Mary Behner



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Mary wrote this letter to her family during the second semester of her sophomore year. The letter is written in blue ink on six sheets of Tea House stationery. Mary describes why she started painting and re-touching photographs, her plans for Easter vacation, debating capital punishment, reading books, and wanting new music for her victrola.


Sun Feb 21. [1926?]

Dearest Family.

Have just finished reading your special, mother and was so glad to get it. It was here for me after church sometimes I have received your specials on Monday -early - I believe that those must have been mailed in the afternoon instead of in the morning. It’s always so good to hear from home on Sunday. Quite often I get a Special from Mary on Sunday ~ but not today.

2) How dear of Margaritta and Ruth. They are such wonderful thoughtful girls and I love them both. I didn’t even know they had written you until you mentioned if. I shall never forget what happens that evening fixed in my memory.


Jean McDowell a Freshman just left. She was here with two girls - one of whom is here visiting her this week-end.

Margaritta & I are going for a walk very, very soon. It is a marvelous day out.

So you would like to have me tell you how my pictures came to be. Well, there were 4 girls here from Columbus who took pictures of all the Senior, Junior and some Soph. girls for nothing to make a Holden album. Then if we liked them we could order some. Well my proofs weren’t so bad and so I ordered some but they weren’t finished at all decently. And all of a sudden the thought struck me “wouldn’t they look better if I painted them - and so that’s what

4 I did. The picture itself - the way its torn is what is called their “college pannel.” and so I painted 3 of them - sending two away for valentines (one to you and the other to Mary) and keeping one myself. Some of the girls are begging me to paint theirs. It would be quite an undertaking but would bring good money. I’d charge about 25¢ a picture I think.

I’ll be so glad when spring comes and things begin to get nice and green. My how this year has just flown.

I’ve got to get a Spring coat if I go away Easter vacation - especially if I go to Milwaukee. so I don’t know what I’ll do. If Browners send me a ticket to come to them of course I could hardly miss such a wonderful opportunity. - If they don’t I really think it’s my duty to go to Akron altho I’d love to go to Toledo.

Haven’t been feeling well this week end - rather tired and a cold- or sore throat [unclear] socher [/unclear] - but

6. I’ve treated it carefully, going to bed very early the last few nights and staying in bed both Fri and Sat. afternoons - not going to supper last night. But today I feel much better.

Haven’t been doing so much work in the Tea Room since exams. - my work averaging about 20 hours a week. I’m trying to study more altho I haven’t begun on my Greek.

Debate is fine and I’m enjoying it lots. Prof. Miller spoke some encouraging words after debate - to me the other nite.

I surely aim to debate rather than be an alternate. He wants me to work on a second speech soon- 1. “C.P. protects society.” which would bring in the Juke case if it was just right - but I can’t see that it is and I thought I explained it to you once.

In the first place Ada Juke and her husband were not murderous themselves - . we cannot say that they should have been put away -

8/ we advocate C.P. for premeditated murder only and the parents weren’t even murderous-

Secondly - the argument is weak because the Juke family existed in a state that maintained C.P. all along. Therefore our opponents can say that they had the chance to be executed but on account of the non deterrent effect of C.P. were not billed. They can merely use our case then as an argument that C.P. does not work. Do you see what I mean?

9. It would be a wonderful argument if these situations were removed. I wish I had one for that second speech. Have you anything on C.P. - as a protection for society?

Heard from B.W. Madden who gave the reference I know of and one other - - I don’t know where I can read the material. Our library has no such law journals and Probably Wooster has a law library of some kind.

10/ Tomorrow is Washington’s birthday - We have a holiday from chapel Mon - on to chapel Tuesday.

We also have our annual “Gum Shoe Hop” in the evening. You remember last year I was in the Frosh. Soph. stunts - well I’m in that this year too - such fun! The activities have begun now and time will just fly till time to come home!

Must write to Mary this afternoon. -

Am reading three wonderful books.

11/ “The Man Nobody Know”- “Christ of the Indian road” “Whitherbound in Missions”— all late books.

Think I’ll use the first in my prayer group now ~ Perhaps I could use “Prayer and Missions”. It might be good - but don’t send it if you think you might possibly need it.

Margaritta is here

Love Bean.

Please send me about a doz real nice records in my laundry? — I have Marys vic now & I’ve only got 2 records - one’s the “[unclear] Monter [/unclear] Love Song”-

How ‘bout sending me my kimona?



Publication Date



Letters; Capital punishment; Debates and debating; Photography--Retouching


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Family- February 21, 1926



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