• jodiperras

Minnie's Diary #24: Started Taking Orders for Soap

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Missing Emily


Monday, June 13 - Felted blue all day. Went to Hville

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

Although the sun shone brightly in a blue sky scattered with fluffy, white clouds, Minnie wanted to stay in bed all day. Her parents tiptoed around her, not used to seeing their fun-loving, vivacious daughter in such a sad mood.

Edmund and William left early for the sawmill, but her youngest brother, Freddie, tried to cheer her up.

“There’s a dance Saturday at Mr. Ayotte’s,” Freddie said. “Are you and Del going?”

“I guess so,” Minnie said. “He hasn’t mentioned it.”

“Archie Marchaterre will be on the fiddle,” Fred said. “Should be a fun time.”

“I guess,” Minnie said, listlessly.

Minnie puttered around the garden, pulling a few weeds and checking the progress of the plants. The growing season was short in Menominee County, but the long summer days brought plenty of sunshine. She picked some fresh lettuce, radishes and onions to make a salad for their noon dinner. She looked out over the rolling hills and felt a deep loneliness that she couldn’t shake. She was missing her friend Emily.

“Why don’t you take the horse and cart to Hermansville to see if your box of soap has arrived?” Ma said at noon dinner.

“That’s a fine idea,” Pa said. “I’ll help you harness up Beau. I need only Clem in the field this afternoon to rake the hay.”

Minnie began to feel a little better driving the wagon to Hermansville. Ma had given her a short shopping list for the general store. While the clerk filled Ma’s order, Minnie looked through the textiles and found some lovely cotton fabric in white and with white and blue stripes. She purchased two yards of each.


At the railroad depot, Minnie asked Thomas Pagel, the Soo Line agent, if any packages had arrived for her. One had. She stared at the large, oblong wooden box with “Larkin Soap Co., Buffalo, N.Y.” printed on the side.


“It’s heavy. Let me help you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Pagel. I can manage it.”


The box was no heavier than a full milk can. Minnie lifted it into the cart and drove home. She could hardly wait to open the box and see what was inside.



-- "Larkin Soap," New Castle Tribune, New Castle, Indiana, May 26, 1905,

from newspaper archive.com

Soap For All


Tuesday, June 14 - Started to take orders for soap. Rained in P.M.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

The Larkin box was filled with all sorts of neatly packaged soaps, creams and perfumes. All reasonably priced and high quality.


“All for ten dollars,” Minnie thought. “These soaps and home products would cost fifteen or twenty dollars at the general store.”

The Larkin Soap Company recommended forming a “Larkin Club-of-Ten.” For a dollar a month, the club members would together purchase $10 worth of soap and earn a premium for one of the members. The premiums included a desk, oak chiffonier, parlor cabinet, couch, dining table and other furniture and home supplies. The club could rotate the hosting duties and share the premiums throughout the club, or support one member’s goals to earn premiums in exchange for handling all the paperwork. For her effort, the club secretary also received premiums or coupons worth ten percent of the total order.


“Minnie, I think you should be the secretary,” Mrs. Paquin said. “You are so good with numbers and writing, and you’ll need to furnish your home some day. I don’t really need any of the premiums.”

Mrs. Paquin didn’t mention that most of the Frenchwomen her age never learned to read, write or do arithmetic when they were children in French-speaking Canada. They never had a chance to get a good education. They couldn’t do the secretary’s job if they wanted to.


Minnie had made a list of nearly thirty women on nearby farms and in the village who might buy Larkin Soap. She set out to visit as many as she could.

Mrs. Joseph (Mary) Marchaterre

Mrs. Joe (Emeline) Raiche

Mrs. Frank (Christina) Raiche

Mrs. Leo (Mary) Raiche

Mrs. Henry (Delvina) Zimmerman

Mrs. Edward (Armelia) Paquin Sr.

Mrs. Edward (Maud) Paquin Jr.

Mrs. Louis (Aldia) Dubey

Mrs. Louis (Jessie) Alore

Mrs. George (Delia) Chenard

Mrs. Alex (Cadi) Ayotte

Mrs. Joe (Caroline) Sicore

Mrs. Eli (Marie Anastasie) Desjardines

Mrs. Joe (Amelia) LaCosse

Mrs. Joe (Angel) Rochon

Mrs. Oliver (Mary) Ayotte

Mrs. Joe (Jennie) Ayotte

Mrs. Louis (Victoria) Gauthier

Mrs. Joe (Mary) Caron

Mrs. Simeon (Flora) Lavigne

Cousin Minnie (Mrs. Henry Raiche)

Mrs. Victor (Anna) Raiche

Mrs. Justin (Anna) Hayes, has four other interested women in Hville

Mrs. Barney (Mary) Brumsted

Mrs. Deleon (Mary) Menard

Mrs. Dave (Josephine) Bergeron

Mrs. Joseph Émile (Velatine) Gravel

Mrs. Lizzie Allerie


“I wonder if I could organize two or three Clubs-of-Ten,” she thought.

Learning About Soap


Wednesday, June 15 - Washed. Read a part of afternoon.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Minnie decided to try Sweet Home Soap and Boraxine soap powder as she did the family’s laundry, so she could show her neighbors how bright and clean the Larkin Soaps would make their clothing. She also read the materials from Larkin, including a catalog and a magazine published for Larkin secretaries called “The Larkin Idea.”


“Perhaps this is your first Larkin Catalog? Maybe you do not know Larkin Factory-to-Family value, and Larkin “Satisfaction — or your money back” method of dealing? If so, you will not fail to observe that wise women everywhere are now buying fresh, pure, wholesome, guaranteed household supplies and FURNISHING THEIR HOMES BESIDES, with the same amount of money you now spend for supplies alone at the store!”


The catalog included instructions for forming a Larkin “Club-of-Ten,” as well as the benefits accruing to Larkin secretaries. She learned about the purity of Larkin products and how some women were washing clothing and bed linens without boiling water. Larkin did not recommend "over-turning the time-honored, cleanly method of boiling clothes."


Rather, the magazine described how one customer exchanged soiled for fresh linen on Saturday. "The white ones were sorted and the more soiled ones put in a separate tub, containing cold water in which Boraxine and Sweet Home Soap had been dissolved, and badly soiled garments were wet and Boraxine rubbed into them."


On Monday, the housewife would boil the articles on an outdoor oil stove, starting with the cleanest water with plenty of Boraxine and Sweet Home Soap. When these were "thoroughly boiled" they were exchanged for others "and by the time the family had breakfasted and the morning work was out of the way, the clothes were ready for rubbing; very little was required, but a thorough rinsing was given."

Soap Orders Accumulate


Thursday, June 16 - Ironed and went to Mrs. Victor Raiche. Saw Eva & Laura. Ma went to Mrs. Dubey.
Friday, June 17 - Went to Hville and work in the garden in afternoon. Mary Raiche called in evening.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

As she visited the women who lived on farms nearby, Minnie collected orders for the most popular products: Sweet Home Soap, Boraxine, Smelling Salts and Modjeska Complexion Soap. Ma visited Aldia Dubey and brought home her order. In Hermansville, Minnie brought her box of soap samples to Mrs. Lavigne, Mrs. Hayes, Cousin Minnie Raiche and several others. In addition to the laundry soaps, the village women ordered perfumes and scented soaps.


“What beautiful little packages!” Mrs. Lavigne exclaimed.


Inspired by the company magazine, Minnie made plans to host a Larkin party, where the ladies could play progressive euchre and enjoy lunch together while the men were working in the fields.


“Not during threshing season, dear,” Ma said. “And before we get into canning season.”

“If I'm going to host a party, I’d better hurry,” Minnie thought.


Old Maids


Minnie was pleased when Mary Raiche stopped to visit that evening. With Emily gone, Minnie longed for a friend her age who wasn’t married and focused on husband and children.


The two young women compared notes on how to control potato bugs and cabbage worms in the garden. They played two games of cribbage and then pulled Minnie’s brothers into a friendly game of euchre.

It wasn’t long before the boys started flirting with Mary. When she didn’t return their advances, they started teasing both Minnie and Mary that they were “old maids.”


"Better an old maid than an unhappy bride," Minnie said.


“I swear, Minnie, sometimes I think you want to be that ‘new woman’ who isn’t interested in getting married,” Edmund said. “Are you going to start going to speeches and marching for the right to vote next?”

“There’s nothing wrong with waiting to find the right match,” Minnie said.


“No one is ever good enough for you.”


“Some women regret marrying the first man who proposes to them. I’ll wait until I find a true friend and companion, thank you.”

“You might be waiting a very long time in this town.”


“With that attitude, you may be waiting tres longtemps too.”

Mary and William watched this banter between Minnie and her oldest brother. They both kept quiet and didn’t take sides, knowing it’s better not to wade into a hornet’s nest that’s already upset.


William dealt the next hand of euchre.

“I’m going it alone,” Minnie said.


“In life, or just this hand?” Edmund asked, causing Minnie to huff and send a fierce look across the table.

Edmund chuckled. “Perhaps we should play ‘Old Maid’ instead?”


“Or Vieux Garçon?” Minnie replied.

“The traditional old maid of old-style comedies has been replaced by a new old maid, who takes the center of the stage as a genuine and refreshing type of womanhood. She has mental breadth and a keen sense of humor, patience and an appreciation of her responsibilities. She sees man not through a glass darkly, but with clear eyes, and she mixes with her sentiment what our grandfathers used to call good horse sense. She has absolute faith that some day the man who is her equal, perhaps her ideal, as twentieth century ideals go, will come into her life.”

— “Mary Mannering Champions the New Woman,” by Mary Mannering, The Saint Paul Globe, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Feb. 21, 1904 via newspapers.com

“The man or woman who deliberately avoids marriage, and has a heart so cold as to know no passion and a brain so shallow and selfish as to dislike having children, is in effect a criminal against the race, and should be an object of contemptuous abhorrence by all healthy people.”

— President Theodore Roosevelt, October 18, 1902, from Preface to “The Woman Who Toils,” by Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst, Doubleday, Page & Co., New York, 1903

Confrontation with Del


Saturday, June 18 - Went to Hville to mail my order. Dance at Mr. Ayotte but didn’t go. Del didn’t come.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Grateful for generous friends and neighbors, Minnie mailed an order for $20 worth of Larkin soaps, perfumes and other household goods. There was something about putting a stamp on the envelope and mailing her order that gave her a sense of accomplishment.


As she walked back home, she felt a bounce in her step. She looked forward to the dance at Mr. Ayotte’s house. It would give her a chance to see friends and neighbors and enjoy toe-tapping music. Just what she needed to get out of the doldrums. She washed up, changed her clothes and waited for Del, who should arrive after helping his Pa with the evening milking and chores.

She waited.


And waited.


And waited.


Minnie stewed. Few things upset her more than a promise not kept. She knew that if anything had happened to Del, she would have heard about it by now. His family’s farm was just down the road.


No, he had decided to spend the evening doing something else … or with someone else.


Sunday, June 19 - All alone this P.M. Del went to Spalding. Called in evening.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Del didn’t call to see Minnie until after supper.


“Where were you last night?”

“I had to get to bed early because I needed to go to Spalding today,” Del said.


“And you couldn’t walk up here to tell me?”


“Well, I figured you were so busy with your new soap business you wouldn’t miss me.”


“How could you be so uncaring?”


Del quietly looked down at the ground, giving no answer.

Minnie cut the visit short, telling Del she was too busy. Too busy for him and his games.


"Made Myself Two Waists"



Monday, June 20 - Made myself two waists.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

Minnie worked all day creating two new shirtwaists. This year's styles were both feminine and smart. A shirtwaist could be washed more easily than a full dress. She could move around in it more easily. Popular with working girls in the city and on the farm, it signified woman's new independence.


Minnie laid out the lightweight cotton fabric she had purchased at the village general store, and pinned to it the pattern pieces from the Farm Journal Ladies’ Plaited Shirtwaist, pattern No. 9251. “The blouse is tucked, back and front, and is very simple in cut," the Farm Journal said. "The yoke, epaulettes, collar and cuffs are of the white satin, edged with black velvet. The trimmings could be of the same material, closely machine stitched, or of lace bands, or, if the waist was made of chambray, the trimmings could be of white pique."





Minnie didn't have satin or velvet, but the pattern worked just as well with the crisp cotton percale she found in Hermansville. She made the collars and cuffs using a white cotton pique leftover from her brother's dress shirts.


Wearing these new waists and an ankle-length linen walking skirt, Minnie envisioned that she would be a working girl — no longer entirely dependent on her father or some future husband for her well-being.

“In site of all that may be said to the contrary .. the shirtwaist has not gone out of fashion and is not at all likely to do so, for the present, at any rate. A separate waist is quite too useful and even necessary an article to be done away with for a mere whim of Dame Fashion. … Extremely pretty waists are made up in hand embroidered batiste trimmed also with fine lace insertion. This batiste makes quite the handsomest waists for summer wear, and is suitable with any costume — suit or linen skirt.”

— “The Dainty Waist,” Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, July 17, 1904 via newspapers.com


Washing with Larkin Soap


Tuesday, June 21 - Washed. Mrs. Mary Lacrosse & Mrs. Dubey called. I went and called to Mary Raiche.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Mrs. Lacrosse, visiting from Champion, was disappointed to learn that Minnie had already sent in that month’s soap order.


“If I had known, I would have ordered some laundry soap powder and complexion cream,” she said. “I’m tired of grating soap cakes for laundry day.”


“Yes, the soap powder is so much easier,” Minnie said. “Some say you don’t even need to boil the clothing to get it clean.”

“Wouldn’t that be wonderful?” Mrs. Dubey said. “Not having to worry about scalding the children and your hands every time you wash.”


“I gave it a try today. No boiling. No sweating. No burned hands and fingers. Look at the clothing on the line and see what you think,” Minnie said.

The white, crisp shirts and sheets on the line were the only advertisement for Larkin Soap products that Minnie needed.

That afternoon, Minnie returned Mary Raiche’s visit. Away from Minnie’s brothers, they talked about Hermansville men, the “new woman” and what it meant to live in the 20th century. Minnie complained about how Del stood her up on Saturday night, causing her to miss the dance. Then Mary shared her news.


"Levi Lacousier has been calling on me," Mary told Minnie. "On Saturday, he asked me to marry him."


"Oh, Mary! Congratulations!" Minnie said, while shrinking a little inside. Another friend getting married.


A Letter from Emily



Wednesday, June 22 - Ironed and worked in the garden. Got a letter from Emily.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Minnie smiled as she opened the letter from Emily and read about her trip home and the news from the twin cities of Marinette and Menominee. Emily’s Pa hoped to get some masonry work for the rebuilding of the government piers in Menominee. The work would shore up the foundation of the lighthouse, which became shaky and almost toppled over four years ago. “They discovered the building leaned two and a half feet,” Emily wrote.


A tugboat captain and his crew claimed they had seen a giant sea serpent swimming within two feet of their tug. They said the green snake with bright yellow stripes was twenty feet long and eight inches in diameter. The Marinette Eagle-Star reported that “Captain Anderson is a man who is not in the habit of telling fish stories, and he vouches for this sea serpent, as so every one of his crew, so the story this time of the great Green Bay sea serpent is better authenticated than ever before.”


“I don’t know about you,” Emily wrote, “but some folks think the serpent story is a farce. It's just meant to draw tourists to the resorts in Sturgeon Bay and the Chautauqua in Marinette this summer. I guess they’ll do anything to suppress the news that mosquitoes are so bad this summer that they can’t hire men to peel posts in the cedar swamps.”



-- "Mosquitoes Stop Work," Marinette Eagle-Star, Marinette, Wis., June 21, 1904

Emily raved about the new Lauerman’s Department Store in Marinette. The giant store had opened in April and had become the talk of the twin cities.


“You should see it,” Emily said. “The store has everything you can imagine, and more. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, furniture, books, household goods, hardware and even groceries. Some people just go in to wander through the store and enjoy the sights. I think it’s become a tourist attraction in itself. It’s the biggest store for miles around.”


Emily enclosed a copy of a Lauerman’s Grand Opening announcement in the Marinette Eagle-Star, which her mother had saved for her.



-- Marinette Eagle-Star, Marinette, Wis., April 18, 1904


Délicieuses Fraises


Thursday, June 23 - Went out picking strawberries.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

Minnie gathered wild strawberries from the uncultivated fields near her home. She needed to get up early to beat the birds and bunnies, who also were hunting for the bright red fruits. Soon she had a quart and a half of the sweet fruits, which she brought home to mash with sugar and serve with shortcake for dinner.


Délicieuses fraises,” said Pa. “Nothing like the taste of fresh strawberries. Merci, Minnie.”


“We’ll be canning berries soon,” Ma said.


“Uh oh,” said Pa. “Just give me a warning to stay out of your way.”


“In about two weeks the thrifty housewife will begin to clean fruit jars and prepare for the annual canning period. While the berries are being canned the poor man of the house stands a chance of finding his meals not ready or he is politely told to take his dinners down town until the ordeal is over, for the stove is so given over to the canning process as to leave no room for the dishes for the dining table.”

— “Large Crop in Sight: Winnebago Strawberry Growers Are Hopeful Over Conditions,” The Oshkosh Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 11, 1904 via newspapers.com




-- "Editorial Comment: Fruit and Berries of the North", The News-Palladium

(Benton Harbor, Michigan) June 23, 1904



Mailed a Letter to Emily


Friday, June 24 - Went to Mrs. Dubey for a call. Had a fine time.
Saturday, June 25 - Went to Hville. Mail a letter to Emily.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Minnie wore one of her new waists with a summer linen skirt to call on Aldia Dubey on Friday and the other to visit with Cousin Minnie Raiche in Hermansville on Saturday.


With a little change in her pocket, she stopped to enjoy a strawberry sundae at the ice cream parlor. She politely ignored the men who were flirting with her. She talked to some customers and answered questions about when their orders would arrive. She finished writing a letter to Emily and dropped it in the slot at the post office.


“All is well here, Emily,” she said. “All is well.”


Notes and Further Reading

Note to Readers: Minnie's Diary is part history and part fiction. While my great-grandmother's diary entries and the news clippings are real, the rest comes from my imagination and research into life in Hermansville, a company lumber town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula 1904. For more about Minnie and her family, read this introductory page elsewhere on this website.


I welcome corrections and comments from readers. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog if you want to make sure you see every installment of Minnie's Diary. I'll send you an email each time I publish a new post, about once each week or two. I will never sell or share your contact information with other individuals or companies.


New Characters: Minnie mentions several new female characters in her diary this week: Mary Raiche, "Eva & Laura," and Mrs. Mary Lacrosse. I've added the Soo Line agent, Thomas Pagel, to help with her soap box as well as a list of French Canadian women she might have approached to sell soap. I won't go into details about Mr. Pagel and the list of neighborhood women, but here's what I know about the other young women Minnie mentions:


Mary Raiche, 19, was the daughter of Francois Xavier (Frank) and Christina (Dube) Raiche, a family with roots in Rimouski, Quebec, just like Minnie's family. Mary was born in May 1885 in Canada when her mother was 39 and her father had 47. She was married to Levi Lacousier on August 15, 1904, in Hermansville.


Marie Aldora "Eva" Raiche Rochon, 18, was the daughter of Frank's brother, Joe Raiche, and his wife, Emelia, who lived across the road from the Gamache farm. Like Minnie, Eva was born in Le Bic in the Rimouski region of Quebec. She married farmer William Rochon in July 1902.


I'm not positive who "Laura" was. My best guess is that Minnie is referring to Elizabeth Laura Raiche, 24, another daughter of Frank & Christina Raiche. But census records indicate she used the name "Eliza" or "Elise," and not "Laura," which was her middle name. I don't find any other Lauras among the French Canadian community in Hermansville, other than 6-year-old Laura Paquin, Del's little sister. Two young women named Laura lived in Champion and may have been visiting or living in Hermansville temporarily: Laura Mae Dishno (b. 1890 in Champion) or Laura Marchand (b. 1880 in Champion). Laura only appears once in the diary, so she will probably remain a mystery.


Mrs. Mary Lacrosse also doesn't show up in Hermansville records. Searching in genealogy sites, I found a Mary Raiche who was born in 1885 in Canada and married a Dennis Lacross. According to Familysearch.org, they lived in Champion, Michigan, in January 1899, when their daughter Anna was born. Dennis was working as a miner. With the Champion mine shut down in 1904, they may have been in Hermansville temporarily to do other work or just visiting. I don't know who Mary's parents were, but I suspect she was somehow related to our Hermansville Raiches. Anyone know?

A Few Past Errors: As I've done more research, I've discovered a couple of errors from previous blog entries. In an earlier entry, I think I suggested that the village of Hermansville had electricity by 1904. I learned this week that the village didn't get electric service until the Hotel Menomee was built in 1911. The sawmill had a power plant in the late 1800s, but apparently the village wasn't electrified until later. Until then, lighting in homes and businesses likely came from oil lanterns. I have also learned that the Hermansville bank wasn't organized until 1921. In one earlier blog post, I suggested Minnie and her father went to the bank to get a money order to purchase a bicycle for Minnie's brother through the mail. I think perhaps they purchased a money order from the post office instead. My knowledge of Hermansville history remains a work in progress.


Larkin Soap Company: For more information about the Larkin Soap Company, read this blog post on "The Larkin Idea" from the Henry Ford Museum. A ten-dollar soap order would have represented a lot of money to Minnie and her neighbors, when a laborer at the sawmill might earn only $1 to $1.40 per day. A Larkin Club-of-Ten would have made orders easier to fill and premiums easier to earn. This Wikipedia entry has more on the Larkin Company. I obtained some of my material this week from a 1902 Larkin Idea magazine that I purchased through forgottenbooks.com. The book included this photograph of a Larkin Club in New York in 1902.


-- Larkin Company, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Shirtwaist: When I first read Minnie's diary entry for June 20, I wondered, "What is a waist?” The term "waist" was shorthand for "shirtwaist" -- what today we would call a tailored woman's blouse. In 2018, PBS aired a documentary about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, the most deadly workplace accident in New York City's history. More than 100 women workers died after being trapped inside the burning factory. The fire led to workplace safety reforms that remain with us today.


For images of shirtwaists, see this PBS blog post, which explained the history and importance of the shirtwaist in that era:


"The shirtwaist... came to represent more than a momentary fashion trend; the blouse was a symbol of newfound female independence in a time of progressive ideas. With their own jobs and wages, women were no longer dependent on men and sought new privileges at home and at work. The figure of the working woman, wearing the shirtwaist blouse and freed from domestic duties, was an iconic image for the women's rights movement."

To see this popular uniform in action, you can watch an amazing retouched and recolored video from 1904, showing women clocking in to work at Westinghouse Works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I imagine that Minnie was a bit like these women, though she lived on a farm and probably never visited a city as large as Pittsburgh.

Lauerman's Department Store: Practically anyone who lived in Menominee County in the 20th century will remember Lauerman's. I was excited to learn that their iconic store in Marinette first opened to the public in 1904, the year of Minnie's Diary. Although Minnie never mentions Lauerman's in her diary, I'm sure her friend Emily would have shopped there when she returned home to Marinette. I remember shopping there in the 1970s, before the shopping mall started to replace the department store as the place to shop for clothing and household items. It was a grand old department store with a lunch counter and full service in every way.


-- Shawn Conrad, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Card Games: As I was writing the card game scene and came up with Edmund's line about playing "Old Maid," I wondered if there was a similar Quebec or French card game. It turns out that the French play Vieux Garçon (Old Boy), which has the same rules as Old Maid but the Jack of Spades is the final card you don't want in your hand. The French game precedes the English game and both are based on a German game.


The New Woman: The "New Woman" was a phrase used to describe women in the late 19th and early 20th century who were educated, middle class and not in a hurry to marry and have children. I think of Minnie as the first modern woman in our family. She waited until she was 24 to marry my great-grandfather, which tells me she was waiting for the right man. As an immigrant with less than a high school education, she didn't quite fit the definition of "new woman," but I think she had an intelligent mind and independent spirit. I know her daughters and granddaughters certainly did! I hope you are able to read some of Mary Mannering's thoughts on the "new woman" below.


-- "Mary Mannering Champions the New Woman," The Saint Paul Globe

Magazine Section, St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 21, 1904


Thank you for reading! I will be traveling to the U.P. in the next two weeks and it may be a while before I post another entry. I plan to do some research and learn more about life in Hermansville in 1904. Enjoy the rest of your July.


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