MARIAN PURBRICK Correspondence I

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Marian Purbrick Correspondence I

MARIAN PURBRICK Correspondence I, 1926 – 1931
Infirmary Nurse, 1928 – 1931

TAGS: Marian Purbrick, Aznoe’s Central Registry for Nurses, American Red Cross nurses, public health nurses, Ethel de Long Zande, Evelyn K. Wells, Infirmary, health clinics, contract, vaccinations, Katherine Pettit, Hubert H. Hadley, mail distribution

Images 001 – 034


[Note: Letters from PMSS staff in the PMSS Collections are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed copies were sent to the correspondents. The initials at the bottom left of most PMSS letters indicate the writer (along with initials of the secretary). For example “EZ” are the initials for Ethel de Long Zande, “KP” refers to Katherine Pettit, and “EKW” to Evelyn K. Wells, “AM” to Angela Melville, and “GAM” to Glyn A. Morris. All letters from Miss Marian Purbrick are handwritten. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in order of the image numbers. Question marks indicate illegible text.]


[1926_001], [001a] December 24(?), 1926. Two-page letter to Miss Hagnie(?), Chicago, IL, from Miss Marian Purbrick, Everett, MA, [001] who was “notified by Aznoe’s registry of a request for a resident school nurse at the Pine Mountain Settlement.” [001a] Asks for information about the position. “I have heard and read a great deal of the work of the Settlement, and the spirit of it appeals to me. …


[1927_001] January 4, 1927. To Mrs. Ethel de Long Zande from Clara D. Noyes, National Director, Red Cross Nursing Service, Washington, DC, responding to Zande’s telegram that Purbrick “is an enrolled Red Cross nurse in good standing…. Is intelligent, cooperative and observant. …very energetic and has a very good Public Health vision. … [She] has not only been employed by the American Red Cross as a Public Health nurse but she has also been an Instructor of our classes in Home Hygiene and Care of the Sick.” 

[1927_002] IMAGE NOT FOUND

[1927_005] January 11, 1927. To Purbrick from Zande (apparently text for a telegram). “Have accepted other candidate. Letter follows.”

[1927_003] January 11, 1927. To Miss Purbrick, Everett, MA, from EZ (Zande), who learned from Miss [Dorothy] Bolles and Miss [Evelyn K.] Wells that they were “favorably impressed” with Purbrick but it was too late and Zande already offered the position to another. Zande feared that Purbrick may find Pine Mountain “limited and not be happy here.” Nevertheless, she asks that Purbrick let her know if she is still interested.

[1927_004] January 11, 1927. To Mr. Aznoe, Aznoe’s Central Registry for Nurses, Chicago, IL, from EZ (Zande), returning the credentials of Mrs. Booth, Miss Keirns, and Miss Purbrick. Told of her interest in Miss Purbrick.

[1927_006] through [006e] N.D. Six-page letter to Zande from Purbrick, [006] expressing interest in the position of Resident School Nurse. 
She was educated and trained in London, England, [006a] and came to US in 1910 to do “private duty for several years.” 
1918 – took post-graduate course at the “Simmons(?) School for Public Health Nursing and then position of head nurse of the Bristol, Tennessee, Red Cross Nursing Service, [for 2 years] and was the first public health [006b] nurse in that part of the state.” 
Circa 1920 – Director or Superintendent of the District Nurse Association for 3 1/2 years in Derby, CT.
[006c] 1926 – County Nurse of Whiteley, Columbia City, Indiana.
“I am fond of children and they of me. I quickly make friends with them…”
[006d] “…and enjoy working with them.” Purbrick gives two locations where her credentials are on file and provides three references. [006e] Closing lines.

[1927_007] through [007c] January 15, 1927. Four-page letter to Zande from Purbrick, [007] thanking Zande for writing, expressing regret that “things turned out as they did.” [007a] Assures Zande that her experience in the public health field “would be of immense value to me” in the PMSS position. [007b] She hopes to hear from Zande if there is a future need for a nurse. [007c] Gives her permanent address in Newburyport, MA. 

[1927_008] January 21, 1927. To Purbrick from EZ (Zande), who will keep in touch with her.

[1927_009] January 31, 1927. To Purbrick from Ethel Zande (apparently text for a telegram). “Nurse we thought we had secured wanted only temporary position…Could you consider position at Pine Mountain now. …”

[1927_010], [010a] October 14, [no year]. Two-page letter to Zande from Purbrick, [010] who has resigned her current position “for very good reasons” [010a] and regrets turning down Zande’s earlier offer; asks to be informed of another vacancy at PMSS.

[1927_011], [011a] November 1, 1927. Two-page letter to Purbrick from EZ (Zande), [011] PMSS’s current nurse became engaged and will be leaving, therefore there is a position for Purbrick. Could she come soon after Christmas vacation? “Miss [Betty] Key will see you through your first days here.” Describes “what this part of the country is like…far rougher than the country around Bristol. Describes the position: “The school nurse at Pine Mountain lives in and manages the little Infirmary, which has eight beds in the regular wards and an isolation room for contagious cases. The family consists of two girls, pupils who do the work of the Infirmary, getting their training in housework from you, and of one of the teachers, who makes that building her home and sometimes relieves the nurse when her hours are long. … the building is heated by a furnace. There is an oil stove in the little kitchen, a bath-tub and running hot water. The nurse has regular hours at the school house, and teaches a class in hygiene. … The school doctor spends one day a week at the school, examining children. There are hookworm treatments, visits from doctors who refract eyes or examine for trachoma, a tonsils clinic this month, etc., besides the general care of the school’s health. [011a] … Our medical settlement, four miles away, where the doctor and another nurse live, does most of the district work, and we consider the building up of our children and the health of the school, the school nurse’s first duty.” Salary is $100 a month, and maintenance, with a month’s vacation with pay after 11 months’ service.

[1927_012] through [012b] November 4(?), [no year]. Three-page letter to Zande from Purbrick in Everett, MA, [012] who will come to PMSS after Christmas. [012a] Asks about wearing the” regulation white in the house.[012b] Closing.

[1927_013], [013a] N.D. To Zande from Purbrick, Newburyport, MA. Describes her travel itinerary: Leaving NY on January 1; will arrive at PMSS about January 4; has sent books by express; wrote to Mr. Lewis. [013a] Attached note to Miss [Betty] Key from EKW (Wells), referring to Purbrick’s arrival.

[1927_014] November 11, 1927. To Purbrick, Everett, MA, from EZ (Zande). Asks if she can arrive on January 6 or 7 [1928]; Miss Key will stay a few days to help. “Our nurses do not wear white uniforms; they are too difficult to manage here. Usually they were blue or gray, and sometimes yellow. …” Encloses contract; Miss Dorothy Bolles can help with questions.

[1927_015] November 11, 1927. Contract on PMSS letterhead between PMSS and “Miss Marion (sic) Purbrick, R.N., agreeing to pay Miss Purbrick $100.00 a month and living expenses … beginning January 7, 1928.” Signed by Ethel Zande and Marian Purbrick.


[1928_016] through [016d] N.D. Five-page letter to Zande from Purbrick, Everett, MA,[016] who apologizes for her late letter. [016a] Has met with Bolles and Wells. Two of her committee members asked her to reconsider her decision to leave her current position. [016b] Due to the many very ill people at her current place, she has decided not to change jobs for now. [016c] Asked to be remembered for a nursing position in the future. [016d] Closing.

[1928_048] February 7, 1928. To Purbrick from EZ (Zande). “We are going to devote February to a whirlwind campaign to get new subscribers” and asks Purbrick for her help. Encloses five subscription cards and literature.

[1928_017] July 11, 1928. To Purbrick from EKW (Wells). A letter came to PMSS for Purbrick from Dr. Dugan, who wrote that he will come after he deals with “dreadful storms in the Big Sandy valley… Miss [Katherine] Pettit thinks it would be well for an expert to come after you return, anyway.” Tells of Dr. [Evelyn] Holt’s visit from Big Laurel who inventoried Purbrick’s medicines and gave typhoid shots.

[1928_018] July 19, 1928. To Purbrick from KP (Pettit) who thanks Purbrick for taking care of her when she was sick. Mentions that Mr. Browning’s brother Dewey’s wife in Laden has TB and asks Purbrick to visit her on her way back; and to offer to send a sputum sample to the State Board of Health. “I just think it is so important for us to get hold of every case we can, and help.”


[1929_019] January 21, 1929. To Purbrick from [unsigned] who asks her “to write a little article about her health work” to be published in a society magazine by “one of our friends.”

[1929_020] February 12, 1929. To Purbrick from [unsigned], who specifies the hours she should plan her weighing of the children.

[1929_021] June 21, 1929. To Purbrick from Angela Melville, asking her to select the best one or two “shoe people around Boston” when she goes there and have them send catalogues and samples; Needs to be done before the children return to school and expect to order them.

[1929_022] through [022b] Three-page reprint from The Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly: “Disturbances of the Nasal Accessory Sinuses. Observations on the Etiology and Treatment” by J.A. Stucky, M.D., F.A.C.S., Lexington, Ky., October 1927.

[1929_023] September 2, 1929. To Purbrick from Melville, asking her for a list of the children “who go to Harlan on Thursday to have their eyes tested.” P.S. Mrs. Michael’s son Leroy has a rupture.

[1929_024] N.D. [No salutation] from “M. Purbrick … I would like to add another rule to the effect that no person with a cold, or with any cuts or abrasions of the skin, or any skin disease, should use the pool. Housemothers sometimes know of these matters before I do….”


[1930_025] January 20, 1930. To Purbrick from AM (Angela Melville), who asks if Purbrick’s house is in charge of “having the water put in every day.”

[1930_026] October 24, 1930. To Mr. [Hubert H.] Hadley [PMSS Director] from Purbrick, reporting that she hopes to leave Boston for Kentucky on Sunday, November 2; her sister is very ill but Purbrick hopes she will be recovered by then.

[1930_027] November 7, 1930. To Purbrick from Hadley. “”…I feel at this time that we cannot pay for time in which a worker is [voluntarily] away in addition to her vacation” therefore he is asking Miss Conn to subtract the amount of her last trip to visit a sick relative from her next month’s check. If the Board of Directors decides otherwise, the amount will be reinstated.


[1931_028] January 27, 1931. To Purbrick from Ruth Campbell. Explains the office policy of opening telegrams when they arrive “for the sake of the workers” when a trip across the mountain is involved. She assures Purbrick that “your telegrams will be delivered hereafter at supper time in your mail bag.”

[1931_029] February 2, 1931. To Purbrick from Hadley on PMSS letterhead, who explains “why our present plan of handling the mail was adopted.” The new plan is that “the mail is sent to Laurel House as soon as we get it assorted.” 

[1931_030] February 16, 1931. To Purbrick from [unsigned]. As directed by Miss Wells, the President of the Board of Trustees sends this letter as “notice of the school’s desire for you to continue in your present position through the school year 1931-32….” Mentions the time between April 1st and 21st when Hadley leaves and Miss Wells arrives, when Purbrick is on her own.

[1931_031] May 28, 1931. To Purbrick from [unsigned], asking her to sign and return the “enclosed statement of your relationship with the School” for the new director. Mrs. [Glyn] Morris will help in “developing an enlarged health program for the school and countryside.” Mentions Dr. [Alfreda] Withington and Dr. Miller.

[1931_033] November 1, 1931. To Mr. [Glyn A.] Morris from Purbrick, notifying him of her resignation on January 1, 1932, due to “a larger opportunity in mountain work.”

[1931_032] October 31, 1931. To Purbrick from GAM (Glyn A. Morris), accepting her resignation (dated November 1) on January 1, 1932.

[1931_034] November 23, 1931. To Purbrick from [unsigned], Secretary, announcing re-scheduling of a Workers’ meeting.

Go To: MARIAN PURBRICK Correspondence II, 1932 – 1948
See Also: MARIAN PURBRICK Staff – Biography