Mary Edna Glendinning papers
A Guide to the Collection
Mary Edna Glendinning was a Deaconess in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (later The Methodist Church) from 1926-1962. Glendinning was born November 1, 1894 on a farm near Palmyra, Missouri. She attended Palmyra High School and graduated in 1915, then taught in local schools until 1921-22, when she attended Scarritt Bible and Training School in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1922 she attended Central College (now Central Methodist University) in Fayette, Missouri, graduating in 1926 with a B.A. in History.
In 1926 she was consecrated Deaconess in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was stationed at Holding Institute in Laredo, Texas. Originally named Laredo Seminary, Holding Institute was founded in 1880 as an orphanage and school for Mexican children. Deaconess Glendinning served her first three years at Holding Institute (1926 – 1929) as a history teacher and the rest of her career as the Dean of Girls. During two sabbatical years, 1933-34 and 1950-51, Glendinning studied at George Peabody College, Scarritt College, and Vanderbilt University.
In 1954 the Holding Institute campus was destroyed in a massive flood. From 1954-57 Holding Institute rebuilt and reorganized as a residential coeducational junior and senior high school. During these transitional years, Deaconess Glendinning worked as a dietician at Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina.
Mary Edna Glendinning resumed her duties at Holding Institute in 1957 and retired in 1962. Central Methodist University honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award the following year. Glendinning returned to Holding Institute 1964-66 where she managed the kitchen and dining room. In 1967 Miss Glendinning moved back to her home town of Palmyra, Missouri. In retirement she traveled and was an active member of the Palmyra United Methodist Church. Glendinning died on February 18, 1988.
Holding Institute closed in 1983. In 1987 it reopened as a non-profit, faith-based community-learning center in downtown Laredo related to the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Today’s Holding Institute offers a variety of bi-lingual, bi-cultural educational classes, after-school child care, a food pantry, job bank, and other social services.
The Mary Edna Glendinning papers offer insights into the history of Holding Institute and the life work of Deaconess Glendinning. The collection includes two items: a book manuscript titled Holding History and a scrapbook. The scrapbook contains Glendinning’s consecration service program from 1926, photographs, newspaper clippings, greeting cards, pieces of personal correspondence, and programs from college reunions and church events that she attended. Most items in the scrapbook reflect her retirement years.
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[Identification of item], Mary Edna Glendinning papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Acquired prior to 2007.
These papers were arranged and described by Timothy S. G. Binkley and Heather M. Oglevie in 2010. The Holding History table of contents in folder 1 was created by Heather M. Oglevie, who also scanned the memoirs. In processing, the scrapbook was removed from its binding. Jon Speck took reference images of the scrapbook before it was unbound in 2010.
Lara Corazalla, 2010.
Detailed Description of the Collection