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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Van Auken, Lillian H.
Mrs. Mary Baker Cameron,   pp. 60-62 PDF (628.3 KB)


Page 62


and pointing out the necessity of preserving for posterity
those principles their forefathers had fought for. She
fully realized in those days the lack of reverence main-
tained for the flag and to instill greater patriotism pre-
sented each departing guest with one. This was followed
by an elaborate colonial costume party given on Febru-
ary 14, 1896. Historical tableaux, minuet dancing and a
colonial repast were the features of the evening. Her
earnest efforts were successful and the La Crosse Chapter
of the D. A. R. was organized under the direction of
Mrs. James S. Peck of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Dec-
ember 11, 1896-the national number being 291.
    I can not paint in words the beautiful picture Mary
Baker Cameron has imprinted on the memory of the
sons and daughters of the early settlers of La Crosse.
Her personality, great charm, her regal beauty can never
be forgotten, but greater still was her humaneness. On
her yearly home-comings, she did not wait for others to,
bow down but her greeting was given with a spontaneity
to rich and poor alike and with it came a feeling of being
lifted a step higher. She was rich in spiritual gifts.
    To quote the master novelist, W. D. Howells, who
says, "It is the unplanted goodness that saves-the seed
of righteousness treasured from generation to generationa
and carefully tended by disciplined fathers and mothers
in the hearts where they have dropped it. The flower of
this implanted goodness is what we call civilization ;"
and surely it was always Mrs. Cameron's aim to raise the
standard.
     In a rose garden, there is always one of greater frag-
rance and beauty than the rest. Nature's leadership-a
similie befitting Mrs. Cameron. Someone has said, "God
gave us memory that we might have roses in December,
surely Mary Baker Cameron is one of the roses."
    Written by Lillian H. Van Auken, 1923.
                          62


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