Mary Behner



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On two sheets of cream paper with a colorful edge Mary writes to her family from Milwaukee. In black ink, she tells of all her travels from Wooster by herself and how exhausting finals and working the last few days of the semester were. She's settling in to Milwaukee and is excited about the summer.



June 13, 1927

Dearest Family.

Right now I’m in a Physics lab in West High in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Elizabeth Ivanoe is at the board working problems. Now I’ll begin at the beginning and tell you how I got here ect. We just came from a History class. Deliver me from ever being a teacher like that. – Sarcasm personified. It really is so extreme that I’d class it as unnatural.

Betty loves Physics and chemistry. Shes an all around student. None of her final grades are less than 95 – she’s brilliant – that’s all there is to it.

You can’t imagine how wonderful it is to be here. I went to Calvary Church yesterday morning. [unclear] Arr. [/unclear] in Chicago at 6 – caught a Milw. St. Paul at 7:15 and got to Milwaukee at 9:00 – naturally – I went over to the Y. Where I [unclear] knew [/unclear] things best. Introduced myself to a Mr. Sights who asked to be remembered to you – I started to go upstairs when who should I meet but Bob Graves. He said – well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes. He nearly fell over – didn’t know I was coming at all. – Went into the ladies restroom to get cleaned up. Bob had said that there was no regular S.S. but but [sic] a children’s Day joint service at 11:00. So I had a few minutes to write back to Wooster and to tell them I had arrived o.k. etc. Because of course ingoing alone are on an excursion trip to Chicago – and setting up was a little risky. It certainly did pay me though – since I had no trunk – there was no excess baggage and I carried a grip – a hatbox - and a Boston bag. The excursion crowd wasn’t a bad one at all – I just simply minded my business and acted as if I knew it all. Left Wooster at 10:50 with a grand sendoff and arrived Chi at 6 in the morning. There were no berths so sat up all night except for intervals of sleeping. Read a little of [unclear] “By an Utilitarian Disciple” [/unclear]

I am pretty tired. After taking my exams last week (psychology was the only one I had trouble in) – There was so much else to do. I finished my exams Thursday morning – which was English exam – (got B+ on my semester English – Mary got B-) (Most of the grades were C and B-) Started packing immediately we had to be out of the room by Friday morning because Mrs. Raukin was having guests come to stay there. We were to stay up in the attic – SO – can you imagine how hard we worked to pack everything? Whew! – And then you see I had

to plan for 3 different places – while packaging besides deciding what I wanted to send home I had to plan for Milwaukee and summer school – and up north (which meant warm clothes) and New York and Colonial Council – besides of course – what I should leave at school. It wasn’t much fun! We stayed up till 2:00 and had practically everything done – except the noisy work which we got up at 5:30 to do. Well I had to work at the Tea house at 9:00 – and I didn’t feel so prim or peppy. I had gone to the peace pipe smoke the evening before.

Worked 10 hours altogether on Friday so earned $3.00 – worked 7 ½ so earned $2.25 – They asked me to server at the alumni banquet (no pay - too tired – so didn’t) Friday night went to the play – was too tired to enjoy it much – and after working 10 hours and not sleeping more than 5 hours. Leland was in the play – he had his car in town so didn’t have to walk up nor down to the opera house. Saturday evening was campus illumination and it was beautiful – after working at the Tea House and finishing all my packing – I took a bath and washed my hair. Then went downtown and got a haircut. In the meantime, Mary and Leland had prepared a little lunch and so when I came home from town - we ate.

The kids made up a little lunch from the box you sent. The nut bread was so good. Ate some on the train Sunday morning – am sending home my laundry in a box containing comforts and two laundry bags full of clothes. I don’t want the clothes here in Milwaukee that are in the big tan laundry bag – but I do want the clothes in the blue striped bag – that is smallest one – and the bag itself. I should have a laundry bag here – Don’t know whether all those things will fit in my laundry bag kit when you send them to me or not. Stayed with Betty Ivanoe last night and am going out to Brouwers for supper tonight and be there when Mary comes home. We are now in Betty’s English class. Mr. Nive (you remember him at Calvary?) is the teacher

Will answer your questions when I write next.

By By [sic]





Publication Date



Letters; College Life; Summer schools; Travelling


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Milwaukee, summer school, traveling, YWCA Tea House, exams

Letter from Mary to Family - Sunday June 13, 1927



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