Mary Behner



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In this letter from Mary to her family on four large sheets of blue paper in blue ink on the front and back of the paper, she talks about Prayer Week, having difficulty finding enough source material for Debate Squad and how she spent Thanksgiving on campus with a package from home she shared with her friends and reviews the play they watched.



Sun. Nov. 28, 1925

Y.W. Tea. House

7:40 P.M.

Dearest Family,

After tonight - just two more Sundays away from you and three more Sundays will usher in the Christmas week. I [sic] hardly seems possible. Then after we come back - will be exams. - Oh dear- my grades. They will have to be heaps better than these mid-semesters have been or I’ll be out of luck thats all- I’m so ashamed of my grades in college - - I sometimes feel I shouldn’t be here at all but back at High School learning just the simple things. How differently I would go at them - but then we’ve got to make the

2/ best of it all - as best we can. This is Prayre [sic] week. Dr. - from the Old Stone church in Cleveland is to lead Chapel and evening services. Tonight is G.E. and topic was “Strength thru prayre [sic]. Leeland Findley was to lead but he is home now on account of a nervous break down. There is another girl and boy home for the same reason. All three were taking honor work. I guess perhaps that doesn’t pay either because health surely comes first.

I’m missing a lot this year and I sometimes wonder if it really does pay. So much is required in college now that we have to cram our time and courses in order to graduate. If a person could take her time there would could be speech & music development - and I have to learn how to play & sing pretty soon. -

Then in college we get such a smattering idea of many things - its so very difficult to learn about one thing & master it.

3/ Algebra is hard - perhaps we can reover [sic] it some Christmas. I mustnt[sic] have a single D the first semester. - Greek is terriable [sic] and Biology is awfully hard. I told you I got the highest grade given on lab work (97%) Thats one thing I’ve been the highest, in Wooster and it’s quite gratifying - altho my class work - recitations pulled me down to D. - and that course I hope to raise to B. - Boy I wish I could.

4/ Some people get grades so easily - it makes me sick. - Haven’t written you much of the discouraging things that have happened this year and made it so very hard in many ways simply because I didn’t want you to worry and because such things are much better understood when talked about than written.

- so at Christmas you dear, dear, people - my own family - shall know everything - However until then forget!

God has a way for us. It is ours to trust

5/ and obey! Prayre[sic] and Boots have been great strength to me this year. and then some fine new friends. I wish you could know my Kam Sing Sun. She is such a dear and has the most wonderful sense of humor I have ever known. I shall bring her picture home at Xmas.

Boots and I were together this afternoon and began to read “One Girls Influence" by Rob. E. Speer. I am going to give some away for Christmas presents. It’s a wonderful book. I went to sleep while she was reading.

My - I wonder if you can know how I appreciated the wonderful Thanksgiving box. Such a box and such good things - and so many have enjoyed it with me. Did not have a spread but had girls in at different times just to get some of it. Miss Gould especially liked the dates and cookies. We would like the cookie recepie [sic]. They were so good - and those dates!

6/ and so many of them. I do love stuffed dates. I judged Esther made the fudge. and perhaps Fred helped to fix the pop corn. but Mother made the cookies and perhaps most of the dates. Mary just loves that sugared pop corn. Her folks didn’t send her anything. Hope you received my telegram on Thanksgiving.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. - turkey - minced & pumpkin pie. - pineapple ice - coffee - mashed potatoes - peas - soup - mints and assorted nuts.


The box didn’t come till the day after Thanksgiving – but then I was glad because I couldn’t have eaten any & been sensible - on thanks - giving.

Didn’t hear from Katsy - altho I wrote her a special & told her to call me up long distance. I wrote her a long letter. No doubt I will hear from her soon.

The faculty play (3 one-act plays on Wed nite) were absolutely rotten. The first one was supposed to be clever but it wasn’t. There were


only a few clever puns in it. The second one was best but nothing unusual. The third one was absolutely silly & mediocre. It was supposed to represent the Modern idea of "fame”. “Dot Mateer” who took that part - looked beautiful but all of a sudden entirely out of keeping with her dress & first appearance - started to chew gum & put her [unclear] fight [/unclear] high on the chair - I “swear” the faculty wouldn’t have allowed the students to put on such a play and members of the faculty wrote it and [unclear] Miss Roat [/unclear] that. it was clever & and they swore incessantly in the play - a thing that seems to me as altogether unnecessary - in a play - at least to represent the characters they did - “nuff” said

On Thanksgiving afternoon the students gave a very clever entertainment in the gym - much higher class. than what was presented on the previous night.

Have bought a few Christmas presents but no cards yet. Got some thing’s at the Japanese sale again. 2 cute bags like the one I gave Esther.


Do you know it’s almost Christmas and I haven’t heard a word from Fred. - Daddy and Mother you’re the busiest and each of you both write as often as I do.

Would you like me to fix you some peanuts for Christmas, when I come home. I fix them here for the Tea House. We buy them shelled and ready to skin - Then cook them in mazola oil they would be cheaper and better than so much candy and they are good. Tell me then I can order some peanuts.

10/ My curtains are so dirty but they will be washed Christmas. Gus wants to know if we can ride home together from Pitts. on Christmas. I am going to write her tonight and tell her when we come. By the way we come home on Friday Dec. 18th - two weeks from this Friday and exactly one week from Christmas and it will pass quickly -

I have a mite of good news to tell you if you consider it such. you knew that I made the debate club and that tryouts were to be held for the varsity debate squad.


Well - about 20 tried out and I happened to be one of the 12 picked for the squad - after this squad has studied and debated a little more on the subject - 6 are picked for the varsity debate team to represent Wooster at Oberlin next spring. A wondLerful opportunity but oh - if I only had time to do justice to it - I’d love it - I think debating is wonderful practice.

Now here is something I wish you would [unclear] nate. The question is “Resolved that Capital Punishment should be abolished! no funny question but will to study [/unclear] And now - the material in our Lib is not very extensive on the subject - so Christmas I intend to read up on it in the Clarksburg library. but also [unclear] I would like to ask of you. Would you keep your eyes open for any current material on it and sort of keep it in mind for me. Then I can also use whatever You have in your files or in your library. It would be fine - I had time to try & make that team. Dr. Leau & Prof Miller are debate “sponsers”[sic]

12/ Must stop now and write a couple more letters. Be sure and send Katsy’s letter back. [unclear] Gus Blauhs [\unclear] from the board of Ed must fill them out, I suppose altho I feel rather guilty in doing it on account of my grades.

Much love


another thing - the board is awfully low on funds & I feel that there are others who are so much more in need of it - dependent on[unclear] the meals etc - that I conscientiously do not feel just exactly right in asking it. What is your answer? Dad!

Are Gus’ folks or you thought of driving to Pitts after us?



Publication Date



Letters; College Life; Thanksgiving Day; Library


Wooster, Ohio


letters home, prayer week, College of Wooster, YW Tea House, debate club, library

Letter from Mary to Family- November 28, 1925



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