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Clara A Swain Md by Mrs. Robert Hoskins

TEACHING IN CANANDAIGUA

In the spring of 1859 began an acquaintance with one who was ever after one of Miss Swain's dearest friends. Miss Martha McFarland of Albany accepted the position of teacher in the intermediate department of the school in which Miss Swain was teaching and they at once became friends. As Miss Swain's aunt was soon to leave Canandaigua, the two friends secured a pleasant boarding-place, and for three years they walked to school together in the morning and home again in the afternoon. Bothe were nature-lovers and many a delightful hour they spent on their holidays and Saturday afternoons and whenever they could find leisure for one of their picnic outings. They were both members of the Methodist Church and were constant in their attendance at the Sunday services and at Sunday school as well as at the midweek prayer and class-meetings, and were ever ready to help in all forms of church work.

Through her years of teaching Miss Swain showed the same conscientious spirit that was evidenced in her child and school life. |Have I done all I ought? Have I been as helpful to my pupils as I might be?| she often asked herself. For a time she taught a class in Sunday school, and her boys were impressed by her consistent life. Later, one of them said, |We noticed that you always went to prayer meeting so we thought we would go and see what was in it.| This class was a joy to her and her pleasure was great when one and another gave himself to the Lord for service.

|Miss Swain was ready in season and out of season,| said one of her friends. |One Sunday evening when a company of us were together having a sing, she turned to a young man near her and bluntly asked, 'Why are you not a Christian?' Taken by surprise, the young man had no answer ready and they both went on singing.| The Rev. Mr. Hibbard was pastor of the Methodist Church in Canandaigua and Miss Swain and her friend very much enjoyed an occasional visit to the parsonage, where they were always warmly welcomed.

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