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Mrs. Button's Not Too British Muffins

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity”

-Motto of the Saginaw Woman’s Club 


Organized in 1892 as the Home Study Club, the group’s original focus was primarily a literary club. However, soon a new name was adopted, The Saginaw Woman’s Club; their mission quickly expanded, and the organization became an important force in the community. Divided into carefully structured departments reflecting the interests, skills of its members and the needs of Saginaw, a range of projects - from civic beautification to social needs - were undertaken.  


Just a few of the early projects included raising funds for scholarships, furnishing a room at the Woman’s Hospital, and restoration of the painted curtain at the Academy of Music. They were a major force in founding the Home for the Aged and working to have the peony designated Saginaw’s official city flower.  

Marion Goldie Button

One of the founding members was Mrs. Albert L. Button – Marion Goldie Button. The Announcement of her death noted: 


“Co-Organizer of the Saginaw Woman’s club, instrumental also in formation of the Saginaw County Republican Women’s League and noteworthy and public-spirited citizen through her long and useful life, Mrs. Marion Goldie Button, 87, died Saturday at her home, 529 North Jefferson. 


Born Dec. 23, 1952, in Caledonia, Ont., Mrs. Button came here with her parents as a girl of 10. She was a member of Saginaw High School’s first graduating class and later taught school for eight years. With the late A.R. Thayer and Mrs. M. Macomber, she organized in 1893 the Woman’s club, for which she twice served as president. Always interested keenly in Republican party affairs, she was honorary president of the Republican Women’s organization here.  


One of the founders of the Home for the Aged, Mrs. Button was an officer on the institution’s board of trustees since its organization in 1917. She was one of the oldest members of First Congregational church and was active in its affairs most of her life.  


She married Albert L. Button here Jan. 2, 1879. He died in 1921. She leaves a niece, Mrs. Charles J. Phelps.” (The Saginaw News, July 28, 1940.) 

To open its 25th anniversary season, the Saginaw’s Woman’s Club held a mock wedding. With members representing Miss Past and Mr. Present and their wedding party, the event focused on the group’s accomplishments and future ambitions. While seemingly lighthearted, the wedding was thoughtful and carefully scripted. Near the end the ceremony, the officiant read:  


“Saginaw Woman’s Club stands for much in this city, and our influence reaches farther than we know, so this year let our aim be to make our work more than ever build for the good things in life and leave our mark on every thing we do, so it will stand out in the future as a credit for our Club, let us be willing to lose our individual interests for the best interests of the Club. Again let me ask you for your co-operation to make this anniversary year red letter year of unity and progress for our club.”  


For decades, the Saginaw Woman’s Club had its own clubhouse on North Jefferson Avenue – the building was demolished with for the construction I-675. The Saginaw Woman’s Club disbanded about 1992. The Castle Museum and Hoyt Library each have archival collections documenting the organization’s accomplishments. (Spoiler alert: The Saginaw Woman’s Club accomplished much, and we have many recipes to explore.) 

The Recipe: Mrs. Albert L. Button’s English Muffins

One small tablespoon of butter, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, 2 eggs. Stir all together, add one 1 cup of sweet milk, 2 Tablespoons of baking powder and flour to make a stiff batter. Put in muffin tins and bake 20 minutes in quick hot oven. 

CTK Interpretation: 

1 Tablespoon room temperature butter, cut into small pieces

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (We used a convection oven. The next time we will try 375 degrees.) 

Butter muffin tins. 

Place butter, sugar and eggs in mixing bowl and whisk together until ingredients are combined. (Butter will break into very small pieces.) 


Add flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Place into muffin tins.  

Bake until cooked through and slightly browned about 20 – 25 minutes 




Although these are called English Muffins, as you may have noted, these aren’t really an English Muffin. An English Muffin contains yeast and is related to a crumpet. For a place to start your English Muffin exploration:  



Although this is very close to a basic U.S. muffin recipe, the technique used for combining wet and dry and ingredients is casual – cavalier in fact. And the way the fat – butter – is combined with the eggs and sugar is weird – we can find no better word. We didn’t expect the results to be presentable, let alone edible. They were quite wonderful. As the CTK food stylist kept nibbling on the still life, we were limited on the number of photographs from which we could choose. Sorry. 


Although we are enamored with these muffins - we have fondly named them “Mrs. Button’s Not Too British Muffins,” we caution you that the CTK interpretation was only tested once. Proceed with caution.  



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