MARY COOK ROGERS Correspondence

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Mary Cook Rogers Correspondence
Dietician, Dec 1946 – Sept 1947

MARY COOK ROGERS Correspondence, 1942-1947

TAGS: Mary Cook Rogers correspondence, Mary E. Cook Rogers, Mrs. Richard J. Rogers, H.R.S. Benjamin, Margaret Motter, contract, dietician, food preparation, application blank, Home Economics, telegram, references

Mary Cook Rogers, staff photo. Dietician, Dec 1946 – Sept 1947. [rogers_mary_cook_bio_024.jpg]

[Note: Letters from PMSS staff are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned and meant for the Office files.]


001 September 24, 1942. Typewritten letter to Mrs. Mary Rogers in Naples, ME, from Florence L Jenkins, State Director of Home Economics Education on letterhead for State Department of Education, Division of Vocational Education, Augusta, ME. Pleased that Rogers will be in Florida for the winter and hopes she can find work there; offers to provide a reference.


002-003 October 14, 1946. Two-page letter to Mrs. Richard Rogers in Braddock Heights, MD, from H.R.S. Benjamin, [Director], who [002] heard from Margaret Motter of Rogers’ interest in a PMSS opening. Provides a list of details about living at PMSS and what PMSS will furnish. Also details of the contract (12-months’ contract with 1-month vacation, one day off a week) and duties of a second supervisory assistant dietician “having charge of building, food preparation in cooperation with the present dietician. Under you…will be two cooks with girls from the home economics department receiving their practical training in the morning and afternoon. … We are happy to hear that you are a graduate nurse as there may be an opportunity to fill in this capacity in our small ten-bed hospital.” [003] Salary will be $80 per month cash with maintenance (room, light, heat, laundry and food equal to $55-60 per month). Encloses an application blank; Rogers should arrive on November 1st. Suggests that Rogers visit the campus before signing the contract. Sends condolences for Rogers’ “loss.”

004-005 October 15, 1946. General Application Blank with handwritten entries by Mary E. Cook Rogers, Braddock Heights, ME.
[004 – Application, page 1] Born: September 15, 1890.
Education: Graduate of Georgian Hospital, Atlanta, GA, 1914.
Graduate Univ. of Md., Home Ec. Education, 1929 B.S. Summer School, Univ. of Maine, 1941.
Last Three Positions Held:
State Department of Education, Augusta, ME., Dietician – School Lunches – 1941-42.
How did you become interested in PMSS? Through Miss Margaret Motter.
Training and experience? “Thirty years of preparing food for my family; training in Home Economics; work on menus & preparation of school lunches.”
Rural life experience? “Most of my life has been spent in rural districts.”

[005 – Application, page 2] Interests: “bird study, wild flowers, formerly a member of  Audubon Society.”
How did you become interested in PMSS? “Miss Margaret Motter described the work at Pine Mountain and I thought I would like that type of work. I have been unable to take a position before this because of my husband’s ill health. I want to be of service and this seems a splendid opportunity.”
Rogers provides 3 references.

006 October 16, 1946. Handwritten letter to H.R.S. Benjamin, Director, from Mary C. Rogers (Mrs. Richard J. Rogers) in Braddock Heights, MD, who appreciates Benjamin’s offer of a position, stating, “…[M]y experience as a dietician is limited to one school year in the schools of Maine but managing a home and preparing meals for thirty years gives one experience.” She offers “to fill in in any capacity for which I am suited…” Thanks Benjamin for his words of sympathy.

007 October 22, 1946. Handwritten letter to Benjamin from Rogers, who declined Benjamin’s offer because she had a slight heart attack and her doctor ordered her to rest for a while. “The strain of the last eight years is now beginning to be felt. With rest and care at this stage, I hope to be well again after Christmas.” 

008 October 22, 1946. Western Union Telegram to Benjamin from Rogers. “Impossible [to] come now. Yesterday, doctor says am unfit for the work. Letter follows. Mary C. Rogers.”

009 October 22, 1946. Typewritten letter with letterhead to Benjamin from Dr. Edwin B. Jarrett, Baltimore, MD, who writes at the request of Rogers that “I do not believe that Mrs. Rogers’ physical or nervous condition will permit her to undertake her duties at Pine Mountain Settlement School at this time. She has not recovered from the shock caused by the recent death of her husband, and in addition, she has a heart condition….”

010 October 25, 1946. To Dr. Jarrett from [unsigned, likely Benjamin], who asks if it would be acceptable if Benjamin invites Rogers for an extended stay at PMSS to rest and have a “new atmosphere.” 

011 October 25, 1946. To Rogers from [truncated, likely Benjamin]. Expresses his and Motter’s disappointment in Rogers’ decline of the position but asks if Rogers could visit PMSS for a while, as “a guest of the paying type (and that is not a heavy expenditure according to our standards) and when your strength returns we might find some work for you that would in time lead to the thing we have in mind.” Assures Rogers that PMSS has a well-trained doctor. 

012 October 29, 1946. Typewritten letter with letterhead to Benjamin from Dr. Jarrett, who approves of Benjamin’s “kind and generous” offer to invite Rogers to PMSS.

013 October 30, 1946. Handwritten letter to Benjamin from Rogers, who has had a “week’s siege with influenza.” She is currently too weak to drive but if she improves she will write to him about boarding at the school in December. She asks Benjamin not to hold “any position open for her to the detriment or inconvenience of the school as I may not recover enough to be able to work.”

014 November 9, 1946. To Benjamin from Rogers, who has quickly improved so that she should be able to begin work about mid-December. She can leave for Kentucky on November 27 when her apartment lease ends. While resting at PMSS, she could study for a position. Asks for travel directions.

015 November 11, 1946. To Rogers from [unsigned, likely Benjamin], who assures Rogers that the school will not make any final decisions until she visits and she can “size up the needs here and your own feeling of ability to meet some one of the opportunities for service.” He tells about the “Christmas atmosphere” at PMSS. “It is unique.”

016 November 13, 1946. To Rogers from [truncated, likely Benjamin]. Refers to her November 9th letter and agrees to her arrival at PMSS as early as she wishes. The dietitian’s position is currently filled but “one can never tell for how long.” 


017-018 February 14, 1947. [017] A two-page form for Roger’s reference to complete [no entries]. [018, page 2] Typewritten statement at the bottom of the page from Thomas E. Williams, indicates that he has been Rogers’ neighbor for three years and had business dealings with her. She is respected by the community, and “her honesty and integrity are above reproach.” He does not feel qualified to respond to the questionnaire concerning her private personal traits, but “I believe her to be cultured, refined, and capable.”

019 A two-page form that Rogers’ reference completed by underlining the appropriate traits in each category. [Image for page 2 is missing.]

020-021 February 17, 1947. [020] A two-page form that Rogers’ reference, Miss Edna B. McNaughton, Prof of Education, completed by underlining the appropriate traits in each category. [021, page 2] Handwritten statement at the bottom of the page: “Mrs. Rogers was graduated from our university with honors. She has unusual ability in art but is very modest as to her abilities. Mrs. Rogers is well qualified for the position….”

022-023 March 3, 1947. [022] A two-page form that Rogers’ reference, Florence L. Jenkins, Director, Home Economics Education, completed by underlining the appropriate traits in each category. [023, page 2] Typewritten statement at the bottom of the page: “Mrs. Rogers worked on a special nutrition project for about six months on a State level….very successful…conscientious…. [has] good judgment…would work well with others.”

GALLERY: Mary Cook Rogers Correspondence

See Also MARY COOK ROGERS Biography

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