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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and enjoyed, - it is always interesting to look back over the bright things read and said by our friends. Then the minutes of the first meeting at Ingleside were read and approved, and we are glad to welcome that hospitable home to the Association.

The hostess gave a beautiful sentiment by Chas G. Ames, “The summits are gained not by leaping the bold mountain walls, nor by dashing against the forbidden crags; but by climbing the long slope, step by step.”

Fannie Snowden had a very scientific piece upon the relative values of brown and white bread. Brown bread is advised for the use of our soldiers as being far more wholesome.

Rebecca Stabler gave us a paper from George School Ides – advising us first “to live by the hour if we cannot live by the day.”

You cannot have too many friendships of the right kind. Keep the hours profitable and you can say with the Poet, “And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs And as silently steal away.”

Ellen Stabler gave us several funny little stories. In one on the Automobile, a boy said, “I can manage the horse if you will lead Mother past”. Margaret Magruder had a good poem on “My Duty”, -

“Guard well thy tongue, thou cans’t not know What evils from thy tongue may flow What grief, what guilt may be incurred By using one incautious word.”

She also gave us a good anecdote about a little girl who did not mind the spanking one bit, not the hurt, but she “just hated to see her Mother make herself so ridiculous.”

Martha Holland read to us of “chatting”. It is not conversation, not talking, it is just words. Making one wonder what will come next, never mind details, pass lightly and naturally from one subject to another, and be entertaining.

Rebecca Miller asks us to, -

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“Harken, when through the land, Speed whispers of war on every hand, Ye will hear the women croon Their wailing world-wide rune T’were well, O Masters to listen and understand”.

Ellen Farquhar bemoans the dread house-cleaning time that is upon us when all things must be pulled into the light of day, and we put our old cracked china and our old laces back into the same places year after year, and when we die along comes the Junk man and off go our treasures.

Anna G. Lea’s piece was on “Afternoon”, how we live over and over and over again the times of our childhood, if they have been full of bright happy days. We will only remember the sunshine. Then comes a change, and the building of our new homes. Then the “Afternoon” and our “Faith may be tested in the Afternoon of Life, but in the well-regulated life, the Star of Hope is ever in the ascendency.”

Virginia Steer tells us a marvelous story of one man’s work and perseverance, - John Bartram who made the first Botanical Gardens in America. When younger he explored some of the Great Lakes, and at a very old age he traveled through the Carolinas and Florida and explored the St. John’s River. His gardens were visited by Washington and others. He planted one pear tree that bore fruit 147 yrs. His garden is to-day a part of Phila’s Park. He was a slave to no sect, but looked through nature up to nature’s God.

Hallie Lea told us of “The need of Silence”, - “Great things come out of silence. We must keep a zone of silence about ourselves, and have an hour or two alone every day.” But she says to be a hustler now-a-days a man must eat breakfast in Harrisburg, and supper in Phila.

Estelle Moore read of “The only child”, - she called it “Being an Only”. they are always lonely or burdened by the doings and wishes of all the members on both sides of the family. “The Only” must look like them all, and go

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with his elders when he wishes to go fishing. He would be afraid to marry for fear of being an “Only Husband”. It evidently is not a happy lot.

Florence Wetherald is interested in the Temperance Work in the Colleges, “As go the Colleges to-day, so goes the World to-morrow.” The boys in the colleges are waking up to the great truths about Temperance.

The wizard of wireless, Marconi, believes we are near the day when our homes shall be both heated and lighted by wireless. The wireless telephone seems already assured.

Lucy Moore wants rhubarb roots, hers died this severe winter. She read us a piece on Wm. the Conqueror, her ancestor.

Mary Gilpin gave us a pretty poem called “Sealed Orders”, “Under sealed orders we sail beyond the crystal gate, under sealed orders sailing, our Pilot knows the way.”

Lou Brooke says Iceland is to have a railroad 60 miles long, - it has none now, neither has S. S. She hurries from the far North to the sunny South for more news, and hears that they are using one of the locks in the Panama Canal for a dry dock, and as distance is of no account to the traveler, she takes us to the Philippines and we learn that they are exporting quantities of Palm as well as Hemp.

Sarah Miller’s poem was “To the Wise a Bargain”. The child asked for the things of Life, but the Wise said, “All things are sold, not given”, even clear water and clean air command a price.

Sarah Miller had always wanted to go to Fla. and was disappointed in it. There are great possibilities in the country she things, but most of it is a God-forsaken place. The orange trees were in beautiful bloom and loaded with fruit, that hangs on the tree for one year. She visited a packing house and saw them wash and sort the fruit by machinery then wrap it in paper. Everybody that has a garden has some oranges. She gave us a very interesting acct. of her trip.

Sarah Willson told of “The Friends’ Benevolent

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Association,” (Among Friends) of Mount Holly, N. J. that was 100 yrs. old this winter. It is doing good charity work.

Mrs. Scott’s name was proposed and put on the waiting list. The Asso. then adjourned to meet at Virginia Steer’s the first Thursday in May.

Sarah F. Willson, Sec’y pro tem

Virginia Steer’s. 5-7-1914

The 700th mtg of the Asso. was held at the home of Louis and Va. Steer, and all enjoyed the beauty of hills, woods, and running water from their fine situation.

Guests were Ida M. Iddings, Anna G. Hickoh, Helen Covington, Rebecca T. Miller, Miss Goldthwaite of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Florence M. Bond, Emma E. Bond and Polly Janney.

After reconsidering a resolution lost at a former meeting, it was decided by a large vote in the affirmative to take in four new members two of whom only count as one because they cannot both attend. The Sec’y was authorized to inform India S. Downey, Annie M. and Elma P. Chandlee and Corrie M. Brooke of our good fortune in placing their names upon the roll of what our late friend Harry Davis termed “The Immortals”. It was proposed that henceforth we shall adjourn to the place next on the list and ask the hostess to arrange for an exchange if she cannot take her turn, and so inform the members. This met with the approval of all, apparently, as did a request to notify a hostess on the morning of the day when a member could not be present.

After some discussion of a proposition to be again affiliated with the State Federation of Clubs for Women, the many advantages were presented and as we would fain aid other publicspirited women in good works, Alice Tyson was appointed to collect the necessary 25 cts. per capita for the purpose.

The sentiment of Va. Steer was as follows, -

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From. An Essay on “The Unchanging Girl”, - By Edwd. S. Martin.

There are two branches of knowledge, that which works to make the Earth a fit abode for man, and that which works to make man fit to live in his abode. And as the special need of the times is for development of that branch of knowledge which makes man fit to life on Earth, the great activity of women is the more readily understandable, for it is in that province that their more important abilities are indispensable. New duties come to them of course, new thoughts assail, and new decisions await them, but no new fashion can last that will swerve them from womanhood, or leave the world unmothered.”

Fanny B. Snowden gave an amusing essay entitled, “Those Spiteful Mothers”, written by the Mother of one of the infants present at a recent Baby Party. We should like to copy the whole but shall have to be satisfied with a few extracts.

Please do not think the descriptions here set forth apply to these mothers, they are intended to show how superior we are and how different, Says the mother of the large baby to the mother of the small. “What are you feeding your baby? Has he a good appetite? Have you weighed him lately? Are you sure his food agrees with him? If I were you, I should use what I am using, - Now Dr. Holt recommends—" Mother of the small baby “How do you manage to carry that baby? I don’t believe my back would stand it. I expect he will be slow about walking. His legs look a bit bowed; so often a baby’s legs are. Can he get into any of the clothes you made him for the summer?” 1st Mother to her husband – “I wish you could have seen the babies together, our baby made Mrs. B’s fade away. Poor little puny thing! If her were mine I should be anxious.”

Mrs. B. to her husband, “Well, if that beef of a baby didn’t look coarse beside ours, he is nearly twice as large. What is the advantage in having such an overgrown baby?” Mrs. A thinks her baby has curls but Mrs. B. discouraged her by saying, “I expect your” baby will have curls too when warm weather comes.” What a blessing, each mother sees in her baby

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