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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn E. Cook

Saver’s Treasure — Edwin, Post-College, Pt. 1

After graduation from Penn State, Edwin and Elizabeth were married in July, 1913, at a church in Philadelphia. Neither of their families lived there, but Edwin’s college friend Arthur hailed from the big city and his father was a minister. I assume Arthur’s father performed the ceremony.

Happy newlyweds, 1913

Then, the new couple, plus Elizabeth’s mother Sarah, traveled to Raleigh, N. C., where Edwin had a job lined up with the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. I know nothing about what he did there, but the college had a very small student population. He stayed for only two semesters.

To his credit, Edwin went on to bigger and better things. By fall of 1914, he, Elizabeth, and mother-in-law Sarah had moved north and he began work as a professor in the agriculture department at Maryland State College. They rented a house in nearby Hyattsville and each weekday, Edwin took the streetcar across town to the college campus.

In the spring of 1915, their first child, David, was born.

Edwin and one-year-old David, 1916

The Maryland employment must have been very good, as evidenced by this White House invitation.

Sadly, I have no idea what the reception was about. I didn’t even see this envelope and accompanying invite until 37 years beyond Grandmother’s passing, when I helped clean out Dad’s house before my brother sold it. Why she never showed the White House card to me or mentioned it, I haven’t a clue.

From Edwin’s copy of the Maryland State College Reveille, 1917

E. F. Stoddard, B. S.

Professor of Vegetable Culture

(center, second row from bottom)

The yearbook has four faculty photo pages, with 34 instructors in all. They taught multiple types of engineering, applied science, chemistry, rural economics, botany, animal husbandry, dairying, and more. Just one professor was assigned English and public speaking!

The only women on campus weren’t students. They were “sponsors” of the military companies and there were a mere three of them.

The boys did have a number of sports to choose from. These two were apparently the most popular. Note the simple headgear and lack of shoulder pads on those football players!

My mother, Sara, was born in the summer of 1917. Edwin and Elizabeth probably viewed their lives as well-ordered and blessed. It wasn’t to remain so.

To be continued . . .

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