Activities 100 Years Ago

Office activities included caring for the day-to-day correspondence and the copying of the handwritten sheets found each morning, either in a neat pile by Ellen White's writing chair, or in writing books with blank, lined pages. After Mrs. White's editing, the communications were copied and sent out or placed on file for future use. There was also the preparation of articles for church papers such as Review and Herald, Signs of the Times, Youth's Instructor and others, often drawn from the manuscripts and letters of counsel. Book preparation figured largely in the program. Several secretaries and assistants were needed to carry the work. 

After spending four or five hours writing, and if the day was pleasant, Ellen White would go for a morning carriage ride with Sara McEnterfer. Other activities included evening family worship, singing favorite hymns around the organ.

As Ellen White's twin grandsons, Henry and Herbert, were in their middle teens, she purchased a small printing press and encouraged them to learn the trade. A portion of the fruit shed was partitioned off and turned into a printing office. Known as the "Elmshaven Press," it was soon a thriving job-printing business.

(Photo Above): Mrs. White with her household and office staff in 1913. Front row, from left: Dores Robinson, Ralph W. Workman, Ellen G. White, W.C. White, C. C. Crisler. Second row from left: Harold Bree, Maggie Hare Bree, Mary Steward, Paul Mason, Arthur W. Spalding, Helen Graham, Tessie Woodbury, Alfred Carter, Mary Walling, Effie Jones.