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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a paper for us all to sign – to keep Mary Magruder in office as, “Attendance Officer of Public Schools”, and The Asso. gladly complied.

Rebecca T. Miller read a poem, “While the Other One Slept”, - It was a tale of a wealthy woman passing a scrub woman at night with a careless remark, “that a woman’s true place was in her home.” The scrub woman wondered how her children would be fed and cared for it she did not work when she could.

Mrs. Davis gave a very interesting article on “The Training of the Will”, - She thinks we follow a whim too often, and depend too much on the school to train the child. It takes more will-power to “give-in” than it does to carry one’s point.

Miss Mary Colt had a pretty poem on a postcard sent to her about, “a mist in the Sunshine this a.m.”, and “a weight in the heart” -, but it gives one the comfort too, of knowing that “Our Father has promised our burdens to bear”, a promise it does us all good to hear often.

She told us that the Japanese cook ferns in water, - and lettuce can be cooked the same way and served like spinach.

Mrs. Bentley compared the “Old way and the New: for us. It used to be that the people sat by a good hot fire when the wind was howling outside and slept in the big featherbed, and felt sorry for the animals and chickens that stood out by the straw-rick and roosted up a tree. Nowadays all animals and poultry are most carefully housed, while poor man must sleep in his sky parlor on the porch roof.

Fannie Snowden tells us “work is not tragic” but to “lose one’s ideals is” – Be efficient, neglect some work and read more.

Sarah Miller can’t seem to find a dish-mop so Miriam Thomas came to her aid and promised to make her some. When the questions of the mop was settled, S. T. M. started in the good old way of “Once upon a time” and told us a story of Col. Mosby, - she spent a few days with a cousin of Mosby’s and does not want us to forget the Col. or the war either. He was a fine gallant, the soul of courtesy and deference to women. Mosby said

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they were too anxious about “green troops’. – they would fight as well as trained ones. In one of Mosby’ raids among Federal Troops, they thought they had caught an Officer in bed, but it proved to be a negro. When he took the horses, Lincoln said, “I am sorry Mosby took the horses. I can make plenty of Brigadiers, but not horses.”

Ellen Farquhar read of the Archbishop of Alaska, - he would rather be human and dirty, than inhuman and clean. “Do things for the love of those you do them for”, is a very good motto. Mrs. Mills says, “The bravest battle that was ever fought, was fought by the mothers of men.”

Mrs. Downey read of the “sunny face that cheers us all up and lifts the gloom from many a heart.”

Emilie T. Massey wants to know if we will need the knitted cloths for the Red Cross work in Mexico, or shall we send them abroad

Mary Gilpin told us of a missionary in the southern coast of Labrador, - Miss Milan, - she seems to be able to do anything – teaches children, practices dentistry, publishes a magazine, teaches simple forms of handwork, - she has 22 children in charge. They have mosquitoes, flies and ice all the year. She also teaches sewing, and cooking, artificial flower making, and baskets of a particular grass. She travels over 70 miles of coast, - they get mail once a week, but in winter it may be several months between posts.

Mrs. Richard Bentley gave us a new way to cook peas, - lay a lot of lettuce leaves in the pot, then put in the peas, then more lettuce leaves. Cook gently on back of stove, leaves will disappear. She gave us a new seasoning for ice-cream, - use nutmeg or cinnamon, be careful not to get red pepper as one poor girl did when she wanted to treat her best bears.

Mis Alice Tyson gave us a new version of a mother-in-law. She was a dainty sweet, extravagant little lady who liked to make a pretty show.

Eliz. Stabler tells us, “It is the way she says it “that counts, and makes the charm and brings the

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Needs Review

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message of grace.

Miriam Thomas says it is difficult to give anything to amuse an invalid. – She suggests that you save clippings from magazines and paste them on a large sheet of paper put them in an envelope and call it “Sunshine Envelope”. Use pictures in the same way for children.

The Asso. then adjourned to meet with Miss Alice Tyson, Aug. 3rd, and to enjoy the “rare” and perfect June day on the porch and beautiful lawn.

Sarah F. Willson, Sec’y pro tem

Marden, 8-3-1916

8-3-1916 The Asso. assembled at the pleasant home of Alice Tyson. Guests were, Beatrix Rumford, Helen Bartlett, Mrs. Forsythe, Annabelle Page, Roberta Allen, Hadassah, Martha and Beatrix Moore, and Harriet I. Lea. The sentiment was from Julia Ward Howe, - “Without religion you will not know the real beauty and glory of life: You will perceive the discords, but miss the harmony, will see the defects, but miss the good in all things.”

Our hostess also contributed a clipping giving a few terse and excellent suggestions for taking the drudgery out of work, as follows, - Put your heart in it. – Do it with your might. – Go to the bottom of it. – Do it cheerfully, even it is not congenial, - Make it a means of character-building, - Keep yourself in condition to do it as well as it can be done, - Make it a stepping-stone to something higher, - See how much you can put into it, instead of how much you can get out of it. – Remember that it is only through work conscientiously done that you can grow to your full height. – Train the eyes, the ears, the hands, the mind – all the faculties – in the thorough doing of it. – Remember that every kind of work has some advantages and some disadvantages not found in any other.”

Sarah F. Willson’s selection was a strong plea for the birds, which as destroyers of noxious insects by 10’s of thousands, are not yet fully recognized

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as great benefactors to the human race the world over. It was stated, a wholesale slaughter of birds would be a greater disaster than is the European War. S.F.W. told us of a beautiful trip she had just taken to Braddock Hts. to attend a Temperance Mtg., and she expressed much regreat, that so few S.S. people had availed themselves of the opportunity.

Eliza N. Moore read of Hampton Inst. as described recently in "The Bellemar," a Minneapolis paper. Hampton teaches that things seen are more powerful than things heard. The Dept. of "Home Economics" is called "The Gumption School," and a warm tribute was paid the general efficiency of the many graduates who go forth to teach what they have learned there. Three Japanese visitors have just been touring this country, sent by the Gov. to study colleges and Insts. like Hampton. While they were ordered to give 2 days apiece to our splendid Universities, Hampton was to have a whole week! Eliza N. Moore also gave a comical but sympathetic account of a colored Professor of Chemistry, the nephew of her coachman, who had called to see her. She found "Numa Pompilius Garfield Adams" a gentleman in appearance and manners, a modest, but highly educated college graduate.

In contrast, the poem of a colored man addressed to the cook of Sallie R. Janney was extremely laughable, and we regret not securing at least, the last verse, wherein a lovelorn swain laments the hard heart of his dusky inamorata.

A little clipping warned us against the habit of gossip which was thought to be a two-edged weapon injuring both giver and receiver.

Mary Scott told us she had succeeded in sterlizing chipped beef so that it kept perfectly in glass jars.

Fanny Snowden read of the satisfactory potato crops raised on vacant lots in the town of Parsons, Kan. and the experiment had worked well in many other places.

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Elma Chandlee told of the robbery, from the first railroad established in Egypt, of grease intended to lubricate the motive power. The officials were sorely inconvenienced for some time but finally found that by adding castor-oil to the unsavory mixture the natives no longer stole it for desert. Elma also informed us that an expert, name of Raney, has charge of all the clocks in the Pa. R.R. Sta. in Phila. no small, unimportant task.

Emilie T. Massey gave a poem by Jas. Whitcomb Riley, “Let Something Good Be Said”, and Ellen Farquhar extracts from, “The Hope Farm Man” upon “Children and Money”. He took the sensible view that they should be guided against the abuse. The youngsters of to-day, who think themselves entitled to spend 5 to 25 cts. every 24 hrs., in candy and chewing gum, will never experience the fearful joy of possessing a whole quarter at once, learned by oneself, as we did at a tender age. It never occurred to us we had the right to buy any sweetmeats, - no, - such a sum must be put to a good use after keeping it safely for several weeks.

Eliz. T. Stabler wanted to find a home in the country for a boy of 13, but boy babies seem to be much more in demand of late.

Eliz. read a good little paragraph entitled “Do It Now”. – We were assured there is time for every real duty if we take them in order by sequence, and strive to be a cheerful, ready doer. We rarely put off the rasks we enjoy and striving to attempt all with equal effort and willingness, brings achievement and content.

Estelle T. Moore showed a very handsome crocheted rug, completed, and from the progress made during the afternoon upon another, several were smitten with the desire to go and crochet likewise. She sews the strips to-gether and usually makes a “hit or miss” center, widening enough to allow the article to be perfectly flat on the floor. Old blk. stockings were said to be excellent for a border, and we

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