Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff 
Kitty S. Russel, Teacher, 1929-1930
Katharine Shearer (Russel) Goddard (1904-1991)


“Kitty Russel.” [kingman_086a.jpg]

TAGS: Kitty S. Russel, PMSS staff, Kitty R. Goddard, Mrs. Wendell C. Goddard, Katharine Shearer Russel Goddard, Vassar College, Angela Melville, Harriet Crutchfield, tutoring, Margaret Motter, Wendell C. Goddard, Glyn Morris


On June 11, 1928, Zita Thornbury, a contact at Vassar College‘s Vocational Bureau sent a cable to Angela Melville, Interim Associate Director at Pine Mountain Settlement School. In it, Thornbury highly recommended two women – Kitty S. Russel and Harriet Crutchfield –  for Pine Mountain work, describing them as “socially-minded, able, interesting, charming, attractive, level-headed…. Could contribute much to teaching.” Miss Thornbury continued her endorsement in a subsequent letter:

Kitty Russel and Harriet Crutchfield are exceptional girls. They have high ideals unflavored by sentimentalism. They are joyous, well-bred girls. They are wealthy, I believe, but actually it is hard to discover here who are wealthy because we are so democratic. I do know that they can afford to do volunteer work and that Kitty, certainly, is tired of social things, travel, and committee work.

About Kitty Russel, she wrote,

…Kitty had a good academic record which improved decidedly in the last year. Her major subjects were Bible, English, and history. Her background and training are very exceptional. In her Freshman year she was vice-president of her residence hall. Miss Russel has had foreign residence and travel. You can see for yourself what charming manners and personal traits are hers. She would make a fine team worker and I foresee success for your school and for them if you can take them on.

Melville met with the two applicants, Miss Katharine (“Kitty”) S. Russel and Miss Harriet Crutchfield, and indeed found them charming, exclaiming in a note to Co-Director Katherine Pettit, “Do you wonder I want ‘em? I have seen them and they are every bit as desirable as they sound.”

Although the School had no paid position for them at the time, the two were willing to consider volunteer work. 

Harriet Crutchfield, whose letters in the PMSS Collections provided the above information, was subsequently hired by Miss Pettit to teach fifth grade at Pine Mountain Settlement School as a volunteer worker from 1928 until 1930. However, Kitty Russel was hesitant at first to join her at the School.

KITTY S. RUSSEL: Applying for PMSS Position

The earliest letter in the PMSS Collection’s file for Kitty S. Russel was dated June 9, 1929, after Kitty had visited with Miss Pettit and Miss Melville at Pine Mountain that spring. In the letter, Kitty tells Miss Melville that she must decline the PMSS position that she was offered. Feeling that she was not well-trained for the position, she wrote:

Having been out of college for three years, I think I feel very keenly the fact that I had no job so far. — Of course, my illness has had something to do with it, but I think that it behooves me now to get some intensive training so that I can begin to make up for lost time.

But on July 31, 1929, Kitty sent Melville a telegram indicating a change of heart. She would accept the tutor position for a year.

KITTY S. RUSSEL Staff: At Pine Mountain

According to Melville’s response to Kitty’s acceptance, Kitty would be placed in Boys’ House with Miss Margaret Motter who could help with curriculum planning. Kitty’s group of students would include those in lower grades as well as in Junior High and High School. Melville wrote to her that “This is an experiment with us this year and it will take time to get it going…” so Russel should not become discouraged. “…I am very happy indeed for us that you are to be here and I do hope Pine Mountain will bring happiness to you.”

Kitty traveled to the School with Harriet Crutchfield, arriving at Pine Mountain on August 20, 1929. Records in the Archives show that Kitty served at the School for a year, as she had proposed she would do.

KITTY S. RUSSEL: After Pine Mountain

Eventually, Kitty S. Russel married Wendell Converse Goddard, who was a vice president of the Detroit Bank and Trust Company; an officer and director of Difco Laboratories, Inc., producers of drugs and chemicals; and a director of Winkelman Stores, Inc., women’s fashion apparel shops in Detroit. They had four children: Russel Hart Goddard, Margery Goddard, Wendell Hume Goddard, and Sarah Hutchins Goddard. The family lived in Grosse Pointe Village, Michigan.

For many years, Kitty kept in touch with Pine Mountain, through correspondence as well as at least one visit that she and Wendell paid to then-director Glyn Morris and Mrs. Morris at the School in March 1937. She assisted the School when she could while raising four children and engaging in volunteer fundraising for her community and for her alma mater, Vassar College. She served on the PMSS Advisory Board, ordered handmade chairs, hearth brooms, and calendars, shared contact names, and sent donations of clothing and cash, including $100 in 1959 toward a dishwasher for the Laurel House kitchen. In 1948 she wrote to Alice Cobb, PMSS secretary and teacher, that “My connection with Pine Mountain is very dear to me….”


Katharine (“Kitty”) Shearer Russel Goddard, was born on May 2, 1904, in Michigan, and died on October 3, 1991, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

See Also:
KITTY S. RUSSEL Correspondence 1929-1959


Kitty S. Russel

Alt. Title

Kitty Russel ; Kitty R. Goddard ; Mrs. Wendell C. Goddard ; Katharine Shearer Russel Goddard ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Kitty S. Russel ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Kitty R. Goddard ; Mrs. Wendell C. Goddard ; Katharine Shearer Russel Goddard ; Vassar College ; Angela Melville ; Harriet Crutchfield ; tutoring ; Margaret Motter ; Wendell C. Goddard ; Glyn Morris ; Russel Hart Goddard ; Margery Goddard ; Wendell Hume Goddard ; Sarah Hutchins Goddard ;

Subject LCSH

Russel, Katharine (“Kitty”) Shearer (Mrs. Wendell C. Goddard), — 1904 – 1991.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2021-03-10 AAE (a previously published page was repurposed)


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.

Coverage Temporal

1904 – 1991

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Marquette, MI ; Grosse Pointe, MI ; Pass Christian, MS ; Huron, MI ; Detroit, MI, Ann Arbor, MI ; Poughkeepsie, NY ; 


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




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Kitty S. Russel Goddard ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Kitty S. Russel Goddard;




“[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

2023-05-30 hhw ; 2024-12-30 hhw ;



HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD PMSS Application 1928.” and “KITTY S. RUSSEL Correspondence 1929-1959.” Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Michigan Death Index, 1971-1996,” database, FamilySearch ( :accessed 10 March 2021), Katharine R Goddard, 03 Oct 1991; from “Michigan, Deaths, 1971-1996,” database, Ancestry ( : 1998); citing Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan, death certificate number 062961, Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records, Lansing. Internet resource.

Philip Harwick Power fiance of Sarah Hutchins Goddard.” The New York Times, April 17, 1971. (Accessed 10 March 2021.) Internet resource.

“United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 March 2021), Wendell Converse Goddard in entry for Russel Hart Goddard, Connecticut, United States, 22 Jan 2007; from “Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 – Today),” database, (http://www.genealogybank : 2014); citing New Haven Register, born-digital text. Internet resource.

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