May asked what tomatoes canned in glass were worth and was told 15 cts. per qt. would be right. Eliz. T. Stabler wants to sell her fine blush potatoes before leaving for Calif. to spend the winter – she also said she wished to invite Helen B. Shoemaker to be her substitute during her absence. The name of India Downey was placed upon our waiting list. Sallie R. Janney read the history

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