Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1912 (3)

She Had a Question, 1912 (3)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 20, 2011

Advice from Catherine Hurst, queen of deportment, child care, stain removal, and the enigmatic answer that makes us wish we knew what question had been asked! From the pages of the 1912 Young Woman’s Journal


I have small children and get so tired, and can never find time to read. Can you give me any suggestions that will help me? – Mrs. Irene W—.

My dear girl, I believe you have learned the art of working, but not of resting. Relaxation or getting off tension is resting. Cultivate the habit of letting things go, also get in the habit of napping, it is wonderful how refreshed one feels after a few trials at this. Change of work is restful. When a woman has the power to “let things go” and snatch an hour in the midst of confusion to finish a good article or study a page, she will scarcely have nervous prostration. Do not think this is the last day on earth or that the world depends on you. Go to the theatre occasionally and forget home duties.


“Beulah” – (1) Bunions are caused by short shoes. In selecting shoes always get those that give plenty of room for the foot to lay natural without pinching or irritating. Rub your bunion with sweet oil and liquid camphor. (2) It is much better to be modest and “bashful” when in the presence of the opposite sex rather than bold or forward. Being so young, you will overcome your bashfulness as you grow older; but always retain your modesty, as that is one of the chief charms of woman.


Is there another good way to clean white kid gloves except by washing them on the hands with gasoline, as gasoline is so hard on the skin, sometimes irrigating it? – Tem.

A piece of stale bread rubbed over the gloves will often clean them. Benzine carefully rubbed over them with a flannel till dry is also effective. Rub with cornmeal and hang in air.


Tennis shoes to wear in doing house work are cool and comfortable, and may prevent one from slipping, owing to the rubber soles. The feet will not get wet while one is scrubbing floors or cleaning porches or when going to the garden for vegetables.


What would you suggest to prevent excessive perspiration of the feet? – Pearl

Bathe the feet with soap and water several times a day, adding to the water a little ammonia or listerine. Rub with boric acid dissolved in a little water, then dust with a powder made of equal parts of French chalk and alum. Change the hose twice a day. Wear sandals or low slippers on the feet whenever possible. Keep the skin and bowels in normal condition.


“L.R.” – (1) No. (2) Certainly not. (3) Indeed it is. (4) Not before seventeen or eighteen. (5) Yes, your mother certainly knows. (6) No objection, if you wish it.


“Nancy.” – There is no harm in the game.


Will you please give me the recipe for bottling corn, beans, and peas? – Ellen.

Fill your cans full of corn, pressing in very hard. When full screw the cover on with the thumb and first finger, this will be tight enough. Place a cloth in bottom of wash boiler to prevent breakage. On this put a layer of cans, then a cloth and another layer of cans. Cover the cans well with cold water, place on the fire and boil for three hours without ceasing, or boil one hour each day for three days. After boiling, take from fire, and let water get partially cool, take cans out and tighten lids. When they are entirely cool, tighten again. Wrap each bottle in brown paper and keep in a cool dry place. Always use new rubber rings on cans. Sometimes two are necessary. For peas and beans, fill your cans, then shake so they can be well filled, after which pour in enough water to fill the can and proceed as for corn, only you need not boil so long.


Is it proper for a young lady, after keeping company with a young man for six months, to return the presents he has given her after they have discontinued their friendship? – viola.

It was quite improper to accept any presents from the young man. If they are at all valuable, you should certainly return them.


To “N.B.K.” – The authorities of the Church do not favor card-playing.


Please tell me the proper thing to say if a young man asks for a dance and you do not wish to dance with him. – Amy

Kindly tell him you prefer not to dance, or that you are too tired to dance again so soon, if you are.


To “Aug.” – You must not take everything seriously that the young man says to you. Some boys have a way of flattering every girl they go with. Greet him cordially, but do not show a preference for him.


What is a good face bleach? – M.V.T.

Buttermilk or any of the acid fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, lemons, or grape fruit, will tend to whiten the skin. Also eat plentifully of all kinds of fruit and drink buttermilk freely, if you want a fine complexion. Grapefruit and oranges are especially good.


“A.T.” – The proper and only thing to do is, let the young gentleman entirely alone. You should not care for his companionship.


Please give correct way to fold table napkins. – June.

They may be folded square or into a triangle. Folded square seems to be the prevailing method at present.


At an informal dinner in what order are the guests seated? – Mary.

It is customary to seat the guests in the order in which they enter the dining room, without having any place of distinction, all the places at the table being equal; sociability and comfort being the things mostly considered.


“Martha.” – A healthy tanned skin is not disfiguring. Do not bleach your face too much, or you will have a dead-white bleached skin.



  1. Go to the theatre occasionally and forget home duties.

    Sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll do just that. I’ve heard that there’s an old fashioned movie theater up the road that does summer matinees, and I just looked it up online. (Does it count as relaxation if I have my kids along?)

    Comment by Researcher — June 20, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  2. “L.R.” – (1) No. (2) Certainly not. (3) Indeed it is. (4) Not before seventeen or eighteen. (5) Yes, your mother certainly knows. (6) No objection, if you wish it.

    It is like Carnac the Magnificent!

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 20, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  3. Love it, and yes, what indeed were the questions!?

    Comment by Cliff — June 20, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  4. The recipe for bottling corn, peas, and beans is just asking for botulism.

    I think the advice to take a break and rest is excellent.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — June 20, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  5. Reading this is like playing Jeopardy.

    Comment by SilverRain — June 20, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  6. After much effort, I’ve decoded the questions involved in the numbered sequence from “LR.” They are from “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

    1: Regis Philbin: Did you think you’d get this far? LR: No
    2: RP: Do you want to quit now? LR: Certainly not!
    3: RP: Is that your final answer? LR: Indeed it is.
    4: RP: Where does the number 19 come in this sequence? LR: Not before 17 or 18.
    5: LR: May I use my lifeline and call my Mom? RP: Yes, your Mother certainly knows.
    6: LR: May I jump the question? RP: No objection, if you wish it.

    I’m sure that Regis was doing TV in 1912, wasn’t he?

    Comment by kevinf — June 20, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  7. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a week, kevinf, but you can’t fool me — you want us to think you checked into Keepa to read this morning’s post, but we all know you’re here to check on the next installment of the serial. Give it up. You can’t hide.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 20, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  8. Guilty as charged. I’ve already posted over there.

    Comment by kevinf — June 20, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  9. It was improper for Jeanne to have accepted Valentine’s or birthday gifts from me before we’d known each other six months? Oh, the money i could have saved!

    Comment by David B — June 20, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  10. This is awesome.

    What do bowels have go do with sweaty feet?

    Comment by Cynthia L. — June 20, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  11. Back then, botulism didn’t matter. Everyone always boiled canned vegetables for five minutes after opening the bottle. That kills the toxin. I remember being warned to not eat a bean out of the bottle while I was heating it up or I would die of botulism.

    I still wash my hands without touching anything first out of habit.

    Comment by Carol — June 20, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  12. Yeah, what’s wrong with giving/accepting gifts?!

    Comment by David Y. — June 21, 2011 @ 12:39 am

  13. trots off for a nap to avoid nervous prostration….

    Comment by Anne (UK) — June 21, 2011 @ 3:20 am

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