Mary Behner Christopher was born in Xenia, Ohio in 1906 to a Presbyterian minister. She attended the College of Wooster between the years 1924-1928. Her letters talk about life at the College of Wooster in the mid 1920s. She discusses student activities, current events, courses she took, and her goal to become a missionary. Behner was highly devoted to religious life activities, such as the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, Y.W.C.A., and Christian Endeavor Society, but also enjoyed singing, Women's Debate Club, and various athletics. She graduated with a History major in 1928.
After graduation, she accepted a job in West Virginia as a missionary for the Presbyterian church. She worked in Scott’s Run, the coal mining community outside of Morgantown, until her marriage to David Christopher in 1937. Behner remained in Morgantown for the rest of her life, passing away on March 15, 1988. Her diaries and photos from her time in Scott’s Run were donated to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. These letters from Mary Behner’s time at the College of Wooster were donated by her daughter, Elizabeth Burger, in the fall of 2011. The letters are housed in the College of Wooster's Special Collections
This image is from the 1929 edition of The Index, the College of Wooster's yearbook, and can be found on page 30. The photograph is of Mary Behner during her senior year of college.
This image is from the 1928 edition of The Index, the College of Wooster's yearbook, on page 55. This photograph depicts Mary Behner as a college junior.
One sheet of College of Wooster stationary Mary writes to her Dad in black ink about the plans for the Baccalaureate service, being inducted into Delta Sigma Rho and her schedule of final exams.
May 28, 192
I just finished sending our more invitations one to [unclear] Hamingsons. [/unclear] Why, Daddy when you get home I’ll only have one exam to take and that is Spanish on Tuesday – I have Shakespeare on Thursday Reformation on Friday – all of my exams are at 8:00. Tonight we have a beautiful service on the [unclear] ground ‘neath the elms [/unclear] - so then the seniors in their robes – pass
Down the traditions of Wooster to the underclassmen dressed in white. – We sing a class song ect.
The Westminster Choir of Dayton – sings at our Baccalaureate service on Sunday morning Mother surely would enjoy that. I wish you could all come up - Friday all be here for the class play on Friday, the alumni banquet on Saturday and the Bac. Service ect on Sun – I think I’ve decided in my mind definitely not to even think about coming back next year.
Louise Irwin said that her folks (Mr and Mrs. Irwin) wrote her that you offered a prayer at the assembly I’m anxious to hear your report of things there. It surely would have been nice if Mother could have gone. Dean Kelso is in Tulsa…… on the Comm. I believe – You might see him. Am having some time going to dinner parties – teas and banquets … we are initiated into Δ Σ Ρ (Delta Sigma Rho) tomorrow night.
In this letter written to her Folks on one cream sheet of College of Wooster stationary Mary writes about the Glee Club trip to Wheeling and being asked to return for a secular concert. She is anxious to see about her grades and mentions in her signature blue ink that she feels like she’s more grown up and handling things better.
Feb 17, 1928
It’s about time to go to bed – but a beginning is better than nothing. Our grades will be out this week some time. I surely am anxious to see them. We had the nicest prayer group in my room tonight. This year is just flying. Why we even ordered our commencement programs the other day. Am getting the most enjoyment out of Glee Club work. I only wish I could take a whole year of nothing but piano and voice here under Miss Richmond and Mrs. Parmalee – doing
2/ Glee Club work and S.V. work along with it. I’m just sort of wondering is something might turn up – for it to be possible. And if my voice would be really worth the training ect. Miss Richard is marvelous for bringing out the soul of music in me. I am enjoying my studies so much this semester – Perhaps because I seem to be putting more into them. I seem to be more calm and grown up in attacking them. And everything in general. Debate has begun now for sure and of course I’m engaging enjoying every bit of it. Our students put on the “Fool” last night at the Opera House and it was done remarkably well. Had a date with [unclear] Nakasteen [/unclear] to the B.B. game Fri night. We lost by 3pts. From Hudlebey.
3/ We had a marvelous time last weekend on our Glee Club trip – especially at Wheeling – [unclear] Mr Mysheno is certainly a splendid man. [/unclear] I think you were wise not to make the trip Mother. They liked us so well – that they begged us to come back for a secular concert – so I guess we are alright in the Spring. Maybe you could all come up there. That will mean we stay over night there probably. We are also taking a week end trip to Cleveland and one to Toledo. – This next week is a busy one. Wednesday night the Wooster Symphonic is going [sic] their annual concert at the Opera House and the glee clubs are singing with them in “Prince Igor” – Thursday nite we give a secular concert in Orrville and Sunday we give 2 sacred concerts – in nearby places.
We had such wonderful weather last week end for our Wheeling trip. Coming home the moon was full – and the sky was so clear – the hills were simply beautiful. It just tickled me to hear the Oh’s!! and exclamations from those who had never seen the Hills. Today has been just like – a “herald of spring” – I guess spring will be here before we know it.
It is 8:00
How funny! I just began this – and someone brought a special up from downstairs. Haven’t even opened it yet. – so here goes – looks like Xmas
Glad to know Fred is gaining. So many people ask about him.
[letter ends abruptly]
On beautiful landscape stationary Mary writes to her Mother about a surprise visit from her father, about Fred’s leaving school, about not feeling well enough to take her exams and how the lovely gifts her mother sent brightened her sprit.
How surprised we were to have father come in on us. It was lucky too – because this way they could pack and travel together. I wish I were over my exams as Frederick is. I don’t feel quite capable of taking them. Dad heard our Glee Club practise [sic] last evening. Too bad we can’t have a concert in Clarksburg.
2/ I really can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your lovely gifts. The cute green thing – just fits. And the flowers are so dainty, and match so nicely. And – the pocket book – well I was so surprised and then that not being all – was almost too much – the handkerchiefs are beautiful. Really I can’t tell you happy [sic] it made me feel – You were so dear to think of it all – and to spend the time on it as I know you did. It couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
3/ I hate to see Fred go. I’ll miss him so. But it’s far the best thing for him to do. He should go to bed at 10: o’clock every night. He should eat “building up” wholesome foods regularly and keep out doors as much as possible. Make him walk instead of using the car – he ought to make it a point to walk every day and – he should learn tobreathe. We surely appreciated Dad’s stopping here. My exams will be hard. – Because I’m not
really fit to take them – but I’m going to sleep – as regularly as possible next week even though I may have to sacrifice a high grade. All my grades are real good except Spanish and I’m worried about that.
Love to Esther
In this letter home to her family, Mary writes about how excited she is for her family to visit on Color Day, which is also her birthday. She was very disappointed about not going to the Delta Sigma Rho banquet and she has decided to end her relationship with Bob and is enjoy making menu cards and would like to be able to earn her W.C. letter by going on hikes. This letter is written on 2 sheets of speckled blue College of Wooster stationary in blue ink.
April 18th 1927
Easter Sunday is over. Now, and what a beautiful day it was, too, - not only the weather but the spirit of the day. It was full of new experiences for both Mary and me. We didn’t get up for the Sunrise service. It was real foggy in the earlier part of the morning. Mother, your letter came this morning. I’m so glad you folks are planning to drive up for Color day. It happens that color day is on my birthday this year – Color day is always on Saturday. However, the color day play is on both Friday and Saturday evenings. I suppose you will want to see the play on Saturday evening - but let us know so we can get the tickets for both the pageant and the play. Prexy usually preaches the sermon on Color day Sunday and – the college has a holiday on the Monday after Color day – so it’s the big occasion of the year and there are thousands of people
2/ that come to Wooster for that weekend. I have 2 papers to write before Color day. Both of them I’ve begun. Last Thursday was a cruel day for me. The Delta Sigma Rho banquet was held at Holden Hall. Prexy was the toastmaster. The plates were $1.25 per so I didn’t go as much as I longed to. I supposed I should have because it’s my big thing at college. – But I didn’t. The kids were presented with their medals – and to think I might have my key now. It was rather disheartening to say the least. Yesterday afternoon while Mary and Leland were walking out in the country I made two calls all by my lonesome. First I went to see Mrs. Douglas and her 9 days old baby – and she appreciated it so much. Then I went up to Mrs. Vances. – and she and I went for a little walk. She is so dear and I like her so much. Bob asked for a date in the evening and as I had some things I wanted to say to
3/ him so I said I could walk for a half an hour or so when Bob went to Pittsburgh last week and, he sent me a box of debuons nut choc. And there was a card in it “ With Love- Bob” So on our little walk we had a serious talk. I said that I’d gotten the candy but that I didn’t like the card – and he said, “Didn’t you?” So I told him after he said how much he meant it, ect – that I didn’t think it was fair for me to let things continue as they were if he felt that way because I was sure I never could respond to his love in a way which would be ideal to me. I said that there wasn’t that response in me for him – and that we’d certainly had plenty of time (3 years) to strike the right cords if they were to be struck. But he said it was different with him. He said he’d felt more than ever lately that I
didn’t have the same attitude toward him as he had toward me and so the reason he signed the card as he did was he wished an understanding. He said as far as he was concerned he had never really loved anyone else before in the same manner as he did me and that I had seemed to always bring out the best in him. He said he’d get home from dates with me and resolve to be a better man and he said I’d always treated him square – always had been frank and that now that he knew I didn’t have the desired feelings for him. It was up to him to date with other girls so that other fellows would have a chance with me. – Altho [sic] it wasn’t an out and out proposal “will you marry me?” it was a beautiful understanding.
5/ I have never seen Bob when I liked him any better, when he seemed to show forth his very best self. It was simply beautiful but it hurt me dreadfully and probably him worse. I came in and just sobbed – wondered if I had said the right things in the right way. He was so in earnest – and he spoke so directly and lovely – Even tho I admire his attitude extremely, he couldn’t have been more manly about it – still I could see thru it all that matter of factness [sic] that is so characteristic of “Bob" He wanted to know (at the very last) – Whether I wanted to keep his picture or not – I said if he wanted to keep mine – that I’d keep his – and that we needn’t be so formal about it.
6/ Of course we’re friends – naturally but he knows how I feel about it. – And his attitude didn’t make it as difficult for me as it might have been. For instance he didn’t ask me why I couldn’t love him and that is such a hard answer to make – and I admired him all the more for this silence on that question. Yesterday morning Andy’s mother popped in from New York. Mary and I knew about it beforehand but it was a surprise to Andy. Mary fixed up the cutest Easter Basket for me – and I found it on my bed when I woke up. She is taking an exam this afternoon – in French. She and Leland had such a beautiful day together yesterday and she
7/ looked lovely. A new white coat and hat and shoes. She received a doz perfectly beautiful roses from Leland and wore one of them. Received a nice letter from [unclear] Millon Slauffer. [/unclear] He says “You surely are a hustler, and I know that the debt is going to be removed before another year has by” ect, ect. Father must write Mr. Brouwer, now. As soon as he can – Can Ester get off work O.K. - Your missionary work is coming alone fine as usual. That photo album idea is a dandy, be sure to send it in to the C.E world. Am starting some 5 mile hikes tomorrow morning at 5:30 – 4 mornings a week. Horrah! I want to get my W.C. in a little while. So I can wear it next year. Fun!
8/ I’ve got to work hard on my English paper this afternoon. There are packs of things to do as usual – and I crave – reading and resting. And rather tired of taking notes. Have had oodles of compliments on my menu cards. Theyre so cute. On one side is a sketch of the Tea House and on the other are Holly Hocks –
Lots of Love
1135 Beall Ave
Mary wrote this letter to her family during the summer of 1927 while she was staying in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though someone else has added 1924 as a potential date for this letter, the content mentions dates that take place in 1927. The letter is written on Student Volunteer Movement: Northern Ohio Union stationery, which includes Mary's name twice in the letterhead. The five sheets of paper are covered front and back and are handwritten with black ink. Mary writes about how she spends her time in Milwaukee, changing her major to sociology and doing a project on elderly care facilities, and how she wants to spend the rest of her summer once she leaves Milwaukee.
Saturday evening 7:30. a Summer in Milwaukee
Received a letter full of letters from Father this morning - - Among the letters was one addressed to H. Smith at Chatauqua. It was closed, and you said nothing about it in your letters so I thought either it was something you wanted me to see before you sent it out or your stenog. had forgotten to mail it - or rather I mean - had gotten it in the wrong envelope with my numerous letters - so to make sure I opened it - and I'll send it off tomorrow - as I sealed it up again.
The Mrs. Brouwer, Mary and Ellis left for the North last Thursday. They suggested to me to stay out here as much as I wanted and have Elizabeth spend the night with me; and that is just what I've done up until tonight.
And you can imagine what a wonderful time we have had together. We cooked our own supper & breakfast both times, of course and we talked & talked. She is so appreciative. We had our devotions together too and my what beautiful times we had together. She needs such a companion - for I know she hasn't had anyone treat her as I have. Every once in a while she says little things about what I've meant to her that make me feel so unworthy and small - and cheap - when I realize what she has had to buck up against. And then when she says such things I feel well repaid for all I've done for her. I should like very much to give her a Moffet's testament for her graduation present.
Did you send her a gift with a nice letter? You all should write to her - It would mean much.
Dad and Mother won't you both write - and send her something she can keep, together, if you feel you can at all?
It is trying to rain tonight- Just now I am all alone in the house. I am sort of a "door keeper" Have the keys etc. Water the flowers - feed fish - - etc, etc. It's sort of a responsibility but I give - strict attention to be very careful of everything you may be sure.
Mrs. Leiske, the dear old lady next door - the Captain Leiske died this winter - had me over with her for supper this evening - and I am staying there all night tonight. Don't worry I won't stay here alone at nights.
Then I called up Mrs. Anderson - the wife of the state Y.M. secretary who died recently - for she and
I are great friends. We only met a couple of weeks ago. We are going to church together tomorrow. Dr. Dekurst (10th & Harmon) preaches his last sermon here. Then I guess Mrs. Anderson and I are going to have dinner together. She is all alone too - the same as Mrs. Leiske is.
I am not having a real gay time in fact its a rather solomn - time for a vacation but I'm enjoying it - every bit. Of course my studying takes quite a bit of time as that comes first - And then I haven't the money to treat people - myself.
My ear fore is up - and also lunches that I take down town when I do research work at the Public Library. Got a Lib card and so you can see I mean business -.
Haven't had a letter from Fred but he sent me his brief case from up North so I could use it for my books - going to school. It is so handy. I asked him to send it if he wasn't using it. I suspect he is kept pretty busy alright.
Received a letter from Wooster today saying my scholarship was granted for next year. I am glad. Is that blank I sent you O.K. and how did you fix it up? You did not answer me yet - whether or not you put my July $50 in the bank. I would like to know as soon as possible.
I must tell you how I spent the day today - After getting Eliz. off to work I cleaned up the kitchen & made beds and then went out in the garden and picked loads of beautiful flowers to take down to Brouwers store. [Mr B. & Bud are in N.Y]
Mrs. B had told me to do that anytime I wanted to.
The rest of the day I spent in studying in a very practical and unusual way. Did I tell you that I changed my course from English to sociology? and how glad I am! Well - for Wed. we have to write a paper on some phase of "Old Age". Pensions - institutions for Old Age - etc. so - yesterday I called up the over here in Wau and made an appointment to visit them and did so - yesterday afternoon. Now - wasn't that bold? Well - to come to todays' happenings - I went over to the Prot. House for the aged in Milw. I had called up beforehand and found that Mrs. Harrington - the bed lady our Calvary S.S. class used to send Sunshine Boxes to was still there. So I took her some flowers - And - you never saw anyone so delighted and happy. She said before I left "this surely will be a red letter day for me --
Right away she asked me to stay for lunch - and I too was delighted. Thru her - then I got in very personal touch with the institution. It was indeed very interesting to compare the two Homes. The one - so narrow the other so broad. And the results of such attitudes are certainly marked. I won't go into detail - but will tell you about it some time. Our sociology is indeed an interesting study. Mrs. Harrington wants to be remembered to my mother & father and sister.
Geraldine Prunslow is married. Did you know it? Prof. Dodge is having in some swell apartments on Grand Av. He wants to see me. Ev Jausseu went to Wis. University last year. I talked with her over the phone but haven't seen her yet.
I have a date tomorrow night to her Dr. Johnson preach -
with a college student from Dubuque who is studying to be a minister - He is from Poland - has travelled to S.A. And is now doing mission work under the auspices of the national board - in the Polish district here. He has been in this society for 2 years & speaks wonderful Eng. He preached last Sun morning at the little Pres. Chapel in Wauwatosa. - Met him after the services. Mrs. B. asked him home to dinner and that is how it all started. Saw him Tuesday - & he met me down town at Marquette & then walked on down town with me. He is much interested to say the least. I am interested in his work & etc. but not him personally - for my sake - as I am afraid he is of me -
Summer school ends Aug 8. If I could drive to Chatauqua N.Y. with you - I should do it in one minute without further questioning -
National Council meets "in the vicinity of N.Y" (?) from Sept 3 - to Sept 8.- that is - Sat. Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed Thurs - of the week before school begins. Then on Fri, Sat & Sun of that same week - that is Sept - 8, 9, 10, I am due at Chipewa lake as representative of the S.V. at the retreat for the religious organization officers - Now -
I have from Aug 8th to Sept 2nd free - Perhaps I could rush from here to W. Va and we could [the 4 of us] go to N. York together. Then - if there was time between Chatauqua & my council meeting - I could stay in the state of N.Y. some way, either working at Chatauqua or with Andy up in Northfield - Well - we'll see. Have you any ideas.
I have made no definite plans about up North. The Brouwers
want me to come up if its possible though. Thats! That.!
Whew! It sure is raining out! Storming rather. Guess I'll go over to Mrs. Leiskes pretty soon. This is a pretty long letter. Pretty scibbly too. Hope you can read it.
Lots 'o love.
Just talked to Marjie over the phone. Am going to stay with her all night tomorrow & Monday I don't want Mr. Rabe to bring me way out to Wau - would feel safer in town - even tho he is O.K. there is T.N.T. Monday nite. So all will work out well. Love - - -
On two sheets of cream paper with a colorful edge Mary writes to her family from Milwaukee. In black ink, she tells of all her travels from Wooster by herself and how exhausting finals and working the last few days of the semester were. She's settling in to Milwaukee and is excited about the summer.
June 13, 1927
Right now I’m in a Physics lab in West High in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Elizabeth Ivanoe is at the board working problems. Now I’ll begin at the beginning and tell you how I got here ect. We just came from a History class. Deliver me from ever being a teacher like that. – Sarcasm personified. It really is so extreme that I’d class it as unnatural. Betty loves Physics and chemistry. Shes an all around student. None of her final grades are less than 95 – she’s brilliant – that’s all there is to it. You can’t imagine how wonderful it is to be here. I went to Calvary Church yesterday morning. Arr.
In Chicago at 6 – caught a Milw. St. Paul at 7:15 and got to Milwaukee at 9:00 – naturally – I went over to the Y. Where I [unclear] knew [/unclear] things best. Introduced myself to a Mr. Sights who asked to be remembered to you – I started to go upstairs when who should I meet but Bob Graves. He said – well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes. He nearly fell over – didn’t know I was coming at all. – Went into the ladies restroom to get cleaned up. Bob had said that there was no regular S.S. but but [sic] a children’s Day joint service at 11:00. So I had a few minutes to write back to Wooster and to tell them I had arrived ok. Etc. Because of course ingoing alone are on an excursion trip to Chicago – and setting up was a little risky. It certainly did pay me though – since I had no trunk – there was no excess baggage and I carried a grip – a hatbox - and a Boston bag. The excursion crowd wasn’t a bad one at all – I just simply minded my business and acted as if I knew it all. Left Wooster at 10:50 with a grand sendoff and arrived Chi at 6 in the morning. There were no berths so sat up all night except for intervals of sleeping. Read a little of [unclear] “By an Utilitarian Disciple” [/unclear]
I am pretty tired. After taking my exams last week (psychology was the only one I had trouble in) – There was so much else to do. I finished my exams Thursday morning – which was English exam – (got B+ on my semester English – Mary got B-) (Most of the grades were C and B-) Started packing immediately we had to be out of the room by Friday morning because Mrs. Raukin was having guests come to stay there. We were to stay up in the attic – SO – can you imagine how hard we worked to pack everything? Whew! – And then you see I had
to plan for 3 different places – while packaging besides deciding what I wanted to send home I had to plan for Milwaukee and summer school – and up north (which meant warm clothes) and New York and Colonial Council – besides of course – what I should leave at school. It wasn’t much fun! We stayed up till 2:00 and had practically everything done – except the noisy work which we got up at 5:30 to do. Well I had to work at the Tea house at 9:00 – and I didn’t feel so prim or peppy. I had gone to the peace pipe smoke the evening before.
Worked 10 hours altogether on Friday so earned $3.00 – worked 7 ½ so earned $2.25 – They asked me to server at the alumni banquet (no pay - too tired – so didn’t) Friday night went to the play – was too tired to enjoy it much – and after working 10 hours and not sleeping more than 5 hours. Leland was in the play – he had his car in town so didn’t have to walk up nor down to the opera house. Saturday evening was campus illumination and it was beautiful – after working at the Tea House and finishing all my packing – I took a bath and washed my hair. Then went downtown and got a haircut. In the meantime, Mary and Leland had prepared a little lunch and so when I came home from town - we ate. The kids made up a little lunch from the box you sent. The nut bread was so good. Ate some on the train Sunday morning – am sending home my laundry in a box containing comforts and two laundry bags full of clothes. I don’t want the clothes here in Milwaukee that are in the big tan laundry bag –
but I do want the clothes in the blue striped bag – that is smallest one – and the bag itself. I should have a laundry bag here – Don’t know whether all those things will fit in my laundry bag kit when you send them to me or not. Stayed with Betty Ivanoe last night and am going out to Brouwers for supper tonight and be there when Mary comes home. We are now in Betty’s English class. Mr. Nive (you remember him at Calvary?) is the teacher
By By [sic]
Mary writes to her family in blue ink on one sheet of College of Wooster stationary about her birthday after her family left the Color Day pageant. She went out to dinner with Leland and Mary and his family then listened to a radio concert. She is concerned about the money she owes the college and hopes she can figure out a way to Milwaukee in the summer.
Sunday May 15th
I feel like a different person right now. This week end has been a lovely one. It was great you decided to come – but rather unsatisfactory because there were so few confidential moments. I don’t know whether I feel older or not. I wonder though, whether I’ve grown as much as I could have. I can see places where more effort would have surely helped. The pageant only lasted about 25 minutes after you left. It was shorter this year than usual – It began to rain the minute the thing was over – and rained most of the rest of the day.
2/Hope you had a pleasant trip. I’m glad you stayed for some of it anyway. I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t. Mary made the day so pleasant for me. After the pageant I wanted some dinner and I knew Mary would be with Leland and his family so I skipped over to the Tea House in hopes they would need some one to help and that way I could earn my dinner but they had enough helpers. Leland asked me to eat with them at the Lodge when I got back. In the evening Mary and Leland asked me to go with them to a lovely little home to hear a radio concert. – as the people who live there were going out to the play. There was the nicest davenport and the nicest big chair there. We didn’t talk at all hardly but just listened to the loveliest.
3/ music. It was so restful and beautiful – and it was so nice to have them trust me there with them – “They” are so dear. This morning Prexy preached a wonderful sermon on “The Loneliness of Jesus” and the choir sang so beautifully. There were people turned away from chapel – I don’t know when a service has move me so. Leland and Mary went to church together. I went with Kam Sing Sun. This afternoon Mandy & “Marc” and other alumnus plus Leland all were up in the room here and we had the dearest time together. They all wrote in our memory books – Can you imagine what Leland wrote as his “ambition”. You’ll get the significance if you remember what I said in the car coming home from the show. He wrote:
“To improve my imagination” HA! HA!
And to think we have a holiday tomorrow! Feel pretty good now except I’m worried about the $102.00 that I owe the college. I don’t know where its coming from and I’ll have tuition to pay as soon I get to Milwaukee – if I have the money to get to Milwaukee. Don’t know what Fred is going to do either. Why don’t you write to Mr. Montgomery and ask him if he could meet you in Wisconsin this summer? I’ll bet anything he would. He practically said so. C.E. was good this evening.
Topic: “The Second Mile”
Lots of Love and thoughts
Your college girl
Mother – Please send me the letter I wrote to you about Bob – Real Soon???
On one sheet of cream College of Wooster stationary Mary writes from a train car in blue ink about travelling from Philadelphia, through Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. She slept well and enjoyed the lovely scenery.
Aug 30, 1927
Just left Philadelphia a little while ago. Am writing on a table – here in my seat and the train makes my writing wiggly. Read for a while last night and this morning too. Got in bed as soon as the train started. It was so comfy. – My watch stopped at 10:30 and hasn’t been running since – and it was just fixed. Guess the shock of my going [unclear] TNY [/unclear] was too great for its little springs to bear. My birth [sic] was the last one to be made up this morning. Got up at 9:00 – and just as I sat down in the dining car we crossed some beautiful river. – a beautiful sight. This is the most beautiful trip I have ever taken. Went thru Washington D.C. about 7:00 this morning and Baltimore Md. about 8:30
There are only 4 passengers in this car now. This scenery is beautiful. Third stop after this is my stop. Getting along beautifully. Too wiggly to write.
Guess I’ll chew mother’s gum. No squaking [sic] babies on this train last night.
On three large sheets of cream colored paper in blue ink Mary writes home to her folks about a fire in the Holden dormitory. Everyone was fine and so she continued her week with a movie, a surprise visit from a friend and some readings and sermons she enjoyed.
February 27, 1927
College of Wooster experienced its first bit of excitement this year, and even – for many years – Holden is all upset about 7: o’clock this morning Mary and I were awake - and all of a sudden we heard laughing and talking and yelling – over towards Holden – but it seemed nearer than Holden – in fact our lawn – Then I said: “Do you suppose it’s a fire?” – but neither of us got up to see (it was so cold). Then we heard an engine “chug, chug” – and some one yell “Turn on the hose.” Then we did get up and sure enough there was smoke streaming out of the windows at the end of the hall – and we could see the flames in two rooms. Then we woke up the whole house – so we all could participate in the excitement. Then the girls began to stream out of Holden and Dean Vance and Mrs Mcglauflin appeared on the scene – and another fire engine pulled up. The flames caught another room – and smoke started stream out from the third floor. We thought the firemen never would quench the flames. It seemed an age – but after a while – about 7:45 it seemed to be under control so all (the whole dorm for once in the Hist of the School I guess) went to breakfast – and after breakfast
2/ When we came out the flames were all quenched – of course everyone had to investigate the two rooms that really were damaged – the one room on the corner, nearest to us is a wreck – and the pathetic part about it is that the two girls who live in that room are both at home this weekend. But, anyway, that’s the bit of news in a nutshell – and it’s almost time for S. School. Esthers boxes are off at last. We packed them Friday afternoon and tied them up Saturday morning and took them down to the express office. There are seven of them sent C.O.D – Thank you so much for dollar you sent to Dottie – it will come in very handy – Ahem! It was some job. We had to pack everything over again. I hope it all comes through alright. The cedar chest is here with me at Rankins. The lamps is all repaired but – Shall we send it home. It’s still at the shop waiting for Lig & Mary to pay the bill so it can be brought up.
3/ Last night Andy and I took a sudden notion to go to the movie. Got a ride down town – saw one of Zane Greys stories. Then we walked up the hill – and enjoyed it so. Gave the kids demerits night before last and they’ve been mad ever since – but then that’s a small matter. Spent all of Saturday afternoon on my Northern Ohio student volunteer correspondence – wrote up my minutes, too. Mrs Parmalie is giving a concert this coming Tuesday night and this Friday or Saturday – our college play is to be given. Catherine Dreisback is coming up for the weekend – either on Thursday evening or Friday morning. She is quite excited about it. I s’pose [sic] we’ll have a fun Saturday night – and some place cards on Sunday noon. It’s real cold out this morning – Guess I’d better get dressed for S.S. now or else be late. I love Sundays – they are so quiet and restful, usually.
4/ Sunday afternoon
Mary received a special from her mother – Roy has been sick 5 weeks today – They got a nurse for him yesterday. The only reason they didn’t get one before is that Roy wouldn’t hear of it – but the doctor simply insisted on it yesterday – so a nurse they must have. His other lung is affected now. My laundry will no bought be there before this letter is. It’s snowing. Two silk shirts of mine are in one of Esthers boxes. I sure do hope everything comes through alright.
Perhaps I’ll add on this later. Oh! I must tell you something first. Ruther Avery surprised us by coming to visit today – so just before we went in church we decided to have a dinner party – whew! So we got some extra church cards at the door and during church I wrote a verse for everyone but myself (Mary wrote that) on the back of the church card. Enclosed find the one I wrote for Boots --- This is what she wrote for me
Here is a girl named Bean
Her sense of humor’s supreme
Hasn’t she made us all scream?
Bless her heart, watch her eyes beam.
Daddy, your last letter was such fun. It was so funny. It tickled me when you said you were asked to pray “uninformed”. Has Esther a permament position yet? Three cheers for Mother for buying a new hat. Keep it up Mother – maybe someday you’ll have a new coat. We are using those blankets here – of Esthers. They come in mighty handy because we are having some pretty cold weather. You surely have had some weather. Did I tell you daddy – how last Sunday – or I mean the Sunday before – we read the most of Reve Luccocks book – “The Home God Mean” – and then when I got your S.S lesson – t was on the Home? Interesting! Prof Johnston gave a paper on Stanley Jones’ book “The Christ of the Indian” [unclear] this morning in S.S. It was excellent. You remember I sent Miss Anna Van Hook a Christmas card. Well, I got an answer from her the other day. Will send it to you after I answer it.
6/ Have been receiving numerous letter from Bennie for the last week. I wrote her a letter some time after Christmas and her letters this past week have been a sort of diary effect. She sent me a blotter from the 1st Wise Nat. Bk. And also – an Italian dialect poem – by T.A. Daly. Isn’t it nice Catherine is coming to visit? The prayer this morning in church was at least 15 minutes long. A Rev. G.H. Beeman of class of ’92 and towards the last he prayed “Do thou awake the sleeping ones – and restore the jaunting ones” – and you should have heard the shifts in the audience.
Mary writes to her folks on four large sheets of pink stationary folded into a booklet in blue ink about the letters she’s received, lovely gifts, and surprising her roommate with a room makeover when she returned from the holiday break. She led a children’s choir and played music on her saw, she had a dinner party with friends and set her schedule for the next semester.
Sunday. Jan 9, 1927
Had grape fruit and hot coffee cake for breakfast. My bed is made and another Sunday has begun. Have had some very interesting correspondence this week. A fine letter from Evelyn Miller. She appreciated my fits so much and especially the fact that I would take time to write her such a long letter on Christmas Day. She loves the book “It Can be Done” and of course my picture too. Then also I had a letter from Mrs. E. F. Baker – who
was once Betty Sebbold. She is now living in her own home on Mulford Road in Columbus not far from the home of her parents or her husbands parents. She is so happy. She says – “You can’t realize how glorious it is to have a home and a baby. Oh Beany, she is adorable. There are time’s where I could just kill her with hugs and kisses – How is your family – and have you found “Him” yet or are you too devoted to work? “ The letter was a dear one and such a surprise – an answer to a Christmas card I’d sent her. She and her sister were married at the same time. Her sister also has a baby and is expecting another one very soon. Also had a nice letter from Janice. She was so pleased with my train letter. Catsy and Von sent Esther and I both stationary for Christmas. The little package from Andy which you put in my laundry
was a beautiful yellow and orange handpainted silk handkerchief. Mary got a blue one. You can’t imagine how lovely the yellow curtains look. They look so cheery and fresh and dainty. Have a little blue butterfly stuck on each one. The blue and yellow is such a lovely combination. Our room looks the best it has ever looked – with the beds, book case, ect all changed around. Everyone likes it better. The plain colored curtains are so much better for
this room than figured ones. Mary likes them so much, too. She was so pleased when she saw the room at 4:30 Tuesday morning when she came in. I wasn’t really expecting her till Wednesday and was so surprised. When I saw her sitting on my bed – after she’d kissed me awake – she decided she could cut a class either. And it was such a good thing that I came when I did or we never could had the room looking as it does now.
I finished everything – Mon night – it took me till 11:30- and of course everything looked darling when Mary came. Leland had met her on that early train. He hadn’t gotten in himself till midnight (bumming from Chi.) – All I hear is Milwaukee – Mary is just full of it. They had a marvelous time and the convention was simply wonderful I guess. [unclear] “The Interacelleyum” put out daily numbers for the convention. Brouwers – of course entertained the delegates in fine style. [/unclear] Mary said she never gave up of my not coming until after the convention began. She said she wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to see me walk in at any time because she said she knew how badly I wanted to come and how I usually get what I want if I want it badly enough. So much for that.
Yesterday Mrs. Vance called me up – said she had an awful cold and wondered if I would consent to take her place and lead the singing at College Hall in the afternoon- and also play a saw solo. So I did and got along fine. It seemed quite natural to be leading a group of children again – so I felt quite at home. Afterwards when I was walking up the hill with the girl who played the piano (a senior)
She said “I surely did like the way you handled those children – How do you think of all those extra things – on the spur of the moment? That one remark would be enough to tell on that is a great need for more able workers down there. You know how things do pop into your head when you’re in front of a bunch of wiggly children. For instance I said – “Now – I’m going to ask you a question” – Naturally every eye was alert – all talking stopped – then I said - What is 10x4? Every shouted “40” a- “Alright”, I said turn to page 40” – Ha! Ha! Wasn’t that funny? Had a chance to go on a Toboggan party later in the afternoon but refused – and stayed home to start my studying for exams. Started some Psychology review. I’m scared to death of a flunk in Psyc and Spanish – so I’m giving everything up from now until exams. My schedule for next semester is made out. Instead of taking Philosophy – I’m taking another course in History so I’ll work off all but one year of my major. And the reason I’m doing that is because I heard that MacDonnald[sic] is not coming back next year & I’m getting all I can from him at the last minute. Don’t you think that’s wise. Then I’m also taking an Orientation course – one hour course on Wed Evenings – under the Political Science depart. It’s really a course of international relations – and the lectures are by – Prexy – Mac Dow – Ver Stuerg – ect – a great course if I can understand it all – All together I am carrying 17 hours. Bob wanted a date last night but I refused. Mary & I had double dates to the Basket Ball game last Thursday. We both were red dresses. It was fun!
My laundry came Sat. morning. And came Thursday I believe. All things enclosed have been delivered to their proper sources. Mary just came dashing, she’s been talking to Miss Moore ever since breakfast – Gus and I had a nice time on the train – Oh I guess I told that Tuesday. Night. “Scud”, “Dottie” King and Buddie gave an adorable dinner for their big sisters – not only did we have fruit cocktail
But there was chicken -a-la King and fruit jello and soup. Mary says Prexy is going to preach this morning --- It gives me a funny feeling when other people get credit for something though of – doesn’t it? – I guess father – you’ve probably felt that – where the book – “the More Nobody Knows” – came out. As long as the good is done – I guess the world is the thing that matters anyway. – but I guess its perfectly natural to have that funny feeling – Well dearies – it will soon be time to go to church or I mean – S. S – so goodbuy [sic]
Mary says I should cut it out
So goodbuy [sic]
I was teasing her
Boots & I have a new system now for devotions. We stop work at 10 – and have 30 min for – ourselves. We first write our diaries and then read – Just now we’re reading “The Religion of Undergraduates” and then just before we turn out the lights we learn 1 verse of scripture on on [sic] the C.E. [unclear] and then we have our prayers.
-- Nice? --
On two sheets of lovely pink paper, Mary writes home to her folks in blue ink with specific instructions for her laundry and about a lovely letter her sister shared from their Father.
January 15th 1927
My dearest folks:
Enclosed find my complete schedule. Now you can know wherever I am every hour of the day – just about. Mary has exactly the same schedule except debate and in place of that she’s taking a third history course the first hour in the morning. The varsity debaters were announced day before yesterday and your eldest happened to make the team. Brouwer just came in and we’re both writing specials home. Maybe I’m cold. (^ Bean changed her mind as to what she would say right back there as that sign.) It’s real cold out doors. Every night it snows just a little bit so that when we get up in the wee small hours we have to make
Tracks over to breakfast. My laundry is all ready to send off – and I have some special directions concerning it for you. The “itch” has come back again – however it’s pretty well gone. It just happened this week – and of course I got after it right away. It must have started from clothes that were not completely sterilized. Everything comes in contact with the “bug” must be boiled 20 minutes and I’m afraid some of my bloomers or shirts were not BOILED 20 minutes. In fact I got it have after wearing my green silk bloomers for a few days and I imagine that’s were [sic] it was because you probably didn’t boil them at all. However – they’ll have to be boiled and everything in my laundry except my handkerchief. ^ (and the blue flannel top to my pajamas) – has been in some contact with it this time and must be boiled. It is such a nuisance and I don’t
Want to get it again. So please boil them at least 20 min. The tan bloomers are just dandy. Such a nice color for school. Like them a lot! Was asked to tell a story down at college hall this afternoon but refused because I must study for an English exam. Think you are wise not to send Esther’s box till after exams. I have never seen Esther so radiant over anything as Dad’s last letter. She read it to us yesterday and it’s one the very nicest letter you’ve ever written to any of us – and I’ll tell you now it had effect. She’s going to tell Johnny not to come till after exams. And she
Said she could have cried when she read the letter. Really Father, you can’t imagine how much influence that type of letters would have on Ester – or any of your children for that matter. Heard the mens trial varsity debate last night – on the cancellation question. They have their first real debate next Friday night. And not quite thru the Queen Vic book – and there was no room in my laundry for it so will send it separately about Monday I guess. Our room is all clean now – but it’s cold. Hope you have a pleasant Sunday.
Lovingly Mary Elizabeth
In this letter, Mary writes to her folks about her cousin Catherine coming to visit. She wanted her to experience every faucet of College Life from movies, to basket ball games, dinner parties, the radio and a play. As always she writes in blue ink on four sheets of College of Wooster stationary about all the experiences they had together.
7:25 – after C.E
Im making some toast for my supper. Have some milk left from our breakfast this morning, and Margaret Smith just brought in some candy which she got for her birthday, and there are some peanuts left from our dinner party this noon. This weekend has been one of real worth. I really feel it has been one of service “and not only that but of revelation to me. Catherine has not experienced joy and a real good time in all her life as she has had here at Wooster with me. She said so – As for my part - it has been a challenge to me - of the opportunities which I have had – and which she has not had – and I admire her so much for coming to the conclusions she has – in her crude, simple way – and whats more – I marvel at what she could be
2/ if taken out of her pigeon hole of home life and brought into contact with thinking youth and wider problems. – in other words - College life – and I believe she realizes that too. I wish you, Daddy and Mother might have been spirits with us all the time – to see the reactions which I saw. She has never seen the life she lived this weekend. She has never realized it could be this way. She’s thrilled and she’s been walking in the sky ever since she came. When you really realize what you’ve been able to accomplish (with god’s help) the 5 or 6 dollars that it cost you to do so- seems really small. It hurt to spent it, but it was worth it, I entertained her I would have – a best friend. (Andy just brought me up some jello) A few minutes interruption! “Bernie” just brought me in piece of cake – Isn't that funny? I wonder what will be next. Now shall I tell you just how we spent the weekend? I cut Chapel Friday morning to meet her at the car. Sure enough – there she was her little black satchel
3/ I had written her to get off at University Street so that she wouldn’t have to walk from down town. We came up past the chapel – and she saw the students come from chapel. I didn’t have a class that hour, in face I was through for the day so that we came right home. I looked up a good class on the schedule sheet and finally decided we’d visit a History class – of Miss Dunham’s – on the Reformations – The class lecture was on Luther and his ideas and extremely interesting. By the way I am planning to take a course under Miss Dunham next year. Either that one, or one on the World War. Her lectures are so clear and complete. We ate lunch at Holden. After lunch I asked her if she would like to go down town to see Hawthorne’s “The Scarlett Letter” which happened to be showing at the movie. She said “no” that she hadn’t been to a show for two years. – An example of her narrow mindedness. Then
4/ we started to hash things over and I really believe she though in a different angle for the first time in her life. I told her how I thought that we should patronize good things we [sic] they did come – and how I thought it was too possible to pigeon- hole ourselves and thus mar our influence from those need it most around us. We went to the movie – of her own will. And thank goodness – it was perfect – she couldn’t have seen a better movie. It was a puritan setting and portrayed so wonderfully their narrowness. She said afterwards she had never seen a movie she liked better and she had never seen one that hadn’t had some shouting in – Well – now you see her narrowness is merely a result of not having experience & a chance. And this is based largely on current ideas. After the movie we came up the hill to a S.V. Prayre [sic] group – because Friday was prayre [sic] day for missions and I suppose you know – so she got a glimpse of that nite of our campus life. After the prayer group.
5/ we saw some commotion down the street which happened to be a fire – so – some real excitement followed. The roof of a house was burnt pretty well off. At supper time to my surprise our bunch had arranged a dinner party for Arlene – who had a birthday. There was a cake a centerpiece of beautiful roses. So she experienced a birthday dinner party with lighted candle cake, ect. Friday night there was a Basket Ball Game so she saw another important phase of college life. After the game we took a little walk – it was a beautiful evening. Before we went to bed we had the dearest devotions together. Catherine is so sincere and after all that s the one important thing in any persons character. One who is insincere – who acts because it is pleasing to others and contrary to her conscience doesn’t get any place.
6/ Saturday morning we ate breakfast at the Y.W.C.A Tea House after which we went to my English class. After class we had to go over to the gym because I am volleyball Manager – she watched us play volley ball – and enjoyed it so much. Then I took a shower and we arrived home just in time for lunch. Saturday afternoon I took her to see the Library, the chem. Building and Biology building. We even looked thru the microscope at some funny bugs - then we walked down town again and she bought her ticket home. And we shopped a little. Got the things for the cute dinner party we had this noon. Came up the hill in the bus. While she took a bath & got dressed for dinner I went to sleep. Was so tired. In the evening was the play – and it was grand. The boys were so nice to us. Frederick is certainly one of the most thoughtful and gentlemanly boys- I’ve ever known. He doesn’t miss a thing. Catherine said to me afterward that it
7/ was just like having a date with some one she’d never known before because she never knew him as he is now – and she was quite impressed with him. (I imagine, although, she didn’t say it that she couldn’t help but compare him with her own brother) It was Frederick that had gotten some chocolates and it was Fred who thought of a taxi – when he heard it was raining outside. Catherine got a big thrill out of the taxi ride she had up the hill Sat. night. We didn’t get in till about midnight. The show as so long – but it was splendid. Catherine it was the 1st real play she’d ever seen. This morning she experience a “grill” breakfast in our room. Made some toast – had bought some grapefruit & milk also. Such fun! She heard a co-ed discussion S.S. class – after which she attended our chapel service. This noon – was the cute dinner party. Leland said if we’d come to his table, h2 would give us formal service, and so we did. Wasn’t that dear of him?
8/ This afternoon she enjoyed extremely a visit with Kane Sing Sun and with the radio – at Freds- She wrote in my memory book. And so I could go on and tell you loads more – but I imagine by now you can see what the contact has meant to us both. When one as Catherine comes into our midst it makes us stop and think and feel ashamed that we have not made more of our opportunities.
The C.E. meeting this evening was on Teaching – in my talk I read the following poem.
“I am only a nickle
I am on speaking turns with the candy man
I am too small to get into the movies
I am not large enough to buy a necktie
I am not fit to be a tip
But believe me when I go to church or S.S
I am some money”
Then also quoted from the Fe. Presbyterian.
“ The trouble with our giving is that it lacks spiritual voltage. “
My Mary will be back in the morning
On two sheets of College of Wooster stationary Mary writes home to her folks about playing her saw, harp and piano at a dinner party. She’s starting to get her grades in for the end of semester final exams but still has three more to take. In blue ink she tells about her plans to take an excursion to Chicago to save money on her way to Milwaukee.
Mary is out for all night - at Flip Painter’s and Thelma Church is here with me. She is sitting on Mary’s bed and I am sitting on mine. We are both writing home. Just came from Kam Sing’s she is heart broken – has had some very misfortunate experience today – right in the midst of exams. So I wrote a note and took my rose and went down with it. The rose: I must explain. Friday afternoon I played my saw at a luncheon and the hostess gave me 2 of the most beautiful roses – Gave one to Thelma that same day – then this evening I parted with my last one – and it was so beautiful. Played the prettiest numbers with the harp – “Largo” and “Volga Boat Song” and Prelude – C#
Then with the piano played “all the world is wanting for the sunrise” - “Mighty like a Rose” “ The Sunshine of your Smile” They were lovely wore my yellow lace dress – afterward Mrs. Williamson said that the ladies said that they liked the little girl in yellow – she smiled so sweetly – Ha! Ha! She told me that.
Thelma sang a solo in S. S this morning and asked me to accompany her on the saw. – The hymn was “The Place of Prayre [sic] I sought Him” It made a lovely combination. Received my first “A- “from MacDonald the other day. It was on that long thesis about Queen Victoria which counts more than the exam grade – He wrote on the paper “You have enjoyed this part of your work.”– I hope I get an A in the course. I took my exam in the course Friday and wrote a B exam I’m sure. Have had two other exams I may get an A in the “Debate” one
And yet again I may get a B. I think. A B in my other History exam – at least I hope so. Have 3 more exams now.
Bible on Tuesday
Psychology on Wednesday
English on Thursday
Am working at the Tea House next Friday morning and evening. Also Saturday morning. On Friday evening the seniors give their play. Leland is in it so he got Mary and I real good seats. There is a week end excursion to Chicago this next Saturday so I’m going to cut Commencement and take advantage of it. The round trip ticket is $6.75 – and that is ½ as cheap – If you send a box it could be used nicely in the middle of the week – or even at the end (if it wasn’t too big) Today was Senior S. S the Seniors all march in – and sat down as a class.
We sat in the [unclear] transept so we could see them better. [/unclear] If I go next Sat. – think of it (the time just flies) I’ll be in Milwaukee a week from tonight. It’s getting late now.
Earned $1.90 at Tea House Sat.
Would you send me the letter I wrote about Bob? I didn’t write my diary then and I’d like what I wrote when I was in the mood.
Mary writes to her folks on three large sheets of cream colored paper in blue ink. She talks about the Mary’s family members being sick, having a George Washington themed party, playing her musical saw, the faculty performing Zona Gale’s play “Neighbors “and that she’s preparing to give a speech about “Extra territoriality rights” in China.
Feb 20, 1927
It’s real cold outside today. Nearly froze last night. Was glad to have Esthers blanket. It snowed and was so windy that we had to cut thru some little drifts this morning in order to get over to breakfast. Mary received a special from home after dinner. Roy has been very sick for two months weeks now. Has had a temperature over 100 all the time. It started with inflammatory rheumatism and he now has pleurisy – besides a cough which is probably his azma. [sic] Bud has been sick too. I guess the folks are pretty discouraged. Mr. Bruwer has some heavy business propositions on now. He is planning a new parlor store on Grand Ave: now called Milwaukee Street. Would be nice if you would find time to write to Mrs. Brouwer. Mary says she wouldn’t be much surprised at most any news from home about Roy. This noon Mary and I had a little dinner party. Very simple but real dear. Little hatchets for place cards and cute Geo. Washington nut cups. This is who was there
Scud, Dottie, Buddie, Millie, Kam Sing Sun, Flip Painter Boots and I. We borrowed a little gerusalem [sic] cherry tree from Mrs. Westhaffer. So it was real Geo. Washingtonified. [sic] They all just left a few minutes ago.
Rev J. G. R. McClure D.D.L.L.D. of McCormick seminary spoke in church this morning. Do you know him father? The Milwaukee delegates spoke in Chapel last Wednesday. The platform was all decorated with little flags of all nations. Mary was the last speaker. She had a fine speech and fine poise but it didn’t get across because her voice didn’t carry. It is snowing outside now! There is to be another Fellowship hour this evening – at 4:30- Mary and I are both to head different tables and I was to lead in prayer. Also have to play my saw for Intermediate C.E. this evening. Surely Miss Esther’s accompaniment. – Mary is going to accompany me – Prof. McDonald is going to speak at Intermediate C.E. this evening.
I think I’ll rest a while. I’m so sleepy. Then I’ll continue this later.
Just came home from C.E. The saw music went fine. She said she (Mary) never heard it sound so lovely. We played a medley of hymns – all in 4 flat
1. Day is Dying in the West
2. In the Garden
3. Open my eyes that I may see
It is simply beautiful outside. The snow is so white and pure – I almost use it in my prayer at C.E. I am eating an apple right now – one you sent me. We have quite a few left yet.
X X X
Mary sends you the above kisses. She made them upside down. I don’t mean that she standing on her head – I mean she drew them upside down. Mary says to tell you she doesn’t know whether to put on a blue dress or not. She doesn’t know whether he (Leland) is coming back this evening. (P.S. – Leland likes her in blue the best) !!!!!!!???????!!!X.X.X.
This is a sample of Mary’s handiwork. This weekend has surely been a full one. Whew!
The faculty entertained us last Thursday night – We gave Zona Gale’s play “Neighbors “ – also a fine high class musical program – before the play we had double dates. Then Friday night the Glee Club gave their annual home concert. Leland had gone home so Frederick took Mary and the 4 of us had a real nice time. Then last night (Saturday) was a B.B. game with Mt. Union. But we didn’t have dates to that. We lost 27-21. It was a hard game. Received a long letter from Bennie the other day.
I wish you would tell me definitely what to do about the cedar chest. If Esther is coming back for sure next year then I think the cedar chest ought to be left here – but if she isn’t coming back – it might as well be sent home. I suppose it would be best to be left here. We have a vacation from Tuesday after chapel to Wednesday after chapel. I think Frederick & I can manage to pack things then – Altho I have so muc
3/ to do. You see I’m coaching a S.V. play – the one I was in last year – and we’re going to practise [sic] Tuesday afternoon. Then Tuesday evening is our annual gum shoe hops. Doc Lowerice is a big bum. He hasn’t written for ages. Miller surely has been a brick. I am taking a course under him now. And have a debate to prepare for day on the “Extra territoriality rights” in China. Haven’t done a thing yet. It’s sort of complicated, too.
Dr. McDonald gave the most beautiful talk on “Christian Citizenship” in Intermediate C.E this evening. He said that – image your home a state – and your obligations in that home as children – then each blame then if you can not [sic] be a good child – you can never be a good citizen- stuck in the home – to learn to obey – do your duty – be truthful – have courage – be useful, ect. It was so simple and beautiful.
We have read some more of Luckach’s [sic] book – “The Home God Meant” this afternoon. Its so beautiful. A new week has begun and there is much to accomplish. May we do what we have to do – well.
Love to you all
“Your College Mary”
My Mary sends her love -
n his letter to her folks on pink paper Mary writes about her last first Sunday back at Wooster. She has a room to herself and is working on making it look grand. She had a prayer group in room and is working at the Tea House. She begins writing in blue ink but then switches to black.
First Sunday at Wooster and my last first Sunday here too. It is good to have a room alone cause I do just what I want. And go where I want when I want. And my room looks so nice – I am using Mary’s curtains but they are long enough because I set the rod down lower. Then I got drapes & put them over the top and sides. Enclosed find a sample. Bought enough goods (10 yards) for my book cases, table or pillow, and my wash bowl curtain and it looks grand. – oh yes – for over my
Rocker and chair too. Am expecting my little sister (one of them) to come in any time. She is going to stay here until 4:00 and then we are going to vespers together - then supper – then C.E.
Prexy spoke in church this morning – and the choir sang beautifully. Most of the Freshman girls wore their roses. Mary Strubel, our Y.W. president led prayers over at Hoover – during which time the Y.W. cabinet girls took roses to the girls rooms. This is a custom for the Y.W. to do that. Thelma sang in S.S. – I led in prayer in the co-ed class. Art Romig is president of the class. Art and I are working together on Y cabinets now. We each have College Hall on our own cabinets. That makes 3 very important places where we have position’s side by side. Isn’t that funny?
We had a peach of a reception last night. The whole gym was decorated like a ship. Enclosed find a program. Prexy - and Dean Kelso’s talks were great! It seems impossible that another year has begun, and that it is my last one. It is a big and busy one for me alright. Have the publicity for a World Fellowship week which is to be pulled off here pretty soon – and that is some job. Received Esther’s letter. Mary Lou is staying over at Hoover
With Louise Makay – sort of helping the Freshman for a couple of weeks – Isn’t that nice? My college Fall work is going to be much like D.V.B.S. work. Would there be any chance of my borrowing the D.V.B.S. book from your church? – those Bible stories eh? Could you send it here to me. You need not send my curtains. Am working at the T. House most every noon and on Saturdays. Have earned $2.50 already.
Hope you made the trip alright.
It is Monday morning and my room is [unclear] straightened [/unclear] up and I am ready to share my devotions – then study. Last nite we had our first prayer group in our room – a wonderful group – on “prayer” [unclear]
Mary wrote this letter to her mother and sister during the 1927 summer she spent in Wisconsin. The letter is composed on 8 small sheets of cream colored paper; black ink handwriting overs only one side of each sheet. In this letter, Mary writes about her concern for her father, an upcoming family trip to Chautauqua, NY, summer coursework, buying clothes, and a reception for Milwaukee pilot, Lester Maitland.
[in Wauwatosa WI ’25?]
Dear Mother and Esther,
Your letters concerning father were quite disturbing to say the least. He lacks something big - you can see it in his eyes - and I believe that something big is faith. Yes I really do. As far as I can see through him he has let his reason in real practise come before his simple faith. Lots of men at his age and with his experience - get that way and I only hope that he can get over it and gain something - up north alone. I only wish he could be up there alone for a month or 2. then he would find it. 10 days is really not long enough.
I don’t know whether if I said anything about it he would stop to think.
I just finished getting things ready to cook for supper. My beets are on. Then I’m having asparagus tomatoe salad - steak, lettuce - celery and radishes. jelly and bread and blackberry short cake. How does that sound to you? Did Dad tell you about the tasty dinner I cooked for him when he was here
Bud left for up North yesterday evening. so Mr. Brouwer and I are alone. Pops is leaving Friday for Up North and then he and Mary are coming home about next Tuesday or Wednesday as Mary goes to Geneva that week end.
Dad and I talked over Chatauqua and it looks as if I will be with you folks at Chatauqua at least a week- and then drive home with you.- and be with you a couple weeks. Then go to New York City. Our Council is to be at Riverdale-on-the-Hudson. Isn’t that thrilling. I can hardly wait.
In the meantime I am very busy studying. Got an A in my last Sociology paper- and have to write another one for this Friday. Visited a Day Nursery for my material.- I should like very much to get A’s in both of my courses this summer.
Wrote letters to Miss Root and Professor Luster the
other day. Had dandy letters from Mary and Thelma today.
Enclosed are some handkerchiefs for you mother. I thought they were very pretty and they were also very cheap- (5¢ a piece). I also gave Mrs. Pagsdale 2. She has been so lovely to me. Just called her up and asked her how to broil a club steak - over the phone. I am making Mrs. Brouwer a brightly colored Japanese creepe buedeon . Awfully cute.
Dad probably told you that I made him stay out here with me nights. We had a lovely time together. Went over to Houlkaups one night. Also had our devotions together one nite
Rev. Turkerstha’s gone to Michigan. I don’t know what city. Elizabeth is Romanian. She has a wonderful position as a private secy at the Boston stars.
Summer school ends August 5th - - Tell me what kind of clothes does one need for Chatauqua? Many dress clothes - good silk ones? —. Kam-Sing Sun is in New York - Chatauqua for all summer. Had a letter from her the other day.
Marjie, Olive & Bee are all single.
Mary writes that Fred looks unusually well - up north. I’m so glad.
Elizabeths birthday was the day Dad came and I didn’t know it. - and she came home with a box of chocolates and a birthday gift for me. A lovely jewelry box.
Have my shoes for next year. Brouwers had their semi annual sale - and plus my discount I got them very cheap - considering. Also bought a perfect dream of a frock for next year. It cost me $15 and it looks like $50 - But I won’t let you hear about it. I’ll surprise you with it. Everyone thats seen if just says - Oh - Mr. Brouwer is crazy about it.
Think of it only 2 more weeks of school. How this summer is flying - Am really enjoying my work very much. And we’ve had nice weather on the whole.
Yesterday was a big day. The city gave a reception for Col. Maitland who made the trip to Hawaii. There were 300,000 people that lined the Wisconsin Ave. and over 3500 people in the parade. Bands from all over the state. Floats and even the mailmen of the city were in it - & the policemen who weren’t on duty- Everyone was out and such excitement & thrills —
I was parked on the Pub. Library steps so had a grand view - Got in 2 moving pictures - that were taken - I never saw so many people. — Confetti - flags - whistles - chimes of America in St. James Church - baloons - Maitland souviner pins etc. It’s been the biggest celebration since the Armistice.
Pops will be home soon.
Tell me what to take to Chatauqua——
Mary wrote this letter to her parents during the spring of her junior year. The letter is written on three pages of cream colored paper in blue ink. Text covers both sides of the pages. In this letter, Mary writes about a story by Grace Livingston Hill, her friend (Boots) going out after being sick, her grades, and her summer trip plans for Milwaukee.
Dearest Mother and father:
I have been so busy for the past few days that I just now had to turn my calendar up to see what the date was. Its a beautiful Sabbath Day and I have been alone. It’s been so quiet and peaceful. I have just been living - it seems - another of Grace Livingston Lutz’s stories - “The Man of the Desert. Its a beautiful love story of a home missionary out in Arizona who fell in love with a society girl that had come out to the desert for a western trip with her family. Her short contact with him brought into her life the character of a man who impelled the best in her. She, Hazel came in contact, by chance, after she went back to New York - with his dear invalid mother. She administered to her and learned of the beautiful and deeper things of life thru her. No one but she know her connections - with John etc. so John’s mother did not know who she was to John nor did John know who Hazel was to his Mother. When the mother died Hazel travelled west to deliver to John a letter which she had promised to do personally.
2// Hazel had her vision of life and was now worthy to be the wife of a missionary. Its such a sweet story.
I suppose Mary will be home any time now - She and Leland drove to Oberlin after Rev. Howard B. Therman who is to speak at C.E. this evening and at Chapel tomorrow morning. Personally, altho it is a fine warm day, I think she was foolish to do it. She was sick in bed all day yesterday with an infection in her ear. She only was able to sleep two hours the night before. She didn’t take her conditional exam in French on account of it. Was busy putting medicine in her ear and keeping a hot water bottle on her ear. She felt fine last night and got up and dressed - and this morning felt she was quite able to make the trip. She bundled up warm and they left soon after breakfast. I wish you could see how happy Mary and Leland are. Their love is so beautiful and rich - and deep. It makes me feel all thrilly inside.
I suppose the last telegram we sent you made you feel
(3) quite happy. It did us to say the least. It was as I had expected. So you can imagine how well prepared we were on the exam. It would be indeed strange if she did not pass us. I’m so glad its all over - and now that thats off my mind I have much to do between now and June. -Two awful semester papers to write - at least one more rendition of our play - a trip to the western part of the state for a Union executive meeting besides keeping my grades up and trying to get all B’s. -and maybe earn some money to help pay expenses. Finished menu cards for the Tea house last night (did not go tot he all college square dance) and am going to charge $2.00 for them. The weather will be getting nice now and it will be more difficult to concentrate on studies. My! how I should love to show them I can make all “B’s”. I’m going to try so hard.
The Brouwers are so pleased that I’m going to be with Mary this summer. Mrs. Brouwer doesn’t like to have her alone As far as the calm is concerned.
(4) There is another party who wants it but has not said anything definitely yet. Neither have we said anything definite so Mr. Brouwer is giving it to the one who speaks first. I am going to write a note to Mr. Brouwer asking him to hold if for us and that he will hear from you in about a week - as soon as you have had your consultations. I will ask him to hold it for you for during July. Mary says that she heard indirectly when home at vacation time that someone said that they thought these friends would be in that cabin all of August. so you had better try get get up there - the Middle of July anyway. However I’ll write Mr. Brouwer and you write as soon as possible. There no doubt - will be other places you could live after these folks come up but they would be much more expensive. This cabin is $10 a week.- some of the others are around $40.00. You might even know people who are going to be up there and with whom you could make other arrangements for August if these
5/ folks do really come.
Thank you for sending the books. I had to pay a fine on that library book. Disgusting. i told her I didn’t know when I’d be able to pay for it.
Wore my spring coat and hat this morning with Mary’s fur. Mary has two beautiful new hats. One a red silk one to match her red silk dress and the other a white eave cloth one to match her new white coat of the same material. She made herself a darling silk kimona when she was home. I have it on now-
“Art” asked me to lead Student Volunteers this coming Tuesday but I refused - saying it was impossible this Tuesday —— !! He was elected President of the co-ed S.S. class - Perhaps that will console the dear boy - having a position on the campus. Its going to be very difficult to work with him — but I just make myself realize that there will be no doubt - worse things than that to confront on the mission field. Some day I’m going to talk to him, though and be very frank in telling him - somethings. Someone surely should.
6/ I left my soap box at home in the B.R. Would you sen that to me? Also a picture of Esther in her formal dress - I forgot. Will you send me that?
Today is Palm Sunday and they gave out Palms at church. Thats the first time I ever got one at church. I don’t think they ever did it before.
When Mary told Elizabeth Ivanov that I was coming to Milwaukee this summer she wouldn’t believe it - and she says she won’t until she sees me. Isn’t that just like her? Adlyn is so anxious to see me too.
A letter from Evelyn Miller says she and Ruth are ready to leave for Arizona. They both have symptoms of T.B- after an exray - . - It can be easily cured and they want to play safe. Poor dear Evelyn has had a hard life. I must write to her soon.
Must close this rambling for now anyway. Give “Gus” my love. I’m so sorry I did not get to see her.
Lots of Love to you all
4:45 Sun. P.M.
On three large sheets of cream colored stationary, Mary writes in black ink home to her Mother, Father and Esther. She talks about reading and spending time with Mary, and wanting a friend to visit her at school, and that her and Fred will pack Esther’s things to send home as soon as possible. She is disappointed that her schedule changed because she was not able to continue on the Varsity Debate Team.
February 13, 1927
Dear Mother & Father and Esther
It’s a cold stormy night- but hearts have been very happy and sunshiny. Mary is reading out loud from the prophet – It’s beautiful. “Fell off the roof “so I rested all day. Read quite a bit all afternoon from Rev Luccocks book “The Home God Meant” – a beautifully written book. Mary wrote letters while I read a sentence out loud once in a while. We’ve had a beautiful quiet time together.
Lelands sister was operated on for appendicitis yesterday so Leland went home this morning and he isn’t back yet. C.E. tonight was great. Enclosed find the program we gave out tonight to the students. Mary is chairman of the prayre [sic] meeting committee. The Milwaukee delegates are making quite a hit. They speak in chapel this coming Wednesday morning. Mary is speaking about Studdert-Kennedy the chaplin of the King of England – a wonderful man from all reports.
2/ Wrote a letter to Catherine Dreisbach this afternoon. I want her to come up the weekend of the 5th of March. There is going to be college play that week end. Enclosed you will find my last letter from Catherine – you need not send it back. Enclosed also find Aunt Blaunche’s letter and a clipping of interest. My laundry will probably arrive Monday morning – They never delivery things in the afternoon here. Frederick got his Saturday afternoon. I am anxious to see & eat the cookies you so thoughtfully made. Father has my grade card. He put it in the Deans letter and I think he put the Deans letters in his pocket. I must have my grade card. Esther should keep hers also. I think Dad should write the Dean and make them make good the mistake of the conservatory so Esther can get her “A” music credit. I think Dad should do this. Esther should not have to pay for their mistake.
3/ Frederick and I will pack Esthers things as soon as we possibly can. We were down there 4 or 5 days ago to look things over and see what had to be done. Saturday Mary & I were busy preparing for a party Saturday night – a Y.W. – Y.M. group party and we had to go down town ect. We simply could not do the packing Saturday. I think I’ll keep the comfort [sic] alright it’s so nice and warm. Was glad to get your special, Mother and Esthers too the other day. My schedule is all arranged now – with 12 hours of work
5 hours of History
2 hours of Bible
3 hours of English
2 hours of Speech (not the varsity debate course)
= 12 hours
But I have 8 hours of work to make up for my exam after Easter vacation and that’s some job. Varsity Debate is all over for me. Miller was a break and really won his
4/ point – His argument was that I’m taking his course on speech & that what ever come in that course – cannot be denied the student. The committee (all but me – who is the real hitch) – agreed individually [unclear] as a committee their action was a little different. So Miss Roat came to me and said the wisest thing for me to do was to “gracefully withdraw” before too much pressure was put on the committee and things were made more difficult for me. I can see her point but I consider it tricky. So I went to Miller and told him everything – and he was wonderful. He finally decided that the best thing to do would be for me to drop it – of course it is he that has been the real pressure but he said the reason he was willing to dismiss it was that he was afraid that it would be hard for me personally – if he went on thru with it and won his point
5/ As for him – he is not finished even tho my part dismissed – He’s going to see his point through and says if they don’t get his point – the whole affair will involve him personally – He would go to Prexy. He says anytime I am blue I should come over. I’m to sit in on the trial debates anytime I want and be still considered in spirit – a part of them. He certainly has been one grand peach. Anyway its all over now I’m letting it out of my mind and ready to dig – and make good on what I have before me. I must and my spirits are the best they’ve been for a long while. I’m rising above the great disappointment. Sold quite a few Valentines but fewer than other years. Tomorrow is Valentine’s day – Hoorah! Want to read some before I go to bed.
Ditched Bob tonight – He brought me home from the party last night naturally. There was a square Junior dance last Friday evening. We won the craziest Basket Ball game 69-29 Funny
Will you be my Valentines?
Love & Lots
One sheet of cream colored College of Wooster stationary in blue ink Mary writes to her Mother on Mother’s day. She is feeling very devotional after an inspiring meeting with a seminary student at the Ohio North Union executive committee meeting. She also talks about wanting to see an Opera next year in Cleveland after Mary and Leland attended one.
This has been a beautiful day – in spirit- I don’t when I’ve felt so much in the spirit of devotion I wore a pansy for you this morning – It was raining but the air was so clear and fresh afterwards. Leland and Mary are out together. Their love is so beautiful. It makes me want some one all the more – to understand and love. I call them my “little doves” – course Leland doesn’t know that.
I had a very lovely experience with Fred Cook from Oberlin yesterday at Tiffin Ohio. Heidelberg College is at Tiffin. Art Romig and I drove there for the Ohio Northern Union executive committee meeting. Fred Cook drove halfway back with us. We sat in the back seat and had the finest talk. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed being with a boy. He is much older than the college student. He’s taking his second year of Seminary work at Oberlin – and is thinking seriously of preaching next year in Montana instead of taking seminary work. We talked about each other’s devotional loves and about mission work and Student Volunteers, ect. The only. Kind of worth while friends those that really count are the ones you can talk with about things of real worth – I enjoyed it.
Leland and Mary went to Cleveland yesterday to hear [unclear] H provedan [/unclear] by the Metropolitan Opera Co. – I am going next year to an opera in Cleveland. They say it was so wonderful. Quite a few students went. It costs so much though- I want to hear Aida next year if it takes my last cent. Have you ever seen Grand Opera? They spent
Mary wrote this undated letter to her parents while in Milwaukee, likely during the summer of 1927. The letter consists of a single cream colored page, with handwriting in black ink on the front and back. Mary mainly talks about her friends in Milwaukee and mentions a young man working with Polish Catholics.
Sunday Evening 9:40
2625 Wells Ave:
Here is your wandering daughter - skipping from one place to another. Just came in from my date. Could have stayed out later but I didn’t want to. Marjie is out with Olive H. and Bee Jones. -I guess they didn’t expect me home so soon. Well, I fooled them. I came in town to stay tonight and tomorrow night - Tonight because I didn’t want Mr. Rabe to take me way out to Wauwatosa and tomorrow might because T.N.T is in town - and I’ll be out for that. Last T.N.T. I brought my saw - and played till 9 could hardly walk. Marjie had asked me to bring it. - and she insists on my bringing it tomorrow so Guess shes going to have Hubert drive me out tomorrow for it.
This is a lovely evening and Dr. Jonston preached a fine sermon on the Conscience. We took the bus over a little early and walked along the lake for a while - then went to church. Miss Leau’s solo was beautiful.
This morning Mrs. Anderson (who is wife of the state Y sec. that died this last year-) and I went to hear Dekurst preach his last farewell service. Then she took me out to a “Duck” dinner. It was lovely - She is such a lovely woman and I enjoy being with her so much.
Mr. Rabe did not get so personal in our conversation as he did at our first meeting. He is learning very quickly that he must keep his distance. He is a very hard worker and is doing heavy work among the Polish Catholic People on the South side. He’s going to call me up some time this week.
I bought a beautiful soft bawcock straw hat for $1.00 the other day. It was a $7.50 hat. Also got some shoes.
The Rapdales send their love. They postponed their vacation three days to see you folks and of course are very sorry Mother & Esther are not coming. The girls were counting on Esther- But then New York will we wonderful for you-
On two sheets of College of Wooster stationary in blue ink Mary writes to her Mother and Father about how she’s spending time with Fred, turned down a date with Bob and that her Thanksgiving was peaceful and quiet. She also admits to struggling with her mid semester grades. Receiving two D- and an incomplete.
6:10 – after supper
Dear Mother and Father,
It has been raining today. It is getting colder now and also blowing real hard outside. Had a pretty good supper tonight. Frederick waited table [sic] down stairs. Thanksgiving yesterday was such a peaceful quiet day. There were only 3 of us in the house all day even Mrs. Rankin was gone – We made toast in our room here and then went to services at 9:30. Prexy spoke and the choir sang. Then after services Fred came home with me and then we four drove down town in Leland’s car to send the telegram. Had dinner at 1:00 and such a wonderful dinner as it was – five courses – all formal serve – Rah! Rah! Rah!
Yesterday afternoon we sung and played for a while – then when Leland came – Mary & he went for a walk out in the country - and then I wrote my diary and sort of rested. In the evening Bob had asked me for a date but I told him Fred and I wanted to be together for a while – and we hadn’t – much this year – no Bean did not have a date with Bob – Andy Anderson went with us to the show. The show was dear – and we had such a nice time. Leland and Mary had the whole house to themselves Hot Dog! Cute?
Have just bushels of studying to do this week-end. More fun! We have weekly tests in Spanish every Tuesday – and such tests – am awfully discouraged with my Spanish. Our prof is simply hapless – she started out alright and my first test grade was 85 and my daily work was almost perfect but she kept piling up work until now I don’t where I am – hardly
in fact got D- on my mid-semester grade and of course those grades down [sic] go down on permanent record but nevertheless all my grades this mid-semester mean work harder than ever. Also got D- in Psychology. I’ve worked less in Psychology than in any other subject. It seems I’m less interested in it and I always leave it till the last to do – am doing a lot of outside reading for it now – turning over a new leaf as one would say. Wasn’t feeling well the day we had our History exam so my grade is I in that (which means incomplete) I hope to get least a B in that and will do my best for an A. Then B+ in Debate which I hope will be A for mid semester grade. Miss Thayer (our Eng. Prof) didn’t give out grades so I don’t know my grade in that. But got B+ in my semester thesis – which was an excellent paper she said.
And deserved an A- if I hadn’t been for the spelling – (???) – and I asked her if she had idea about what kind of work I was doing and she said of course she had nothing to judge by except [unclear] thesis [/unclear] and class work and that my classwork was very fine- My laundry came this afternoon – and it looked so nice – the way the things were packed ect and oh the goodies are so good – Mary says so, too. Andy says so, too – We all say so.
Must go to the library tonight. In facet in a very few minutes – so must close now. Mary is having a date with an old [unclear] Wauwatosa [/unclear] friend tonight.
Three more weeks till Christmas.
In this letter on Y.W.C.A. Tea House stationary, Mary writes to her family in blue ink on the front and back of 5 pages about springtimes, daffodils her Mother sent her, exams, her favorite record for the Victrola, writing letters, Easter cards, and a cold her caught while visiting Akron.
Sun. April 11, 1926
Am a little more light-hearted today than I have been for some time. My Greek exam is over now, and I believe that I passed alright. I’ll be very much surprised if I didn’t. Am coming along fine in debate in fact prof Miller told Lois and I the other day that our appearance on the platform was the best of any of the team. He likes the case of speaking and type of voice – and just the general appearance of use [sic] in speaking. Then I feel pretty good because it’s spring –
I believe I wrote you the beautiful quotation which I heard
“ I push the blades of grass aside and lay my finger on the heart of God”
Isn’t that beautiful? I feel good because my check from the board came and all my bills are paid. I fell [sic] good because my room is spotlessly clean and thus cheerful. Had my rugs – comfort and sheets all cleaned. It so thoughtful of you to send my laundry special delivery – so I got my pretty clean
Curtains up Saturday afternoon. It came (I mean my laundry) after I had finished cleaning my room so just I time to put them up and make things look so. Nice, and then those beautiful spring daffodils came, packed so prettily – came thru beautifully. I love them, and the dear verse, you wrote Mother. I gave one to each of some of my best friends here and copied the verse for them – and they appreciated it so much. They are so beautiful. I have two baskets of them. One of the baskets we made in D.V.B.S. is hanging on my window shade – full of the jonquils. They get the sun there and look so pretty.
Miss Gould used the basket of jonquils for a dinner party at Holden this noon, the head table and of course they all remarked and she told them where they came from. Prexy preached at church this morning, a very interesting sermon, and the first sermon he’s preached since he came back. He walks with a cane and doesn’t look a bit well. Mother, I’ll bet you can’t guess what I bought with the dollar you sent me!
3/ One of my favorite pieces - “Oh Promise Me” – for the Victrola – sun by a beautiful contralto. Have been playing it all afternoon – I love it, I never get tired of it. I used to sing it to Mary on Sunday afternoons in our room at Hoover - with my Uke. Received a. special from Mary today – long letter. It’s real cold tonight but yesterday was a beautiful warm day. The sun shone today, tho. Wore my new spring outfit and it surely is stunning
Got another awful cold in Akron – and I’m trying hard to get rid of it – because I debate at Oberlin this coming Thursday night. Whew! The Easter card you sent was beautiful I’ve memorized the verse inside – I like it so much
Its deep beneath the fallow sod
The blooms await the smile of God
So may your heart in secret hold
The seeds of happiness untold
And may God smile upon them there
And make your heart a garden fair.
4/ And don’t think I wasn’t aware of the “appropriateness” (if there is a such a word) of Mary and her little lambs on the cover. The card I sent Mary had a girl two lambs on it. Am embroidering a green voil [sic] dress in all colors. It’s going to be very pretty. My curtains were packed so neatly. I wish you folks could see my room tonight. When I was in Akron Mrs. Austin gave me two of the prettiest waxed crepe paper butterflies – They’re to stick on lamps or flowers in the house. Cute & Clever.
A friend of hers was making them for a bazar. They’re an awfully clever novelty. Went to three shows while in Akron. Came back Tuesday morning and studied. Wednesday I felt awful. This cold was coming then. I guess that was why – and I couldn’t study. Friday Thurs. was wore [sic] and Friday I went to the nurses. & took a hot bath I dosed up and was in bed early – for I had this Greek exam in the morning – and I had to be fit. Felt a lot better Sat. morning as I slept well Fri and sweat all nite [sic].
5/ Don’t know what I’m going to do about next year – I’d like to live in the dorm. Only 4 years in college life and so I don’t what I’ll do. – Nothing whatever is in sight. Have played the vic so much today – I enjoy it so. [unclear] Hoduch [/unclear] played it all last week. I’m to leave S. volunteers a week from Tues. Missed getting the Pres’ assistant of the S.V. by one vote. 8-9. I believe I’ve told you most of the news – so I guess I better stop & write to Mary.
Much Love to All.
In this letter on eight small sheets of Y.M. Tea House stationary Mary writes in blue ink to her family about drawing with her friends, a poem by Joyce Kilmer and her debates as well as scholarships, Glee club concert and housing for her siblings for the next school year.
I won’t be writing this very long. Well, because I’ll explain Bob waited for me after C. E. and wanted to take me to church down town, but I refused – ‘cause he took me to the Glee Club concert Friday night and I decided that was enough for this week. Besides I didn’t want to ^go to church. Well, then I decided that I wanted to sing – so then I went over to Holden and now Ruth Avery, Ginger Trundle, and I are going to some home near Holden (a missonaris [sic] home) – and I’m going to take my music, too. Was glad to get Dad’s special. I think I have a good line on a room for Fred - but I’m not so sure about a room for Esther yet. I’d rather have her stay out a year than not live in the Freshman girls dorm.
You never could guess what we did this afternoon. Margaretta Craig, Handy Anderson (a freshman girl) and I got in our sweaters and knickers, and drawing pencils and paper, and sketched – a tree – a bubble bee and – a bob [sic] wire fence on the top of an embankment – and a then we drew the tree –
2/I read for them Joyce Kilmer’s poem
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree,
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s mast flowing breast
A tree that looks to God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of Robins in her hairs.
Upon whose bosom snow has lain.
Who ultimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a Tree
And then under our sketches of the bumble bee we put
“ A bee or not a bee that is the question. “
We had a wonderful time and it was a beautiful day! – The wind a little sharp but then we were dressed warmly. Am undressed now. We just came back from our surmion “Singin’ bee.” I didn’t enjoy it much because Ginger couldn’t play very well and [unclear] discords [/unclear] just drive me wild. I sure did think of Esther & wish she were here.
3. And now some more about the debate. Everyone has been telling me things about debating – at Oberlin – and I couldn’t imagine how everyone knew about “how I did” ect. Until the other day – some one said to me “I got a compliment for you” – and then told me that in her speech class. Prof. Miller was telling him – how everything I said at Oberlin was Mary Behner behind it ect. Can you imagine that? After the debate Thurs nite where Miller & I were alone – he said some things that surely made me feel good. – So you see now I’ve got a reputation to live up to, which always makes it much more difficult – So I guess its been worth the effort alrite [sic] By the way, we debate Ohio Weslyen [sic] the 28th Maybe our negative team will travel there also. Oberlin would not come to a decision about judges so we debated without judges – Perhaps I’ll tell you all about it some time – I’suppose [sic]this summer.
4. I told you that Bob took me to the Glee Club concert Friday night. We drove to Oberlin in Prof. Miller’s car, and drove back the same night. Had a reception, there after the debate also. It certainly was thrilling and – especially because it was my first experience of its kind. Played tennis last night for half an hour. Boy! It sure was great. “Dre” says I have to practise [sic] up. ‘cause he’ll show no mercy this summer.
I can’t write a decent letter tonight, so guess I’ll quit.
I want to live in the Dorm next year & with $50 a month I think I can. with my money earned this summer and my scholarships ect. I hope so. This year has been too hard – but I’m thankful for the experience anyway so now I’ll have to think of a room-mate.
5. Dad – write for scholarships to Prexy right away – They are supposed to be in before May! I’m going to get a blank for me tomorrow.
Dad Continuing Monday
Enclosed find blank that I am filling out for a scholarship. These applications have to be in before May 1. – The earlier the better, no doubt. I have left the questions unanswered that I wish you would answer for me on another sheet of paper - - Please
And I also inquired about a room for Esther just a few minutes ago. There are about 100 applicants for Hoover already and Hoover only holds about 55 or 60. Then Miller Manor is the second best – is down next to the conservatory – right next to it. The rooms there are pretty nice
6. Miss Fisher, the office sec. said there would be no chance of getting in Hoover but there no doubt would be – of getting in Miller Manor It would be very handy for a music student to live in Miller Manor alright – and Miller Manor holds about 25 or so Freshmen – All Freshmen. The only thing I don’t like about the Manor is that Mrs. Philips the matron there is an awful busy body & gossips – she wants to know everything about every body ---- but then the matron at Hoover now is discustingly [sic] strict – so perhaps the [unclear] would even [/unclear] However I have paid the $5.00 down and Esther is on the waiting list for a room at Wooster College. The girls at Miller Manor eat at Holden. Rooms are assigned the last of May. So you won’t know until then. But if you canb [sic] get a good room, Esther can work a year – and save a little money. Perhaps that would be better anyway.
7. But – the thing in favor of Miller Manor is that it’s mighty handy to the conservatory and practise [sic] rooms. Bob tells me that Hites are going to have 12 boys next year instead of girls [unclear] so [/unclear] they had this year. That would be a nice number and of course they would all be Freshmen boys. I’m going down to see her today or tomorrow and pick out the best room for Frederick – there –
Fred – you wouldn’t want a better place I don’t
believe. Its about the nearest house to the college that takes of that many boys – Its right acoross [sic] from Colonial & Corner Club (Sophmore Girls Dorms)!!!!!! And near the “Shack” on Beale Avenue. Oberlin doesn’t hold a candle to Wooster campus. And of course they don’t have the “color day” that Wooster has. Vivian Hales a conserv. student there says that the conservatory students almost feel they are in a different college. They’re not in college activities at all. They have their conservatory activities
8. entirely separate. I’m sure that wouldn’t be so interesting. Write to me about it. Esther – and all you folks. I’ve [unclear] denied [/unclear] to be in a dorm next year.
Much love to all
Be sure and send me back this important yellow paper.