Historically Black College
WORK IN THE SOUTHWEST.
The State of Texas, which is thirty-two times larger than the State of Massachusetts, furnishes a vast field for missionary effort. The Woman's Home Missionary Society is organized in its two Conferences, and has rendered efficient aid to the people.
In the West Texas, Mrs. C. A. Richardson, Conference Secretary, has traveled extensively, organizing auxiliaries, and instructing the people on questions of morals, temperance, and Christian living. Many homes have been reformed, and promising girls have been encouraged to attend the industrial schools.
Mrs. Howells has rendered similar service in the Texas Conference. Besides this, for several years she has made her home an industrial school, taking into it a. number of orphans—girls and boys—and has given them practical teaching and the rudiments of education, to enable them to enter schools of higher grade. The Texas Conference Society, inspired by her persevering effort, has purchased fifty acres of land and erected a building on it for an orphanage and school.
The Corresponding Secretary recommends that these two Conferences be granted a relation to our Society, which will enable them to organize and sustain mission work within their own bounds under its auspices, making their appropriations subject to the approval of the Executive Board, and sending vouchers for the money expended. Also, that a suitable appropriation be made for the traveling expenses of Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Howells, to enable them to continue their missionary work. Our Society can not appropriately take charge of the school at Harrisburg, unless the authorities of the Church should authorize it to undertake school work in that section. But Wiley University, the Church school at Marshall, furnishes an encouraging field for a Department of Domestic Economy. The Executive Board approved the establishing of our work there, by authorizing the collection of funds for the erection of a Model Home. A considerable amount has been pledged for this object, and we earnestly hope that the enterprise may be consummated at an early date.
This work has advanced encouragingly during the year. Several Conference Societies have been formed, and organization in others strengthened. The statistical report will indicate the increase.
The opposition which has interfered with the introduction and prosecution of the work is passing away as its importance and utility are better understood. Said a leading minister, "I strongly opposed the introduction of the Woman's Home Missionary Society into our Conference four years ago, because I was led to think it would interfere with another branch of mission work, and we already had agencies enough to meet all our needs; but when the Secretaries of other general societies of the Church and several bishops assured me that they approved the work, and urged its organization as necessary to meet a great want in our Church economy, I at once gave it cordial support."
Report from Bureau for Texas.
The Bureau for Texas includes but one State, and yet that State is so large that it comprises more territory than any other Bureau. It is thirty-three times larger than Massachusetts and has a population of 2,500,000, o( which nearly 400,000 are colored and 20 per cent, are o( foreign birth. Texas is said to offer to the farmer, stock raiser, wool grower, merchant, manufacturer and mechanic more inducements, advantages, and prospects of ultimate success than any other locality on the American continent. Rich in natural resources and possessing great business advantages it is still one vast mission field, and it is the hope and prayer of the Committee constituting this Bureau, that, as northern capital and northern enterprise have aroused the dormant life, and imparted to this great State renewed vigor and push, the Gospel of Christ may be carried there to purify the lives and elevate the homes of the people.
There are two Conferences in Texas with which our work is associated: the Texas and West Texas, both colored Conferences. The Freedmen's Aid Society has a large school, Wiley University, at Marshall, which is in the bounds of the Texas Conference, another at Houston, and another at Dallas, and one at Austin. Mrs. Richardson, Corresponding Secretary of the West Texas, and Mrs. Howells of the Texas Conference, have been doing good and efficient work in their respective Conferences. Last December, Mrs. Richardson formed a Conference Society, with Mrs. L. A. Westbrooks as President, and a Vice-President and Manager from each Presiding Elder's District. She has traveled quite extensively and organized several new auxiliaries during the year. She writes : "1 ran report only a fraction of the work I have done and am constantly doing, because my work is so irregular ; a large amount of primary work must be done before such work as the ladies of the Executive Board call regular. In organizing auxiliaries, much difficulty is experienced in finding suitable persons to take charge of them." She strongly urges the erection of an Industrial Home at Austin, and says, "I do not see any other way of reaching the vast number of wretched homes in this State."
Mrs. Howells has been traveling recently in the Texas Conference, which covers a large territory. She is full of energy and the spirit of consecration, and toils on year after year with the most indomitable perseverance, never growing discouraged, never lessening her pious zeal for the cause. She submits willingly to all kinds of privations that she may help others to a higher and better life. The Industrial Home for which she has been working is almost free from debt, and it is hoped that very soon this property will be transferred to our Society, and brought into the regular lines of work. This has been requested by the Executive Board, and we ask that, if it is done, an appropriation be made to carry it on during the coming year, subject to the order of the Hoard.
Mrs. L. A. Westbrooks, President of the Conference Society, has been teaching a Mission school in Waco during the past year. The school numbered forty nine. The record of her work, and especially the school that grew upon her hands, is conclusive evidence that she is an earnest, efficient worker in the Home field.
In the beginning of the year we had every reason to hope that by this time our Industrial Home at Marshall would be built and ready for occupancy this Fall. The need for such a Home is very pressing. Many bright and deserving girls are waiting patiently for the advantages which this Home will furnish. Mrs. Clifford, the wife of the former President of Wiley University wrote last winter, "We have now twenty-two boarders. The dormitory was built for only fourteen, and' more are expected within a week. At the last Annual Meeting there was appropriated for the work in Texas two thousand dollars for a Model Home at Marshall; four hundred for furnishing, and three hundred for Conference work. It was understood that one thousand of the amount for the Home had been provided for, through the generous gift of Mrs. Ritter, (of the Central Ohio Conference). It has since been learned that Mrs. Ritter thought the work at Marshall was white work, and on learning the contrary, she prefers to have the money used for the building of a Home for the whites in Texas, if possible. This of course has rendered it impossible to do anything for Marshall up to the present lime. The ladies of the Central Ohio Conference, who have taken this work, have raised several hundred dollars towards this project. Mrs. Clifford last Winter, by her own efforts, raised one hundred and thirty-two dollars, which she has in bank to aid the enterprise. In view of the fact that the money thus appropriated has not been asked for during the past year, and because of the great and pressing need for a Model Home at this point, we would respectfully ask that the appropriation be continued for the coming year, trusting that as it is the Lord's work the money will, in some way, be provided. Your Committee also ask that the $1,000 Ritter fund be held for white work in Texas, subject to the order of the Executive Board.
It is the earnest desire of the ladies of this Bureau that great things shall be accomplished for Texas during the coming year, and to aid them in this endeavor they would respectfully make the following requests:
1. That the money appropriated for the Home at Marshall last year, be re-appropriated for the coming year, ($2,000 for Home, and $400 for furnishing.)
2. That the $1,000 Ritter fund be held for white work in Texas, subject to the order of the Board.
3. Thai in case the Industrial Home at Harrisburg, now under the care of Mrs. Howells, be transferred to the Woman's Home Missionary Society together with the title of the land, as has been requested by the Executive Board, an appropriation be made by means of which it may be carried on during the coming year.
4. That the Austin Auxiliary be permitted lo apply the money raised for a special fund, toward the building of an Industrial Home in Austin, remitting all moneys received for this purpose to the Treasurer in Cincinnati, to be held by her until needed for this purpose. Mrs.' W. C. Herron, Secretary.
Woman's Home Missionary Society (Cincinnati, Ohio). Board of