Sunday, May 27, 2018

A little bit more about
Helen Goodrich Buttrick

Last Monday's post featured illustrations from 1924's Principles of Clothing Selection, a textbook written by Helen Goodrich Buttrick. Other than the fact that the book was well-received in its day, there's not much online about HGB. But I did find a few mentions of her in the archives, as she was for many years a resident of Woodstock, New York. They're worth sharing and a bit illuminating with regard to the public arc of a person's life.

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In May 1949, she was a defendant in a civil case centered around possible negligence in a traffic collision, according to The Kingston (New York) Daily Freeman.

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In February 1955, the Daily Freeman reported that she was "committeewoman at large" of a group of Woodstock School District taxpayers who were unhappy with a proposed $65,000 addition to the local school.

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In September 1958, the Daily Freeman has a story headlined "Road and Traffic Topics Stir Warm Town Meeting Debate." Here's an excerpt from that article:
"Mrs. Helen Goodrich Buttrick, who had requested the board to place on the agenda a discussion on related problems of traffic and road conditions, touched off the debate with a suggestion that the town take advantage of the excellent fall weather to put the parking and traffic problems in order."
As a diversionary aside, here are some advertisements from the same page of the Daily Freeman featuring that article...

"Fresh Baked Louisiana — Zombie — Applesauce" WHAT??

The equivalent of $741 today.

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The next relevant article appears in the January 15, 1958, edition of the Daily Freeman, alongside an advertisement for Hamburger Paradise and its $1.00 weekend special.
Mrs. Buttrick Asks
Taxpayer Alertness
On Government Costs
In a letter in this column today, Mrs. Helen Goodrich Buttrick says, in part, that "it is only common sense for every citizen to scrutinize all expenditures by local government and to demand conscientious and economical administration on the part of every official..."

The letter, entitled Taxes — Then and Now, follows:

"Going over old tax records can be a very shocking experience — speaking literally.

"Between 1923, when the writer began paying property taxes, to the present, rates on the same property have have increased about twelve times in amount. Part of this increase is due to greatly increased and more efficient services. We have better roads which are better maintained; our fire department has more and better equipment; the village of Woodstock has a public water supply.

"But, on the other hand, the population of Woodstock has greatly increased, broadening the tax base, and proportionately lessening the individual taxpayer's share of the tax burden.

"It would taken an expert tax accountant to plot the comparative curves of cost of living rise and tax rise, but every citizen realizes that taxes are high. So it is only common sense for every citizen to scrutinize all expenditures by local government, and to demand conscientious and economical administration on the part of every official.

"We have the right to know how our tax money is spent, and to be given clear and complete answers to all our questions as to the expenditure of tax moneys .. HELEN BUTTRICK."
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In September 1961, the Daily Freeman reported that Helen Goodrich Buttrick had been named to the committee for the Woodstock Democratic Party.

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Finally, in November 1961, there is this excerpt from a Daily Freeman article headlined "Children Make Fine Showing in UNICEF Program."
A total of $224.99 was collected by more than 250 children in the Woodstock school who took part in the annual Halloween "Trick or Treat" program for the Children's Fund of UNICEF.

... Mrs. Helen Goodrich Buttrick, in announcing the totals, said:

"Those of us who had happy children visit us on Halloween were deeply thankful that our children are safe and happy and able to share with other children, unknown to them, sick and hungry, who so badly need the pennies they collected. We dedicated ourselves anew to the grave tasks that lie ahead of making the world safe for all the children of the world. And we understood, as never before, the urgency of keeping strong the United Nations for the many great tasks before it that Peace may finally come to the world.

"Children like to share in grownup responsibilities. And this project, particularly their own, gives them dignity and achievement, and equality with grownups, and helps them grow in stature to face later the problems they must face."
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Following those thoughts from Buttrick, perhaps this tweet yesterday by David Hogg ties in nicely here, to conclude this post...

1 comment:

  1. This led me down a small rabbit trail also related to fashions -