Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1913 (2)

She Had a Question, 1913 (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 25, 2010

A return to a feature we haven’t had for a while: questions posed by the readers of the Young Woman’s Journal to the “Girl Query” feature, and answered by Catherine Hurst.


Does boracic acid injure the hair? – Jane

The frequent use of boric acid in the shampoo will make the hair dry and brittle. If the hair be very oily a very small quantity occasionally will do no harm.


What was the name of Cain’s wife, and where was the land of Nod? – Ruth.

(1) The name of Cain’s wife should not trouble you. She was probably of his kindred. We are led to believe in Gen. 4:15, that the human family had grown considerably in numbers at that time. (2) Gen. 4:16, we read that the land of Nod was on the east of Eden. According to some authorities the land of Nod means simply “the land of exile.”


“Emma.” To have “rosy cheeks” your general health must be good. Take plenty of exercise, sleep with windows or door open, eat nourishing food, avoiding pastry, pickles, condiments, etc.


“W.A.” – do not attempt to bleach your hair. You will ruin it. Red hair is quite pretty and persons with red hair generally have an abundance, for which you should be very thankful. “A beautiful head of hair is the crowning glory of woman.”


“Josie.” – (1) Conversation, reading, looking at and discussing some famous picture. (2) No, it is not selfish. it is just what you should do. (3) By bing determined to control yourself. Think. When angry do not speak before counting ten.


“Susie.” – The kissing games you mention are very improper. Kissing games should never be played at social gatherings, as they contribute to all sorts of diseases. It is a matter of record, that many girls have contracted dreadful diseases by allowing boys to kiss them. (2) It would be perfectly proper for you to absolutely refuse to join in a game that is “repulsive” to you, notwithstanding the “scene.” Space will not permit of a detailed discussion on this subject. We hope in the near future to publish an article from a prominent physician, treating on “Promiscuous Kissing.”


“Clara.” – (1) Melt together tallow and common rosin – two parts tallow to one of rosin – and apply to the soles of your shoes, as much as they will absorb. They will wear much longer than those not so treated. (3) There are several remedies for ringworm. Kerosene will often help, or a solution of borax, as follows: borax, one-half ounce; water, one-half pint. Bathe frequently. At night rub with sulphur ointment.


When should the engagement ring be given? – Eloise.

The proper time to give or receive the engagement ring is at the time the engagement takes place, although if it is impossible for the man to provide the ring at that time, the girl may receive it any time after.


“Edna.” – A good way to clean your dress, make a paste of gasoline and flour or cornmeal. Spread thickly on the dress and rub well. Brush off and your dress will be clean.


Where do we get the word “bloomers” from? – Elva

They were named after Anna Bloomer, who was the first woman to wear this style of dress.


Is it good taste to wear white kid gloves shopping? – Leone.

No, indeed, and it is also very extravagant, because you are spending your money without getting good value for it. White gloves cost more than dark ones, first in buying, second in great fragility, and third in cleansing expenses, whether of time or money. Wearing them when shopping or traveling shows bad taste, and they are so unattractive, as they are generally soiled when taken off, although they might have been clean and fresh to start with.


Is it good form to use paper napkins and flowers when giving a reception? – Annie.

No, it is not considered good form; as paper napkins are more especially for picnics, and paper flowers are appropriate only at fairs and bazaars.


My little girl has crossed eyes. Do you think glasses would help her? – A mother

Sometimes glasses will help to correct the crossness, but the only way for you to do is to take your child to a good oculist at once. In most cases they can be entirely cured. Do not let your child grow up with crossed eyes.


I am a young mother with four small children. I should like to know if you advise whipping children, or which method of punishment you think best? – A.M.C.

I do not favor whipping children. There are many modes of punishment as effective as whipping and far more humane. The punishment should be in harmony with the offense; for instance, if the child said a forbidden word, the tongue is the offender, hence put something bitter on the tongue, or wash it well with soap to make it “clean” again. Putting to bed or confining in a room alone for a given time – if it does not frighten them – is better punishment than whipping. Always tell the truth to your children. Never scare or frighten them. Never make a threat you do not intend to carry out. Govern by love, rather than by fear or the rod.


“Milly” – (1) Do not try to dye your eyelashes and eye-brows. Very likely you would ruin your eyes, and again it indicates that you are “common.” A little yellow vaseline rubbed on the eye-brows will help the growth. (2) Your “bad breath” is caused from decayed or unclean teeth, stomach catarrh, or indigestion. Counteract one or all of these and your trouble will cease. (3) Eighteen, at least.


What is a homily? – Gertrude.

A plain sermon or short talk, given before a mixed assembly, in the nature of a conversational discourse with no pretension to oratory or style.


What is the meaning of “chautauqua,” and where did the organization originate? – Mary Bell.

“Chautauqua” is an educational system by which the students study at home in connection with the summer schools at Chautauqua, New York. Bishop John Heyl Vincent, now in his eighty-first year, was the founder of Chautauqua. The first Chautauqua was held in the woods by Chautauqua Lake, New York, in 1874. It was quite a notable gathering of Bible students, professors of Greek, Hebrew and Latin, Sunday School teachers, prominent educators and students of all denominations. It was the beginning of a movement which has grown remarkably, and which had for its object the diffusion of education, as also a higher standard of ideals, and a broader fellowship among thinking people. Bishop Vincent never went to college, but he was a man of most thorough education, believing that education is not necessarily confined to the early years of life. At eighty he writes: “I shall never finish my education.” Chautauqua is known everywhere, and this far-reaching and successful work has grown to be a national institution.


“Hattie” – Sometimes it is impossible to win the love of a man you think you love. Be natural but withal be refined, modest, cultured and sweet; then be satisfied with results.


“Annie” – I think the misunderstanding ought to be adjusted mutually. If either takes the initiative you should be the one.


“A Journal Reader” – The cases described in your letter seem to be very common among the young people today, and although indulged in, as you say, “by the best young people of the city,” from our viewpoint must be condemned. The General Board have discouraged “ragging,” and think it very immodest and indelicate, to say the least. You are perfectly justified in refusing to dance it, though you may be called “prudish.” You will respect yourself more by always being gentle and modest.



  1. It is a matter of record, that many girls have contracted dreadful diseases by allowing boys to kiss them…..

    ooooerrrrrr, I wonder what I have that I might have given my wife through promiscuous kissing…or is it just unmarrieds??

    Comment by David M. Morris — March 25, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  2. We shall have to consult the record of which this is a matter …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 25, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  3. The old wise tale is that ‘Mono’ is caused by kissing thus ‘The kissing disease.’ I got it in jr high but had never kissed a girl, darn. Going home tonight and throwing the paper napkins in the trash. Ragging must be the ragtime dancing we see in old movies of the roaring 20s. First no round dancing and then no ragging….no fun in Zion.

    Comment by Mex Davis — March 25, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  4. As to the wife of Cain:

    She was probably of his kindred.

    Really? Is the person who wrote this suggesting the possibility that she might not have been kin?

    And she should have run a quick check on google to confirm that the eponymous Ms. Bloomer’s first name was Amelia, not Anna.

    Comment by Mark B. — March 25, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  5. Yea for washing mouth out with soap! My mum did it to me, her mum to her,and I only had to do it once to each of mine. They laugh about it now.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — March 25, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

  6. I think it is Alexander that talks about the shift of emphasis from round dancing to “ragging” as the cultural evil of note. As a side note, my niece just returned from the national ballroom competition at BYU. Come to think of it…there seems to also be a lot of promiscuous kissing there as well!

    Comment by J. Stapley — March 25, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  7. I know a lot of “redheads” who really aren’t…

    Comment by queuno — March 25, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  8. Oh to heaven that I knew what the questions were that elicited such leading and titillating answers as “Eighteen, at least.”


    Comment by Hunter — March 25, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  9. We could make up questions to those answers:

    “How many fake redheads does queuno know?” “Eighteen, at least.”

    “How many kisses constitute promiscuity?” “Eighteen, at least.”

    “How many bad words did Anne say before her mother brought out the soap?” “Eighteen, at least.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 25, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  10. I gather that in 1913, Mormon girls/young mothers might have been encountering (!) Protestants, a puzzling new species whose lingo needed translation (homily, Chatauqua). It’s rather astounding to think that in 1913 anyone in America wouldn’t know the meaning of those terms and would take the time to write the IE advice columnists for the lowdown.

    Comment by jeans — March 25, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  11. Compared to the general tenor of the times, I thought the advice against “whipping” children as punishment was very enlightened. When I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, it was still common practice to “spank” your own kids, and the coaches in jr. high had special boards made in shop class, with holes drilled in the paddles to increase their speed, which they used to swat the disobedient. Nobody I knew had parents who disfavored “whipping” as a punishment.

    Comment by Raymond Takashi Swenson — March 25, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  12. “avoiding pastry, pickles, condiments, etc.”

    Really? I guess my criticism of the “diner” on the corner is unfounded (for some strange reason, they don’t serve pickles, they serve cucumbers dipped in vinegar that they call pickles).

    Is the old saw about the English’s preference for bland food is true, then perhaps Hurst was either from England or influenced by the English?

    Comment by Kent Larsen — March 25, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  13. She was born in Salt Lake City in 1857. Her second-great-grandparents came from England; in between, they were in Pennsylvania. Must be another cause for her suggestions.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 25, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  14. These are choice! They’re all great, but the question of Cain’s wife takes the cake. (Did the questioner expect CH to receive the answer through direct revelation, e.g. Mahonri Moriancumer?) The best answer is the one involving gasoline, flour and cornmeal. (I guess “white” gas, without the odorants might simulate dry cleaning, but I have this image of a “Gibson girl” looking very refined but smelling like she came out of mechanics’ shop.)

    I think whipping refers to something much more violent than a swat on the rump, although I agree getting set to your room is better technique than either. Then the child can sit there with an expression to match the Sept. cover of the last post. :-)

    Comment by Clark — March 25, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  15. Oh my heck, I just love this. I would LOVE to read the pamphlet on promiscuous kissing. Should be highly, er, educational.

    Comment by Camilla Parshall — March 25, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

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