Why Wasn’t Grandma a Teacher?

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, September 2, 1914: It need not be recorded for there is nothing important to write.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

You sound a little down. Yesterday you wrote that you missed your sister Ruth now that school has begun, and she is teaching at Red Hill School. And, your little brother Jimmie probably also started school—so it’s just you and your parents on the farm.

Your oldest sister Besse also was a teacher before she got married. Did you ever want to be a teacher like your sisters?

You’ve never written anything about seeking a teaching position. . . so maybe I’m letting my imagination run wild. However, you graduated from high school, so it seems like you’d be qualified. What happened? Didn’t any schools offer you a job . . . or did you decide that you preferred to stay home and work on the family farm?

Photo of Ruth Muffly and her Students

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, September 1, 1914:

The summer flowers we bid adieu

To brighter days and balmier hours

There short brief life is well nigh spent

For with the summer goes the flowers.

It seems rather lonesome here without Ruthie, but still have enough to take up my time.

Source: The History of McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm (Used with permission)

Source: The History of McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm (Used with permission)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It was the first day of school for Grandma’s sister Ruth. She taught at the Red Hill School during 1914-15. This school was at the south end of McEwensville. It was a different school than where she’d previously taught.

Whew, it looks like Ruth had 9 boys, and 1 girl in her class. I bet she had a handful.

Monthly Poem

For more information about the poem on the first day of each month see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

Got Teeth Filled

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 31, 1914:  Went to Milton this afternoon to have my teeth filled. Took my filius (?)  along too.

diary-8-31-14

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

Ouch! How many teeth needed fillings? It doesn’t sound like much fun. Hopefully your teeth feel better now.

I can’t quite make out the third word in the second sentence of this diary entry. I think that it says something like “filius.” Any ideas?

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Recent photo of Milton

Photo of Sunday School ClassTaken

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, August 30, 1914:  Went to Sunday School this morning. We made out to have our pictures taken this afternoon. Came home and got my dinner, and then started out. Met Carrie on the way. The pictures were taken at the home of our Sunday School teacher.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

In my imagination I see an itinerant professional photographer with a tripod and huge camera taking the picture, but it could have just been a church member with a Brownie camera.

It’s difficult to tell how far in advance the photo shoot was planned. Was a professional photographer engaged to take the pictures? . . . or did a Sunday School class member suggest on the fly during class that morning that she had a camera, and they really should take a class photo?

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma’s. She lived on a nearby farm that was situated midway between the Muffly farm and McEwensville.

Painted School Interior

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, August 29, 1914:  Ruth and I painted the interior of the schoolhouse where she is going to teach this winter. We made sort of a picnic out of it. Ruth had a friend along. We were well-dabbed with paint by the time we got through.

Red Hill School Building

This building once housed Red Hill School. It was converted to a house many years ago.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What a fun way to get the schoolhouse freshened up for the new school year! Teachers sure had to wear a lot of hats back then. Grandma’s sister Ruth apparently not only needed to prepare lessons and teach—she also needed to organize a work crew to renovate the school building.

The previous day Grandma wrote that she went to town with her sister to help carry some things, and that she tore her dress on a pane of glass. I’m now wondering if the glass was needed to repair a window in the school.

I’m not sure where Ruth taught in prior years, but according to the History of the McEwensville Schools by Thomas Kramm she was the teacher at Red Hill School during the 1914-15 school year. It was a one-room school house at the south end of McEwensville.

A Camp for the Family

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific a hundred years ago today–and I’m focused on enjoying the last few days of summer—I thought you might enjoy some photos from a hundred-year-old issue of Ladies Home Journal showing an example of how some families enjoyed a summer vacation at a “camp.”

A Camp for the Family

This family camp, situated on an island in Lake Ontario, successfully carried on for some years past has brought happiness to all families privileged to join it, and its beneficial effects in promoting the harmony of home life are observable throughout the year.

Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

swimming 1914

chatting at camp

1914 woman with fish

woman camping

Hundred-year-old Toiletry Bags

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

1914 Toiletry bag

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Good grief, Grandma! Please tell us what you are thinking and doing! We so enjoyed what you wrote about your vacation; and now that we know how well you can write, it seems even more disappointing than it used to when you say nothing happened.

Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for this date, I thought that you might enjoy seeing several hundred –year-old toiletry bags that people could get patterns for from Ladies Home Journal. (Maybe Grandma made one before she went on her trip.)

When You Travel This Summer

Whether you are going on a long or a short trip you will want those little aids to comfort and beauty that are so handy at home. Descriptions of these useful articles, which may be easily made at home, and other helpful suggestions for the comfort and convenience of the summer traveler, will be mailed, upon request, for five cents. Write to the Needlework Editors, The Ladies Home Journal, Independence Square, Philadelphia.

Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

1914 toiletry bag

1914 Toiletry bag

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