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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Sarah T. Miller’s selection was from “Friends Intelligencer” as follows, in part, - “Are you barrenly hurried and halted? Are you pettily seized and assaulted? Be a grub in the garden, A blade in the sward; Out of doors with you dig, dig in the yard, There’s a blue sky above, and a firm earth below And you’re sure of them both as you watch things grow.”

Eliza N. Moore took us back long ago in a consideration of “The Beast”. Animals were once held accountable for all misdemeanors as men were; beaten, tortured and executed even, when they had taken human life. It was generally believed 300 yrs. ago, that they, as well as birds and insects were under the influence of evil spirits and were brought to trial before courts. Mohammedans have always thought their faithful animals here would be admitted to Paradise with themselves, and the American Indians have similar convictions with regard to the “happy hunting grounds” of their future existence.

2 ½ lbs. of wool bats were said to be enough for a comfort. and a receipt for preserving gooseberries given, 6 lbs. of fruit to 7 sugar. Scald the “ with boiling water and let them stand in it until cool, drain on a coarse cloth all night, then boil with the sugar. When clear they are done. All who have tasted the result praise the article highly.

Quite a number had no contribution at this mtg. Why may we all not put into practice the excellent motto of “The Twaliffe Club” of Balto. – From each according to her ability; to each according to her need”?

Adjourned to the home of Sallie R. Janney

Mary Bentley Thomas, Secy

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30 Brooke Meadow


On 7-3-1913 Sallie R. Janney received the Asso. at Brooke Meadow one of the most attractive and interesting old homes in Sandy Spring. Guests were Catherine K. Janney, Mary Hutton and daughters, Anna V. B. Bentley of Balto., Mrs. Taylor, and Alice Sellers of Wilmington, Helen R. Shoemaker, Florence Hallowell, Ethel H. Janney, Eliz. Moore, and Mrs. Spilman. The sentiment from "Lucile" was much appreciated, and the Secy., forgetting how many times "Belmont" has swarmed, concluded to copy it at home, only to find that the volume had flown away to a new household.

Ellen Farquhar gave some amusing paragraphs from "The Farm Journal". A little boy on being asked to define the word vacuum replied, "I have it in my head, but I can't just think of "

Alice Tyson read, from a club book, of an invalid who saw a face on the wall of his bedroom which he was certain belonged to a living man, just as we were all listening with bated breath it turned out to be only a dream.

Estelle T. Moore had a few verses.. from Ella Wheeler Wilcox entitled, "As You Go Through Life."

Albina O. Stabler suggested using a strip of buttons for waists and saving sewing by the simple device.

Fanny B. Snowden's selection from "The Country Gentleman" was upon the spread of a new disease "Accumulitis", - a sort of craze for the careful saving of valueless articles, each year and every year, until the result is a weariness to body and soul. The city woman can phone to The Salv. Army and the junk dealer and dispose of or give away old clothes, tins, magazines, bottles, rags, in fact everything in the house not worth keeping at the price of healthfulness and comfort. In the country there is nothing but a bonfire often, to accomplish the desired freedom from care of useless articles. Throw out the old medicines, the rusty tools, the hats and mouldy shoes, and let anyone who wants them cast the whole mass off your premises. Then religiously take stock of the contents of

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your closets and attic at least every autumn and give away everything that can be used by the poor around you, at once. Do not deceive yourself by thinking you are practising economy and thrift by the opposite course.

Catherine Janney's selection from an unknown letter writer to "The Sun" was a plea for reason in choosing a life partner. Love was merely a physical disorder, not considered nearly so important as congeniality. Perhaps sober middle age may be induced to adopt such counsel, but we hope there will be many youth and maidens, for all time, who will not calculate so cooly.

Emilie T. Massey read of a garden near Washington owned and cultivated by the Private Sec'y. of Sec'y. Houston, Robt. M.Reese. He is said to be an expert upon the subjects of soils and crops and that he is filling a difficult situation admirably goes without saying. The numbers of letters requiring answers is immense and each received a courteous reply.

Margaret G. T. Moore gave from "The Farm Journal" an essay by Jacob Biggle comparing old times with the present. He thought the only advantage his grandparents had was that their wants were simpler. The men and women of Colonial days loved and were loved, had the joys of children and friendship, and were stirred by the identical impulses of 20th century man and women who have not become so blase they will not show emotions of any kind. What we see around us is fair to look upon and if we only do our own part, Providence, or whosoever we may call the hand which guides the universe, will see to it that all things are added unto us. Anna G. Lea entertained us with an acct. of a recent trip she and her husband had taken to N. J. Especially were they pleased with an excursion to Princeton, where we believe very few Sandy Spring natives have ever wandered.

The beautiful landscape effects were a revelation to the visitors Andrew Carnegie has just given a large lake to the Univ. at a cost of $3,000,000.

Thos. J. Lea also inspected an English gamekeeper's

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place in the vicinity of Princeton.

There had been 900 pheasants turned out last year, some geese and hundreds of turkeys. Another interesting feature of this region was the Belle Mead Candy Factory started by a woman, and now a great financial success.

Mary E. Gilpin told us of a Scotchman who had just come to N. Y. in order to learn how that city was managed and governed, hoping to introduce new and better methods in his “ain country”. He strongly disapproved of the custom here of allowing clothes to dry in nearly all the yards in the poorer parts of our cities, and in important respects he deemed our public house-keeping faulty. Balto. has been awarded much praise for her cheap and convenient wash houses. Poor women patronize them extensively as soap, hot water, starch, blue, and the steam drying of a large bundle of clothing will cost them but 11 cts.

Hallie I. Lea read a letter from Mrs. Andrew White who said she had come to doubt the wisdom of universal suffrage.

Sarah F. Willson told of the longevity of war-veterans of 1812, a pension is supposed to conduce to old age because it gives peace of mind to the recipient. There were said to be 26 survivors of the battle of Moscow in 1912.

A California lady of 103 yrs. died last month and had requested to be cremated and her ashes sent to her native state Mass. This was accomplished by means of the Parcel Post!

Eliz C. Davis gave part of an article on “Conventionality” which was said to have real value, else why do we plant our gardens in rows? Form was declared to be the basis of art and music. You can not live in society and have the advantages of the desert. Laws and rules are good in themselves.

The poultry question claimed our attention next. There was said to have been the greatest mortality among young turkeys this year. A chicken-hen’s motions are too quick to make good mothers for these aristocratic babies. We were told keeping plenty of fresh water

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near their coops will cure their vexatious habits of wandering.

The Secy. had brought back from Mass. a little poem by one of our much esteemed adopted daughters, which was apparently highly appreciated.

It was composed between Laurel and “Homewood”, on the evening of July 14th, 1906 and is entitled,

“The Old Laurel Road”.

“There are hills and stones on the old Laurel Road, And sand as the sand by the sea, But at the end of the old Laurel Road Is a home very dear to me.

It is not fashioned in Queen Anne style On lofty commanding site, Not yet in old Colonial style With pillars tall and white.

It boasts no stateliness without Save that if its grand old trees, No wonders of modern science within That ministers to ease.

But around it tender memories cling With beauty all their own, As vines will lend a softening grace To buildings overgrown.

Memories of dear ones who have passed Beyond our loving gaze, Who loved this home, its peaceful life, And quiet country ways.

Visions of children at their play, Now men and women grown, Meeting life’s duties day by day And guiding homes their own.

And so with all its ups and downs, Its sandy stretch, its stones, That picture life’s vicissitudes It’s jars, its monotones;

Returning over land and sea

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