Mary Behner



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This letter was written by Mary to her parents early in 1926, her sophomore year of college. Composed on two pieces of Tea House stationery, handwriting in black ink covers the front and back of both pages. Mary talks about a recent Student Volunteer meeting at Ashland College, singing with a group in the Wooster jail, and an upcoming debate about capital punishment.


7:30 Sun

Dear folks.

Am home now from Ashland S.V. retreat tired enough to go right to bed. The trip cost me $5.98. There were 8 from Wooster there about 25 or 30 altogether from all the Ohio Northern Colleges. Met some fine students and had some fine talks with some.

It was an educational retreat and surely was intensive alright. We discussed the purpose of missions - changes in modern missions - Have we a message? - Failures of Christianity. slow for S.V in advancement of Christianity Campus problems!

Margaritta Craig led this mornings discussion on Campus problems and did it remarkably well. We were

2/ so proud of her. Kam Sing was along. The other discussions were led by Mrs Kenard from Japan. She is fine - Do you know her?

Ashland College is certainly crude compared to Wooster. One week were thankful we are in good old Wooster. We’re all mighty proud of Wooster when we compare with other colleges- going away from home makes us appreciate it alright

We had a fine time. The discussions were so broadening - and certainly were intensive then when we got back to Wooster this afternoon Mr Cook wanted to know if we would to go and sing at the jail and we did. That was a wonderful experience & gave a fitting finish to the whole conference.

3. It was so impressive! There were 6 in jail - and buy of minor offenses they were all together in a place between their individual cells. There was one negro and we asked him to sing- He was rather timid at first but sang -so beautifully- it was so touching.

—and I am debating for Capital Punishment. We have a debate tomorrow afternoon and I’m not prepared.

Mary is not back & I don’t know whether she will be back next week or not. Here’s hoping.

Mother’s permission came Friday morning so there was no trouble about getting the Deans permission

4- I’m sitting on my bed and its pretty inviting - - I’m tired and am going to bed very soon.

A book - debate on Capital Punishment came from N.Y - $1.00 - did Dad send it. Darrow-Talley debate.

Maybe I’ll write this week sometime if I have time

Much love

Do you know Mrs. Kenard?



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Letters; Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions; Jails--United States; Debates and debating


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Parents- circa 1926



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