Mary Behner



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On three large sheets of cream colored paper in blue ink Mary writes home to her folks about a fire in the Holden dormitory. Everyone was fine and so she continued her week with a movie, a surprise visit from a friend and some readings and sermons she enjoyed.



February 27, 1927

Dear Folks:

College of Wooster experienced its first bit of excitement this year, and even – for many years – Holden is all upset. About 7: o’clock this morning Mary and I were awake - and all of a sudden we heard laughing and talking and yelling – over towards Holden – but it seemed nearer than Holden – in fact in our lawn – Then I said: “Do you suppose its [sic] a fire?” – but neither of us got up to see (it was so cold). Then we heard an engine “chug, chug” – and some one yell “Turn on the hose.” Then we did get up - and sure enough there was smoke -- streaming out of the windows at the end of the hall – and we could see the flames in two rooms. Then we woke up the whole house - - so we all could participate in the excitement. Then the girls began to stream out of Holden and Dean Vance and Mrs Mcglouflin appeared on the scene – and another fire engine pulled up. The flames caught another room – and smoke started stream out from the third floor. We thought the firemen never would quenchthe [sic] flames. It seemed an age – but after a while – about 7:45 it seemed to be under control - so all (the whole dorm for once in the Hist of the School I guess) went to breakfast – and after breakfast


When we came out the flames were all quenched – of course everyone had to investigate the two rooms that really were damaged. - the one room on the corner, nearest to us is a wreck – and the pathetic part about it is that the two girls who live in that room are both at home this weekend.

But, anyway, that’s the bit of news in a nutshell – and it’s almost time for S. School.

Esthers [sic] boxes are off at last. We packed them Friday afternoon and tied them up Saturday morning and took them down to the express office. There are seven of them sent C.O.D. – Thank you so much for dollar you sent to Dottie – it will come in very handy – Ahem! It was some job. We had to pack everything over again. I hope it all comes through alright. The cedar chest is here with me at Rankins. The lamp is all repaired but – shall we send it home. It’s still at the shop waiting for Liz & Mary to pay the bill so it can be brought up.


Last night Andy and I took a sudden notion to go to the movie. Got a ride down town – saw one of Zane Greys stories. Then we walked up the hill – and enjoyed it so.

Gave the kids demerits night before last and they’ve been mad ever since – but then that’s a small matter.

Spent all of Saturday afternoon on my Northern Ohio Student Volunteer correspondence – wrote up my minutes, too.

Mrs Parmalie is giving a concert this coming Tuesday night- and this Friday or Saturday – our college play is to be given. Catherine Dreisback is coming up for the weekend – either on Thursday evening or Friday morning. She is quite excited about it. I s’pose [sic] we’ll have to have a [unclear] Saturday night – and some place cards on Sunday noon.

It’s real cold out this morning – Guess I’d better get dressed for S.S. now or else be late. I love Sundays – they are so quiet and restful, usually.


Sunday afternoon.

Mary received a special from her mother – Roy has been sick 5 weeks today – They got a nurse for him yesterday. The only reason they didn’t get one before is that Roy wouldn’t hear of it – But the doctor simply insisted on it yesterday – so a nurse they must have. His other lung is affected now.

My laundry will no bought be there before this letter is. Its [sic] snowing. Two silk shirts of mine are in one of Esthers [sic] boxes. I surely do hope everything comes through alright.

Perhaps I’ll add on this later. Oh! I must tell you something first. Ruth Avery surprised us by coming to visit today – so just before we went in church we decided to have a dinner party – [unclear] ahem [/unclear]! So we got some extra church cards at the door and during church I wrote a verse for everyone but myself (Mary wrote that) on the back of the church card. Enclosed find the one I wrote for Boots --- This is what she wrote for me

Here is a girl named Bean

Her sense of humor’s supreme

Hasn’t she made us all scream?

Bless her heart, watch her eyes beam.

Har har





Daddy, your last letter was such fun. It was so funny. It tickled me when you said you were asked to pray - “uninformed”. Has Esther a permanent position yet.

Three cheers for Mother for buying a new hat. Keep it up Mother – maybe some day you’ll have a new coat. We are using those blankets here – of Esthers. They come in mighty handy because we are having some pretty cold weather. You surely have had some weather.

Did I tell you daddy – how last Sunday – or I mean the Sunday before – we read the most of Rev. Luccocks book – “The Home God Meant” – and then when I got your S.S lesson – it was on the Home? - Interesting!

Prof Johnston gave a paper on Stanley Jones’ book - “The Christ of the Indian” [unclear] this morning in S.S. It was excellent.

You remember I sent Miss Anna Van Hook a Christmas card. Well, I got an answer from her the other day. Will send it to you after I answer it.


Have been receiving numerous letter from Bennie for the last week. I wrote her a letter some time after Christmas and her letters this past week have been a sort of diary effect. She sent me a blotter from the 1st Wise Nat. Bk. And also – an Italian dialect poem – by T.A. Daly.

Isn’t it nice Catherine is coming to visit?

The prayer this morning in church was at least 15 minutes long. A Rev. G.H. Beeman of class ’92 and towards the last he prayed “Do thou awake the sleeping ones – and restore the faunting ones” – and you should have heard the shifts in the audience.


Mary E.



Publication Date



Letters; College Life; Fire


Wooster, Ohio


Fire, Holden dormitory, Zane Grey movie, The Home God Meant

Letter from Mary to Folks - February 27, 1927



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