Evelyn Julia Shankle to Jane Addams, September 28, 1912

Willard Industrial School
Route #2, S.C.

Sept. 28, 1912

My dear Miss Addams --

I trust you are well. I am as well as usual, only my eyes give me trouble. I was so sorry to miss the Conf. at Cleveland. I do hope to go to the next, if it is not too far away. I saw Mr Johnson in New York last spring.

We have had a busy but prosperous year. Our work has reached out into many poor houses. The Settlement work is very fascinating & appeals to me more and more. I just love it! I wish I never had to leave [page 2] home a day, but it is necessary for me to be gone getting funds. We are [now] behind -- with running expenses over $300 that is appalling to say the least and [although] I have spoken before every Woman's State Convention in the state of S.C. I do not believe all of them will raise that much money, [though] each one has pledged to help me. I had a conversation with Judge Ben [Lindsey] in the spring & he said he even had to go to New York for help in his work. I am on my way home from a State Convention [page 3] where I spoke in one of the 1st churches, but I do not feel that they can do a great deal. The South is again in a bad shape financially, owing to bad crops. There is not a good corn yield, & the cotton short.

I realize and my friends see it, that our work has improved social and living conditions in the "Dark Corner," however, and that we are getting right down to removing the cause of poverty -- by educating & enlightening our people. We have had a number of splendid stereop. lectures, besides many without. Our circulating libraries, improvements of homes by putting [page 4] cooking utensils, glass windows [etc] in their homes, & insisting on cleanliness. Now it seems funny for me to be doing this, but we have not only done it, but furnished clothing, [shoes] and pieces to make bed covering & cloth for sheets. Many of them have not a bed sheet in their homes. For me to do this, [though], when our school is not get what it should be -- but our Industrial Boarding school has done good work, our free day school has been satisfactory in numbers & work & our free music school of [20] children recd. as much attention as if they belong paid $10.00 per mo. Many have learned to cook & sew. [page 5] We have held Farmer's Inst. for the older ones -- had stereo. lectures on farming & live stock from the State Ag. Col.

We have raised large quantities of vegetables -- canned enough for school -- raised about 300 chickens. We have 13 pigs, 3 [mothers?], 2 cows, 5 calves, 2 horses, 3 geese. We need a pair of mules, 2 more milk cows. Lost one fine cow.

Our medicine bill has been considerable. We have made from 4 to [6] visits every wk into homes of sickness & distress. Many times relieving much & loaning money.

I took 35 men, women & children on an outing to a large town. [page 6] Many of these parents & grown girls & boys had never seen or ridden in train street car or seen a moving picture show. They had not before seen electric lights, bath tub & many things were a new revelation to them. The money was sent especially for it, but only about 1/3 as many went as wanted to go. Many cried who were left.

We have made a most desperate effort to finish our Jane Addams' Hall. We still have 2 rooms that cannot be used, but the most of it is in very good shape [though] not completely finished. This building has cost a great deal. There 20 new brick pillars to put under it & we [page 7] have no insurance. If we were to be burnt out, I can't see how we could ever [rebuild].

Now I must say I am so glad Miss Lathrop has ch. of the children B. Bill. I am so glad our Settlement had a finger in that pie. I had quite a fight with Mr Tillman our state Senator over it.

I want Miss Large to come over & talk to our people & Inter-Industries. Some of them do that work, & we could have quite a good deal of it if we had the equipment, but she does not seem to find time.

We are hoping that you may be strong enough some time to [page 8] come down south. Tryon is in the edge of the "Dark Corner." We are 10 miles west of Tryon -- to the right as you come down from Asheville. Our section is cut off completely -- it seems from everything -- [though] the mountaineer is naturally very retiring. He loves seclusion, & rarely ventures "out of his beat."

I am sorry for this long letter. Only hope you can find time to read it. We read with interest about Mr Julius Rosenwald's great gift on his birthday. He is a grand man.

Yours most sincerely <hoping that our institution may, at all times, be a benefit to the people of our [benighted] Section>

Evie J. Shankle.