Historically Black College
King Home, Marshall.
BEAUTIFUL for situation, and the joy of all the colored people for a hundred miles around, is King Home, located at Marshall, Texas
The past year has been the most successful one in the history of the school. The good seed sown in tears by the former Secretaries and teachers is now yielding an abundant harvest, and we are reaping the fruit of their labors. .The statistics for the year are as follows:
Number of pupils boarding in the Home 38
This does not fully represent the work done, for statistics are only skeletons, which must be clothed with arteries, nerves, and flesh, to make them living entities; nor do they tell of the toil and sacrifice, nor the unswerving devotion of our teachers.
By permission of the Board, I had the pleasure of visiting the school last February, and seeing the situation through my own glasses. The discipline of the school is markedly efficient. The firmness, blended with a Christlike spirit of gentleness and love, was something beautiful to see. Order, neatness, thoroughness, and economy characterizes all the work. It was a genuine surprise to me to see the politeness, grace, and gentleness of manner of the girls. The deportment was simply above criticism. The studious attention which they gave to their studies in the university was a delight to me, as well as the proficiency attained in the domestic arts, such as cooking, laundry work, general housekeeping, sewing, dressmaking, and embroidery. Many had never learned even the use of the needle or thimble before entering the Home. A class of fourteen was graduated in scientific dressmaking, according to the Magic Scale System, this year.
There is an increasing desire for an education and to be helpful, which shows the awakening of their minds. The hundreds of windowless and doorless cabins I passed en route spoke plainly of the widespread poverty, ignorance, and consequent degradation. I thought I was intelligent concerning the situation, but one can scarcely comprehend their poverty and great need, unless one comes in actual contact with the people and surroundings. They are making great progress, but there are great hindrances. The lack of comprehension on the part of the parents of the need of thorough preparation for life's work, and their inability on account of their poverty to give their daughters two or three consecutive years of instruction in the Home, are great barriers to success. The exercises were unique. The teachers as well as the girls were clad in an inexpensive white material, and each of the girls had a number on the program, which consisted of solos, duets, recitations, essays, and the conferring of diplomas. The exercises were held in the chapel of Wiley University. I presume the moral effect of this display will be beneficial, and tend to give the girls a deeper sense of the dignity of manual labor and capable womanhood. Another special feature was the attention given to the development of Christian character, having for its foundation the knowledge and authority of Scripture truth. One Sabbath morning at devotions we were studying the Sunday-school lesson, and so apt were they in replies, I thought I would ask them some other questions. I gave them fifty questions upon the life of Christ, and they answered all but six correctly, a test which I know would tax to the utmost many a white school in the North to equal. Every girl in the Home, save one, was a Christian. Several were led to Christ during the year. I asked one of the girls how many were Christians. She replied that there "was only one sinner among them."
We can not expect great results from a training of eight mouths, and yet great results have been realized.
The relations between Wiley University and the Home are most cordial and helpful. Upon invitation of President Dogan, I made several chapel talks and lectured to the students. I also accepted an invitation to address the students of Bishop College on Washington's birthday. This is one of the largest colored schools under the auspices of the Baptists. They have about four hundred students, the same as Wiley. They sang many of the old plantation songs for me, as did also the girls in the Home and also the Wiley University Quartet.
The premises were in excellent condition, and will need only a few minor repairs this year, which will be made from the receipts of the Home. I think I solved the heating problem in a very economical and safe way, by putting in small stoves and radiators, carrying the pipes through rooms where there were no flues. The entire cost was $108. When I went down I found the Home so crowded, and consequently unsanitary, that I at once saw a contractor, and got estimates for finishing three rooms in the third story. I found that, with my unconditional appropriation for heating, that I could arrange for both heating and finishing the rooms. I ordered it done, and it was all completed by the latter part of May, and I now hold in my possession the duplicate receipts for the entire expense. Since the stoves and radiators have been put in place, only two of the second story rooms will hold two beds comfortably, so there is very little additional room for an increase of students. There ought to be three more rooms and the hall finished this year. I presume the cost of finishing all in a workmanlike manner would not exceed three hundred dollars. Then the building would be completed, and at least forty-five accommodated in the Home.
I found no flag at the Home. But immediately upon my return, I asked the Queen Esther Circle of Washington, Iowa, to donate one. which they did. I presume it will very soon float over King Home, proclaiming impressively, though silently, Liberty, Justice, and Fraternity.
MRS. LAVANDA G. MURPHY, Secretary.
WEST TEXAS CONFERENCE.
We are glad to report an increased interest in the West Texas Conference Woman's Home Missionary Society. Our thirteenth anniversary was held at Waco, Texas, December 11th. We were pleased to have with us Mrs. Dr. S. J. Pye, of St. Louis, who, by request, gave the address. We have tried to solicit the sympathy of every woman in our Church. The Auxiliaries, as a whole, have had much local work to do this year. Our five District Associations were held during the summer months, and the effect has been for good. We have organized twelve new Auxiliaries, three "Mothers' Jewels," and reorganized two older Auxiliaries. We are trying to make the Woman's Home Missionary Society a power in our Conference. E. S. Spriggs,
Conference Corresponding Secretary.
WEST WISCONSIN CONFERENCE.