Mary Behner



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Mary wrote this letter to her family during the second semester of her freshman year of college. The letter is written in blue ink on three large sheets of cream-colored paper. The final page has a note added in pencil. Mary writes about receiving family photos from home, and she devotes much of the letter to discussing her friendship with Paul and other men.


1. Sunday, Mar. 22.

Dearest Family,

I am sitting in my room above with the two family pictures before me. You can’t imagine how proud I am of them. They are both so very different. I think they are fine pictures. Mother’s picture, I think, is the best of any and yours is so good. Your expression is so different in the two pictures. In the live one Fred seems rather blurry, but it’s good - then in the other grouped one Esther seems blurred. I think mine isn’t a bit good. I guess its too natural——. It certainly was a pleasant surprise to get them. Jean wants me to let her have one in her room for a while.

Well, we just finished having our prayer group. We are reading “By An Unknown disciple.” Read a wonderful chapter tonight. Have you ever read the book?

This noon Mrs. Scott asked Boots and I to sit at her table because Dr. & Mrs. Luccock were to be her guests & Mrs. Stuffer (one at Geneva) is their daughter - We know the Luccocks as well as any Frehman We were all in Mrs. Scotts parlor when your “special” package came. Of course I guessed pictures right away & showed them to the Luccocks & all - I said that Dad knew of him - & he said the face was familiar. Or course I

don’t know how much of that is true. He of course wants to meet you when you come & wanted to know when my mother was coming so I told him. He asked specifically when you were coming, Dad.

Had a date with Paul tonight. He had said before he would see me at C.E. and I thought he just meant that he would take me home but evidently he was planning on taking me to a concert. Well, I didn’t go for two reason - one because of his indefiniteness & the other because I wanted to talk to him. Never before have I actually wanted to talk to him- I’ve sorter always disliked walking dates with him. The reason I wanted to talk with him was because of his reaction when I told him I didn’t think I was going to go to the recital. Underneath it, all I could see a jealousy on his part that I go out with other fellows etc. I want to tell you right now, I never talked to frankly to a fellow in my life. I don’t know why, but frankness just seemed to possess me & I simply talked my thoughts in an understanding clear but unharsh way. I asked him what was on his mind.

2// He told me something which I knew wasn’t the thing, so I said, “Is that all?” He said, “I guess so.” I said, “Say no” and he said, “no.” Well— I told him it didn’t pay to feel that way. He knew I was reading him like a book. And I think, now as I think back on it - that altho he didn’t act as such, that he respects me a lot for it. Anyway is changed matters some, I think. Dear family — it wasn’t love or admiration for him that made me talk so frankly to him. I’ve known him quite a while & I know him pretty well, and I had the right to be frank. It was surely an instinct, unexplainable of my being myself & doing my bit to make a man out of him. This is absolutely the truth. Funny - I don’t get emotional with men — I think I will tho when the right man comes - I’m afraid though. I might break some hearts finding the right one.

I’m certainly writing my thoughts. I would be so much easier to tell. —So much for that. Mr. φώιελ had asked to take me to the concert tonight also. I had 3 chances to go to the Frosh benefit movie last Friday down (Got mixed) with φώιελ, Paul & a Mr Cook (the one who took me home from the Frosh skating party - his brother is a S.V. & is going to be a missionary) — nevertheless I had a date with the Mr. Cook - a date Cookie - Sat night any way. φώιελ took me to the Movie benefit cause he asked first. Just because I’m throwing all this I hope you don’t allow your first possible conclusions to make any impression. -that I’m letting the fellows rush me (because you know I don’t rush them). If there’s anything I’m not - it’s popular - I don’t run my direction; & I’m glad. You know I’m too independent with fellows to be “rushed” —

I certainly gave enjoyed writing this all to you but again I say I wish I were telling it. There is so much depends on expression etc. etc. — I hate to talk over a phone & explain - I like to see the person- Think I’d better quit rambling.

Received your letters dad- the two checks & thanks much. The stockings fit fine - Tell mother-send the blue ones so I can take them to Toledo. Also, I must have my laundry bag back before I go to Toledo - so I spose she’ll have to get it off - Saturday. I guess Louises folks are going to drive after us. Will take the family pictures to Toledo.

Well, it is now after time for bed alright so must close

Much Love.


It is in the morning about time for the ring bell. Just got up. Had the most wonderful talk with Boots last night I have ever had.

We too have been having perfectly wonderful weather. Now the 3rd day of Spring.

Be sure and get the laundry back & send the stockings. & Dad find the answer to the question asked about D.V.B.S. in one of my letters —— please.




Publication Date



Letters; College students--Dating; Photographs


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Family- March 25, 1925



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