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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34 (Brooke Meadow, con). Argyle 8-13-1913

Where e’er I chance to roam I needs must love the Laurel road Because it leads to home.”

Adjourned to Argyle on 8-7-1913 Mary Bentley Thomas, Secy.

Argyle 694th mtg – 8-13-1913

The Asso. gathered at Argyle the home of Thos. and Anna G. Lea, who are fortunate enough to have their Muncaster children & grand-children under the same hospitable roof.

Guests were Ellen Stabler, Helen Lea, Elma Chandlee, Fanny L. Dickinson, Alice L. Dickinson, Mary A. Gilpin, Eva S. Gilpin, May H. Tatum & daughter.

The sentiment was a single verse from the writings of Goethe.

“Would shape a normal life? Then cast no backward glances toward the past. And though somewhat be lost and gone Yet do thou act as one new born; What each day needs, that shall thou ask Each day will set its proper task.”

Helen S. Stabler read, from “The Country Gentleman”, a very commendatory article upon S. S. Md., giving a short history of various societies, our Asso. among the number. There are several good illustrations including one of “The Asso.”, the mtg of Lydia G. Thomas, taken at “Tanglewood”, in what year we have not yet learned. The following extract is all we found room for, but to those interested in S.S. the whole will be enjoyed. “I wish to emphasize the richness of the life, not of the living; of the neighborhood, not of the people; of the home life rather than of the fields – although it goes without saying that the good social condition must rest on the basis of good and successful farming.” “These S. S. people are proud of their Ins. Co, their Bank,

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their roads, their clubs and social organizations, and their farms. The good farmer is appreciated, but he would rather be educated and comfortable than rich.” Sarah F. Willson told us she expected to be absent for several months, as both she and her husband must attend to the picking of fruit from their cranberry bog in N. J., and she asked permission to lend her place as a member for some mtgs. to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Willson, which request was fully granted.

The fact that our friend Jennie Holtzman of Wash. wished us to hold the session of 11th mo. at her home was referred to, and the suggestion made that we engage the Truck for the trip. Margaret G. T. Moore read an Allegory by Henry Van Dyke upon “A Handful of Clay”, which after lying in the bed of a river for years, was pounded, worked, baked and dried. The patient clay hoped it might be fashioned into a beautiful vase and adorn a temple; at last it discovered, from a reflection in some water, that it was only a common flower pot. But eventually a lily blossomed in the homely receptacle and the earthen vessel was honored because in the lily’s heart were fragrance and loveliness beyond compare.

Harriet I. Lea gave a poem, new to most of us we believe, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “The Prime of Life”, encouraging us in the belief that the millennium is now and here are all times and seasons, for according to Robert Louis Stevenson,- “The World is so full of a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

Estelle T. Moore through the medium of her sister Alice, made a strong plea for the criminal who is an outcast from the day he enters a penitentiary to the day of his death. Those incarcerated for slight offenses are forced to live intimately with the worst, and to carry for life the mark of Cain. These unfortunates can rarely find employment or associates. The cure was thought to be sending criminals to a Hospital were nervous diseases are treated.

Helen Lea read an entertaining acct. of the

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great trees of the Yo. Valley, by her nephew, Frank [J?]. Lea. He wrote that he had recently been on a walking trip of 400 miles in that section of Calif. An immense cone displayed, was from a tree of moderate size that is valuable for house building and a small cone was the product of the largest known tree in the world, “The Grizzly Giant”, said to 8000 years old and 300 ft. high.

Helen Lea’s 2nd contribution was about the wonderful glass flowers in the museum at Cambridge, Mass., modeled by a foreigner and his son whose names we can neither spell nor pronounce for your benefit.

Elma P. Chandlee said she had brought her sister Annie’s little poem – “The Old Laurel Rd.” which had just been given in the minutes of the meeting at “Brooke Meadow” a month since. This seemed to us quite a singular coincidence.

Louisa T. Brooke told us that men teachers in Germany are forbidden by law to marry unless they can prove their ability to support a family and she also informed us of the introduction of moving pictures into German schools as a satisfactory medium of imparting knowledge. Mary E. Gilpin gave from “The Youth’s Companion”, “The Gardener’s Rich Reward” a catalogue of seeds was declared to be, “more seductive than a poem, more engrossing than a novel, more rewarding than a compendium of philosophy”. The June garden was described as “a thing of hopes and fears,” July’s as, “a scene of combat and accomplishment” but the August garden was “the ripe reward of industry”. In August the giddy throng flies to resorts and eats canned fruits and vegetables, and far-traveled eggs, but the true gardener bides at home and his garden lavishes its wealth upon him “for the period of fulfillment is at hand.”

Mary T. Bond read of George Fox’s first visit to Swarthmoor Hal when the master, Judge Fell, was absent. His wife was converted to the new doctrine of an “Inner Light” but he never joined Friends. However, he was a very present help in time of trouble, his home, his purse, and his

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influence were at the service of the oppressed Quakers. What those persecutions were really in the years to come may be realized by the experience of Margaret Fell who eventually became the wife of Geo. Fox; she spent 10 whole years in different prisons!

Fanny B. Snowden had a good short essay entitled. “For What I am Thankful”, which began a list a blessings with that of being a country woman who, as she worked, could look from her window and see, not brick walls, but shady trees, sunny slopes and green growing things full of hope and promise, and she prays, “May I be kept by them from narrowness of mind and discouragement.” More than all else was she thankful for the sake of the children, that shops and factories should not take the health of her daughters, not the strength of her sons be wasted in offices and mills.

Ellen Farquhar, one of our strongest Peace advocates always, contributed a poem, by Israel Zangwill who utterly disproved the dangerous doctrine that “To safeguard peace we must prepare for war”. He said, “The God of War is now a man of business.”

Sallie Randolph Janney gave extracts from a recent speech by Roseberry to a boys’ school in England. He said among other excellent things “Good manners and good appearance are within the command of everybody”, and these are very important in all trades and professions, – politics most especially.

S. R. J.’s 2nd offering was a brief sketch of Ella Flagg Young of Chicago who has taught 51 of her 68 yrs. and, by latest report, has consented to retain her high position as Supt. of the Public Schools of that city. When she resigned the place, there was such a wave of protest she could not withstand her friends.

Albina O. Stabler read of a Calif. girl who raises butterflies so successfully she supports herself. Within 3 wks. she mounted and sold $75.00 worth and for several successive weeks her sales were $100 a week.

Ellen Stabler kindly gave Jas. P. Stabler’s

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38. (Argyle, con.)

directions for making a railroad, written 8/3/1837. “It is altogether possible to make a Rail Road 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 in the other, the labors and expenses are 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 fellowcreatures. The Chief Engineer shall be the ‘still small voice’ which makes not curves either to the right hand or to the left. The road will be straight. 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 curiosity will be leveled by the agents meekness and mercy, the streams will be crossed by bridges built on the “Rock of Ages”, the rails will be of charity, the cars be 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.”

The Sec’y had one of Geo. M. Adams “Pepper Talks” from the “Boston Herald” upon the subject of “Nerves”. He said in part, “The time is coming when it will be a disgraceful thing for men and women to be led around by a bunch of scattered nerves. To-day they are the greatest rulers on earth. No King nor President holds such power. Outside your brain your greatest friend or Enemy is your nerves. It is mighty important to keep on good terms with them. Conserve and nourish your nerves and they return double service.” The trouble with most people who are ruled by their nerves is, that they overwork them. Serve notice on your nerves that you want to rule them from now on, and make them do no more than their capacity shall permit.”

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