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Page 17 of Mountain Life & Work vol. 17 no. 2 Summer, 1941

Part of Mountain Life and Work

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MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Summer, 1941 Mr. Bailey stressed the importance of develop­ing the personal resources of the farmer, and pointed cut that entertainment and recreation had an important contribution to make; however, rural recreation and entertainment should express what is best in rural life and should be the pro­duct of rural people rather than some cheap im -itation from the city. Dr. Bailey closed his important work with words worthy of more wide-spread and more sympa­thetic consideration than the next two hectic decades were destined to give them. We have been living in a get-rich quick age. Persons have wanted to make for­tunes . . . . Persons are now asking how they may live a satisfactory life, rather than placing the whole emphasis on the financial turnover of a business . . . . I think the requirements of a good farmer are at least four: The ability to make a full and comfortable living from the land; to rear a family carefully and well; to be of good service to the community; to leave the farm more productive than it was when he took it. The year after the publication of Bailey's book, the American Academy of Political and Social Science published a number of articles on "Coun­try Life." Most of them, however, dealt with the economic and material aspects of the rural sit­uation. One discussed the rural home under such sub-heads as the site, geological formation, trans­portation facilities, sewerage and drainage, heating and lighting, the cellar, materials, stables. Human relationships in the home were left out of the pic­ture completely. In another article in the Annals, Dr. John M. Gillette emphasized the need for new ideals in rural living. The most fundamental factor in any situation, he maintained, is the point of view: "A wholesome point of view makes a wholesome life. A changed point of view changes the life." Ia si ilar vein, Professor Harold W. Foght, di imi I is­ "The Country School," stressed the need cussing, not only of scientific farming, but of a satisfying rural life. Farming should be as profitable as an equal investment in the city would be, ho pointed out, but even this alone would not hold the best people on the farm. "Daily life in the country," he argued, "must first be made more humanly interesting and wholesome." If country life is lacking in social satisfactions, "people will go where they will get them." Dr. Butterfield writing on "Rural Sociology as a College Disci­pline," stated that "the American rural problem is to maintain upon the land a class of people who represent the best American ideals in their indus­trial success, in their political influence, in their intelligence and moral character, and in their so­cial and class power." From the years 1912 to 1916 there were num­erous articles on different aspects of rural life in American periodicals, and despite the distractions in Europe, there was a continuing interest in the movement, as evidenced by the fact that Bailey's Country Life Movement was reprinted in 1912, 1915, and again in 1916. In November, 1917, a little group of interested people met at Washington, D. C., to consider the general subject, "What are the chief goals in an adequate program of country life?" The two sessions were presided over by Dr. Butterfield, then the president of Massachusetts Agricultural College; in attendance were Miss Mabel Carney, Dr. E. C. Branson, Dr. A. C. True, Dean A. R. Mann, Dr. Warren H. Wilson, Prof. Paul L. Vogt, Dr. P. P. Claxton, and half a dozen others. In informal meetings these leaders de­cided to undertake a careful investigation of the country life through a number of sub-committees. Out of these sessions, and later committee meet­ings, came plans for the calling of the First Na­tional Country Life Conference, at Baltimore, in 1919. Strangely enough, to the first session of this First National Country Life Conference came news of the death of Theodore Roosevelt. The Proceedings of that conference set forth "The Objectives of Country Life" according to the conclusions of its committees. The statement begins with the following paragraphs, which were taken almost verbatim from the address of Pres­ident Butterfield: The Country Life interest is the supreme rural interest. The welfare of men and women, of boys and girls, in respect to their education, their health, their neigh­borliness, their moral and religious wel­fare, is the intrinsic objective of Country Life. The economic, motive is a worthy and dominant one, and a great rural civiliza-

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