Memories of Early Days

Some Memories of Morgan Hill Methodist Church

Parsonage 1895From a conversation with Anne V. Friebel and Franalee Thompson
Attended M.H.U.M.C. during the 1940’s and 1950’s

Anne: “…The thing I remember the most about these gatherings was the food. The U.M.W. always outdid themselves when it came to refreshments.”

Franalee: “The women would come into the kitchen with boxes and baskets packed with food that was wrapped in layer upon layer of newsprint and tea towels…This was before Tupperware and we were conserving foil during the war. I remember the sound of the paper rustling when they prepared a meal…As a little girl that was so inviting because out of that jumble of paper there always came a wonderful repast…Always had enough for everybody too…And at that time it was all eggs and butter…Very rich.”

Anne: “And nut breads spread with cream cheese and butter…Never margarine except during the war.”

Remembering The Ladies Aid
(Excerpts from an undated letter by Catherine Stone, 1884-1958)
I have been asked to give a little talk on the organizing of the Morgan Hill Ladies Aid.
My first recollections are of Brother Hester talking with me about organizing a Ladies Aid and he would begin : “Oh, we must have a Ladies Aid…Can’t get along without it…they are such a help.” This went on until May Day 1894 when we had a picnic in Paradise Valley on the bank of the creek near the Fisher place. Brother Hester called some of us together to talk about the Aid again and the following Thursday (May 6, 1894) was set for a meeting.

I do not recall what we did that year except to start an album quilt. It really was a very attractive quilt when finished. The blocks were square unbleached muslin with pink print. It cost 10 cents to put your name on the oblong blocks and if you wanted your name (The Honor) in the center you had to pay 25 cents. It netted us $60.00. I had worked so hard to get that quilt finished I fairly hated it, but guess no one knew it as the ladies thought I was the one who would appeciate it most and so talked Mr. Stone into buying it for $3.00.

We think we have hard times raising money now, but it doesn’t compare with what it was then. I don’t think there were more than three people on a salary in town and not the salaries they get now either…Lumber man, Depot Agent and Postmaster…Not one had any money unless they did a day’s work…$1.50 for that.

If there was soliciting to do or money to be raised, I always seemed to get my share of these tasks. Brother Crowe was so anxious to finish the inside of the church but could not do it without money, so someone conceived the idea of my going to the Post Office when the mail came in. Even the men from the country called for their mail at that time. Many of them I did not know, so Mrs. Covert, the Post Mistress, called them by name and I stepped up calling them by name and asked them if they wouldn’t like to give us one dollar toward finishing the church. I raised $20.00 in a little while, which went a long way at that time.

As ice cream parlors were few and far between, the Ladies Aid bought a five gallon freezer and sold ice cream every two weeks all summer, making about $10.00 each time.