Did More Females Than Males Attend Church a Hundred Years Ago?

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

Sunday, November 5, 1911: It was simply fine today. Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Carrie walked along home with me. I mean over here.

Grandma and Carrie would have walked down this road after Sunday School to get to the Muffly farm.

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

It sounds like Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout enjoyed a nice fall day.

Every Sunday Grandma wrote in her diary that she went to Sunday School or church. Occasionally she mentioned that her sister Ruth went to Sunday School—but I don’t think that she ever mentioned her parents or 6-year-old brother Jimmie going. Didn’t they attend? . . . or did Grandma just not happen to mention them?

According to the March 23, 1911 issue of The Youth’s Companion magazine women were more likely to attend church than men:

Careful compilation of statistics shows that seventy per cent of the audience both in church and theater are women. The only places where men are in the majority, apparently, are the offices and workshops—and even there the preponderance is not what it once was.

An aside–I always enjoy finding statements like this in old magazines, but I often wonder where the statistics came from. Maybe I’m cynical—but I can’t help wondering if the author merely went to a church service and a play, counted the number of males and females, and then calculated a percentage.

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