Saturday, October 10, 2009

This Week in Texas Methodist History October 11

Daisy Davies and Mabel Head Begin Whirlwind Mission Blitz of Texas, October 17, 1908

The work of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society and the Woman’s Home Missionary Society during the Progressive Era is an example of how dedicated individuals can make a huge difference in the life of the church. The author was recently reminded of the work of the two societies by a donation to the Texas Conference Archives. It is a simple trifold brochure announcing the Texas tour of a mission campaign conducted by Misses Daisy Davies and Mabel Head. Miss Davies was Secretary of Young Peoples Work of the Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions. Miss Head was Associate Secretary of the Woman’s Board of Home Missions.

The first rally was at Amarillo on Sunday, October 17, 1908. That was the first of 28 “Institutes and rallies” ending with Beaumont on Sunday, December 13. In between were Clarendon, Childress, Wichita Falls, Stamford, Dublin, Brownwood, Burnet, Georgetown, Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Beeville, Cuero, Brenham, Waco, Corsicana, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Sherman, Paris, Terrell, Marshall, Jacksonville, Crockett, and Houston. What a Texas tour!

The two secretaries depended upon local committees, (adverting, finance, arrangements, and hospitality) in all 28 cities. The schedule varied somewhat depending upon whether a Sunday was included in the stop. All featured mission talks, Bible study, maps, charts, and mission literature. One focus of the rallies was the recruitment of “educated young women who should be choosing a life work and who are free to give themselves into definite Christian service.”

Both women who toured Texas in the fall of 1908 went on to greater service. In 1915 Daisy Davis became the first female president of the historic Methodist female college in LaGrange, Georgia. She kept hat post until 1920 when she became head of relief work in Poland. Mabel Head, who had been educated at Cornell, Vassar, and New York State Teachers’ College, became Educational Secretary of the Board of Missions of the MECS.


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