Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Inglenook

The Inglenook was a weekly publication launched in 1900 with Howard Miller as its first editor. It was described as "A youth's paper that will be read by older people." It contained features of general interest, extensive illustrations, counsel for personal and family problems, editorial comment on church matters, and paid advertising. It was discontinued in 1913.

Turn-of-the-century advertising, which then was considered appropriate to a dignified, high-minded religious publication, strikes us now as almost flamboyant and, as far as as patent medicines and land schemes are concerned, even fraudulent. Take for an example an ad in The Inglenook for Victor Liver Syrup "the great Family Medicine" that laid claim to making some wonderful cures.

Perhaps the most colorful and interesting ads in the periodical were those of land speculators who wrote in glowing terms of "100,000 ACRES OF GOVERNMENT LAND! $1.25 per acre.

Brethren were also urged to settle in "the Brethren Colony, Quinter, Kansas" and to that purpose a full page advertisement was place on the inside cover, complete with appropriate testimonies by Dunker residents.

This colony is located in Gove County, Kansas, on the main line of UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD, 300 miles west of Kansas City. The town itself is composed principally of members of the Dunker Church. In contains a post office, smithy, general stores, a two-story brick schoolhouse, and a neat and commodious Dunker church, seating about 500 people, free from debt, and including a membership of about 100. The surrounding country is largely settled up by members of the same church.

Many modern-day Brethren would find it interesting to know that the editors of The Inglenook were aware of the needs and concerns of youth then as editors are today. Judging from this recipe for the good life, things have not changed all that much:

Take your religion seriously; make it practical in everyday matters; don't force it on others; live at peace with your neighbors, those next door and those around the world; work hard; live simply; and always be prepared to lend more than one helping hand to someone in need.

Tomorrow: The Inglenook Cookbook

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia
Preaching in a Tavern, Morse
"The Inglenook: A Journal for a Gentler Time, " by Jeanne Donovan in Messenger