The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 2, Page 10.



Seventeen years ago last January 10, a group of mothers who were vitally interested in the problem that every mothers is obliged to meet in the care, culture and education of her children, had for some time discussed ways and means for the exchange of thought in order to be more efficient in meeting home problems. They discussed possibilities and purposes of a Mother's Club and the benefits to be derived therefrom. It was decided to call a meeting of mothers interested the following week, and this gathering was held on January 10, 1919, at the home of Mrs. James W. McNeeley. Twenty-five mothers were present and Mrs. Cox was asked to preside.

The meeting opened with a scripture reading and prayer by Mrs. Cox, after which there was an interesting discussion on the organization and the advantages of having a Mother's club. Mrs. McNeeley gave an interesting talk on its purposes. Mrs. L. E. Meyers, Mrs. Mary Hemstock, Mrs. John Palmer and Mrs. J. W. LaRue, together with others, expressed their confidence that a Mother's club would fill a vital need in the home life of Valparaiso.

The following officers were named: Mrs. James O. Cox, president; Mrs. W. C. Howerton, vice-president; Mrs. J. W. LaRue, secretary, and Mrs. John R. Palmer, treasurer.

The club grew from its beginning and interest was manifested by representative women of the city, with the result that new members were constantly added to the roll. Topics of greatest interest were discussed by efficient leaders and each member was privileged to ask questions or impart information.

From the very beginning it was customary for the Mother's club to hold a special service on Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May, at which time some of the following prominent speakers have delivered addresses: Mrs. Blaisdel, of Indianapolis; Dr. Frederick Shannon, of Chicago; the late Dr. Ada ---?--- Wardell, of Cincinnati, O.; Dr. Preston Bradley, of Chicago, and others.

These meetings have proved a great success and are eagerly anticipated. Last year was the only year in which a special meeting was not held, and that was due to the fact that the ministers had planned special programs in each of the churches.

Among the splendid educations features of the regular meetings of the Mother's club was an educational toy exhibit. Local merchants contributed in making this a successful affair, by loaning such toys as the committee thought educational. Children added to the interest of the occasion by demonstrating to what use they put their toys. Rex McNeeley, at the age of six used his erector toy set to construct a toy automobile. He attached a battery to it and it ran around the room, much to the amusement of all present.

Among the home made toys displayed was the Chautauqua desk of Lewis E. Myers and Company, which was explained by J. O. Cox, and a set of U-Make-Em Tinker toys, and such games as Pollyanna.

Mrs. R. B. Wise gave a talk on toys and their usefulness, saying that she was a firm believer in giving children educational playthings even before they can talk. Professor C. O. Pauley brought a basket of toys and games and explained that parents should be very discriminate in their purchase of toys and not secure so many cheap items which would be torn up by the children in a day or two, but to invest in well-built practical toys and games. He endorsed, specially the spelling board. Mrs. Hemstock was enthusiastic about the sewing card and other helpful toys used in Kindergarten work.

The programs of the club have dealt mostly with problems of home-life and civic interest. In 1919, resolutions were adopted and passed by the club against the bringing of street carnivals to Valparaiso. These were presented to the mayor and city council, and action was taken, honoring the request of the Mother's club. In 1921 the club joined with other women's organizations in the city in resolutions for the enforcement of the curfew ordinance.

Special efforts were put forth by the club for supervision of playgrounds in different parts of the city. The co-operation of physicians, superintendents of schools, teachers, ministers and civic workers has added very greatly to the success of the Mother's club during the past years.

The following women have served as the club president: Mrs. James O. Cox, Mrs. C. C. Brown, Mrs. Wallace Sutter, Mrs. E. T. Wells, Mrs. S. E. Shideler, Mrs. E. A. York, Mrs. Lorenzo Smith, Mrs. L. A. Calbeck, Mrs. L. C. Mann and Mrs. C. L. Bigelow.

For a number of years the Mother's club has been a source of inspiration and education to the mothers of all ages who have willingly given of their experiences in methods of child training and education and of meeting problems in home life.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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