Mary Behner



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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.


April 10
At College.

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
Mary Elizabeth

4:45 Sun. P.M.



Publication Date



Letters; Christian fiction; Sick; Milwaukee (Wis.); Women's clothing


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Mother and Father- April 10, 1927



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