Mary Behner



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Mary wrote this letter to her family on Easter, during the spring of her first year of college. This letter is written on 5 sheets of cream colored paper, with handwriting in blue ink covering the front and back of each page. Mary writes about music, visiting people in Toledo, shopping for clothing, and recent papers.


April 12, 1925.

Dearest Family.

It will probably take all afternoon to write this - so last weeks letter will be in this one. This is a wonderful Easter day. We have had lovely services this morning. Prexy preached but above me - We sang a beautiful anthem without the organ accompaniment. Miss Arnold sang a beautiful solo with the violin obligato played by Prof. Parmalee. His wife teaches piano here and she is wonderful. Esther must have her when she comes. Miss Arnold & I have so much fun when I take my lesson. She is so interested. She says I take to vocal like duck takes to water an that I’m making wonderful progress. She’s anxious for you to see what you think, mother. You shall go down to the [unclear] cousera [/unclear] with me when you come when I take my lessons. She has given me three of Mendolsan’s songs already and I’m working on some Italian pieces. I enjoy it so much and she told me I did and that it made it so simple for her. I always have to have some one accompany me now though.

Here is it - the middle of April and there is only one more full month besides part of June. School closes June— There are 10 more weeks I think. It doesn’t seem possible. Do you know for sure when both of you are coming. Aunt Sarah said something that made me think that you would both come at the same time. Aunt Clara [Behner Sanders] is looking splendid, and Charlie [Sanders] looks wonderful - I never saw him so jolly and well. Everyone is fine. I had a wonderful time in Toledo. We took the train up because neither could manage to get off- Red [Bohnsen] is so busy now - They can’t get in enough cars to sell. Luella [Sanders Bohnsen] is teaching in

the mornings and making a full days’ wages. --$7 a day. Teaching doesn’t bother her a bit. She seems to know everything - so it is a snap for her. Dorotha [Sanders Malay] is looking dandy and has a number of suiters One especially - Ralph from the bank - Is a little older than the rest and has lots of money and pep. Eliz. is working yet and quite happy. Viola [Sanders Coates] has never liked any of her teaching as much as she does this she is doing at the “Home”. You probably have imagined what a wonderful time we all had together. They live just around the corner from Irwins so we trotted back and forth quite frequently. It was easy to make plans - being so near. The first night we got there Louise’s little man had planned a party - and as you know it was April Fools’ day. We got there & Irwins met us at the train (Bahnsens had come to the earlier train and we weren’t there. We ate a hurried supper and then Ralph, another fellow and a girl called for us with their sedan It was at Ralph’s home. There were about 15 there. We played games & ended up with dancing. I had so much fun. The first game we played was a advertisement contest. I won the prize for that which was a chicken (not a real one.) Then the next game we played was a peanut hunt. He said that there were peanuts hid & hid very hard & we would have to look good to find them. We hunted for

about 5 minutes. All of a sudden I rushed to Ralph and before I hardly knew it told him there weren’t any peanuts hid - that it was April Fool. No one had found any and I was so surprised at myself because I said it before I hardly realized it - He looked at me, stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a bag of peanuts. Everyone was so surprised and so was I. Of course I didn’t dance and it was so hard hard. Slept at Irwin’s that night. The next day Louise had a lot of shopping to do and I thought they would rather to it along- probably - prices - time etc so I think they were pleased when I suggested going over to Luellas - because I hadn’t seen her yet. Lu & I went shopping in the afternoon. That evening I thought the Irwins would appreciate being home alone so was at Bahnsens for the evening and over night. We went to the Toledo Theatre and saw a wonderful play. They have a fine stock company. The next day in the afternoon (Fri) us girls went to a movie and saw Coleen Moore in “Sally.” That was darling. Then Fri eve [Cousin] Bahnsens took me over to see aunt Edith. They live in a duplex - a very small pace - fixed very plain & neat. I had seen Belva [Edith’s daughter] at work that afternoon. “Jud” is looking just splendid but Edith - she is ageing so fast and she looks tired and worried & talks like she is so discouraged. She doesn’t like Toledo at all and talks as if

they were going back to Portland this summer. Bella is a sweet girl & much different than her picture. The boys have grown - The smallest hasn’t changed much but the older one has features and a head like Firn Drubach. - like the nice one - I guess that’s Firn. Edith works so hard That’s the only chance I got to see her because every other night was planned and they all work during the day. I showed them our family pictures. Stayed with Bahnsens that night also. Saturday Dorothy, Lu, Viola, Louise & I went shopping. Can you imagine 5 girls getting any shopping done? Well we did, and we had just loads of fun doing it. Looked all over town before we got the things I wanted at proper price. Bought a darling pink & white striped flannel dress with a little Peter pan colar - real short sleeves & a little shoe string belt & a white silk tape tie in the front. It looks great on me in the front. It looks great on me & everyone likes it. Paid $10 for it. We looked & looked - everything was $15 or more & finally we found this one at La Salles. Then I bought goods for a little silk summer dress & found some at a dollar a yd - green of course - a silk crepe - pretty - Wanted a frill for down the front priced them & they were $2.50 etc a yd. Finally we saw one we decided to copy & got the net & paid 60¢ for the whole thing. So the dress only cost me $3.10 and it’s darling.

I haven’t told you what Luella went ahead and made it. I wore it today. One other morning I was down town & saw a darling green silk sweater on sale for $2.00 - Bought it and am wearing it with my tan silk skirt & green hose. It is so cool looking. Then I bought a pair of patten leather slippers for $6 which is very reasonable for the spring prices. They are lovely too. Everything I bought was good and sensible. I’ll have to do without any more now till summer. I can’t see any “nest egg” for next year. Didn’t have any left from my gifts after I paid my obligations here. I bought a diary also - a five yr. one for $6.00. It is lovely green leather and and a lock and key. Louise bought coat, hat, shoes - 2 dresses. Everyone has come back with the loveliest new things. It was fun looking at the pretty colors in church this morning from the choir. Everyone looked so nice & fresh - - like a flower bed.

Saturday night the Wooster Glee club sang at Toledo. There was a dance afterwards. Half of the club doesn’t dance so we talked —. At the close of the concert the club sang the “Love Song” and all the alumni & students of Wooster stood up and sang with them. Stayed with Irwins Sat nite and went to church with them Sunday morning. Spent Sunday out at Claras - the whole family —

was there. We had fish for dinner. They hadn’t seen Albrights since we were there in Sept. and I wanted to go and say hello to them. They weren’t crazy about the idea - of course - but I insisted that I should stop a minute (altho they couldn’t - the girls I mean -understand exactly why I wanted to.) I know you would do it & I did my part. Just drove in & honked - didn’t even get out of the car. Of course I didn’t expect them to welcome us but I didn’t expect them to freeze us either. When we honked, Edna May, I think her name is, looked out the kitchen door, slammed it & went back in. Soon Edith came out. She was slightly fussed to say the least. Had seen Lu in the distance. He came up with some other company near the car but not over - I said Where is uncle Lu? Here she called him. He made a better bluff than she did alrite We didn’t stay more than 5 min or 10. She asked us to come out but I said I was all booked up. B’lieve me we were nice to them. Lu asked me if Dad was here -we think he got a scare - thinking you maybe had come on account of the hearsay. I suppose you have heard about all the trouble. Sarah is so Christian about it - much much more so than the girls. The girls have nothing to about Albrights at all. I don’t feel that way altho I know they don’t deserve anything from us.

Sunday night I went to church with Bahnsens. Monday night a relative of Irwins gave us a theatre party. We went to the Toledo theatre again and saw the same stock company in a different play. Tue. night Mrs. Irwin gave us a dinner party. I said I would make stuffed potatoes and the salad. As it was near Easter I made egg nest salad and stuck [unclear] a funny in it [/unclear]. Then I got some cute place cards. They appreciated it so much and it only cost me a little. Wish you would write to Mrs. Irwin & tell her how much you appreciated their opening their home to me for they were wonderful. Her address

Mrs. Irwin
622 Greenwood Ave - Toledo.

Also you must write Luella & tell her - please. Mrs. Irwin would appreciate it so much. And please mother, mention to Luella how dear of her it was to make my dress & help me shop. She was lovely about it & helped me cut down the expenses so much by planning. She is so clever. She treated me royally. Did everything she could for me. Bahnsens even brought us back - and we had a circus. Took a big new buick sedan started at 12:30 and made it in 3 1/2 hr. country stops etc. Guess! Charlie, Clara, Aunt Betty Bahnsens & Louise & I all in the car. You can imagine the jolly time we had.

I’ll tell you they couldn’t have given me a nicer time. I was the 7th person back. Cleaned my room that night. Boots didn’t come till 5 - the next morning.

Louise’s brother doesn’t have anything to do with girls (21) & partly because a girl he took out once proved to be quite fast. He doesn’t care to even talk to girls. When I left - the last two days - he was pretty nice to me and his mother told me some things he said and she was surprised herself. He is a good chap - and it tickled me. Will you write to them -

I am now on the porch writing waiting for my date. Paul - it is. We are going to hear a cantata at the Pres. church down town. I am going to give him fewer dates. He knows I go with other fellows - he sees me & I tell him but nevertheless I don’t - - - want him to like me so much.

I got an A+ on my thesis “German Youth Movement” - He picked out the best 3 in class to read & mine was one. The other two were boys. Just handed in an essay, “On writing an Essay.” It’s quite different and poetical in parts altho I didn’t put much effort on it.

My the campus is beautiful. There are so many students on it The dates are just beginning to come & go. “Spring weather is so distracting” - That was a sentence in my essay.

Have been given the management of the Freshman in the dance of dawn for May Day. - There are quite a few dances. They will be so beautiful. Will be fine if Dad & you can both be here. The crowning of the May queen will be so beautiful. Did Esther say that she has a Baby Grand.

The time now will pass so rapidly till vacation.

Perhaps I will add more on this later —

Much love


It is Mon. morning now and will say Goodbye again. It is a beautiful morning. Oh so pretty! Lots of love


Boots sends love.



Publication Date



Letters; Easter; Women's clothing; Vocal coaches; Shopping; April Fools' Day; Report writing


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Family- April 12, 1925



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