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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midnight, and amid most unsanitary surroundings. The Consumers League, headed by that beautiful Jewish woman, Mrs. Maud Nathan, is investigating this crime against childhood, and drastic measures for reform may be expected soon.

Virginia Steer brought a little poem entitled “A Smile” “It was only a sunny smile And little it cost in the giving, But it banished the night, like morning light, And made the day worth living.” + + +

We were glad to hear that our invalid member Martha Holland, had recovered sufficiently to enjoy a ride. Ellen Stabler told us she had recently called to see Mary G. Colt in Wash., who is still confined to the house from fracturing her hip a year ago, but she is bearing her misfortune bravely and hopes to be able to walk without a crutch [ere?] long.

Estelle T. Moore gave a thoughtful essay upon different kinds of economy, the waste of some forms of saving, being emphasized, - “Was it not a great day for the race, still uncertain on its hind-legs and reminiscent of the tree-tops, when some provident ancestress laid by a cave full of summer food to help feed her family through the winter? And from then, till now women have added to the family security by saving, but we have come to a time for a habit of petty thrift to be transplanted to the community garden. Not that our housekeeping is to be deliberately wasteful. Let us get what we need, at the least price we can pay for it, but remember there are more coinages than money. We must decide whether money is more precious than muscle, legal tender than brain, dollars & cents than time.”

Eliz. C. Davis gave notice of the mtg. of The Co. Fed. of Clubs on 5/18/16 at Chevy Chase and Estelle T. Moore was chosen as Delegate to same.

E. C. D. read from Hamilton Wright Mabie, an interesting chapter upon American and Americans; he found as great diversity among our people

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as we find between the London Cockney and an Englishman of Univ. training. The ignorant American is equally unlike Lowell who had “the Knowledge of the Old World and the wit of the New.”

Arabella Hannum told us of the perfect climate of St. Petersburg, Fla., where she had spent the winter most pleasantly. From Jan 1st to April there was not one day when the sun did not shine.

The editor of a leading paper, “The Independent” has promised to give away the whole of one day’s edition when there is absolutely no sunshine. He has only redeemed his promise twice in several years. Oranges and grapefruit are in perfection at this favored spot.

Emilie T. Massey showed a knitted square for use in hospitals and gave direction how to knit it, - Cast on 41 stitches, knit 14 rows, drop every other stitch, then put on every other stitch. bind off and pull the dropped stitches down to the lower edge.

Mary E. Gilpin gave an acct. of the shortest railway in the world upon an island in the Athabasca River. The rapids descend 60 ft. in ¼ mi. and are so dangerous, a wooden railway track has been constructed across the island and the cost of transportation is $2.50 a ton. It does a brisk business.

Mary Scott read a paragraph from The Youth’s Companion, of a small boy who told a minister he intended to be a preacher because he had not sense enough to be a lawyer.

Mary E. Thomas gave James P. Stabler’s fine fancy of a “Heavenly Railroad”, -

“It is altogether possible to make a railroad to Heaven. Yea it is more true than that they can make them from one point of Earth to another. But why not? The materials in the one case are more abundant, cheaper, and more durable than is the other, the labor and expenses less, and the traveling more safe and expeditious in the former than in the latter case; for there we have the right of way given us without condemnation. Then let’s make one. First let it be located on the ground of love to God and to our fellow creatures. The chief engineer shall be “the still, small voice”, which makes no curves either to the right or the left. The road will be straight.

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‘The Board of Virtues’ will furnish him with funds to carry on the work from a treasury that is as inexhaustible as the fountains of light and love. The hills of pride and cruelty will be leveled by the agents meekness and mercy. The valleys will be raised by kindness and brotherly affection. The streams will be crossed by bridges built on the “Rock of Ages.” The rails will be charity, the cars of devotion with springs tempered by the incense of the heart for every good and perfect gift, and the locomotive engine of supreme and everlasting love, propelled by prayer and thanksgiving to the fountain whence every blessing flows.” This little classic was written by James P. Stabler Sr. in 1837. He was the first master-mechanic of the first railroad in America, - the B. & O. – It ran from Balto. to Ellicott City, (then called Ellicott Mills), a distance of 10 miles at the breakneck(?) speed of 8 mi. per hr.

Ellen Farquhar’s offering was “Life’s Journey” by Griff Alexander, in a Pittsburg paper, -

“A life time is a traveled road Between two busy streams The stream of Once-Upon-a-Time, The stream of Soon-to-Be. So grab your load, my brother, And take the road, my brother, The mountain road, my brother, Where the hill of Present worry Bows the head and bends the knee. We are taking up our burdens And our hearts are unafraid. We are taking up our burdens For the journey must be made. And though the way be weary And the journey many a mile We are taking up our burdens With a smile.”

Sallie R. Janney’s article was all about a chain-letter starting in Chicago, ostensibly for the benefit of an injured railway employe’. Each recipient is to send 10 cts., and write to 5 others to contribute the same, and each write 5 more letters. The man who inaugurated this bright system of begging says the chain is limited to No. 50, and

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each is besought not to break the chain. The ultimate result would be a sum about as large as the whole U. S., but fortunately, like S. S. people have done for years, the chain is ruthlessly severed. S. R. J. also told of a visit her son had made to Detroit and how interesting he had found Mr. Ford’s enterprises, especially the very fine Hospital he has helped so lavishly.

Louisa T. Brooke brought Mary C. Brooke’s “Memories of 80 Years”, and read extracts from this remarkable record of a busy, useful life. One of her nephews has had the book published. Many copies have been presented by the author to old friends and pupils here.

Sarah F. Willson said she would take us back to long ago. In 1730 the “Pa. Gazette” edited by Benj. Franklin, gave an acct. of a trial for witch-craft in Mt. Holly, N. J. Some 300 persons gathered to witness experiments tried on several, who were accused of making their neighbor’s sheep dance in an uncommon manner, and with causing hogs to sing psalms, and speak to the great terror and amazement of the King’s good and peaceable subjects in the Province. The accused man and woman were balanced, separately, in large scales with a huge Bible on the other side, and as the writer, (supposed to have been Franklin) stated, “their lumps of mortality were too heavy for Moses and all the Prophets and Apostles. Flesh and blood came down plump, and out-weighed that great book by abundance.” The supposed witches did not sink when thrown in the water so the accusers were themselves confounded.

Margaret G. T. Moore brought verses, - “You’re a mighty good fellow downtown, they cry, Jolly and helpful and clean and true – But what of your duty that stands so high, Are you helping those at your own home too! Helping them first with the largest need Of thoughtfulness, tenderness, cheer for the strife – For the highest service, the manliest deed Is the help man gives to his child and wife!” (The Bentztown Bard.)

Albina O. Stabler’s contribution was also poetical, and was entitled, “To-day”, -

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“The little strip of light, twixt night and night Let me keep bright to-day! And let no fears of yesterday, nor shadow of tomorrow Bedim with sorrow, to-day! I take this gift of Heaven, as simply as ‘tis given, And if to-morrow shall be sad, Or never come at all I’ve had at least, - to-day!”

Adjourned to the home of Virginia Steer on 6-1-1916. Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

6-1-1916

6-1-1916 The Asso. assembled at the house of Louis and Va. Steer this being the 724th mtg. of ancient society which has now entered its 60th year. Guests were Ellen Stabler, Mrs. Dickie of New Orleans, Miss Hazard, Amy P. Miller, Harriet I. Lea, Mariana S. Miller, Ida M. Iddings and Eliz. Willson.

The sentiment of the hostess was entitled “Scatter Sunshine”, - “There’s enough of shadow along life’s way Enough of sorrow and want and woe, So the thing to do is to be brave and true, And scatter sunshine where’re you go.”

Eliz. C. Davis made a verbal report of the recent annual session of the Co. Fed. of Wo. Clubs, which several agreed with her had been interesting and helpful. Members everywhere in the county were urged to promote sanitation in the homes and beauty along the roadways.

Louisa T. Brooke’s contribution was upon “Health”, - said to be “the absence of disease” and therefore more attainable, than many imagine by means of the “ounce of prevention.”

Sallie R. Janney gave an amusing satire upon the unsociability of some Philadelphians, as proved from the obstructions placed by a Club, and individuals, to keep a visitor from procuring the present address of an old friend in that city. After considerable effort he learned that the missing acquaintance was deceased! Market St. was said to be a formidable social barrier dividing eligible from non-eligibles.

Alice Tyson had a living sketch of quaint

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