Stories: Christina Proctor
"They Have Remained Friends Throughout the Years"
In 1925, as a young twelve-year-old girl, I lived in the 700 block of
East Washington Street. My younger sister and I went to Margaret Merker
School (now Lincoln School) on East Market Street. We had lots of friends
there, and they told us about Wesley House. One day after school, we went
there and found there was a lot going on.
Miss Ellen Gainey, a deaconess, was the administrator and was very nice
to all of us. They had cooking classes, Girl Scouts, weaving, and lots of
other things to do. I decided to try out a few things. Miss Bessie Keeling
was the teacher. We were very happy with all these activities. All of these
things were on the second floor of the building. At that time I didn't care
very much for the classes in weaving but decided to try it anyway. I made a
very nice tote bag, which came in handy later on.
We went to a lot of suppers and parties. We met a lot of people who
became friends. They have remained friends throughout the years.
There was an Adult Mothers Club. Since we were too young to join it we
decided to organize a club for younger women. We met once a week and really
enjoyed it. As time went on, we all got married, had babies, some moved
away, but we still met regularly. A nursery was organized at Wesley House,
which made it nice for the little ones.
In the meantime, our children started at Margaret Merker School. Our time
was now being spent on other things: husbands, homes, and caring for our
families. A few of us continued going, but we joined the Adult Mothers Club,
which met every Tuesday.
Our big events were the annual picnic and the Fresh Air Camp at Peewee
Valley. Every year the Mothers Club would have a picnic at Shawnee Park. We
had no cars or buses to take us, so we all met at Wesley House and with
picnic baskets, toys, and kids in hand, we would all walk to Shelby and
Market streets, where we would get on the trolley car (there were no buses).
We could ride for a dime, and the children were free. We would ride to the
end of the line at Fountain Ferry Park, then walk across to locate our
tables. About 5 o'clock, we would pack up our things and with everyone
laughing and talking and the children running and playing, we would walk
back to the trolley and homeward go. You can bet we had a great night's
Once every summer we would go to the Fresh Air Camp at Peewee Valley.
Once again we met at Wesley House and walked together to the trolley. This
time we would go to Shelby and Fehr to catch the Interurban car. We would
have a nice long ride to Peewee Valley. There were no houses or anything
along the way, just trees and roads. We would get there and get settled in
our room. My sister and I would share a room. She had two little girls, and
I had one little boy. The women would sit under the shade trees and talk and
laugh while the children ran and played and had a good time. We enjoyed each
other so much. When we heard the bell ring, we knew it was time for dinner
or supper. We would have a great meal. It was not gourmet, but it tasted
good. We would stay for a week and pack up and go back home, which looked
very good to all of us.
Every year we would have a Christmas dinner with Santa. There would be
carols and candy canes for all.
Every year the Methodist Women would have a style show. I was going to
Market Street Methodist Church at the time. My girlfriend and I were asked
to be models. It was a great experience for me. I really had fun modeling
the clothes that had been donated to Wesley House. Some that we wore were
beautiful. The gym was crowded with friends and relatives. At the end we
received a great ovation.
We played basketball and had square dancing in the gym under the
supervision of Miss Russell.
June Fisher was the last administrator during my active time at Wesley
My mother and dad joined the Senior Citizens Group in their later years.
Since my boys were both married with their own children, I had time to take
them over. They really had a good time.
We had so many dear friends, and some are still around but not many when
you think that was 70 years ago. I do remember all the good times we had
there. At one time, my family and I lived on Franklin Street. The house has
been torn down, and the Wesley House playground is in its space.
I hope this story will bring back memories to all who read it and have
lived it as I have. I will never forget the good times of years past. I have
gone on the Wesley Walk for Others two times. They were nice.
I am in my 88th year and still remember how it was in 1925 and up to 1935
when I got married. I am an active member of Preston Highway United
Methodist Church and United Methodist Women.
Christina Frank Proctor (née