Club Minutes: Mutual Improvement Association, 1912-1916

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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story of the visit of two old Friends to Pres. Lincoln, during the sorrowful 60’s, with the object of inducing him to free the slaves and there seems little doubt their appeal turned the scale at a critical period and the Emancipation Proclamation followed.

Eliz. I. Scott of Balto. Co. told of burying Chestnuts to keep them soft, some others placed them in jars, sprinkled them with salt, (through them) and kept the jar in the cellar. Our pleasant guest from another active Home Int. Club also said her brotherin-law, a forester in Oregon, had written of the gathering of pussy willow branches which were shipped to N. Y., and forced to bloom very early for that market.

Albina O. Stabler gave a list of things people wrote to the “American Magazine” they were thankful for, - Good husbands and wives, a small home free of debt, one serviceable thumb still left after an accident, for friends, for an unselfish husband.

Pattie T. Farquhar had a good little verse, - “Our Heavens are nearer than we think For all around us they lie In the beautiful deeds of the lives we live, And not in a distant sky.” and secondly a few lines of prose declaring that

“A Cheerful temper will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful and wit good natured, - it will lighten sickness, poverty and affliction.”

Margaret B. Magruder recited verses written by the gifted Sarah B. Stabler who had heard a lively young girl wish she were “a rich widow”, - “Forgive her for she knows not yet The lone, deserted hearth, She had not seen life’s sun to set In one most dear of earth.

She would be rich, but riches brought By such a severed tie, Would be accounted less than naught, Because they could not buy Again on earth the moments bright Which had forever taken flight.”

The pitiable condition of the Musgrove family,

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50 (Mt. Airy, con.) 8 children in number seemed to demand such immediate action, M. E. Gilpin called a mtg of the old, tried and true. "Benevolent Aid" at her home in the following 2nd day.

Ellen Farquhar gave the views of a Christian Japanese upon the limitations in effort to force Orientals to accept spiritual reform by destroying old customs and religions. The writer, Mr. Uchimura, concludes that "American Missionary works abroad are a failure", and say "Americans who lack piety do not know how to approach the minds of heathens. Orientals believe in future life, while Americans care only for this world. They do not understand that all religions are sacred, although they profess liberty loudly they are great tyrants in religion."

Fanny B. Snowden sprung some remarkable Kansas statistics upon us. The state had 325 millions of agricultural products last year. 38 County Poor Houses are empty, and the jails of 53 counties had not a single inmate! The manufacture and sale of spirituous liquors are absolutely prohibited and 98 percent of her school children have never seen a saloon.

Kansas people are the richest per capita in the world.

M E. Gilpin's Clipping assured us that were there no impatient people to be patient with the world would be dull and we should all become enervated spiritually.

Mr. Baynes read of a hold-up in the far west on a lonely mountain road, the highwayman ordered the driever of a stage to "Kick out the mailbags and the Wells Fargo Exp box" which was promptly done, and the one passenger, an Eastern "School ma'am" innocently remarked she had never seen a Post Office in such wild surroundings before.

Va. Steer's article was a plea for universal efforts toward a higher moral tone. Earnest men and women are laboring to accomplish this end and to make lasting peace, and there is not one of us who may not have a share in the work.

Hannah B. Stabler brought a gentle reminder from that well-beloved Boston Minister Phillips Brooks of tender memort, -"Whar a vast pro-

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(Mt. Airy, con.). 51 Pen-y-Bryn 2-5-1914

portion of our lives is spent in anxious and useless forebodings concerning the future – either our own or those of our dear ones. Present joys, present blessing slip by and we miss half their flavor, and all for want of faith in Him who provides for the tiniest insect in the sunbeam”. Phillips Brooks.

The Sec’y read most of the last chapter of Chas. Dudley Warner’s “My Summer in a Garden” which little book in merry guise, often has both wit and wisdom charmingly mingled on every page. Adjourned to the home of Estelle T. Moore, 12-5-1913. Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

Pen-y-Bryn. 2-5-1914

Owing to the long illness, and death of John C. Bentley, near and dear to all S.S., apparently every society on our neighborhood has omitted one or more mtgs., not only as a token of respect but because the loss was so overwhelming time was needed to heal the wound.

Out last session was held 11-9-1913 with Sarah T. Miller, and on 2/5/14 we convened at the home of Estelle T. Moore and daughters. Guests were Mrs. Wilson of Cecil Co., Mary Scott, Margaret C. Bancroft, Helen R. Shoemaker, Annie M. Chandlee, Rebecca T. Miller, Eliz. and Margaret Bond, Miss Covington, and Emma Bond. Before commencing our usual business we accepted, with regret, the resignation of Helen R. Stabler and elected Edith Hallowell in her stead.

Owing to the fact that some of our members are absent from S. S. the whole of every winter, and that in the past 17 years there have only been about 2 mtgs. well all attended, the subject of increasing our roll to 25 names was discussed a little, and a resolution to that effect moved by Fanny B. Snowden, and seconded by M. G. T. Moore, referred to the next session.

Estelle T. Moore presented a few proposed changes in the constitution of our Co. Fed., to reduce the representation somewhat, and also to condense reporting, or rather make one general report, instead of so many

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which require hrs. to read. Our hostess consented to collect the Fed. dues, and she expressed her interest in the fine women who make up this body and hoped the Asso. would resolve to attend the mtgs. in the future. She then gave her sentiment as follows:

“It a good and safe rule to sojourn in every place as if you meant to spend your life there, never omitting an opportunity to do a kindness, to make a friend, or utter a cheering word.”

Alice Tyson had a clipping from Wilmington giving some wonderful statistics of the extent of the Salvation Army’s work. In New Zealand the Maoris were spoken of as “a vanishing race”, but the “Army”. a few years since, began teaching them, not only to read and write, but to raise vegetables and cure fish and they are no longer an ignorant and starving people.

The Indians and the Zulus are likewise feeling the benefits of their ministrations to body and soul. Their greatest triumph however, is amid the slums of almost every large city in the world, - they are established in 58 different countries by means of 1000 social institutions.

Marg. G. T. Moore read of the wonderful change made in a small boy by being taken to an oculist and fitted with glasses. From being the worst and most stupid boy in the school, in one year he was among the best and most studious. He was more than ¾ blind and his parents had never discovered the real source of his dullness and bad habits.

Fanny B. Snowden amused us with the woes of a coffee lover who thought a coffee bean in his mouth, as he swam the Missouri river, would make as good a beverage as he had found at Natchez or Baton Rouge. Anna G. Lea gave the prayer of Agassiz, -

“By past efforts unavailing, Doubts and errors, loss and failing; Of our weakness made aware; On the threshold of a task Let us light and guidance ask Let us pause in silent prayer.”

Her 2nd selection was from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, -

Do you wish the world were happy Then remember, day by day,

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Just to scatter seeds of kindness As you pass along the way, For the pleasures of the many May be oft-times traced to one, As the hand that plants an acorn Shelters armies from the sun.”

Rebecca T. Miller had a surprisingly long and varied list of valuable inventions made by women, from the weaving of silk in China, the making of bronze in Japan, Cashmere shawls in India, and lace in Venice, hundreds of years ago, - to the achievement of Harriet Hosmer in Italy during our own times. She actually taught workmen in Rome how to turn limestone into marble which the Italian government had vainly tried to do. “Satchel-bottomed” paper bags, the Burden process of making shoes for horses, - horses’ feed bags, and the shade for their heads in hot weather, were all invented by women, and we must omit many others and close with the words “Madame Curie”, & “Radium”.

Sarah T. Miller gave a thoughtful poem by her grandson Wm Taylor Thom, whose experience of the Arizona desert last summer blossomed into verses of no mean order, which we will copy in full. “The Parable of a Desert Day, A Triad” “The Voice of Dawn”

“Rise up for peaks begin to glow Tall pines in their glory rise, While through the canons far below The cool, sweet dawn-wind sighs.

Rise up to know thine own true self, For the light comes from above, And here is found the perfect peace That comes from the Perfect Love.

See how the light spreads o’er the land Drink cup of the purling stream And know the joy of reality With the beauty of a dream.”


“The Desert’s Rage” “Traveller amid the desert wastes! Sore tried may be thy manly worth

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