Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff/Personnel
Ruth Elizabeth Campbell Correspondence
Office Secretary & Teacher (1927-1931); Advisory Board
Published 2021-03-19 aae

July 1927- February 1931

TAGS: Ruth Elizabeth Campbell, application to PMSS, Hubert Hadley, Evelyn K. Wells, Angela Melville, Glyn Morris, Wellesley College, secretaries, teachers, Berryville VA, New York City, Ethel de Long Zande, Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, Cooperative Bureau of Women Teachers, fundraising

CONTENTS: Ruth Elizabeth Campbell Correspondence I
Overview by Year

[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” refers to Ethel de Long Zande, “HH” to Hubert Hadley, and “AM” to Angela Melville. Letters from Ruth Elizabeth Campbell are handwritten, unless specified otherwise, and original. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]


[003] January 28, 1927. An application blank with the heading for “The Cooperative Bureau for Women Teachers,” NYC, with handwritten entries by Ruth Elizabeth Campbell.
Permanent Address: Berryville, VA
Foreign residence or travel: India 1906-1910
Foreign language: French
Academic honors: Entered college on “Roll of Honor” list; Sophomore year, “Honorable Mention – Group II”; Junior year, “Wellesley Scholar”
Musical training: Piano, 5 years
Clubs/Societies: Choir, Agora Society, Christian Association … Scribblers; Student trustee, Hathaway House Bookshop
Sports: Crew
Birth: 15 August 1906 in Mussoorie, India
Colleges: Hannah More Academy (Reisterstown, Baltimore County, MD) (1922-23), Wellesley College (1923-27, English Literature & Composition)
Special Studies: Modern Education: Principles and Institutions; Psychology
Degree: B.A., 1927

[004] March 1, 1927. Carbon copy of a typewritten report from Cooperative Bureau for Women Teachers, listing statements concerning Campbell from four professors at Wellesley College.

[002] June 28, 1927. To Evelyn K. Wells at PMSS from Angela Melville, Director, Cooperative Bureau for Women Teachers, NYC, who encloses records for Campbell and Miss Gertrude E. Bohmfalk, who was also interested in the high school position. “You will notice that Miss Campbell has had no teaching experience, but that her letters from Wellesley are excellent, with promise that she can make an unusually fine teacher. I hope that you can consider her.” Mentions that Campbell will be at the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry for a month in the summer as an undergraduate assistant. (Handwritten notation at bottom of page: “Still looking for that letter! Love to you all.”)

[005], [005a] June 26, 1927. Two-page typewritten letter to Wells from Campbell in Berryville, VA, expressing her interest in the PMSS vacancy for a teacher of English and History, and providing details of her education and experience. 

[006] July 1, 1927. To Campbell from [unsigned], who tells Campbell that the School would like to consider her if an experienced teacher for the high school cannot be found. “If you know anything about the mountains, you know how beautiful and full of possibilities they are for helping people. … The teachers live in the dormitories — cottages, they really are, taking part in the life of the children very fully and completely. They supervise study hour, help clean the schoolhouse, take Sunday School classes, and fill in in other ways, besides their teaching. As half the school works while the other half goes to school, the teaching schedule is rather light.” Asks Campbell to make arrangements to be interviewed by Mrs. [Ethel de Long] Zande, Co-Director, who will be in New York.

[001] July 4, 1927. Application Blank for PMSS position with handwritten entries by “Campbell, Ruth Elizabeth,” Berryville, VA. Age: 20.
Education: “Principles of Education (some observation, but no practice); a semester’s work in Psychology
Interests at PMSS: “The industrial work, aside from the ? academic.”
Training for this work: ?Work with a small class of maids; work at the Bryn Mawr summer school for industrial girls, July 15 – August 15, 1927.”
Other interests: “The development of Schools for Women in Industry.”
Enjoy the country? “Very much indeed…[have lived in the country] for the greater part of my life.’
How did you become interested in PMSS work? “Through the Cooperative Bureau, Deaconess Williams, and the work done at Berea.”
Miss Campbell provides two references and has “references on file with the Cooperative Bureau.”
[001a] Note on reverse side of [001], handwritten by Campbell: “I am deeply interested in the work done by the Pine Mountain School, both in the Industrial Training given and in the extension work, although I fear I should not be of much service in either field of work, since I am wholly without training.” She mentions learning the basics of weaving baskets with reeds and woodcarving at a girl’s camp one summer. “I am also particularly pleased to learn that the Pine Mountain School is conducted on lines not wholly different from those upon which the Francis Parker and the Lincoln schools are based.”

[007] July 4, 1927. To Campbell from [unsigned, possibly Mrs. Zande], notifying her of a change in plans; will not be in New York, but will arrive in Baltimore on July 8, where she hopes to meet with Campbell. Gives her contact information as in care of Dr. Howard Kelly in Baltimore. ”...[E]xcept in your case we are not considering any inexperienced applicants. I feel that you could contribute largely to the life of our young people, and of course it would be a wonderful experience for you.

[008] July 4, 1927. Typewritten letter to Zande in NYC, from Campbell, who agrees to meet with Zande for an interview.
[008a] July 8, 1927. Handwritten notes on the reverse side of [002]: “Engaged her for history, physical science and swimming, …or fitting in where needed. $500 + living, a lovely person, Balt…..”

[009] July 22, 1927. To Campbell from EZ [Zande], confirming their interview, “offering you the work at Pine Mountain next year at $500.00 for nine months, and living.” Encloses check to cover her travel expenses to Baltimore; asks her to arrive on August 19 or 20 to fill in as secretary during Miss Wells’s two-week absence; encloses travel directions.

[010], [010a] July 28, 1927. Handwritten two-page letter to Zande from Campbell at Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, Bryn Mawr, PA, who agrees to arrive on August 20th to help in the Office. Expresses her anticipation of PMSS work. “Among the tutors and instructors here, moreover, I have become an object of interest because of this engagement.”

[011] July 28, 1927. To Zande from Campbell, confirming the Baltimore interview on July 8; records in writing (as Zande requested) that she accepts the position as PMSS teacher for 9 months at a salary of $500.00 plus maintenance.

[012] August 2, 1927. To Campbell from EZ [Zande]. Welcomes her in August; suggests that she bring Deaconess Williams (who is a guardian of one of the boys at PMSS).

[013] through [013k] N.D. (Notation: “Dec. ‘27“), Twelve-page letter to Zande from Campbell at St. Joseph’s Infirmary [in Louisville, KY], [013]-[013a] who greatly appreciates the box of items from Zande. [013b] She becomes philosophical and asks, “Do you not admire the serious turn my mind has taken since my fall? From necessity, since I cannot use my feet, I use my head. I am not yet as agile with the one as I was with the other.” She thanks Zande for the book; [013c] mentions Willa Cather and “The Professor’s House”; writes a poem about her bed-ridden condition. [013d]-[013f] Describes being “carried across Pine Mountain on a stretcher on a glorious December day, with shadows on the snow on Black Mountain, and the sound of wind coming down the hollows….surrounded by an escort of six mountain men. Lighted only by a lantern and a flashlight. You wait for the train; till you’re hoisted from below and pulled from above through a Pullman window by the assistance of interested brakemen, conductors, and passengers, and lowered again the next morning by the same method to the Louisville platform, to the great pleasure of all onlookers. There is zest in such a trip.”

[013f] Mentions Mr. Lewis, Mr. Bailey [Dr. Clark Bailey)], and Brit [Wilder] as among the six who carried her over the mountain. [013g]-[013i] Describes her care by nurses, interns, and the sisters; her aunt’s visit; leaves for home on Friday, which she describes. [013j], [013k] Dr. Abell tells her that her recovery may take 6-8 weeks, which depresses her. “[I] shall miss Pine Mountain more every day.” 


[014] January 9, 1928. to Campbell in Berryville, VA, from EZ [Zande], who is sorry for Campbell’s “hard luck” and looks forward to her return in possibly 5 weeks. Miss Gallagher is taking Campbell’s English classes and typing; Mr. Argetsinger has her history classes and Miss Wood is overseeing the girls’ gym classes.

[015] January 23, 1928. to Campbell from [unsigned], who “wonders how things are going inside that cast of yours. I do hope you are getting along with passable comfort and I know you are most cheerful about it all.” Gives PMSS updates, mentioning Miss [Abby] Christensen; mumps; Miss Wells; Elena.

[016] February 3, 1928. To Campbell from EZ [Zande], who asks Campbell to help with a campaign to get new subscribers to replace the loss of 153 of them in the last 3 years; encloses five subscription cards and literature. “…[W]e rarely lose a subscriber through lack of interest [but through] death or disaster!”

[017] February 15, 1928. To Campbell from [unsigned], who hopes the doctor will let Campbell return by March 1; wonders if she is “trying out Christian Science”; suggests filling out her 9 months by staying at PMSS after school closes and helping, such as running Far House. Mentions the book, “The Dancing Floor” that she has sent to Campbell.


[018] April 9, 1929. To Campbell from MP, stating the rules of the swimming pool, including that every girl has a warm shower with soap in the Infirmary before entering the pool.

[019] June 13, 1929. To Campbell in NYC from AM [Angela Melville], asking Campbell to meet with Margaret J. Hudson of Plainfield, NJ, who is interested in PMSS’s music position; recommended by the Cooperative Bureau.


[020] January 29, 1930. To Ruth [Campbell] at Women’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH, from [unsigned, apparently Melville]. Asks Campbell if she will stay with Mr. [Hubert] Hadley (PMSS Director) until school re-opens; “…[R]emember to be really well before you do come.” Mrs. Weber is leaving mid-February, so another temporary person will need to be found to fill in until Campbell’s return. Mentions Mr. Meldrum and Mrs. Roan.

[021] through [021c]. February 1, 1930. Four-page letter to Melville from Campbell, who will stay at PMSS through the summer until school re-opens, stating “Unless I had decided on that, I could not have accepted the salary for my vacation.” Encloses $15 check for Mrs. Jackson for a blanket. 

[022] March 7, 1930. To Cooperative Bureau of Women Teachers, NYC, from [unsigned], describing Campbell’s work. Miss Campbell has been at Pine Mountain for three years. For the first two years, she taught physical education, coached basketball, and taught folk dancing. She studied shorthand and typewriting last summer and returned to PMSS in the fall as a secretary for four months until she became ill and required surgery. She is expected to return in April to complete her year’s work. Describes Campbell as a person with charm, well-bred, capable and loyal. “She is intellectual combined with which she loved out of doors, so that she has fitted in rather remarkably in a place of this kind.”

[023] March 24, 1930. Western Union telegram to Melville from Campbell, who expects to return on April 6.

[025] March 31, 1930. To Melville from Campbell in Berryville, VA. “Tooth healing very slowly”; arriving April 11.

[024] May 5, 1930. Typewritten letter to Mr. Hadley in Venus, TX, from Campbell on PMSS letterhead, stating that she has, after talking with Melville, reconsidered her plans and offered to stay at PMSS past summer to work for the school, if her health permits. She asks to have the responsibility of writing a good many of the letters. “There are very few outside diversions here, and since one’s job is one’s main interest here, I want it to be as live a one as possible.” She relays a message from Miss [Katherine] Pettit concerning hiring a PMSS farmer.

[026], [026a] October 15, 1930. Two-page letter to Campbell in NYC from HH (Hadley]. Agrees to Campbell’s request for a longer absence, although it is some extra work for Miss Conn. The overhauled “big engine” is back in service and the School has ‘fairly good lights.” Mentions the Depression. Miss Conn took care of the New Canaan Association Notes.

[027] NO IMAGE


[028] February 23, 1931. To Miss Edith Sprague, Wellesley (MA) College Personnel Bureau from Hadley. RE: “Concerning Miss Ruth Elizabeth Campbell,” who was a PMSS worker since 1927; at first as a class instructor and later transferred to the administrative staff as the school secretary. Hadley then describes the duties of the secretary, all of which Campbell met. She has also “shown marked executive ability in the administration of various projects…” and assisted in writing school literature that is published 3 or 4 times a year. “I have found Miss Campbell thoroughly satisfactory to work with. It is entirely of her own choosing that she is leaving this position….”


RUTH ELIZABETH CAMPBELL Correspondence II – February 1931-December 1932
RUTH ELIZABETH CAMPBELL Correspondence III – March 1934-December 1935

See Also:
– Biography