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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have never seen more attractive home-made “floor-haps”, as the Va. mountaineer woman called them.

Estelle had found a new use for old newspapers also. If laid in a tub of water for 24 hrs. they can be formed into balls with the hands, and if dried in the sun are said to make fine kindling in winter.

Mary E. Gilpin read of a wonderful oil-well in Tampico, Texas that is producing over 200,000 barrels of oil per day, - the greatest gusher of the world, and when it ran away with some of its machinery skyward, the loss was supposed to have been a million gals. overflowing the country around with disastrous results.

Cornelia M. Reese gave a single line, “Words are not paid for at the time, the bill comes later.”

Elma P. Chandlee read for Harriet I. Lea an acct. of efforts made by the Imp. Gov. of Russia to find a market for various kinds of hand work made by the peasantry, especially the families of dead or disabled soldiers. Each province had some especial craft, in many instances both artistic and useful.

Sarah T. Miller gave from Friends’ Intell. a fine poem upon “Prayer” and she announced a Temp. Picnic would be held shortly. Cornelia Reese made a similar plea for “The Hollywood Slipper” at Friends Mtg. House in Balto.

Martha T. Farquhar urged the manufacture of jams in variety for family use when the snow flies.

Albina O. Stabler gave several very amusing scraps which we regret not securing, and she asked whether tomato-plants of too vigorous growth might be mowed off at this season. Several had done so and liked the plan.

A talk on phlox followed and many florists have tried in vain to keep the pretty delicate shades from relapsing into the knock-down character of the old purple variety. However, “nothing beats a trial but a failure”, so we shall hope some one will yet conquer this tendency to revert to the original stock.

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The Sec’y had selected a poem by Kate [Perugina?], artist daughter of Charles Dickens, -

“The Calling Voice” “As through the quiet weary night We think for long, till dark grows light,

Of some dear friend, Of some dear friend whose life we know Must be apart from ours, and so,

We rarely meet. Day comes! and with each busy hour That bring full weight of sweet or sour

This vision fades. But when our work is done, and late, We hear a foot-fall at the gate

We know he’s near! What wish did we project through space That now our friend should seek his place

Beside our fire? He smiles and then we hear him say “I thought of you last night – to-day

I had to come!” Mystery that enwraps us all, With timid hope of higher call

To being us cheer. Why should we doubt what ne’er we see, The truths we know not, yet they be

Before us all!”

Sarah F. Willson said she expected to spend several months in N. J., and wished to transfer her rights in our society to her sister Lizzie Willson. We were pleased to accept such a worthy substitute as shown by unanimous vote.

Adjourned to “The Cottage”. 9/7/1916

Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

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191 The Cottage, 9-7-1916

Elizabeth T. Stabler received The Asso. at her pleasant home, “The Cottage” on 9-7-16. When Chas. G. and Jane T. Porter went to house-keeping at this place, bride and groom in 1842, it was called “The White Cottage”. Guests of the occasion were Ellen Stabler, Roberta Allen, Florence Hoopes, Mariana, Frances, Cornelia and Kate Reese, Eliza H. and Mariana Miller, Helen Lea, Lily B. Stabler, Helen W. Moore and Louise Beamer.

The sentiment was from the writings of William Penn, “Do good with what thou hast or it will do thee no good. If thou wouldst be happy bring thy mind to thy condition and have an indifference for more than is sufficient.”

Ellen Farquhar gave some amusing clippings.

Louisa T. Brooke read a touching incident of our Civil War: - a young Federal soldier on picket duty at night, experienced such a feeling of impending danger, he sang, “Jesus Lover of My Soul.” Eighteen years later he met a Confederate who mentioned that he was just on the point of firing at a sentinel once, when the latter began to sing the hymn referred to, and he lowered his gun. On comparing notes they found how slight a thing had saved a life and prevented a murder.

Alice Tyson read a defense of Fairy rales, since imagination makes all things possible.

Elma P. Chandlee followed with an interesting sketch of a Mrs. Emmons of California who, years ago, inherited a small olive orchard of old trees, and became convinced that if she could only discover the best way of pickling them she would make money. She experimented for months and finally turned out a delicious article which had a ready sale. She is now 75 yrs. old, and is the head of a large and profitable factory, – she says she enjoys her business which employs a large number of men and women.

Albina O. Stabler read from “The Outlook”, a short essay upon the importance of a child’s intercourse with his fellows, since he at once begins to measure his strength and his mental powers, as he could not do in his home very profitably.

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Margaret G. T. Moore told of the pearl industry in China where the finest are found. The annual catch is 2,000,000 oysters any one of which may contain a gem, but of course there are many blanks to one prize. Eliza N. Moore had seen these immense shells, with pearls in them, displayed in a jewelers window.

Hallie J. Bentley brought two of James Whitcomb Riley’s quaint poems upon, “The Weather”, and the desirability of “Going Back to Grigsby Station” where we used to be so happy and so “pore”.

India Downey’s asters are being eaten up by a small beetle, and she wished to know how to conquer the pest. Ellen Farquhar suggested arsenate of lead as a spray.

Mary E. Gilpin read a sympathetic appreciation of the lately deceased poet, Riley, who was said to have had so tender a heart as a youth, that he could not read of the death of “Little Nell” without shedding tears.

Eliza T. Miller introduced us to a lady who loves Calculus and is one of the Gov. Astronomical Calculators for the Nautical Almanac.

Rebecca T. Miller first read of the little boy who said he had asked the Heavenly Father last night to make him a good boy, and ended the confession with, “Well, He ain’t done it”!

R. T. M. answered several questions about Gay Head, Mass., which she had visited, and found to be a beautiful and interesting with the most vivid coloring imaginable for earth and rocks.

Mary Scott had an acct. of a celebrated old army horse, “Foxall” by his name, who after giving 24 yrs. of service to his country was well taken care of till he was gathered to his father’s at 38. He was so intelligent he went out alone with a wagon to gather the daily supplies of vegetables for a garrison, and would make the round and return to the camp kitchen safely.

Helen Lea exhibited a scrap of wall-paper upon the wrong side of which, a southern newspaper was printed in July, 1863.

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Sarah T. Miller read from the Scofield School paper a loving tribute to the memory of that fine woman, and self-sacrificing missionary, Martha Scofield.

Mariana Reese told us of the talent of a Mr. Berwick, who is at the head of the Manuscript Room in the Library of Congress, for restoring old papers and making them legible when apparently hopeless. He fairly made over the Will of Geo. Washington which has been returned to Fairfax Ct. House in fine order. The Sec’y said the gentleman had made a brief visit to their home this summer and had kindly taken the creases out of a series of letters she had received from Miss Hogarth, the sister-in-law of Chas. Dickens. They had been made into book form and their value trebled by Mr. Berwick’s skill.

Louisa T. Brooke gave a plea for greater faithfulness in Bible study, and also for the active Christianity which scatters health, joy, and encouragement. We little know how much our nearest neighbors may need a word of cheer or praise from us. Eliza N. Moore read from an interesting looking little note-book a poem entitled, -

“The Life Clock” There is a little mystic clock No human eye has seen. It beateth on and beateth on From morning until e’en. And when the soul is wrapped in sleep And heareth not a sound, It ticks, and ticks, the livelong night. And never runneth down. O’ wondrous is the work of art That knells the passing hour! But art ne’er formed nor mind conceived The life clock’s magic power, Not set in gold, nor decked with gems By wealth or power possessed, But rich or poor, or high or low Each bears it in his breast.” –

The Sec’y gave extracts from “Acres of Diamonds”,

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