ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence III

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff
Anna Brockschlager Correspondence III

ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence III, 1927 – 1946

Housemother, October 1924 – June 1925
Housekeeper at Medical Settlement Big Laurel, June 1926 – July 1928


TAGS: Anna Brockschlager, correspondence, Miss Fightmaster, Dr. Alfreda Withington, Christmas preparations, Medical Settlement Big Laurel, community work, Community House, Miss Wulf, housekeeping, Katherine Pettit, Ethel de Long Zande, Evelyn K. Wells, donations


Contents: ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence III, 1927 – 1946
Images 080 – 113

[Note: All letters from PMSS administrators are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The initials at the bottom left of most PMSS letters indicate the writer (along with the 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. Letters from Anna Brockschlager are typewritten originals except where noted. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in order of the image numbers. Transcriptions may be slightly edited.]


CONTENTS: 1927 (Continued)

[080] November 14, 1927. To Anna from [unsigned, apparently Zande], who looks forward to Anna’s visit.

[081] November 23, 1927. To Zande from Anna, who is planning to join Miss Fightmaster on a visit with Miss Krauss and Fightmaster’s brother and Hyden friends. Abner Causey is caring for Mrs. Asher; Harmon Turner is still clearing the field; Dr. [Alfreda] Withington worries about the expense.

[082] N.D. To Zande from Anna, who asks to borrow records for the new Victrola; asks if Miss Wright could help with Christmas parties.

[083] – [083a] December 5, 1927. To Zande from Anna, [083] asking for several “household needs”; thinking about one or more Christmas parties at Big Laurel, [083a] particularly one for the mothers.

[084] December 8, 1927. To Anna from [unsigned, apparently Zande], who advises about planning parties and coordinating with Miss Fightmaster and Miss [Anna] Wulf.

[086] December 15, 1927. To Zande from Anna. Asks for instructions for teaching Domestic Science to Maggie. “With your permission, Miss Fightmaster and I will do what we can to give Big Laurel something beside shooting, moonshine and fireworks for the Xmas time.”

[085] December 19, 1927. To Anna from EZ (Zande), who can’t spare Miss Wright to help with parties because she will be needed while Miss Jones is away. 

CONTENTS: 1928

[087] January 17, 1928. To “Miss Anna” from [unsigned], who thanks her for a book that is “a most interesting picture of Jewish ideals.” Hopes that both Anna and Miss Fightmaster will return next year; sends thanks to Maggie for her coffee cakes.

[088] – [088a] January 21, 1928. Two-page letter to Zande from Anna, [088] who asks about Abner Causey fixing the rock wall; gives reasons why she won’t return to Big Laurel next year. Explains why she wanted to do so much this Christmas. “I have never been able to make the memory of Merry Xmas with Mother take away the pain of Xmas without Mother. This year the gift of friendly feeling from my neighbors did much to bring the Christmas Spirit back to me ….” Glad to see the improvement in Savilla and Emily Turner. [088a] “You will have no trouble in finding some one to do the work better than I have done. You know I love Pine Mountain and the better I know my neighbors the more interesting I find them, but you also know my main job is not interesting and I do not love it. …” 

[089] N.D. To Zande from Anna. Mentions Till Harris, Ella Jane, Sally and Dave Harris, and Oscar Bagley; the Dinky.

[090] January 31, 1928. To Anna from [unsigned]. Encloses an outline of Anna’s work next year if she stays. Since Miss Wulf will not be returning next year, she suggests that Anna and Miss Fightmaster do the community work (“visiting, sewing and cooking classes, etc.”) and Maggie the housework; at $75 a month and living expenses. Mentions Mrs. Alderman, Sallie Harris, Til Harris.

[091] N.D. To Wells from Anna, who asks her to help with the enclosed letter.

[092] February 13, 1928. To Anna, who lists names of weavers in response to her friend’s letter.

[093] – [093a] N.D. To Zande from Anna, [093] who asks about trimming the fruit trees; a lamp for the Nurse’s room; garden seed. [093a] [On the reverse side of the letter is a note in shorthand.]

[094] – [094c] February 26, 1928. [094] Four-page letter to Zande from Anna, who advises her that rest is “the best medicine for a misbehaving heart” and to plan Big Laurel’s next year when she can’t sleep. Anna and Miss Fightmaster will visit “Mrs. Burns in their pretty new home.” [094a] 

[Shorthand responses display between paragraphs of the typewritten letter.]

Anna reminds Zande of the oversight that she provides at Big Laurel so that the budget is kept within bounds, observing that Pine Mountain workers expect more comforts than those at Piszah. Plans for summer and fall vacations. [094b] Suggests Maggie as her substitute while away; asks if she can have a substitute if Maggie visits Miss Fightmaster. Answers Zande’s question about a bakery at Big Laurel, stating that “Our neighbors could not be depended upon for purchasers [although] “Maggie’s art of baking is an envy to a few of our neighbors, especially to Ophia Jackson and Ella Jane Cornett.” Suggest that they learn to bake and take orders from PMSS workers for profit. [094c] Asked if there was a fund for Community House expenses. Taking short home study courses from Wisconsin University in Home Economics.

[095] – [095a] March 8, 1928. Two-page letter to Anna from [unsigned]. Answers Anna’s questions. (1) Next year, Anna “would give certain days a week to community work, and other days to planning things for the Medical Settlement family.” Miss Carpenter is returning. (2) Agrees to Anna’s vacation plans but she should not use Maggie as her substitute, but only in her usual position. (3) Will pay for a substitute when Maggie visits Miss Fightmaster. (4) If Big Laurel women could get good ingredients for baking “it would pay; but I believe a thing like that should be built up slowly, on its own success.” (5) There is no fund for the Community House. “I have asked Miss Wulf to submit any bills she couldn’t meet by local effort, to us. But I am hoping that more and more, the expenses of that house will be met right at Big Laurel.” (6) ”I should be delighted to have you….” [truncated]. [095a] “I still have too many rheumatic pains in my back, and too much trouble with breathing, to feel anything but sick. I consider that this is the first illness that I have ever had in my life, and don’t know how to take it very well. It seems so surprising not to feel better every day!”

 [096] – [096a] March 10, 1928. To Zande from Anna, who encourages her to try to rest. She will stay at Big Laurel if she can get away two months in the year. She is “not at all enthusiastic about the work for next year” and would be inspired by a meeting with Mrs. Zande but doesn’t want to take away her strength. Observes that there will be six in the Big Laurel family next year, all new except Miss Wulf. Describes Wulf’s “quiet, very reserved manner” but is very nice. Worries about Maggie’s work ethic during her absence, even though Dr. Withington “was willing to look after certain things.” [096a] Has given up on the idea of a bakery; updates Zande on the grubbing of the field and orchard.

[097] March 21, 1928. To Anna from EKW (Wells). Mrs. Zande’s regrets that she hasn’t time or strength to answer Anna’s March 10th letter. Wells relays Mrs. Zande’s advice about the field.

[098] – [098a] March 29, 1928. Two-page letter to Wells from Anna. Describes a “strained atmosphere but I think when the Doctor (Withington) has her good health again, all things will be cleared and we will be a happy family.” Vacation plans; [098a] Anna will stay until Wells’s niece arrives.

 [099] – [099a] N.D. Two-page letter to Wells from Anna, who asks about her vacation days. Miss Wulf has objections to the quality of the food due to a lack of a cow. [099a] Anna wishes she knew more when she told Mrs. Zande she would return next year. “…[U]nfortunately for me, it is now too late for me to accept the desirable work I…turned down for Big Laurel.” Asks if she can be at Big Laurel this summer; a friend may visit, the teacher, “with her Sunshine Girls, who has been looking after the Turner children at Blackey.”

[100] April 17, 1928. To Anna from [unsigned]. “Miss Wulf is interested to try the community and housekeeping position at Big Laurel next year.” It’s fine that Anna is there for the summer but Miss Wulf will arrive about mid-July; asks Anna if she can change the dates of her vacation, otherwise they will have Miss [Marian] Purbrick fill in. “This is a time that is hard for us all to go through with, and we all feel of course a new love for the work we are doing, as we are torn in many directions.” 

[101] April 27, 1928. To Wells from Anna. Leaving in mid-July “would suit me much better.”

[102] May 2, 1928. To Wells from Anna. “My sense of humor, generously missed [mixed?] with common sense, makes me more thankful each day for finding, before I commenced the work for next year, reasons why I could not do it successfully.

[103] May 2, 1928. To Anna from EKW (Wells), who assured Anna that the School has cards for “little Alice Boggs” on file.

[104] June 19, 1928. To Wells from Anna, about monthly statements.


[105] October 12, 1928. To Anna in Vevay, IN, from KP (Pettit), who is glad Anna’s friend is going “to have some aprons for us”; tuitions for Margaret Wilder and Polly; going with Big Laurel women to the Bennett Lewis rocks; upcoming events include the Harlan fair and Uncle Frank Browning’s funeral. 

[106] November 19, 1928. To Anna from [unsigned, apparently Pettit], who thanks Anna for the $10 tuition for Margaret Wilder. Tells about her concerns for Margaret Wilder’s schooling; meeting with friends at Polly Lewis’ house, including Jude, Betts and Til; picnicking with “mountain friends,” Mrs. Burns, Dehlia, Emily and Ora on Pilly’s porch and the foods they ate. Asks whether Anna is “going to Dobbs Ferry to the training school”; will provide references. Till was tried for moonshining, the woman Anna took to the temperance meeting.

CONTENTS: 1931

[107] April 25, 1931. To Wells from Anna. Sends a contribution to PMSS; hopes she can volunteer at PMSS in summer 1932. “I am so glad I saw Pine Mountain before its day of automobiles, busses and good roads.”

[108] May 1, 1931. To Anna in Portsmouth, NH, from EKW (Wells), Acting Director, thanking her for contributing to PMSS; “I am here only for a few weeks but feel as if I had never left. The worthwhile things are just as they always were and the changes are mostly for the better. Big Laurel, however, is having a hard time. The lumber camp has certainly impeded our progress there.” 

CONTENTS: 1936

[109] October 5, 1936. To “Dear Friends” from Anna in Vevay, IN. “The only news I now get is from Notes From Pine Mountain Settlement School. … [A]lthough all the present Pine Mountain workers are strangers to me I always think of all Pine Mountain workers as friends.” Asks for PMSS brochure to send to her friend who asked about coverlets; asks about Big Laurel’s special needs.

[110] October 14, 1936. To Anna in Vevay, IN, from [unsigned], who explains that PMSS sells coverlets for $25 each; encloses a folder of fireside products; has some on hand by Mrs. El Nolan. Updates about Medical Settlement, which continues as a social center, with Miss Barbara Bicknell of Fitchburg, MA, in charge for more than a year; lists the programs. Other updates: post office now run by Alice and George Boggs. “The Hi Turner family still live across the creek from the house…. Artie and Grace Lewis’s little sister Emily Rose is now at Pine Mountain School…. Grace is married and has two children….. Artie and Homer and their family still live on the creek.” Encloses pamphlet about the settlement.

CONTENTS: 1944 & 1946

[111] August 1, 1944. To Pine Mountain Settlement School from Anna at Bethany Home, Glendale, OH, who sends $5 for the Medical Settlement. Asks the address for Dr. Alfreda Withington.

[112] August 11, 1944. To Anna from H.R.S. Benjamin, Director, who thanks Anna for her donation and provides Withington’s addresses: Dodge Hotel, Washington, DC, and Phillips House, Boston Hospital, Boston, MA. 1150 2-qt jars of beans have been filled and the same is planned for tomatoes.

[113] February 20, 1946. To Anna from H.R.S. Benjamin, Director, who thanks her for her $15 donation to the Medical Settlement. “…[W]e have not been carrying on a program there under direct sponsorship of the school for several years. The resident at present is doing community work and taking care of the property for us, but we hope very soon to resume regular work there when the right people have been found to do this work. …”


For images [001] through [044] go to:
ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence I, 1924 – 1926

For images [045] through [079] go to:
ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence II, 1927

See Also:
ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Staff – Biography
LINE FORK Settlement
MEDICAL SETTLEMENT Big Laurel


Gallery: ANNA BROCKSCHLAGER Correspondence III, 1927 – 1946