Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1913 (3)

She Had a Question, 1913 (3)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 20, 2010

The girls of the Y.L.M.I.A. turn once again to Catherine Hurst for answers to all their homework questions in life:


Who was the founder of the Red Cross Society? – M.H.W.

The “Red Cross Society” is an international organization for the protection and care of the sick and wounded in war and the care of sufferers from other large calamities. The organization is the result of an international treaty entered into by most of the leading nations, at a convention held in Geneva, Switzerland, in August, 1864. This treaty sustains the neutrality of Red Cross Societies in all countries, and on all waters covered by the compact, and insures to it the protection of all conflicting forces in time of war. It cares for victims of flood, pestilence, famine and fire, as well as victims of war. (2) If children earn money it is right for them to pay tithing.


“Mona.” – You can get a synopsis of the life of Joan of Arc in any cyclopedia. You can get the book at the library or a book store.


If “Zero” will send a stamped addressed envelope, I will answer her query personally. I could not answer it intelligently through the columns of the Journal.


“S.P.” – Perhaps your wife is over-worked, or is not well. It may be she needs a change. Does she go out occasionally and enjoy herself? Are you very kind to her? Do you have any lover’s talk and walks now? Strive to awaken her conscience to the necessity of doing right, and of being pleasant, amiable and consistent. By doing this in the proper way (by example) you will certainly obtain satisfactory results.


“Retta H.” – Tell the young man you do not care for him. Do not marry a man whom you cannot love. It would certainly bring unhappiness to both of you.


Please give me the name and address of a good ear specialist in Salt lake. – A.M.L.

There are a number of specialists in Salt lake, among whom are Dr. L. Stauffer, 14 E. South Temple; Dr. W.M. Stookey and Dr. Hinckley, Vermont Bldg., and Dr. Irvine, Kearns Bldg.


After entering the theatre who should lead down the isle, the gentleman or lady? – R.D.

The lady should precede the gentleman, following the usher.


“Wilma.” – There is no sequel to the “Wide, Wide world.”


Please tell me how to take kerosene spots from carpets. – L.C.

Dissolve one tablespoonful of salt in four tablespoonfuls of alcohol. shake well and rub the spot thoroughly; or mix talcum powder or fuller’s earth to a paste with vinegar and spread on the spots. let remain two or three days, then brush off and sponge with naphtha soap.


“Y.W.” – After returning from a social or other entertainment, you shoul not stand at the gate more than five minutes. Kindly bid your gentleman friend good night, and seek your own fireside.


Please tell me how to clean a brass bedstead, also a brass jardiniere that has become discolored. – Mrs. A.B.

Use rotten stone mixed with oil and apply with a chamois; or rub with a wet, soapy rag, dipped in powdered bath brick. Polish with a dry, soft cloth or newspaper. To restore color to brass, use a solution of oxalic acid. Do not get on the hands. Another way, take a cupful of warm milk and a quarter of a cupful of hot vinegar and a tablespoonful of salt. Rub on hard with a flannel rag.


Where can I get a book on “sex life” suitable for my young daughter? – Anxious Mother.

“Confidential Chats with Girls,” by Will Lee Howard, is very good. May be obtained at Sunday School Union Book Store. Price, $1.00.


When was the Salvation Army founded? – Myrtle.

The Salvation Army was founded on military principles in London, England, July 5, 1865, by the Rev. William Booth, under the name of the Christian Mission, for the pur0pose of reaching the large percentage of working and other classes who attend no place of worship. The movement has spread all over the world and other functions have been added from time to time. In 1878 the name was changed from Christian Mission to Salvation Army. In 1880 the movement was inaugurated in the United States in New York City.


“Joe.” – (1) Go to bed early, as you need more sleep before midnight. Keep your windows open all night, eat nourishing food, and do not go to dances or socials for two months at least. (2) Note answer to “F.L.S.” in current issue. (3) If you went to the dance with other girls, you might accept the escort of a respectable young man home. (4) “Blacking the eyelashes” indicates a certain immodesty and boldness, that we wish our girls to avoid. You are very liable to injure your eyes also.


Will you please tell me the best correspondence school for a girl who wants a common education? – Meg.

If you will write the “International Correspondence School,” 78 West Second south street, Salt Lake City, or “The Brown School of Correspondence,” 601 Dooly Bldg. they will send you circulars and data by which you may determine a course of study.


“F.L.S.” – (1) If you have many warts it shows a condition of the blood that should be attended by a physician. Fill a small bottle with coal oil or castor oil and touch the wart several times a day; or dip a feather or toothpick in carbolic acid, and touch only the wart two or three times a day, and it will soon be gone. (2) It should be very easy to refuse to dance with a boy who drinks. Tell him you do not dance or associate with young men who have such habits. Space will not permit of any specific instructions on hairdressing.


“H.B.” and “S.S.” – Try and discover if you have not some fault or defect, which detracts from your popularity with the “boys.” Sometimes a very simple failing or fault, which could easily be corrected, causes much worry and anxiety. Send me a stamped addressed envelope and I will mail you some advice that will be valuable. Explain your second query more in detail.



  1. The Wide, Wide World! Wilma’s not alone, that novel was 19thC blockbuster. I read it quickly when I was thinking of preparing for a doctoral exam area in 19thC women’s novels.

    It’s available via Google Books and the Wikipedia entry on it is pretty thorough if anyone is keen to know what piqued Wilma’s interest:,_Wide_World

    Comment by Mina — April 20, 2010 @ 7:31 am

  2. Thanks, Mina. More than your link, what fascinates me is how a single short line in a mundane article can suddenly take on such interest when the right person sees it. I probably typed that line in my sleep, yet you zeroed right in on it and understood what was behind it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 20, 2010 @ 8:12 am

  3. Five minutes at the gate. Hmmm. That’s long enough to be interesting, but perhaps short enough to avoid any serious complications.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 20, 2010 @ 8:42 am

  4. I’m going to remember some of this advice should I begin to date again!

    Comment by Tracy M — April 20, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  5. These never fail to make me smile and inform me, too. Thanks.

    I really liked the instruction about the over-worked wife — how she might need a change of pace; to go out; go on “lover’s talk and walks”, etc. And rather than advising the husband to be paternalistic, Catherine Hurst tells the husband to be a good model and show the wife “by example.” Great stuff!

    My biggest guffaw was at the answer about checking out a book from the library! Ha!

    Comment by Hunter — April 20, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  6. Several of these questions/answers caught my attention.
    1 – The journal making recommendations for specific doctors.
    2 – A booklet to teach young girls about sex, sold in the Sunday School Union Bookstore.
    3 – “I do not associate with or dance with boys who drink.” (said perhaps with a lift of the chin)
    4 – I found out that I am immodest and bold because I blacken my eyelashes.
    5 – Where do I find “rotten stone” to clean my brass bed?

    The over-worked wife and staying at the gate no longer than five minutes have already been discussed. When I grew up, I didn’t have a gate to stand by, but my dad knew how to blink the front porch light on and off if I stayed in the car too long.

    Comment by Maurine — April 20, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  7. Actually, rotten stone is still used in woodworking and antique furniture repair. It’s a relatively soft, powedered abrasive made form pumice. If you have a brass bed, you can order some right here. (

    Comment by Clark — April 20, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  8. This time around, few of these seem to be actually from young women (except, you’re right, the “Ask Jeeves” quality of some of these queries for information). Maybe the erstwhile advice columnist was broadening her audience to more young husbands and Anxious Mothers than usual.

    Comment by jeans — April 20, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  9. Ardis, I think we could use an online copy of “Confidential Chats with Girls”. You know. For educational value 😉

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — April 20, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  10. Your wish is my command, Moniker Challenged: Confidential Chats with Girls.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 20, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  11. Your wish is my command, Moniker Challenged: Confidential Chats with Girls.

    Wow. Words for the wise: “Many a foolish or uninstructed girl has made herself a girl of muscles, but ruined her WOMANLY POWERS in so doing. Save all your strength and force for what Nature intended a woman to DO; don’t throw it away in doing gymnasium stunts.”

    Comment by Justin — April 20, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  12. “…what Nature intended a woman to DO”?

    I don’t think I want to know…

    (Oh. My imagination was running away with me. I suppose the author just means child bearing and child rearing. Sigh.)

    Comment by Researcher — April 20, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  13. Yes, Researcher, that’s it — and a good rousing game of basketball NOW (scare caps intentional) may doom a girl to failure at that purpose LATER. Also, she should not dance.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 20, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  14. Aye carumba! Is this where the birds and the bees metaphor comes from? Little rosebuds my….my. I appreciate your passing this on, Ardis, although I’m now wishing it were a smaller pamphlet.

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — April 21, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  15. Oh, I guess this is the truncated preview. I don’t think I can take the whole thing. Well, at least now I can enjoy pondering whether no “talk” or this “talk” is preferable 😉

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — April 21, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  16. Oh, you’ll have fun skimming through the whole thing, at least dipping into pages here and there throughout. Laughter is good for you!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 21, 2010 @ 11:43 am

  17. Wow. That “Confidential Chats…” book at Google even mentions Trojans.

    Comment by Bookslinger — April 21, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

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