Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook August 23 , 2013
CAPTION : The Rev. Henry McKinley, pastor from 1900 to 1902.
The Friends Congregation is still active in Traverse City. Margaret Fraser of the Traverse City Friends gave a message on Feb. 10, 2013 at the Friends Meeting. It was titled, "The Girls who Loved to Dance" and "The Girl with the Eagle Tattoo."
I will cover the story of "The Girls who Loved to Dance." This story in part comes from the records of the Friends Church in Onaway.
The Friends Church was strict in terms of behavior. If you were a member, you had to have certain standards, or you were disciplined. In 1897, the main item of business was a complaint brought by the overseers Levi T. Pennington, Hannah C. Zimmerman and Harvey Zimmerman. The previous year Mattie Shaw had been appointed to the nominating committee to identify new clerks, treasurers and correspondents for the ensuing year. So she would have been an experienced Friend, who knew the other members well. She was just 24 years old. What we might call a young adult Friend with some promise. She also happened to be Elizabeth and Thomas Shaw's daughter.
The following month's minutes report:
The committee appointed to visit Mattie Shaw report that she is not willing to discontinue dancing, therefore the meeting unites in issuing a testimonial of disownment against her, and Rebecca Kidd is appointed to inform her of this action and report at the next meeting.
The committee appointed to visit Maud Miller report that she is unwilling to give up dancing, and the meeting unites in disowning her, and Mrs. Chandler is appointed to inform her of this action.
The same thing happened to the couple that had the dances in their home. So, that month, Onaway lost four charter members.
Dancing was not the only problem. Unsound doctrine was another. and Charles Post, a founder of the 14-member South Forest Preparative Meeting, which was under Onaway's care, got into trouble. A compromise was reached to avoid the stigma of being read out of meeting: After some discussion, the meeting, in order to remove the trouble from the meeting, united in acquitting Charles Post of the charges brought against him and accepted the resignations of Chas. J. and Grace S. Post and their minor children, Abel and Alfred Post. The loss of this family may have contributed to the demise of the South Forest Meeting two years later. They even dropped Merritt Chandler's wife Rachel as a member, but she appealed to the Long Lake Quarterly Meeting and was reinstated because they had not followed correct procedure.
They didn't let it rest, and it took about nine months of diplomacy before she was reinstated and immediately put on two committees. She got the last laugh.
She became clerk and served for six years until the ship went down. Not a laughing matter though: the meeting was laid down in 1910; just fifteen years old.
-From The Onaway Outlook, August 23, 2013, p. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.