8 April 1898


This document, taken from the W.C.T.U Minute Book for April 8th, 1898, details the Union’s preparations for Mrs. Stover’s aforementioned departure to West Africa. Meeting briefly between Good Friday prayers, the women decided to present Mrs. Stover with a mailbag filled with letters contributed by the members. As she returned to Africa on missionary work, Mrs. Stover would carry pieces of her Oberlin W.C.T.U heritage with her.

April 8th, 1898. A prayer meeting was held in the 1st Church chapel forenoon and afternoon of Good Friday; between the hours of prayer a brief business meeting was held. It was moved and carried that the women present the members of the graduating class of the seminary “The Compendium of Prohibition Facts,”1 and the wives of the graduates Miss Willard’s book “Do Everything”2 and the chair to nominate the committee for attending to it; moved and carried. The same to be paid for from the treasury; it was also moved and carried that the women present Mrs. Stover3 a mail-bag just before she starts for her home in far away Africa. Each member to contribute a tract or letter or anything that will be of interest to her in her long tedious journey.

Transcribed by Hanna Van Reed.

1 The closest match to this title that I have been able to find is Arthur Toomb’s “No-License Compendium: A Cyclopaedia of Prohibition Facts and Figures.” The volume I located was printed in 1908, but it is possible this entry references an earlier edition

2 Frances Willard’s 1895 “Do Everything: a Handbook for the World’s White Ribboners” which proposed a comprehensive temperance strategy encompassing numerous interlocking departments and concurrent lobbying, petitioning, preaching, publication, and education

3 Bertha Dodge Stover, married Rev. Wesley M. Stover, Oberlin Theological School class of 1881, on 12 June 1880. After marriage, the pair moved to Angola, West Africa, where Rev. Stover spent 38 years of service under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In 1920, Rev. Stover’s health would not permit him to remain longer in Africa and he and Mrs. Stover returned to the United States. They lived in Claremont, California, with their only child, Miss Helen Stover, until Rev. Stover’s death in 1922.