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The Farmers' Picnic

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Tlie annual picnic of the farmers of Wasbtenaw, Liviugston, Oakland and Wayne counties was held at Whitmore Lake, Saturday, and a more perfect day for suoh a gathering could not have been desired. The attendance was the largest that has bean seen at the pionio iu several years. The arrangempnts for the picüio were gnod. The program was not long or tedióos, the speaking aud inusio were excellent, the whole program not oooupying over two bour, consequently no one was tired. There were no aocidents to mar the day and there was very littledrnnkenuess or rowdyisrn to be seen. Farmers and their families carne from all direotious in baggies, oarriages, farm wagons, etc, while the trains from the north and sonth on the Ann Arbor road, and east and west on the Grand Trunk, brought hundreds uf people. Bicycles were also a popular mode of conveyanoe. The hotel yards and other places looked like repositories for the sale of horses and oarriages so great; was the nurober there, and the fenoes alone the road for half a mile from the grove where the pionic was held were lined. with teams. Tbere was the usual nnmber of fakir amusements to draw the pennies from the boys' pockets, suuh as the uovelty baseball game, the striking machine where every strike drew a prize (?), the spinning arrow with no blanks, throwing a ball at a nigger's bead for cigars, very few strikes being made and as few cigars wou, target shooting for prizes, the merry-go round, etc., and all seemed to do more or less business, while the ice cream, leinonade, popcorn, peanut and fruit stand did a thriving trade. Several losses through pickpookets were reported. Walter H. Danoer, of 32 Spring st., Ann Arbor, ex-supervisor of Lima township, was xobbed of $10 while getting on an Ann Arbor railroad train in the morning. Charles B. Davison, of the Courier office was robbed of a diamond stud which oost $125, "by one of two men who pressed him very close in the cars when at Whitmore Lake on the 4 :50 p. m. train on the Ann Arbor road, aud W. W. nerby, of 127 Hill st., had his pocket picked of his pocket bock containing $8 aud other papers as he was getting on to the train coming home at night. There were three men engaged in that job. One of tbern baoked up on Mr. Derby while the other two pressed him closly from behind. Mr. Derby feit tbem going for his pocket and called out "Hold on, theie!" The thief held on all right enough and did not let go either until he had Mr. Derby's pooket bonk in his possession. The forenoon was speut, as is nsual at such times, in a social way renewing old acquaintances, and talking over the prospects from a farmer's point of view. Dollar wheat was quite a prominent topic of coiiversation and a geueral feeling of satisfaotion seemed to prevail among the farmers. The cry of bard times was noticeably absent and all seemed to portend that farmers like other business men have great hopes that a period of better times is on the road. The voice of the politician was absent from this year's picnic and even the gold bug and free silver talk that was so prominent at last year's gathering was not heard on Saturday, while no oue seemed to have any idea of insinuating that the improved appearance of things was due to the Dingley tariff bill or therepublican government, but everyone was strongly of the opinión that it was good crops and good prices that had worked the revolution in the feelings of the people. At noon lunch baskets were brought out and the grove was soon turned into a large dining room. Por those who had brought no dinner the hotels had provided amply and the ladies of the M. E. churoh spread an excellent dinner for 25 cents, nnder the trees, which was largely patronized. At 1 :30 o'olock the people who bad gathered in large numbers to listen to the program of speeches and music were called to order by President Wrn. Ball. The first number on the program was a selection of instrumental musió by Miss Julia Ball, of Hamburg. Rev. W. H. Hicks, of Whitmore Lake, was to have offered prayer, but was unavoidably absent. There was no other minister to be found so the devotional part of the program was omitted President Ball then made a few brief remarks in the conrse of whioh he said the farmers of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and other counties had been in the habit of meeting annually at Whitmore Lake for several years past and he bad uever seen a fiuer day for the meeting than this was. Farming had had its ups and downs for several years, lately it had been mostly down, but at present the prospeots are fair and everybody is feeling well over it. Farmers, ruechanios, inerchants and others feel that we are on the road to ' prosperity, azid he hoped the judges and lawyers did also, "although' we dou't care so much for theru." He theu introdnced Pres. J. L. Snyder, of the Agricultural College, Lansing, who ppoke on the subject of "Edncation" as follows. Proin the applause wbich i lowed he had evidently struck a keyuote with which his audieuce was heartily in sympathy : "There is no other subject, with perhaps the exoeption of religión, in which all people are so deeply interested as that of edncation. Ever since the flrst settlers lauded on the New England shore the school haa been the center of the active life of the community, and in most looalities in order to ascertain the intellectual status of the community you have but to visit the sohool. "In America, and perhaps in all civilzed countries, we are safe in assuming that parents love their children better than all the World besides and are willing to do for them whatever will be of the most service and value in the future. If parents were fully convinced that education was worth more to their children than money or property they would unhesitatingly give it to them. "We all look into the future with tupe and expectancy. We dream of things to be and build oor castles in the air. We plan for our children a rauoh easier life thau it has been ours to enjoy. We sometimes would be almost foolish euough to wish them free from care and labor and able to sip the nectar of life without knowing anything of its oares and sorrows. We are so prone to forget that tbere is but one road to success and that it does not lead through green pastures and by tbe side of still waters, but through rugged byways and over Alpean hights; that suocess is won only by saorifioe and toil is universal law, and it is true tbat 'he is not worthy of the houey coinb who j shnns the hive because the bees have stings. ' "That parent is not wise wbo would free his child from care and labor, and ( they who edúcate their childreu with the hope that there is some easier way of getting a living than to work for it will be sadly disappoiuted in the end. 'Does an education pay?' is the qaestion asked by most parents, takiug into consideration, of course, only the finaucial or oommercial view of the proposition. Tbey refer usually not to the technical or practical eduoation, but to general education, such as is given in most high schools and colleges. We are not surprised that suoh qnestions are of ten asked and from the standpoint of the inquirer they are not easily auswered. If an educaion was to be ineaenred only in dollars and cents evidence would not be wanting to show that higher eduction was not worth the money and time spent in its getting, yet on the wbole, I believe that from the commercial staudpoint alone education pays - even the stady of Latin and Greek in most cases will pay in dollars and cents. Of course, man must earn a living, and unless he is prepared to do so houorably, he will not make a good parent noi a good citizen, but character and intelligenoe and noble aspiratiou are worth more than mouey. Au educatiou can no more be ineasured in money than can a tnother's affection or the nobler motives which lead to high and pure upright living. It is one thing to have enough food and clothing for comfort and to care for nothing beyond, but it is an entirely different thing in addition to these to open up a miud to the full development of all tho&e powers of intellect and soul which an all wise Creator has endowed man. Yes, an eduoation does pay. It would be worth all it cost if the outlay were ten times as great. When once possessed money cacnot purchase it, fire cannot burn, it nor thieves steal it. The only question is what kind of an education pays best and what should be the trend of educatijn for the masses. "Our system of education is very largely a product of the last century. At that time only the few could even hope to secure a higher eduoation, and as nearly all literature and soience were locked up in Latin and Greek it was ouly natural that these languages should be made the principal part of ooilege courses of study. They were studied at that time not so rnnch for the discipliuary effect they had on the mind as for tbeir immediate practical valne. Aoademies were established as preparatory schools. These, of oourse, taught the Latin and Greek in order that their pnpils oould enter like classes in the ooileges and uuiversities. The modern high school has taken the place of the New England academy as a preparatory school. lts courses of study are dictated by the colleges aud nniversities. The high school, to have a good standing, must be able to enter its pnpils into the freshman class of universities and colleges without i x imination. This means that they must have tbe dead langnages, although U.S. history, civil government, physioal geograpny and otner important studies are entirely omitted, which is the case with oue course of study pursued by many of the high sobools of the state. The oourses of study are perhaps all rigbt for the few who expect to enter a ooilege or (C'ontinued on Third Page.) tIïhk picnic1 Continued from First Page. nniversity, but iu comparison with the nnrnber tbat enter a high school this Dnmber is very small - not one in ' twenty. Why should the interest of the raany be sacrifioed to the interests of the few? "The oíd idea that mental disoipline and knowledge were all that a oourse of stndy shonld seek to provide may ave been all right in its day but that day is ceitainly past. The sohool now claims so rauoh of the child's time and is snch an important factor in bis growtb and development that it must not only train him to think, and store his mind with knowledge, but this knowledge runst have reference to the fnture needs of the pupil. The great majority of people must work for a living and public school education should reoognize this fact, and instead of giving pupils a distaste for work, or leadjng them to believe that there is some easier way of getting a living, they Bhonld be trained to work and taught that labor of the hands is just as honorable as labor of the head. There is nothing honorable or dishonorable in labor of either the hands or of the head. It is the motive which prompts the labor and the spirit in which it is done tbat makes it either noble or ignoble. "The ordinary child now starts to school at sixyears of age and continúes right along until about the age of 14 or 15. During these years he has mastered arithmetic, grammar, ü. S. bistoiy, geography, reading, writing and spelling. This is all very well, but ne bas reoeived nothing bearing directly upon his home life npon the farm. In every day life he is surrounded by flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees. Vegetation in all its forms smiles to him a welcome, and from plant and flower, tree and shrub come forth inseot life in its varions forms to greet him. For him the flowers ópen their many colored pétala and the merry songsters warble forth their sweetest carols. His work and interest is with the farm crops, the domestio animáis, the pnultry and the garden. Yet none of these are touched upon in any way by his school iustruction or sohool life. Why sbould not his eduoation in some way and in some degree touch upon the life whioh he iscompelled to live after leaving school? Is not a knowledge of the different breeds of live stock and their distinguishing characteristics worth more to him than a knowledge of the rivers and mountains of Asia? Would not a knowledge of the plant and insect life about him bring more pleasore and service than a knowledge of cube root and muoh else that he has been taught in sohool. These things cculd be taught just aseasily as muoh that is already taught. Eaoh oountry sohool could have a garden spot with little ex pense and effort. Such a plan is carried on in some of the foreign countries with great satisfation and suocess. "The objection may be made that our teachers oannot teaoh these subjects. If this is true it is not the fault of the teachers. They have always been willing to prepare tbemselves to teach whatever there was a demand for and if you express'a desire to have your children taught these subjects there will soon be teachers prepared to teaoh them. "So far I have been dealing with the boy who attends only the district sohool. Bat if his parents desire togive him more of an edncation and send him to the village high school, what is he taught there? Nothing - absolutely nothing that will bring him into closer sympathy and touch with the farm and rural life. He starts off with Latin and algebra; he is at once directed toward the university and professional life. High school education all tends in that direction although not one out of every 10 pupils in the high school expeots to enter a higher institutiou. Public schools are for the rnasses and they should strive to be of the greatest good to the greatest number. ïet it is a fact, however, which caunot be denied successfully that our system of public sohool education tends to lead pupils away from the industrial pursuits. Eduoation for oulture is all right for those who can afford it, bot education should have some bread winning value. The state is not interested partionlarly in either culture or the professions. It is interested in good citizenship, and I subruit that that system of education which enables its recipients to gain a living honorably and honestly will produce for the farnily the best parents and for the state the best citizens. "I know there are prominent educators who claim that publio school edncation should be for culture only, that practical education - or bread and butter educatiou as they cali it- should have no place in our publio school system. But as we come in contact with bread and bntter three times a day it certainly plays a too important part in the welfare of humanity to be summarily dismissed as unworthy of consideration in formulating and administering a great system of edncation for the masses. The great problem that most people have to struggle with in this world is how to get a respoctable living. They must be assured of a living before they oan enjoy many intellectual luxuries. Good food, good blood, good brain, pure noble living, high thinking. That is evolution. Education for culture ouly would revers6 this order; high thinking, good brain, good blood, all on an empty stomach. You might as well plant a tree top downward and expeot growth and fruit as to expect such a system of eduoation to bring forth the best results. No penple has ever risen high intellectually who were not first successfuJ oommercially. Bodily wants must be supplied first and if by better methods and more of praotical knowledge these bodily needs be well provided for by laboring half time, more time will be given to intellectual pursnits. Of course, a trained miad is worth more tthan a trained body and pure intelleotnal life is ranch more to be desired than a knowledge of how to make money, bnt ín takiug the people as a whoie we must first have thrift and enterprise bef ore we can have culture and as pnblic eduoation is for all it should oertainly flsrt of all prepare people to provide for their actual needs, and when they are well prepared to do this the intellectual onlture will follow just as sure as the flower and fruit follow the healtby growth of the plant. Tbis is proven by the history of every nation and every people. The body first and the brain afterwards. and the better the body the better the brain. "Again, was not Herbert Spencer right when he maintained that a study of thosa subjeots giving the most practical knowledge gave at the same time the greateet measure of mental discipline? Are not some of the best and safest thinkers of the present age men who were trained in the great school of practical business life? Mental discipline comes from hard, persistent mental effort. The student will apply himself with the greatest energy to those subjects in whioh he has the greatest interest and he will be most interested in those subjects which will to the greatest extent effect his welfare in after life. "I believe onr sohools can bewonderfully improved by adding toour distriot sohools practical work in botany, horticultnre, entomology, and various phases of agrioulture. No other work would be so thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils and of such value to them in after life. Many district schools in this state have already planted flowers and there is no reason why eaoh should not have not only a flower garden but also a vegetable gaiden. The wealth of beauty and interest that surrounds the country uhild is marvelous and if in sohool hu luuld be taught to understand and i precíate these the glare and hustlu ui the oity woald have few attractious for him. "The ordinary high school oourse should be to a great extent an industrial course. Nine out of every 10 pupils should, and will, pureue one of the ordinary callings of life. It should not be the aim of the high school to lead pupils away from the calling to whioh they naturally belong, unless that be a dishonorable one, but it should stiive to prepare them to live a happy, useful, successful life in that calling. The country boy in the village high school should be taught physics, but it should be principally soil physios; hischemistry should be principally agricultural ohemistry; his zoology and entomology should be sucb as would aid him in protecting the vegetables, fruits and cereals of the farm frum the ravages of destructive insects. He sbould not only learn science but also its practical application to his future needs upon the farm. There is no other calling or profession which so largely depends opon nature's laws as revealed iu ohemistry, botany, soil physios, entomology, and a dozen other soiences, as that of the farmer. He shonld of all men have a thorough knowledge of these subjects, and his high school training, if he receives one, shonld furnisb, to some extent at least, this nseful information. "Every village and city boy shonld be given manual training in his high sohool conrse. His other studies will not suffer thereby and besides the usefnl knowlfidge and training of hand and eye that he will receivo he will be tanght to work, and 'this alone means a great deal to most boys. "Girls should also reoeive a practioal training in our pnblic schools. In the district schools they may to good advantage be given praotically the same work along industrial lines as that given boys. But in the high school her work shonld center about the home just as the boy's work shonld center in the farm. She should be given a thoroogh course in domestio scienoe. Tbere is no plaoe where a kuowledge of soience can be put to better use than in tbe kitchen. Scienoe and invention have relieved men of mnch of toil anc drudgery and it can do the same for women. Every girl who takes a high school oonrse, and those who do no take one, shonld be given a thorough conree in oooking and sewing. These and their aocompanying sciences first then musio, modern languages, art, and whatever aocomplisbrnents may be desired. Many a mother seems to be more interested in having the daughte acquire a little elocution, French o painting than she is to have her prepar to become a good wife and a good mother. This sort of gilded education is all right for her daughter, but Ie her son think of taking snch a young lady as his wife and the mother at one sees the whole affair frnm a difieren ütandpoint. She ooraes to her sense as it were. "I plead for not less education fo onr girls, but for more. I would giv them all the education possible, but in doing so I would not forget that in al probability eaoh of these will some day ba oallert upon to preside over and manage that most noble institution on earth - the home. It seems to m nothing more nor less than plain every day oommon sense that she sboulc above all things so direct her life anc her education as to be able to mee these responsibilities with confidenc and intelligence when they oome. " Whether you will have your chil dren taught in the practical way sug gested remains with yon. These ar p'aus and methods pursned iu the schoo with which I have the honor to be as sooiated, and I know from experience i pnblic school work that they can b carried out snccessfully as desoribed i the district sohool and high sohoo This question is of the greatest import anca to you as farmers. If yon oon tinue to edúcate yonr boys for ever other oalling exoept your own you mus not coraplain if agriculture declines an oses the place which it has ?o sncoess:ully beid in this country. Educatiun rueans as mnoh to the boy who remains pon the farm as it does to the boy wbo nters a profession, and he has just as ood a right to it. The time has oome hen every faina boy sbould have an gricultural education. Better, I firmi believe to give him fifty acres with lis edncatiun than a thousand without t. He will be able to earn as good a iving and will live a rnuoh happier nd useful life. I would like to suggest to the grangs, farmers' clubs and all other farmer rganizations, as a proper subject for lought and discussion the one whioh I have disoussed today - practical education, and to the womeu's olubs of Michigan- thac youog and vigorous organizations which gives such fair promise for usefulness, I would like to propose for discussion and aotion duriug the coming winter the subject, 'Domestic Scienue in our Public Schools.' "This is a progressive, practioal age and instead of following practically the same system of education and courses of study as that pursued 50 years ago we should, in ray opinión, change our methods and educational system to rneet the needs and oonditions of the present progressive time and age." Miss Julia Ball then gave a vocal solo "Let All Obey," whioh she sang in a clear, strong voice and in a most pleasing manner, reoeiving warm applause from her hearers. Ex-Governor Cyrus G. Luce, of Branoh county, was then introdnced to the people, although the introduction was hardly ueeded by many of them. He gave a plain, homely talk of an hour's duration in the course of which he said in part as follows: "When Isaw Whitmore Lake with its banks crowned with trees and the beautiful green grass my miud went back 25 years to a meeting held here at which 11 farmers met to discnss the best means of liftiug up the farmers of Michigan. They were all public men and fairly successful farmers. Nine of these men have now passed to the great majority and two only are left. Of these two I alone am left to discnss the subject. I have talked in every nook and corner of this grand state of Michigan, and in every state from Massachusetts to California, in Canada and in some of the southern states on thjs subject of how to elévate the farmers and make farming profitable. This is my last engagement and the last speech tbat I shall make and I have delivered over 1,200 speeches iii the course of the last 25 years. Now, I am going to say something about farming. I am not going to talk oa the dark side of farming, bnt on the bright side, for it is said that every cloud has its silver linings although some people oould not see it. " Mr. Luce then told a story of Charles E. Miekley, one of the 11 men who rnet at Whitmore Lake 25 years ago whioh illustrated the proueness of roen tp look on the dark side of things even wben they looked the best and mghtest. Continuing, he compared tbe country to a great joint stock company, and said : "I want to talk of the farmers' share or oontribution to the prosperity of the country. The farmer is the real owner of the country, and the portion he owns amonnts to 60 per cent, while his coutribution to the exporta of the cocntry amounts to 80 per oent. The best of everything that enters into the material oomforts of life is contiibuted by the farmers.. If it were not for the oontributions of farmers to the export trade, vessels would rot at the wharves and railroad car wheels would rust on tbe tracks. True, the past four years have not been years of encouragement to farmers. I know omething about it myself. I have a large farm and have had all the hard work on it to do myself dnring these four years, although I have several others to do the light work. The hard work the past four years has consisted in trying to get enough off tbe farm to pay the felluws who do the light work, but this year I shall have it a little easier. The short orops in Earope and other oouutries will prove of great benefit to this nation aod to the faimer. The worst of tbe hard times is over and it is the farmers' wheat that has brought the relief." Mr. Luce bere gave the naroes of several states that have good crops of ■wheat and said that even Nebraska had good crops of wheat and oom. "I now want to speak to you of the duties imposed on the farmers of America by the position they occupy. One solemn duty is to maintain the fertility of the soil. Some sinners are meaner and darker than others, but one of the vilest sinners I know of is tbe man who wears out the soil of his farm. My farm is as rich today as it was when I first went on it 49 years ago. We must keep our farms fertile. We must do it for the sake of our ohildren and our ohildren's obildren. One of the best fertilizers I know of is human brains. It will maintain fertility anywhere The practical education spoken of by Pres. Snyder will help to bring all thi about. "Another thing needed for the pros perity of the country is a bigher stand ard of virtue and morality. There i more of virtue and morality on the farm than in the city, althongh all the sin ners do not live in the city by any means. Gov. Pingree has told me tha there is mbre stealing dODe in the mu nicipal offices of the oity of Detroii than is done in all the rural distriots o Michigan. The farmers must bold u tbis high standard of morality in th country. They must set a good exampl for tbeir children to follow and it wil be good for the nation. "Farmers must not look down on thei occupatlon, for if they look upon farm ing as a less honorable oooupation tha any other they cannot expect their son will want to follow it. I have been farmer from ohoice for 50 years an with all my experience if I had ruy life to live over I would da tbe same thing again. " Mr. Luce spoke of the local loyálity of the eitizens of Chicago as the great motive power that pushed upwards to success the Woild's Fair of 1893 - the gran'test and most snecessful industrial esbibition the world has ever seen - and impressed upon bis heareis the necessity of local loyalty. Loyalty to the farm, home, family and country. "In these days of maobinery and oooperatiou a man single handed is libe a cipher on the left hand of nothing. In years gone by the men swung the eradle and the wornen fnrnisbed the mechanical power, but now p.verytbing is done by machinery, and he who undertakes to do the work of life single bandee! and alone will fall by the wayside. Farmeis must do as others do - concéntrate - concéntrate their muscles, jrains aud pocketbooks. Edúcate the joys and girls and send tbem to agriultural colleges. I have known many raduates of tbe agricultural college nd I never saw a boy from that place who did not find something to do." James E. Harkins, of Ann Arbor, ang a comió song, wbich so tickled his learers, althongh his voice was not in je best of shape owing to a cold, that n encoré was demanded and cheerfully iven. The election of officers for the ensnng year followed and resnlted as j ows: President, Wm. Ball, Hambnrg; ecretary, Mrs. Kate Smith ; Salem ; reasurer, Philip Duffy, Northfield; ice-presidents, George M. Veal, of Grten Oak ; A. T. Walker, of Salem ; Gorge Merrill, of Webster; E. A. tfordman, of Dexter; E. E. Leiand, of sforthfield ; Cyrus M. Starks, of Webter; W. H. Glenn, of Dexter; .Tohn W. Nanry, of Superior; Hiram Fair, f Plymouth ; Andrew Campbell, of Pittsfield, and L. D. Lovewell, of South Lyon. Henry C. Waldron then read and moved the adoption of the following reamble and resolution wbich he said )ad been handed to him by a member f the association who was unable to be resent : "Whereas, the products of the farm for a long series of years have been sold for a prioe hardly covering tbe cost of production ; "And, whereas, tbe farmers are paying an unjnst proportion of the taxes; therefore, "Resolved, that we approve of the efforts of His Excellency Governor Hazen S. Pingree to secure such legislation as wonld compel corporatious to bear tbeir just proportion of the bnrden of taxation, aud condemn the action of our senators and represeatatives in the legislature who oppose the above. " The resolution upon being seconded and put was passed without a dissentiug vote. This concluded the program of exercises and tbe crowd dispersed to enjoy themselves as their fancy dictated and shortly afterwards a rapid thinning cut of the older portion of the attendance was noticed, bnt the younger portion wbu stayed for the dances at the Lake and the Ulifton houses was gradually augmented by otber arrivals. Both dances were largely attended both in the afternoon and evening and did not break up until a late hour.


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