WINIFRED POWELL Correspondence I 1931-1935

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff/Personnel
Winifred Powell Correspondence I 1931-1935
Teacher, Housemother 1931-1939

WINIFRED POWELL Correspondence I 1931-1935
(Set I – Images 001-039)

TAGS: Winifred Powell correspondence, Mrs. William Ackland Powell, teachers, housemothers, Glyn Morris, Evelyn K. Wells, job applications, references, Bertha Cold, Arthur W. Dodd, library, Gladys Morris, Barbara Faulkner

CONTENTS: WINIFRED POWELL Correspondence I 1931-1935
IMAGES 001-039

[Note: Letters from PMSS staff are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned and meant for the Office files. The initials at the bottom left of some of the PMSS letters indicate the writer (along with initials of the secretary), such as “GAM,” the initials for Glyn A. Morris, PMSS Director. Miss Powell’s letters are handwritten unless otherwise noted. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in order of the image numbers. Question marks in brackets — [?] — indicate illegible handwriting.]


005 July 13, 1931. To Mrs. Powell at Sidney Lanier Camp, Eliot, ME, from [unsigned] GAM, who received her letter and encloses an application blank.

006-006c July 13, 1931. Three-page letter to Mr. Morris from Winifred Powell (Mrs. Wm Ackland Powell). [006] At the advice of “my dear friend and co-worker, Evelyn Wells,” Powell provides details of her experience for the job. [006a] “…I have been hostess of our great house, which is a center where our young people congregate….the life here in our rural community is much like that at Pine Mountain…. In the Church of the Ascension in New [?]…I had a choir of children and a young girls’ discussion [006b] group and have since my husband’s death chaperoned in a private school for girls.” Has lived in Lampwood, MA, near Boston, all her married life; Miss Wells and Miss [Marian] Kingman have told her about PMSS and she is [006c] “keen about the place and the splendid opportunity for service that it offers.”

001 July 16, 1931. Application Blank for Mrs. Winifred Powell.
Age: 52
Education: High School ….
What line of work at Pine Mountain interests you? Housemother
Training and experience? Besides my private home and family, have had professional position in Lanier Camp for four years, [?] camp in Maine where I took young girls to training.
Salary or Volunteer? Salary: I understand the salary of Housemother is $75.00 per month. ….
How did you become interested in work at Pine Mountain? Through [Evelyn K.] Wells’ description of it.
[Mrs. Powell provided the names of three references.]

002-002a July 23, 1931. Reference form to Miss Evelyn K. Wells, Lanier Camp, Eliot, ME, from G.A. Morris, Director. Miss Wells’ handwritten entries include: [002] “dignified, good-looking, not an ‘old maid,’ friendly and sensible.” Miss Wells’ address: Summit, N.J. [002a] Handwritten note on reverse side of form: “Mrs. Powell is a social person, in the best sense of the word. … Much at Pine Mountain will be new to her, but I believe she can adapt herself and she expects it to be different and would come with an open mind.”

003-003a July 23, 1931. Reference form to Mrs. Sidney Lanier, Jr., Director, Lanier Camp, Eliot, ME, from G.A. Morris, Director. Mrs. Lanier’s handwritten entries include: [003] “cheerful and fair…is young in spirit.”  [003a] Mrs. Powell has an eternally young spirit…is keen for the Pine Mountain experience…her humor is unfailing. 

004-004a July 23, 1931. Reference form to Mrs. Frederick Cunningham, Longwood, MA, from G.A. Morris, Director. Mrs. Cunningham’s handwritten entries include: [004] “Very ladylike…has had experience as chaperone with my girls…..interested in many things. Has been much in Europe. Lived in [?] for several years….was a singing teacher.”

007 July 30, 1931. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned] GAM. “We shall be pleased to engage you as housemother for Boys House for the ensuing year at a salary of $75 per month and maintenance….” Asks that she arrive on August 21. 

008-008a July 30, 1931. Two-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell, who [008] explains that her professional work was “of short duration. Until my husband’s death five years ago I have been in my own home where I managed my household in connection with a vocal class of girls who follow us to our summer house on Long Lake, Maine.” [008a] “l like community life and people.” Has no photo to send but describes her appearance as five feet five inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, and having graying hair and a “comfortable disposition.” 

009-009a August 4, 1931. Two-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell, [009] who thanks him for assuring her of a housemother appointment. [009a] Will probably “leave Boston in the 19th in order to reach Pine Mt School by the 21st.”

010 August 14, 1931. To Mr. Morris from Powell, who relates her travel arrangements to arrive at PMSS on August 21st via Columbus. Ohio.

011 October 2, 1931. To Mrs. Powell from Glyn Morris, who asks her if Reid Johnson could rest because he came in late the night before, having been with the doctor “over the mountain.”


012-012e July 6, 1932. Six-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell at Sidney Lanier Camp in Eliot, ME, who [012] discusses gardening issues and mentions John Hont. Asks to borrow one of the blue ballad books. [012a] Evelyn Wells will not be working at the camp this season; “cuts had to be made wherever possible.” John Lanier and an assistant have been doing folk-dancing, but “it’s a halfhearted performance, shorn of Evelyn’s magnetic leadership.” Met with “little Miss Aims” in Boston. [012b & c] Describes attending a performance by Helen Hayes with “Cousin” Idaline Aims. [012d] She is looking for new games, etc., and visited the School of Occupational Therapy in Boston to look at the crafts. [012e] Mentions a book she’s reading; asks for Pine Mountain updates.

013-013a July 28, 1932. Two-page letter to Mrs. Powell at Sidney Lanier Camp in Eliot, ME, from [unsigned, likely Morris], replying to her July 6 letter; [013] mentions Miss Aims (“What she’s missed in life!”), Mr. Lehman’s appendectomy by Dr. [Kenneth] Gould assisted by Mr. and Mrs. [Tracy] Jones, reservoir repairs, plans for inside toilets, Mr. [Oscar] Kneller, Miss [Bertha] Cold (dietician), pigs and cabbages, the new nurse, [013a] applications from volunteers, and the new principal and domestic science teacher. “We’ll probably dispense with weaving this year. It’s not making any money.” 

014-014a August 11, [no year]. Two-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell in Eliot, ME, who [014] informs Morris of her travel plans to return to PMSS and asks that Mr. Lewis meet her with a mule. [014a] May drive to Boston with Miss Wells.


015 July 3, 1933. To Mrs. W.A. Powell, Helen McCormick Memorial Hall, YWEA, Chicago, IL, from Glyn Morris, who welcomes her to work at PMSS in the coming year at $35 a month, probably at Boys House again. He could use volunteers but prefers “having some of the old workers back.”

016-016b July 6, [no year]. Typewritten three-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell, on letterhead for The Harriet Hammond McCormick Memorial, A Young Women’s Christian Association Residence in Chicago, IL. She is pleased to know Morris wants her to return. “You know already how much I love the place, my interest in the boys and my sincere friendship for the people there….” but needs more than $35 salary, describing her expenses; Asks for $40 per month. [016a] Lists the reasons the job should pay more, including that Boys House is “a more difficult group to handle.”  [016b] “Best regards, not forgetting your ‘Gladdie.’”

017 July 24, 1933. To Mrs. Powell in Columbus, OH, from Glyn Morris. “In sooth, thou shouldst have been a solicitor, for who can resist your pleadings! You say that business is picking up, and so perhaps the psychological effect of giving you a little more salary will be beneficial — therefore, you win. Should I say, ‘Sold, at $40.00’? What price housemothers!” Mentions the Depression; Miss Wallace is leaving; hears often from [Arthur W.] Dodd.

018 August 7, 1933. To Mrs. Powell from Glyn Morris, who informs her of the school opening date and asks for her arrival date.

019-019d August 20, [no year]. Four-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell in Ann Arbor, MI, who [019] encloses the [?] list. “In the teacher’s course, I was fortunate in getting a bit of ‘visual education’ in which I learned the importance of films in teaching.” [019a] She imagines films she would like to use in class. [019b] Asks about the list he sent. [019c] Asks if the office could arrange the timing of getting films to fit her class schedule.

020-020f August 23, [no year]. Seven-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell. [020] Discusses reading matter for ninth graders. [020a] Suggests that the Library class should meet more often than three classes weekly. [020b] “Even more important than the knowledge of some of the classes is the necessity of self-expression, both [?] and oral; refers to the way the French teach reading. [020c] “The idea seems to obtain here that all teachers should teach English if we are to make it functional, but that English teachers should confine themselves to English. That history should be taught by a history teacher with integrated programs.” [020d] Recommends “some comprehension of good poetry….” [020e] She “wants a place in the [?] for my Lib. class…. [020f] “…I understand English flunks more freshman than any other course here at M.U. The first two weeks of the freshman year is devoted to written work…” [missing last page(s)?]


021 March 29, 1934. To Mr. F.E. Shnyder, Chairman, Staff Selection Committee, NYC, from Glyn Morris, provides a reference for “Mrs. William Ackland Powell,” as requested: “charming and cultured…During her first year here she did an excellent piece of work….. Personally I like her very much and she makes an excellent companion, and is very stimulating in a group. She had had rich and varied experiences.”

022-022a July 11, 1934. Two-page letter to Mrs. Powell in Columbus, OH (℅ Mrs. Baughman), from Morris. Asks for her help with an issue concerning Sue Hall.

023-023a August 19, 1934. Postcard of the Rocky Spring Presbyterian Church, Chambersburg, PA, to Mr. and Mrs. Glyn Morris from W.P. [023 Address side] “Greetings and best wishes from your home state…” [023a] Image of church interior.

024 December 7, 1934. To Mrs. Powell in NYC from [unsigned]. Asks if she misses PMSS; offers to meet with her in NYC in March.

025-025a December 14, [no year]. To Mr. Morris from Powell in NYC, who [025] is “applying for a position where I shall be doing some welfare work….” [025a] and has given Morris as a reference. She describes the little experience she has in the field and asks Morris to write about her “neighborhood welfare work” as a PMSS employee. “I think with much affection of the boys and girls of Pine Mountain, and all my good friends of the faculty, God bless them!” She looks forward to seeing Glyn and Gladys in March. She comments on an Armistice Day sermon about militarism vs. pacifism.

026 December 22, 1934. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned, likely Morris]. Will write a reference when requested by the future employer.

027-027c N.D. Four-page letter to “Glyn” [Morris] from “Winifred” in NYC. [027] She is interested in the summer work that Morris proposes but needs a salary. [027a] They can discuss it when he is in NY. She writes about several friends. [027b] “Give my love to Dodd.” [027c] Writes about “cash” and the “cattle project.” 

028-028a N.D. Two-page letter to “Gladys” [Morris] from “Winifred.” [028] Discusses the date she should arrive at Pine Mountain; has been visiting her children and her brother Arealius[?]. [028a] May contact Gladys in Washington and L. Zande[?] en route. “With Dodd, Alice and the regulars, I shall have no trouble functioning in the job that I had before for six weeks.”

029-029a N.D. Two-page letter to “Glyn” from “W.P.” [029] Promises not to “practice any horse-trading methods.” [029a] Asks for traveling expense; has listed her apartment for rent. “It will be great to see the old place again.”


030 February 18, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned], who forwards a letter to her that was opened by mistake and explains: “You see we sent out the Notes this year with a little envelope enclosed in which the recipient was to send back a coin to help with the making and mailing expense.”

031 N.D. Typewritten two-page letter (with handwritten notation along left margin) to Mr. Morris from “W.P.” [031] Alerts Morris that he will receive a request for a reference concerning Powell, who is applying for “a city job and Mr. Manhattan will be my boss if I am accepted….” [031a] “It is clearly my duty to make a home for Ackland [Powell] whenever he is in the city. He goes on tour within a few days for six weeks, but how he has enjoyed his home during the ten weeks that he has been playing here! So it looks as though I should be a Gothamite for sometime to come.” Expresses regret that she hasn’t a Master’s degree in order to be eligible for a more interesting job. Remarks on the “Medical Settlement tragedy” and BIll Turner.  Will be at Pine Mountain in April.

032 March 29, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned, likely Morris], who is searching “for someone to take charge of Laurel House during the six weeks when the Dietitian [Miss Cold] is on her vacation.” Salary would be $60 a month. Suggest that Powell would enjoy some “country air, which you do not get in New York….” 

038-038a N.D. Typewritten two-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell, who [038] is interested in the position but asked for more details and traveling expenses. She may be able to sublet her apartment, “for in all probability Ackland will be in summer stock away from the city.” Miss Wells visited; mentions Winnie Christensen. [038a] Mentions the Morris’s visit with her in NYC. 

033 April 5, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned, likely Morris], who provides the dates of the position; is flexible concerning the salary amount; describes the responsibilities of the position. A.W. Dodd, Jr. would be in charge of the school; co-workers would be Miss [Alice] Cobb and Mrs. [Barbara] Faulkner in their third summer at PMSS.

034-034b April 8, [no year]. Typewritten three-page letter to Mr. Morris from Powell. [034] Accepts the dietician position. [034a] Accepts the increase in salary that Morris proposed. [034b] Will write Alice [Cobb] asking about details of the job.

035 April 12, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned, likely Morris], confirming her arriving on May 15 “to take care of Laurel House…up until and including July 1st.” Suggests that she “brush up in your canning technique….” Will probably meet with her in NY.

036-036a April 13, [no year]. Typewritten two-page letter to Alice [Cobb] from Winifred Powell, who [036] is “glad I am coming back to Pine Mountain….” Asks that Miss Cold leave directions. [036a] Asks about the train schedule.

037 April 16, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from [unsigned], who is happy she is coming for the summer. She and “Barby” will be staying in Laurel House with her. “If you stop at Columbus please remember us all to Nancy. Mr. Morris, Mr. Dodd and Mr. [James L.] Faulkner left Monday morning for Washington with the students who are to demonstrate the English Country Dancing and set-running. Alonzo [Turner] is one of the chosen people….”

039 April 30, 1935. To Mrs. Powell from Mr. Morris, who asks if she would consider a housemother position at Big Log for the first semester of 1936.

See Also:
WINIFRED POWELL Correspondence II (1936-1939)

GALLERY I: WINIFRED POWELL Correspondence I 1931-1935
IMAGES 001 – 039


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