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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(Magnolia con) 9

upon the advent of a New Year, the time when a man usually takes stock of himself. "Be conservative in good resolutions, resolving to be better, rather than to be perfect. Decide to act more kindly, think more charitably, speak more pleasantly, work more diligently, give more cheerfully." She also favored us with that good poem entitled, "The House by Road"

"Let me live in my house by the side of the road Where the races of men go by They are good, they are bad, they are weak they are strong, Wise, foolish, - so am I. Then why should I sit in the scorners seat, Or hurl the cynics ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road, And be a friend to man.

Ella L. Hartshorne said she had a list of old Westtown scholars she had been requested to locate, if possible, and the residences of a member in both Md. & Va. were known to someone present, also that several had passed away.

Emma T. Stabler told us of the high positions women are now filling. In many western states, and some Eastern ones, the women Superintendents of Schools far out number the men, - in fact it is almost a monopoly in Montana, Wyoming, Colo, and Utah. In no other country of the world are there as many women teachers as in America.

Helen S. Stabler brought two definitions of wealth given to a child who asked his mother what was meant by "a rich man". At first she carelessley answered, "One who has a lot of money", - and a little later to correct the statement as follows, "Tis not needful to have broad acres of land, fine houses + jewels + gold. He who hath contentment, health, love, home and friends, Has riches unmeasured, untold."

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Florence S. Bond contributed an extract entitled, "When Smiles are worth Dollars", exemplified by the influence of a particularly cheerful conductor who fairly radiated good humor, no matter how much his railroad accommodations might lack, and the result was ultimate financial success.

Mariana S. Miller gave selections from "Adventures in Contentment" by the author of that pleasant little book "Adventures in Friendship." We culled a few thoughts from the former volume, "So much of our civilization is like the dodder, which starts skyward on the branches of any plant near, and soon its own root dies because it clings closely to the support and absorbs its very life eventually. How many of us live in the same way?"

Elizabeth T. Stabler said she had received a useful gift in the form of a potato roaster upon which the tubers are stuck. She also told us of cleaning black kid gloves most satisfactorily with ink and glycerine and brown ones with milk.

The Staten Island Dying establishment was recommended for gloves, but if they are at all tight it does not pay to dye them.

Louisa T. Brooke had a good little sermon with a verse from Mrs. Browning as the text.

"The sweetest lives are those to duty wed, Whose deeds both great and small, Are close-knit strands of an unbroken thread Where love ennobles all. The world may sound no trumpets, ring no bells The book of life the shining record tells."

Sarah F. Willson's brief paragraph assured us that although "gifts from the heart may be of silver and gold, yet the heart gives what silver and gold cannot buy.

To be full of goodness, cheerfulness, sympathy, and hope is to possess a nature that carries fair weather wherever it goes.

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(Magnolia con) Norwood 11 3-9-1913

After some discussion it was resolved to have our meetings on the first 5th day in each month instead of the last.

A member expressed a strong desire to be in Washington on both the 3rd + 4th of March, and it seems probably we shall be represented on both days.

Chas. E. Bond kindly exhibited an iron heated by gasoline which seemed to be well worth the sum of $5 00, as he assured us 4 cts was the cost of keeping it hot all day.

Adjourned to Norwood on 3-6-1913

(Afterwards 7th) Mary Bentley Thomas, Secy

Norwood 3-7-1913

On 3-7-1913 we assembled at Norwood once more, the long interval between being due to the ill health of our host, whom we were glad to find very much like her old hospitable self. Guests were, - Ellen Stabler, Corrie M. Brooke, Cornelia, Hallie, Florence + Mildred Bentley, Rebecca T. Stabler, Mary Bird, and Stella T. Moore.

The foreword was brief and pithy "Kindness is catching - if you go around with a fully developed case your neighbours will be sure to take it."

On being asked to tell us something of her recent visit to N.Y. our hostess amused us with a graphic description of a new play, "The Poor Little Rich Girl", whose wealth was nothing but chains to her as it prevented her from having any childhood or freedom of action.

Governesses, maids and guards were finally dispensed with and their victim regained her health and found happiness in the country where she could dance in the leaves to her heart's content.

Sarah J. Miller could only remain with us a few hours as she was due

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in Balto. that night, but being near the head of the class she gave her selection saying she thought we were all familiar with it possibly,-

"I do not ask for any crown But that which all may win, Nor power to conquer any world. Except the world within Be Thou my guide until I find, Led by a tender hand, Thy happy kingdom in myself And dare to take command."

At this stage of the proceedings a number of questions were asked those who had attended the Suffrage Parade or the Inauguration or both.

All seemed to agree that the former was a wonderful and imposing spectacle despite the bad order and lack of control of the populace who were out side the ropes on Pa. Ave by 1000's. The Police were much more active and efficient on the 4th and there was nothing but praise for the grand display of fireworks at night. Many remained to witness them and there must have been nearly 200 people from S.S. in Washington during the 2 days. The Secy said the first woman in the Suffrage Parade was from the neighborhood, and she carried "not a flag, but the 'Flag", as declared by herself, Edith B. Farquhar.

Fanny B. Snowden gave a paragraph from Henry Van Dyke, who was thus honored four times during the afternoon, threatening to rival our old source of supply, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. No 1 was as follows,

"Simplicity is less dependent upon external things than we imagine; it can live in broadcloth or homespun, it can eat white bread or black, it is not outward but inward. A gentle straightforwardness of action, a kind sincerity of speech, these are marks of the simple life which is within.

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I have seen it in a hut and in a palace. Wherever it is found it is the badge of a scholar well beloved by the Master, and the best prize in the school of life."

Ellen Stabler told us about the woman who had spanked Carnegie, in his early youth, for sliding down her banisters. Years after the millionaire settled a pension upon her.

A second contribution from our esteemed visitor was a New Year’s verse, -

"Full sweet the thought which underlies My New Year word today, The years, God’s years, do always give More than they take away. And as I send my great glad wish, To compass all your year I know full well, God’s hand of love Will portion out your cheer.”

Emilie T. Massey gave a chapter from the Japanese Schoolboy’s experience in a N. Y. Apt. As cook, a most laughable take-off on the follies of pretension, especially where a moderate income necessitates a small home.

Estelle T. Moore read a fine poem, “Why How and Where? A Legend of Service,” by Henry Van Dyke. One verse is appended.

“Not thine nor mine to question or reply When he commands us, asking how? or why? He knows the cause, his ways are wise and just Who serves the King must serve with perfect trust.”

Mary E. Gilpin brought a very interesting recapitulation of inaugurations, from Washington to Wilson. The weather was declared to have been, “Cold 9 times”, “Rainy 5 times”, “Fair 7 times”, “Snowy 6 times”, “Cloudy twice” “Blizzard twice.” In 31 instances only 7 suitable days are recorded for Mar. 4th. Jackson holds the record for brevity of Inaugural, 100 words for each of his two addresses, while Wm. H. Harrison heads the other extreme with 8500 words. Mrs. Polk objected to an Inaugural Ball on religious grounds, but attended as a duty.

Last edit 11 months ago by SusanFC
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