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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Longmeade 4-7-1916 169

Sarah F. Willson and family of Longmeade welcomed The Asso. on 4-7-1916, it being the 722nd meeting. Apparently, interest in our old society does not abate, though to use an English saying, “Much water has passed under the London Bridge”, since 5th mo. 1857. Guests were Mrs. Benj. D. Canby, daughter Anna, and daughter-in-law, Marian, - Eliz. Willson, daughter Lena and grand-daughter Barbara Peters, Corrie M. Brooke, Miss Monroe of Fairfax, Va., Harriet I. Lea, Mary A. Gilpin, and Eliza Canby.

The sentiment was from Browning, - “It is not what man does which exalts him, but what a man would do.” Our hostess told us of a substitute for yeast powder she had used very satisfactorily in biscuit dough and corn-bread. Two tsps. of vinegar beaten with I tsp. soda in sweet cream. Corrie M. Brooke gave a timely article “Teaching Peace in the Schools” from Friends Intel. – “If we are to have a body of people who will not be swept off their feet by the waving of the flag we must change the character of the teaching in our schools, and try to inculcate respect instead of scorn for other nations. Let us point out the achievements of each in literature, art, music, science, invention, industry and commerce.

Emphasize the fact that Japan has accomplished in 50 yrs. what has taken the rest of the world centuries. Let us explain why the unfortunate Mexicans need our help and sympathy. We must stop reading right and justice into every war the United States has fought, and tell our children the story of our heroes in achievement and discovery. Of Edison, Whitney, Howe, Morse and Bell, Fulton, Lewis and Clark, Greeley and Peary, Eads and Goethals.

The chaining of a torrent to turn the wheels of a factory, the building of levees to hold back destructive streams, the construction of immense dams, and systems of irrigation that are making desert lands over, into beautiful farms, the clearing up of scources of malaria and yellow fever, the harnessing of electricity, all these are far more thrilling than sickening tales of battlefields. We can make our children understand that to live

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heroically for our country is better than to die for her, and the man of greatest worth is he who lightens the labor of others and increases their happiness.”

Harriet I. Lea told us a pot of blooming Mignonette in a room will keep flies away.

India Downey gave an incident to be connected with the second opening of the Panama Canal. One of the crew of the Monitor, which did such service early in the war of the 60’s, was told by Lincoln that he would grant any favor in his power to the brave men who had so valiantly saved the day near Ft. Monroe. The last survivor of the crew has recently asked to be allowed to of through the Canal in the first vessel to venture since it was closed months ago, and the request was granted.

Elma P. Chandlee read a short history of what the Y. W. C. A. has accomplished in the 50 years of its existence. Very early in its career, a boarding home for self-supporting young women was proposed and the proposition was vigorously fought by ministers of Boston who had helped to found a similar one for young men!

Mary E. Gilpin, who had recently returned from Charleston, S. C., brought some pictures showing the beautiful flowers blooming there in Feb.

Sarah T. Miller read for Ellen Farquhar a short extract upon, “A Peaceful Navy”, as well as a peaceful Army, - it seemed unlikely the Nation, with either arm of defense, or attack would keep peace very long.

S. T. M. also gave “The Song-World Trance”, a new mode of helping patients not only to stand waiting for an operation but to bear the pain better because the mind is diverted by music.

Albina O. Stabler brought a clipping upon laughter which seems to be less frequent now than formerly when the old stock expressions of the mother-in-law, the misfit stove-pipe, and the slippery banana peel are mentioned.

Ellen Farquhar had one of Walt Mason’s clever rhymes.

Sarah T. Adams gave “Experiments with the Hydrangeas”, - The writer was convinced that wood ashes and water in which old nails and lump

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Longmeade, con. 171

alum were soaked, would produce different colors in this obliging plant. She (S. T. A.) was asked to report her success later.

Eliz T. Stabler assured us the most healthful and sacred work that can be done is to practice and teach the art of contentment, - not how to better themselves, but how to satisfy themselves.

Rebecca T. Miller had forgotten a whole pile of clippings intended for the occasion, so she was loaned an interesting sketch of artist “Blakelock” of New York, who after more than 15 yrs. of incarceration in an insane asylum seems to have regained his reason and his wonder talent for painting. Pictures that he sold for 15 or $20 are now worth as many thousands. His friends and admirers seem determined to rally to his aid financially and he is to have a comfortable home and an assured support at last.

Estelle T. Moore gave an excellent essay upon, “Why We Should Read Books.” The concluding paragraph is quoted, - “Books are not better comrades than people, but they are often safer and kinder, always less expensive, and less exacting. No one can know people without knowing the books into which they have been laid for generations, and out of which they all come, elegant or dingy replicas of other men and women who live and move in these pages.”

E. T. M. also gave us a little scolding on our delinquencies so far as the Co. Federation is concerned. Eliz. C. Davis was chosen to represent us and we trust to redeem our character through her good offices.

Margaret G. T. Moore proposed that the name of Sarah T. Adams be placed upon our waiting list, which resolution was carried unanimously.

Fanny B. Snowden read of the great oil-well at Tampico Texas, said to be unexcelled in any part of the world. It spouts oil to the hght. of 600 ft. and the output is 260 bbls a day more than is produced by the whole state of Calif.

F. B. S also told us what a bad importation our country had made in bringing from

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Europe 25 yrs. ago the starling, which not only kills and eats wrens, bluebirds, robins and sparrows, but bids fair to drive all these valuable feathered friends away from our premises in a few years.

Eliza T. Moore gave first “A Cheerful Rhyme for A Dismal Time”, -

“If the day looks kinder gloomy And your chances kinder slim In the situation’s puzzlin’ And the prospect awful grim; And perplexities keep pressin’ Till all hope is nearly gone Just bristle up and grit your teeth And keep a keepin’ on.”

E. N. M. then read of the stone trees of Arizona which ethnologists believe may have been burned at prehistoric cannibal feasts. How these trees ever reached their present position is a matter of speculation, but they are believed to have been over-thrown by a flood. One end of a stone tree spans a chasm 60 ft. wide. There are 3 petrified forests a few miles apart.

Mrs. B. D. Canby brought a column from the Star which contained the prize essay on Temperance. Many Wash. pupils had competed but Miss Emma Kahl aged 16, of Cooke School won the $20. The title was, “Harm of a moderate use of Alcohol.” We quote, “To be efficient is the cry everywhere, to be able to do one’s task with the least amount of effort, to do more and better work, - that is the goal for which we strive.

To be efficient we must be healthy; avoiding bad habits, whether they quickly poison us or only slowly injure our vital organs. To the latter class the moderate use of alcohol belongs. + + + With clearer brain and healthier body man will be ready to attain greater heights of efficiency and progress. Strong manhood, splendid woman-hood, is the ideal that should at all times be before us.”

The Sec’y exhibited a pkge. of evaporated corn made by a Mr. Cope of Pa. at 10 cts per pkge. She had found it very good in the form of stew or fritters. It should be soaked in a little

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Longmeade, con.) 173 Mt. Olney 5-6-1916

water, 1 ½ hours before cooking. She also showed a new kind of dressing for wounds, said to be most thankfully received by the French Hospitals, - no 8 Dexter’s three-threaded cotton is used to make what looks like a very loosely knit wash cloth. 34 stitches are put on ivory needles and bound off when square. We learn absorbent cotton cannot be had in Paris now and these soft squares are washed antiseptically and used again.

Adjourned to Belmont”, afterwards changed to meet with Martha T. Farquhar on 5-6-1916, to lunch. Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

Mt. Olney 5-6-1916

On 5-6-1916 The Asso. wended its way up and ever up, to the home of Martha T. Farquhar.

The extensive prospect from the piazza is not equaled in S. S. we believe, especially at this beautiful season when the foliage north and East is not yet dense enough to shut off miles of fertile country, as is the case later.

Ellen Stabler, Arabella W. Hannum, and Mary M. Thomas were the only guests except the children and grandchildren of the family.

The sentiment given, as usual, by the hostess, was, - “A good deed is never lost. He who can knock a man down, he is stronger who can lift a man up, he who sows courtesy reaps friendship.”

Rebecca T. Miller fully redeemed her character for “preparedness”, lost last month by forgetting her piece. She gave an extract from “The White Ribbon Tidings” of Canada, describing the sad conditions under which artificial flowers are made in the slums of great cities and especially N. Y.’s foreign quarter. Children by the hundred are employed, - often those under 6 yrs work long hrs. and are paid a few cts. each for “bunching”, or tying up, different parts of the flowers their mothers and older sisters construct by the gross. The labor of 4 people sometimes nets only 80 cts. if they work until nearly

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