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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Fanny B. Snowden closed out exercises with an admirable obituary of our beloved former member, Sarah E. Stabler, which she had been asked to prepare. This shall be spread upon our minutes and a copy sent to the family as has been our custom.

After inspecting the fine flower and vegetable gardens, front and back of this pleasant home, we adjourned to Grove Hill, Martha T. Hopkins having kindly invited Harriet I. Lea to hold her meeting there.

Mary Bentley Thomas, Sec’y.

The following Obituary was prepared by Fanny B. Snowden, -

Sarah E. Stabler

In the death of our dear cousin, Sarah E. Stabler, we all feel the sorrow of a personal bereavement, for seldom was a character so universally beloved. During her long life she was untiring in her ministrations of loving, thoughtful deeds. Her generous, cordial hospitality, to all who came within her gates, her reverence for truth and right, - in fact all the attributes that make the noble woman were here. One of her most striking traits was her sympathy with young people, understanding them, as only those can, who do not forget their own youth. She won their confidence by entering into their pleasures and taking a keen interest in their plans and amusements.

I know none whose life was spent more un-selfishly; it was full of loving service and her own burdens were laid aside that she might lighten those of others. In sickness a tender nurse, in sorrow a real comforter. Not only her children and her children’s children, - but many others whose lives have been helped and made better by her influence shall call her blessed.

Fanny B. Snowden.

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Grove Hill 9-4-1913

The 695th mtg of the Asso. took place by invitation on Martha T. Hopkins, at Grove Hill, she having kindly loaned this beautiful old home for her cousin Harriet I. Lea for the occasion. So far as known it was the only gathering of a society at Grove Hill since Thos. Tyson’s club convened there at least 65 yrs. before this date. Guests were Martha T. Hopkins and daughter Mary; Letitia Kummer of Mass., Janie Talliaferro, Beatrix Rumford, Fanny L. Dickinson and daughter Alice, Rebecca T. Miller, “Sharlot” Brigham, [Leuld?] Moore, Mary McP. Janney and Frances Osburn. The sentiment was a single good line from Lucretia Mott, “No man nor woman can do as much for the truth as it does for them.”

Eliza N. Moore read for the “Travel Magazine” of journeys that may be taken at home, beginning with the study of a geography and atlas supplements later, by guide-books. A man who had lost much and was in danger of becoming melancholy from brooding over his sorrows, began to explore London, street by street, in this way and found solace in the knowledge acquired. After recounting his experience he wrote, - “If one can not get away from trouble it is possible to make it get away from you by a persistent effort.”

Louisa T. Brooke gave from our old poetess Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “I said I would have my fling and do as a young man may,”- a really terrible exposure of the possible effects upon a future generation of immorality in thoughtless youth.

A question in regard to cleaning mahogany furniture brought out the information that rubbing with kerosene and them using olive oil by means of soft woolen cloths had been found satisfactory.

Janie Taliaferro told of the exquisite phosphoric effect she had witnessed more than once on the Severn River in Va. during tremendous thunderstorms. She also said that she had found common salt would remove tea stains from China.

Rebecca T. Miller had recently visited Long Island and was much interested in seeing the successful transplanting of very large trees, by a firm who have made it a specialty.

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Great care is taken in excavating the roots, the small ones being wrapped in canvas.

Fanny Snowden’s contribution was upon the desirability of cultivating a habit of cheerfulness by beginning the day with a smile. “Joy, like ill wishes comes home to roost” and by saying only pleasant things the whole day is influenced, for they radiate sunshine. While we are making life a shade happier for others, we are making happiness and friends for ourselves. There is an old tombstone in an English churchyard whose inscription has often been quoted, though there are only four words engraved, “She was so pleasant”. Sarah T. Miller said that Fanny Snowden’s selection had recalled to her mind a text she tried to put into practice; “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to Thee, oh Lord!” She then gave a comprehensive report of the mtg. last week of The County Temp. Society held at Ashton Friends Mtg. House. The Florence Crittenden Mission was highly commended and some pamphlets relating to it were distributed.

Estelle T. Moore gave very interesting extracts from “The Diary of a Stomach.” Early in the a.m. disposed of a half-chewed breakfast, in 2 hrs. 2 glasses of ice-water; then peanuts for 2 hrs., next some ice-cold chocolate with eggnog; more peanuts; more ice-water. At 3 pm, something like ½ # of sweet chocolate; then an ice-cream soda; fried potatoes, veal and blueberry pie; a saucer of “college oil” and glass of lemonade. After an hour I began to return a few things commencing with the veal and pie. In another hour a doctor was summoned who thought there must have been poison in the milk the patient had taken with her ice-cream.”

Eliz. T. Stabler read Eugene Field’s clever version of “Intry Mintry”, which we regret not securing.

Mary E. Gilpin called attention to the case of Miss Martha Rochelle Tyler of Southampton, W. Va., a daughter of Pres. Tyler. She has been post-mistress for 16 yrs. and is both needy and deserving, - is struggling hard to keep her position and the modest salary she receives, but politicians are trying to force her to resign. It was thought she should be pensioned by act of Congress.

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Albina O. Stabler asked a hard question, “What has become of the old-fashioned tom boy who was once the scandal of the whole country for her tree-climbing proclivities?” No one seemed to give a satisfactory solution. (The private opinion of the Sec’y is that she now wears what a little colored girl termed “low-naked dresses,” with slit skirts, and she aspires to become expert in all the new immodest dances that make thoughtful, older people turn away with sickening dread.)

Beatrix Rumford told of their moving, at her home in Wilmington, a large maple tree, 30 ft by thoroughly soaking the ground around it, the result was most satisfactory.

Eliz C. Davis, by request, told several funny stories showing that our colored friends are wrestling with the Eng. language as in days of yore.

Her washerwoman complained that the cook, her cousin, “ignored” her. Eliz turned herself into a Court of Inquiry and the cook declared, she never “ignored nobody”, especially her cousin for she never spoke to her, looked at her, ate with her, no, said one word to her! The same original specimen admired the “high geraniums of Mrs. Davis” exceedingly.

Alice Tyson brought us a short history of “How Old Glory was Written”, commencing with a brief biography of Frances Scott Key, the poet of a single poem. He was a native of Fred’k Co. Md. an aristocrat, “born in the purple”, on a beautiful farm of 3000 acres. From early childhood he was thrown with cultivated people and intentionally acquainted with many celebrated ones.

Margaret G. T. Moore’s offering was the fine epic, upon “Peace and Growth” by Edwin Markham,

“At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky And flinging the clouds and the towns by, Is a place of central calm. So here in the roar of mortal things I have a spot, where my spirit sings, In the hollow of God’s palm.”

Mary T. Bond’s article was a plea for the more generous dissemination of knowledge. People crave enlightenment and the of universal education

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should fall upon them without any further effort than is required to make them open their eyes and ears.

Mrs. Brigham interested us in the Civic Club of Brookings, South Dakota. First is established a hospital and then a library, the latter has been taken over by this enterprising little city and in another year it expects to have a fine Carnegie one instead.

Martha T. Hopkins kindly recited a poem she knew in girlhood, - the story of an old sampler inscribed, “The work of Eliz, aged nine”, and Letitia Kummer after expressing her pleasure in attending the Asso. once more after many years of absence gave a description of another old sampler made by her mother, the late Mary Chandlee of tender memory.

Ellen Farquhar our war-like advocate of universal peace, evinced by the vigorous poem of Israel Zangwill appended, that her convictions are as strong as ever.

[insert] THE GOD OF WAR

“To safeguard peace we must prepare for war”— I know that maxim; it was forged in hell. The wealth of ships and guns inflames the vulgar And makes the very war it guards against. The God of War is now a man of business. With vested interests. So much sunk Capital, such countless callings The Army, Navy, Medicine, the Church – To bless and bury – Music, Engineering, Red-tape departments, Commissariats, Stores, Transports, Ammunition, Coaling-stations, Fortifications, Cannon-foundries, Shipyards, Arsenals, Ranges, Drill-halls, Floating Docks, War-loan Promoters, Military Tailors, Camp-followers, Canteens, War Correspondents, Horse-breeders, Armorers, Torpedo-builders, Pipeclay and Medal Vendors, Big Drum Makers, Gold Lace Embroiderers, Opticians, Buglers, Tent-makers, Banner-weavers, Powder-mixers, Crutches and Cork Limb Manufacturers, Balloonists, Mappists, Heliographers, Inventors, Flying Men, and Diving Demons, Beelzebub and all his hosts, who, whether In Water, Earth or Air, among them a pocket When Trade is brisk a million pounds a week! ISRAEL ZANGWILL

[end insert]

Mary E. Thomas, Eliz C. Davis, and Mary E. Gilpin were chosen to represent us at the mtg. of The County Federation of Clubs on 9/18/13 at Rockville.

After luncheon the whole company enjoyed the quaint attractive furnishing of this lovely old home, and the beautiful view from the back piazza, - hill and vales, woods, cultivated fields, homesteads large and small, and the pretty winding river made a picture not excelled, we believe, in all of Sandy Spring.

It is evident the new mistress of Grove Hill will make no violent changes, and that one of the most harmonious and tasteful places we have ever visited is likely to retain its old charm individuality. The Sec’y. closed the exercises with a review of the life of “Lewis Carroll,” author of “Alice in Wonderland”, which she had found

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