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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regard to transplanting a Dentzio brought out the information that it could be safely moved at this season.

Estelle T. Moore told us the banana is supposed by some students of ancient lore to be the virginal forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden.

Sarah T. Miller amused us by recounting a banana story. A German girl who lived at Mt. Airy had never seen the article and when a fellow domestic tossed one in her room, she shreiked with terror thinking it was a big American worm.

Sarah E. Kirk read “From Day to Day”; A little sick child was cheered and aided to health by the gift of a window-box of growing plants. Harriet I. Lea’s selection was entitled “A Recollection of Lucretia Mott”, who as a small girl would slip in the parlor, while “Company” was eating supper, and arrange the chairs in a half circle around the fire as her mother had seen done in her youth; - a Nantucket custom. Eliza N. Moore spoke of visiting at the delightful home of the Motts, “Roadside”, near Germantown, Pa. An extract from verses, written by one of Lucretia’s relatives when the Phila home was given up, were also contributed. –

“Who constantly will ring the bell And ask if they will please to tell Where Mrs. Mott has gone to dwell?

The beggars.

Who never, never, nevermore Will see the lions at the door That they’ve so often seen before? The neighbors.

And who will miss for months at least This place of rest for man an beast From North & South & West & East? Everybody!”

Mary E. Gilpin informed us there had been a remarkable archeological discovery in Egypt and a series of fine Carvings, a Roman bath, mummies, fish-hooks and mosaics were un-earthed.

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Helen S. Stabler asked for information with regard to the suction cleaner, as yet no very good, inexpensive one seems to have been put on the market. The “O-Cedar Mop” was praised. The best floor oil was said to be made of turpentine and parafine oil in equal parts, - a floor oiler was recommended as a great help in saving time and strength and it is inexpensive.

Eliz. T. Stabler gave “Ten Commandments for the Good Housekeeper”.

#1 “Thou shalt have no greater love than thy household.” #2 “Thou shalt not make graven images of the way other women live.” #3 “Thou shalt not use thy husband’s money in vain.” #4 “Remember the Sabbath Day is a rest day for thy household.” #5 “Honor thy labor and love it and thus make the cooks return from wandering and the domestic service cease.” #6 Thou shalt not kill thy family with rich cooking.” #7 “Thou shalt not permit rich adulteration.” #8 “Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s cook.” #9 “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor’s house-keeping.” #10 “Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s, but live thine own honorable life without ostentation and with Simplicity. Thou shalt then become a joy and a delight to thy people, and a house-keeper who need not be ashamed.”

From Good Housekeeping, Mar. 1913.

Sarah T. Miller gave first a letter from The Florence Crittenden Home asking for contributions, and secondly an amusing parody on “Annabel Lee”, – “The Cannibal Flea.”

Eliz. Iddings had a curious division of life by Lord Kuntsford a grandson of Sydney Smith.

He said if one lived to be 72, as he had done, 27 yrs. would have been passed in sleeping, 9 yrs. in eating, the same at dressing, and in walking, drawing and visiting, - 6 yrs. in shopping 6 in playing with children, and 3 yrs. in quarreling.”

Rebecca T. Miller told of the satisfaction they have at Mt. Airy in a wild-flower border around their porch.

Corrie M. Brooke gave from “The Outlook”

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a paper by Lyman Abbott upon the wisdom and expediency of telling the truth to children whose spiritual progress is not helped by a false reverence.

Mary E. Thomas brought a laughable criticism of the Futurist Pictures, so far very few critics have been able to find either the “nude” or the “Staircase” in the extraordinary jumble of lines supposed to represent both. Martha Holland had a very bright article “The Agony of Indecision”. Those who pause to view all side of such questions “Shall I have shad or lamb for dinner on Sunday? Shall I put green matting or denim on the bed room floor?” waste far too much energy for naught. Mental firmness should be acquired, bring up the arguments and make a choice, then stick to it. If the matter is of great importance take a pencil and paper and write down the “pros and cons”, sum up the evidence and act accordingly. Whenever you feel an impulse to return to the valley of despondency by the way of “it might have been” just repeat the following classic verse, -

“The cow is in the hammock The calf is in the lake, The baby’s in the garbage pail, What difference does it make?”

Fanny B. Snowden brought a very old-fashioned letter indeed, written 100 yrs. ago, and Ellen Stabler two selections from her scrapbook. Albina O. Stabler gave “Wanted Domestic Science”, from a “Young Ladies Reader” of 1845, which declared that the best kind of polish to acquire was the kind that brightened up the dark side of life.

Emilie T. Massey had a poem by the “Bentztown Bard” on “Beginning Again”, a greater effort often than the original act.

The Secy. read from “The N. Y. Journal” an answer to the sarcastic inquiry of a man who wished to be told what he ought to wear in a Suffrage Parade. Among the suggestions were a fat baby! a clothes basket of wet clothes, or a pail of hot water and a scrubbing brush, the latter to be set down every few feet, and

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the bearer must kneel down, scrub, then rise and move on. Other impediments that woman have been carrying for generations were also mentioned and the querist probably had more hints than he needed before he finished the article. M. B. T.’s second venture was rhymes, she called “Mother Goose in the Garden”, composed in somewhat the style of a crazy quilt, for her Grandson Allan.

Adjourned to the home of Martha Holland 5/1/1913

Mary Bentley Thomas, Secy.

Avalon. 5-1-1913

On the Afternoon of May 1st, the Asso. met at “Avalon” receiving a most cordial welcome from their hostesses Mary E. Gilpin and Emilie T. Massey.

The Afternoon was perfect, the bright sunshine and early spring shading of the landscape, combined to make us feel we had a glimpse of near fairyland.

“May is building her house, from the dust of things She is making the songs, and the flowers and the wings From October tossed and trodden gold She is making the young year out of the old; Yea! out of the winter’s flying sleet She is making all the summer sweet. And the brown leaves spurned of November’s feet She is changing back again to springs.”

We deeply regretted the absence of our secretary who so ably fills the position that one of our mtgs. with her away seems much like the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. – We deeply regret the cause of her absence and trust she may be with us for our June Mtg.

The number of members present was for several reasons very small, 11 being absent. The guests were Mrs. Holtzman, Mrs. Post, Mrs. Chas. Willson, Miss Ellen Stabler, Mrs. S. B. Wetherald, Miss Sarah Kirk, Mrs. Coulter, Jeanne Coulter, Mrs. Ulrich Hutton and Mrs. Sam’l Bond.

Fanny Snowden kindly read the minutes of the last mtg. at this place and also those of the last mtg. of the Asso., Alice Tyson acting as Secy.

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Mary E. Gilpin gave us as sentiment for the afternoon the following lines, -

“Not what we have, but what we use, Not what we see, but what we choose These are the things that mar or bless The sum of human happiness.

Not what we take, but what we give, Not what we pray, but as we live These are the things that make for peace Both now, and after time shall cease.”

Helen Stabler told us Pres. Wilson has shown his determination to be governed by his own opinion as to what it right, - he has already broken 16 precedents from doing away with the Inaugural Ball, to shaving himself.

Mary Hutton read us an article on “The Cure of Forgetting,” which might have been more discouraging to us had we not known already from personal experience how little of what we read stays with us, - “in 5 min. we forget 1/6 of what we have read, and ½ is all we can hope under the best conditions to remember.

Mary Jackson told us of 5 tons of Bibles having been distributed by the Gideons in Wash. 170,000 Bibles, one having been put in each room of the principal hotels there, before the Inauguration.

Mrs. Chas, Willson read a beautiful Easter poem which refers to the finding of a little seed by Lord Lindsay in the hand of an Egyptian mummy where it had been deposited 20 centuries before.

“The shriveled hand is robbed at last The seed is buried in the earth When lo! the life long hidden there With a glorious flower burst forth. Just such a plant as that which grew From such a seed when buried low Just such a flower in Egypt bloomed And died two thousand years ago.”

Mrs. Holtzman told us of an interesting and simple process by which the figures in wall paper may

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