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thanks on behalf of the entire audience by your leave, to the Lord High Chancellor of the Bell for not having rung it on the last speaker. All in favor of the motion say aye. Carried unanimously.
Mr. T. L. McBRIEN–Awhile ago my name was called to speak for the committee representing the National Educational Association. I would like to say that the committee of five representing the National Educational Association met and unanimously selected Professor J. M. Greenwood to speak for our association. We want to call attention to the fact that he is the senior in educational work, having been thirty-eight years at the head of the Kansas City schools, and there is no other who has such a record.
Chairman VESSEY-We have a request from the National Educational Association that it be represented by Mr. Greenwood. Shall we hear from Prof. Greenwood now, or go on with the program *
(Cries of “Hear him now.”)
Professor GREEN wooD—I would suggest you go on with the regular order of business.
(Cries of “Greenwood Greenwood!”)
Professor GREEN wood—Ladies and Gentlemen: The National Educational Association of the United States is the largest educational association in the world. The last session held in San Francisco enrolled 18,000 teachers from all parts of our country, and at the Boston session in 1905 there were 35,000 teachers in attendance. This organization represents in the broadest way the interests of the children of our country, and for more than fifty years it has been endeavoring to solve the great problems confronting our people. It represents the people of the South, of the North, of the East and of the West, and it has been one of the most important factors in bringing our people closely together when they were divided, not only by armies facing each other when homes were destroyed, but sadness was at every fireside. This was the organization that immediately after the Civil war brought our men and women who are working for the interests of our entire Nation together. This organization is represented here by a representative from the State of Arkansas, and by one from the State of Nebraska, and by one from the great State of Iowa, and by another one from the State of Kansas, and by another from the State of Missouri, and we have got to be shown. Mr. President, we will draft and submit a resolution to your committee at the proper time. There are just three things, it seems to me, that a public speaker who comes upon the platform ought to know—what to say, how to say it, and when to quit. (Applause)
Chairman VEssex—We will now present on the regular program
Dr. Frederick B. Mumford, dean of the University of Missouri, at Columbia.
Dr. MUMFORD-Ladies and Gentlemen: The limits of the time allowed for this subject are such that I shall have no time for the general subject of conservation. I hope, therefore, you will bear with me through this paper. I will confine myself somewhat closely to it, because in so doing I will say what I want to say in the shortest possible time.
[Dr. Mumford's paper will be found in Supplementary Proceedings.] Chairman VESSEY-Next on the program is Mrs. Harriet Wallace
Ashby of Des Moines, on the subject, “The Farmer's Wife.” I have the pleasure of presenting to you Mrs. Ashby. (Applause)
Mrs. ASHBY-The conservation movement, of which this National Conservation Congress is the exponent, has for its object the transmission of our natural resources, unimpaired, to posterity. Any movement for the promotion of the farmer's interest must, if it is to be a success, receive the support not only of the farmer, but also of the farmer's wife. The first problem of the farmer is how to increase farm products through better farming; the first problem of the farmer's wife is how to improve the condition of the farm home. The mistakes of the husband in his sphere during one season may be corrected in the next; the mistakes made by the wife in rearing her children are never entirely corrected. Believing as I do, that the great problems of farm life as they pertain to us wives and mothers can only be solved through coöperation and organized effort, I wish to advocate the union of farmers' wives in country women's clubs with the object of breaking up the monotonous routine of farm life and for the discussion of anything and everything pertaining to the betterment of farm home. The salvation of most families depends on the mother; she is the one who does so much to make for the happiness, health and long life of her family. The health of any mother is liable to fail under her responsibilies; the farm mother is especially subject to physical breakdown, for she not only bears the responsibility of rearing her family, but she also shares the anxieties of her husband if, as should always be the case, the farmer's wife is his business partner and assistant farm manager. - The farmer's wife is a most important factor in the conservation of the soil, for she will in a large measure determine the efficiency of the farmer, Then, too, the attitude of the wife towards the farm, and her success in making a happy farm home largely determine whether or not the country boy remains on the farm. The average country boy is devoted to his mother. How that mother would like to clear the obstacles from his track, and to give him the best the world affords. If the mother feels that the farm offers no future for her boy, the chances are the farm will lose the boy. The training which the boy reared in the city must secure before he can be an efficient farm worker, and for which he must spend time, money and enthusiasm, is the very training which the country boy absorbs from his infancy, and which makes him the most valuable tiller of the soil.
The farmer's wife has for so many years taken no thought for herself that her now misguided conscience reproaches her if she leaves home when there is work to be done, to attend a club meeting, or if she spends ever so small a sum of money to save herself. A neighborhood club with its exchange of experiences with labor saving tools will teach the folly of expending strength and energy when by spending a little money to secure convenience and ease in work, the farm mother may be conserved to her family, and continue to be a help in the busy world. All farm women have, in a large degree, the same experiences, and therefore they can and should help each other. They should meet to discuss problems of mutual interest; they should organize country clubs with the object of securing the best conditions in their home life; of broadening the outlook of the home; of encouraging a social spirit and of elevating the character of farm life.
THE FARMER's DAY's work.
One of the most vital problems with which the farmer's wife has to do is how to shorten the farmer's workday. The practice of working from sun up to nightfall and afterwards doing the chores is driving the boys from the farm. If all the farmers in a neighborhood would quit work in time for a 6 o'clock supper, a long stride would be taken towards making the farm home an ideal home. Most business men's work closes with the day, but how about the farmer and his family When townspeople are at leisure our husbands and sons are milking the cows, bedding the horses, and doing the rest of the chores. They wear overalls so many hours of the week that they are not entierly at ease in other clothes. They are too tired to keep up their interest in the outside world, frequently falling to sleep over the newspaper. Indeed, to bed is about the only place this exhausted man of the early evening is fit to go, for a tired man is not a social creature.
Washing dishes after a late supper with a nodding husband in the next room and your nearest neighbor from a quarter to a mile away does not foster love for the farm. It need not be wondered at that we are insisting that the farm day must be shortened and some time be given to the development of the mental and spiritual, as well as the physical side of the family.
You may remember how the little waif, Glory Maguire, as she looked through the windows at rich children's parties use to lament: “Oh, the good times going on in the world, and me not in them " We farmers' wives want some of the good times that are going on in the world for our children; we want a social center; a club room where neighborhood gatherings can be held. We want a neighborhood library, a live church and an up-to-date school. If our children are to be more than little animals, they must go to church and Sabbath school; they must have a well ventilated, well lighted school room and an experienced teacher.
Men and women of mature judgment are placed at the head of town schools, where suitable courses of instruction and the most approved methods are pursued. The graded school teacher refers any case of insubordination, any report of vulgarity, any question of discipline, to her superintendent, yet these same teachers have been required to take months of training and practicing on country pupils before they were permitted to teach in town under a superintendent.
The country schools should have trained teachers; teachers of sound judgment in understanding the nature of the child and tact in dealing with him. A live, progressive teacher in every country neighborhood is often the little leaven which “leveneth the whole lump.” We need fewer classes in the country schools: the long study periods are productive of inattention and mischief. If a child is permitted to spend this study time in idling and reading inferior fiction, he loses the power of concentration on his lessons and his taste for solid reading. We need a well selected library planned for systematic reading; we need recitation benches and desks which will not produce spinal troubles. We need attractive school rooms, better furniture, good pictures and instructive maps. Part of the returns of the farm invested in the school is one of the farmer's best investments, for all the improvements in the condition of farm life must come through education. Many helpful innovations on the farm have come about through a discussion of what the child learned at school. We also need better playground facilities. Thousands of country children don't know how to play. When they are at school there is nothing to play with ; when they are at home there are chores, unending chores, to be done. There is work right here for country women's clubs to do in supplying the school grounds with tennis, croquet, and any other equally wholesome and good sports which children can enjoy. Hence we must plan to meet and discuss our mutual problems. We need the stimulating influence which an exchange of ideas and the enthusiastic coöperation of club membership bring. We can accomplish much by the concerted effort which can only follow a reasonable getting together on the part of the farmers' wives. Working the handle of a dry pump won't bring results that a little priming brings. Women won't attend a club unless they get results; they must have something to help them through the week—reading courses, and a study program, as well as the social half hour. We should study dietetics and learn how to balance the day's food; to provide such articles as will feed as well as fill the family stomach. Man must eat to live, but he need not eat nearly so much if we give him the right kinds of food. The more we study our business, the more attractive it becomes; when we cease studying it, we lose interest in our work. So country women are organizing clubs for discussion and study. When a club is conducted in an orderly manner, and every member made to feel personally responsible for its success, when its membership is small enough to seem like a big family, yet large enough to gain and hold interest of the members, it will work a revolution in a country neighborhood. Wherever a country women's club has been organized, the women report that it gives them new energy for their home work. Out of a small club at Adair, Iowa, have grown so many smaller clubs that a joint picnic of the members and friends brought out a crowd of nearly 1,000 persons. These ladies have issued a cook book, with the proceeds from which they are enlarging their sphere of usefulness.
Another club, the Daughters of Ceres, at Bedford, Iowa, issues a calendar for the year's work, which compares favorably with the work of any club. Country women's clubs are usually short of money, and difficulty is sometimes experienced in securing books for study. Would it not be well for every state to supply a reading course for farmers' wives after the example of the Cornell Reading Course? If the Government would send out a bulletin containing the essential rules of order for country clubs it would be a great help in conducting meetings. A meeting must be regarded seriously and conducted with dignity to get the best results. A little time and money expended in helping the women is well spent. When Secretary Shaw lived in Iowa he owned a number of farms. It was his practice to give to his tenants' wives pure bred cocks and turkey toms. A neighbor remonstrated with him, saying: “You are making our tenants' wives discontented. We cannot afford to give away pure bred poultry.” Secretary Shaw replied: “When I help the women with their poultry, I always get my rent.”
The organization of the farmers has long been the end desired by those who are seeking to promote the country's welfare. By reason of all his previous years of training when he has been acting on his own judgment, and working alone, the farmer is not accustomed to organized effort, and does not fully recognize its value; hence the influence of his wife in this matter is of special help. The farmer knows if he leaves home for any length of time that weeds spring up, fences fall down, cattle get off their feed and cows fail in their milk. Hence he stays at home year in and year out getting deeper and deeper in the rut unless educational and social privileges are brought to him. This the women can and will do. Through the united efforts of the women