Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Harriet Crutchfield, Teacher, Advisory Board Member, 1928-1930
Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff (1903-1999)

Harriet Crutchfield Staff

Harriet Crutchfield, c. 1928. [X_100_workers_2558_mod.jpg]

TAGS: Harriet Crutchfield, Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff, James S. Crutchfield, education, teachers, students, Margaret Motter, Marian Kingman, Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Burton Rogers, Advisory Board, fruit, foodways, railroads, agricultural produce, Katherine Pettit, Ethel de Long Zande, Vassar College


Teacher, Fifth Grade, 1928 – 1930
Advisory Board Member

As the daughter of James S. Crutchfield, a member of the Board of Trustees of Pine Mountain Settlement School (1935-1942), Harriet, along with her family, had a deep affection for Pine Mountain and Kentucky. Only at Pine Mountain for two school years, Harriet continued to keep up her correspondence and contributions to the School until ill health in the 1980s limited her activity.


Harriet Crutchfield’s association with Pine Mountain began with a June 1928 letter of recommendation to the School from Zita L. Thornbury of the Vocational Bureau at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, in which she wrote:

Harriet had a high academic record. She was class treasurer in her freshman year. She was president of her class the second year. In the last year she had one of the major honors and responsibilities. She was president of the Christians’ Association. The social heads of her halls, college women, all spoke very highly of her. She was house president at least once. In character and personality she ranks at the top. At one time she planned to be a missionary. Her home is in Sewickley, Pa. Her church is Presbyterian. Her major subjects in college were Bible, English, Greek and music.

Harriet was subsequently hired by Miss Pettit to teach fifth grade at Pine Mountain Settlement School as a volunteer worker from 1928 until 1930, years that she shared with Miss Margaret Motter and Miss Marian Kingman who were also teachers and who became life-long friends. Both Marian Kingman and Harriet Crutchfield later became members of the Pine Mountain Board of Trustees.


following her departure from Pine Mountain Harriet’s adventures did not end. In many ways, the most trying years begin. According to the spring 1996 issue of Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Harriet also worked briefly in China. Her sister, Margaret had moved to China in 1928 just after marriage to Andrew Tod Roy. As missionaries, appointed by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions to work with students in Chinese universities, they went through eighteen months of language training and then were placed at the University of Nanjing where Andrew taught philosophy. Nanjing was one of the most brutal locations during the Japanese invasion of China. During what is described as the Nanjing Massacre, the Roys had fortunately accepted a continuation of Andrew Tod’s education at Princeton and they escaped the horrendous incidents associated with Nanjing. Harriet did not suffer the prolonged impacts of the Japanese invasion but was in China during the atrocities. The China experience was one that she shared with several other Pine Mountain staff and friends … Burton Rogers, in particular.

When Harriet joined her sister and brother-in-law in China she had come as a member of the State Department. She had been hired as a secretary in the American Consulate at Nanjing, [Nanking]. She was apparently in Nanjing when the Japanese invaded. A report to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, in November of 1937, wrote of the invasion and noted that Cordell Hull, then-Secretary of State, had notified Harriet’s father, James S. Crutchfield that his daughter Harriet was safe in Hankow [Hankou] where the embassy was moved following the invasion.

Just when and where Harriet first met Burton Rogers is not clear but somewhere in the time-frame of the Japanese invasion of Nanjing, Harriet reportedly “… first met Burton Rogers, [who] at that time had never heard of Pine Mountain.” In the 1930s Mr. Rogers was the head of the English Department at Yali, the Yale in China School at Changsha, China. Changsha was a river port and a rich commercial center for China. Rogers served as director of Pine Mountain School in later years (1949-1973).

While Miss Crutchfield’s correspondence from China during the crisis years of the late 1930s reveals little of her work in China, we know that she was in Peiping (later known as Beijing) as well as Nanking (later, Nanjing), locations that had fallen under brutal Japanese occupation. In August 1939 she wrote the following from Peiping [Beijing] to Glyn Morris

China is a sad, war-torn country these days with no quick solution of her many problems in sight, but as I see the daily headlines in the papers it seems there is scarcely a spot on this earth that is not suffering from war or the threat of war. The high hopes for world peace of ten and fifteen years ago seem almost incredible now.

Harriet’s sister and brother-in-law returned to China in 1948 after the completion of his Princeton work. The couple worked in Chengdu where the University of Nanjing had moved following the invasion of the Japanese. They stayed on even during the rule of Mao and persisted in their teaching efforts. Eventually, however, even they were subjected to the Communist scrutiny. Andrew was subjected to surveillance, house arrest, humiliation, and finally expulsion from China in 1951. Yet, he was able to return to Hong Kong in 1954 where he taught philosophy, ethics, and social work at the Hong Kong Chinese University.

By 1945 Harriet Crutchfield was working as a secretary in Sewickly, Pennsylvania, where her father, J.S. Crutchfield, resided. He had become a well-known agricultural trade specialist and president of the American Fruit Growers Association, Inc., a leader in the development of organized marketing of produce on a national and international scale. The company, centered in Pittsburgh, PA, had some years back established the Blue Goose trademark. It was the first large-scale effort to identify perishable fruits and vegetables that it sold to the consumer. 

Though it was late in her life, on July 31, 1945, Miss Crutchfield married John Kennerly Orndorff, Jr. in Allegheny County, PA. She would have been 42 years old. Mr. Orndorff, born 1918 in Logan County, KY, was a civil engineer at the time of their marriage. In a January 1946 letter to PMSS Director H.R.S. Benjamin, she thanks him for a student-made walnut table that the School sent to her as a wedding gift, then writes of her love for the School:

My two years at Pine Mountain were among the happiest in my life time and I shall always think of the School as one of my homes. I am looking forward to showing the place off to Mr. Orndorff some time but I really wish we could live there for a while so that he could learn to know the School’s many lovely traditions, its songs and its dances, its varying beauty from season to season, and above all the fine mountain people and the spirit that pervades the School.

As late as 1990, “Paul Hayes [then PMSS Director] and Springer Hoskins [a PMSS Trustee] had a pleasant visit with Harriet and her husband, John, at their home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.” In an article in the Spring 1996 Notes it was reported that Harriet was still in touch with the School. 


Harriet Crutchfield was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 10, 1903, the oldest of seven children of Kentucky-born parents, James S. and Alice (Pilkington) Crutchfield. She died in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, in 1999, on the same day that she was born.

GALLERY: Harriet Crutchfield Staff

Click on image for enlargement and full view.

See Also:


HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1928 for summaries of her 1928 correspondence.

HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1929 for summaries of her 1929 correspondence.



For IMAGES of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:

HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 1 (001-046) Sept 1928

HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 2 (047-100) Sept-Nov 1928

HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 3 (101-152) Nov 1928-Apr 1929

HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Part 4 (153-207) May-Dec 1929

For TRANSCRIPTIONS of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:






Harriet Crutchfield

Alt. Title

Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Subject Keyword

Harriet Crutchfield ; Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; education ; teachers ; students ; Margaret Motter ; Marian Kingman ; Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Burton Rogers ; Advisory Board ; John Kennerly Orndorff Jr. ; Paul Hayes ; Springer Hoskins ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Sewickley, PA ; China ; Pittsburgh, PA ; James S. Crutchfield ; Alice (Pilkington) Crutchfield ;

Subject LCSH

Crutchfield, Harriet, — 1903 – 1999.
Educators — Biography.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Rural schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Harlan County (KY) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Text ; image ;


Originals and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.


Series 09: Staff/Personnel ; Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees ; Series 17: PMSS Publications..




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 9: Staff/Personnel ; Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees ; Series 17: PMSS Publications.

Coverage Temporal

1903 – 1999

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Sewickley, PA ; China ; Pittsburgh, PA ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


n/a ; John Orndorff, Jr. (Harriet Crutchfield Journal);


Core documents, correspondence, writing, and administrative papers created by or addressed to Harriet Crutchfield ; clippings, photographs, publications by or about Harriet Crutchfield ; photographs ; “Journal” of letters home to family and friends;


n/d; Summer 2017 Harriet Crutchfield “Journal” from John Orndorff, Jr., son of Harriet Crutchfield.


“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2012-07-12 aae ; 2013-11-08 aae ; 2016-01-08 aae ; 2017-10-07 hhw;



1930 United States Federal Population Census, ED 48-24, sheet 14B (indexed incorrectly as “Morgan Kingman”). https://familysearch.org (accessed 2012-07-16). Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1930”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCHT-VQR : accessed 11 January 2016), James S Crutchfield, 1930. Internet resource.

“Harriet Crutchfield”. Staff Directory 1913 – . Series 09: Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School. (Spring 1996).” Series 17: PMSS Publications. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” index and images, FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KHXS-CHQ (accessed 08 Nov 2013), John Kennerly Orndorff and Harriet Crutchfield, 31 Jul 1945; citing Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States, ; FHL microfilm 2024023. Internet resource.

The Story of Pittsburgh. Volume 1. Pittsburgh: First National Bank at Pittsburgh, 1931. Print.

Orndorff, J.K..The Orndorffs of Orndorff Place: a family history, 1741-1988. Sewickley, PA, 199-?

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