W-MCP1-3a.030 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ., B.A. from his mother Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 1 1905
To: Thomas McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St. Toronto, Ontario
My dear dear boy,
Certainly you had a most trying experience that memorable night, it is a miracle you did not catch cold. I do not know what is to be done with these trainmen. I had the same experience going to and coming from Guelph of the furnace-like heat, but I worried the conductors and made them open the ventilators, then they left them till cars were freezing. The weather was perfect, not too cold, and brilliant sunshine. Mr. Leitch, Mr. C.[Chisholm] and I chatted all the way up. Mrs. Davidson met me at the station, forget if I mentioned, on my card to you when I was going. I did not like going to a hotel with the gentlemen, so I went over to Mrs. Davidson and she and Mattie said Grace would be delighted to have me and Mattie telephoned them on Saturday morning. I enjoyed my visit with them very much, a nice warm comfortable house and the Colonel very kind and agreeable. Poor boy, was a total wreck owing to too much hockey, battered and bruised and exhausted.
In the morning the whole delegation, sitting in different front parts of the church heard Mr. Eakins. I liked his sermon very much; there was fine and fresh thought in it, his prayers were lacking but he is a young man (32) and when I met him afterwards I thought him winning and kind. He is a nephew of Rev. Wm. Patterson's, he is not Scotch, which will be against him. In the evening we heard Mr. Ross, his congregation is like Knox here, and he preaches to suit them, he has done well in gathering in a large congregation in a short time, of working people and they think everything of him. So do Mr. Eakins' people and one of his men who never used to go to church said no $2000 would get their minister for he would give $1000 himself if it were a question of money to keep him.
Mrs. Davidson would not let me come home on Monday, so I stayed, and saw the Macdonald Institute with all the other fine buildings. They are indeed well worth seeing. First of all we called on Mrs. Fuller at the Residence. She welcomed me most warmly and showed us everything. Certainly the girls have fine quarters with such magnificent views from their windows, the building is not one of those towering several storied red brick ones, but two stories built in Queen Anne's style with casement windows, these make the girls' bed-rooms very pretty and airy. Found Lorna Culham in her room and she took us in charge and escorted us over the other buildings. First to Macdonald Institute where we saw all the classes of Domestic Science, the girls in Miss Givens room making bread. Hilda F. and little Miss Hoodless came up to speak to me, then the dress-making, laundry, everything apparently perfect. A very fine oil portrait of Sir Wm.[Sir William Christopher Macdonald] a fine looking old man. He has also erected on the grounds and pays expenses for three years. "The Consolidated School" it is like one of our city public schools, to which the children from a 5 mile radius are brought in large covered conveyances every morning, a lunch room being provided. This is to obviate the difficulty of one teacher in a country school trying to teach all ages and grades. Then there is a fine building put up by the Masseys. It is for the officers' quarters and a library. There is also a fine Biological Building full of interesting things with a fine beginning for a museum. We saw the green houses too. I was really delighted. Then I paid a call to Walter James.
In the afternoon various ladies came in to see me. Mrs. McCrae was inquiring for you. Tuesday morning when in the train was surprised to see Mr. Chisholm come in with a lad (Mr. C. had gone home Monday morning), who turned out to be Tom C. who is attending the A.A.C. and had had his nose broken at Hockey, and Mr. C. had been sent for. He is a graceless youth, a regular Scotty, thinks he knows everything, depreciates every one. Saw his uncle in the evening, who as much as said he did not know what to make of him.
We had to make our report that evening and I was thoroughly incensed with Mr. Leitch. First of all he stated that Mr. Eakins was a dandy, fop, posed, showed off his every gesture, though he acknowledged his fine sermon. I never heard any thing more untrue. There was not a vestige of the dandy about him, he wore the gown, not a sight of watch chains, hair not parted in the middle, no waxed moustache, and the ring that ugly broad plain masonic one. I told the others it was not so, a perfect sin to malign a man and you couldn't say anything much worse than to say minister is a dandy. Other ministers whom they want to hear are at Montreal Carleton Place and Glen Falls near Albany N.Y. So I am about determined not to undertake any more, scarcely think I could bear fatigue and strain and after all it would be the opinion of the men which would be taken by the men. They have to bear the expense and so I think I had better leave the responsibility upon them. Mr. C. would like a Scotchman, and I do not think my tastes and theirs agree. I see great possibilities in Mr. Aikens [sic] [Eakins]. I admired his preaching, they were doubtful. Well, I must close to catch post.
Your loving mother