KITTY S. RUSSEL Correspondence 1929-1959

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff/Personnel
Kitty S. Russel Correspondence 1929-1959
Published 2021-03-10 HW/AAE

KITTY S. RUSSEL Correspondence 1929-1959
Teacher 1929-1930
Member, Advisory Board

TAGS: Kitty S. Russel, Kitty R. Goddard, Mrs. Wendell C, Goddard, correspondence, stern Union telegrams, Angela Melville, tutoring, Evelyn K. Wells, Glyn A. Morris, donations, Nan Milan, PMSS calendars, Alice Cobb, brooms, Laurel House fire, Henry Ford, Advisory Board, B.F. Hall

CONTENTS: KITTY S. RUSSEL Correspondence 1929-1959

[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, “EKW” are the initials for Evelyn K. Wells, and “AM” for Angela Melville. (Glyn A. Morris‘s letters rarely have that designation.) Letters from Kitty S. Russel (Goddard) are handwritten. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]


[001] through [001e] June 9, 1929. Six-page letter to Miss [Angela] Melville. [Notation at top of the page in red ink: “Miss [Katherine] Pettit, Will you please take care of the Fireside Industries part of this letter? AM”] “…I do not think that it is wise and right for me to accept the position you so kindly offered me at Pine Mountain. Having been out of college for three years, I think I feel very keenly the fact that I had no job so far. – Of course, my illness has [001a] had something to do with it, but I think that it behooves me now to get some intensive training so that I can begin to make up for lost time. I am hoping to take a course at the Merrill-Palmer School in Detroit. I have talked to Miss Mary Sweeny, the Associate Director, and our very first bond in common was the Pine Mountain School! …” 

Russel fondly recalls her PMSS visit with Katherine Pettit and [001b] Melville. [001c] She asks Melville to re-send a bill for furniture she purchased while at the School. [001d] She would also like to know the price of chairs she saw in the workshop attic. [001e] Closes with appreciation and regret she can’t join PMSS next fall.

[006] July 31, 1929. Western Union telegram to Melville at PMSS from Russel at Huron Mountain Club, Marquette, MI, accepting the tutor position “for this year.”

[002] August 7, 1929. To Russel at Huron Mountain Club, Huron Mountain, MI, from AM (Melville), who is happy that Russel has accepted the tutoring position; is placing her in Boys House with Miss [Margaret] Motter, who can help with planning. Melville hopes Russel can come to PMSS with “Harriet”; Russel should write to Mr. Gilbert Lewis of Pine Mountain, the new guide, to meet them. Describes the tutoring group which includes students in lower grades and special tutoring for the Junior High, and High School students. “This is an experiment with us this year and it will take time to get it going…” so Russel should not become discouraged. “…I am very happy indeed for us that you are to be here and I do hope Pine Mountain will bring happiness to you.”

[007] August 1, [no year]. Western Union telegram to Melville at AWA Club House, NYC, from Kitty Russel, accepting the tutor position.

[008] N.D. Western Union telegram to Melville from Russel at Grosspointe, MI, thanking her for her telegram; will arrive on the 20th with Harriett.

[009] through [009c] August 2, [no year]. Four-page letter to Melville from Russel at the Huron Mountian Club, Huron Mountain, MI. “Things are far better now than when I was at Pine Mountain in the spring, and I am really waiting with bated breath to hear from you early in the week … that you can take me….” Gives her addresses before and after August 14; will be in touch with Harriet; offers to bring needed books or anything else that could be useful.


[003] March 12, 1931. To Russel in NYC, signed “R.C.’ who asks if Russel would give a talk about PMSS to the Dwight School of Englewood, NJ. They requested someone to “speak to our girls about the wonderful work you are doing …” assuring that the talk would inspire donations to the PMSS Scholarship (consisting of an annual $150 to PMSS). Mentions taking over Sallie’s classes when she was sick; writing to DAR to thank them for donating items.

[004] April 24, 1931. To Russel at Vassar Club, Hotel New Weston in NYC, from EKW (Evelyn K. Wells), who asks her to send the Pine Mountain movie to Mr. Martin; Mrs. James R. Joy in Plainfield will write you; mentions the festival and Anna Murtland.

[005] May 1, 1931. To Russel in Grosse Pointe Village, MI, from EKW (Wells), who asked Helen de Long to send the movie to Mr. Martin instead of Russel; the people in Plainfield ought to see the movie.


[010] through [010d] March 13, 1937. Five-page letter to Glyn A. Morris from Kitty R. Goddard on letterhead for “In the Sea, Pass Christian, Mississsippi.” “It was a keen pleasure to Mr. Goddard and me to be able to visit the school…”; both appreciated Mrs. Morris’s hospitality; impressed by the new building, the children, and the workers. Both hope to return and stay longer at Pole House. Encloses a donation; offers clothing for the Ayers girls and Nan Milan; asking about Georgia Ayers coming out to do the type of job I outlined,” as companion and teacher for her children, who will do some housework and will become part of her family. 

[011] March 19, 1937. To Mrs. Wendell C. Goddard, Grosse Point, MI, from [unsigned, apparently Morris], thanking her for her gift of $25; accepts the clothing she offers; will let her know his decision about the position offered to one of the girls after Mr. [Everett K.] Wilson, the Counselor, arranges plans with the graduates for the coming year.

[012] through [012k]  July 20, 1937. Twelve-page letter to Morris from Goddard on letterhead for Huron Mountain Club, Huron, MI, [012] referring to her telegram which stated that she has not filled the position concerning Nan Milan; wishes she interviewed Milan while at PMSS; [012a] Goddard is concerned that, besides her job, she will be responsible for friends and outside activities for Milan. [012b] Asks Morris for more details about her and [012c] asks what Milan’s goal is for employment, [012d] how long she would stay; prefers more than a year. [012e] Suggests that Milan could take a course at the University in Detroit or a night course at the YWCA [012f] after she is acclimated to the city and her situation. Asks for advice about a beginning wage. [012g] – [012k] Mentions building a new house; duties of the upstairs “nurse” and the downstairs “cook.”

[013] , [013a] August 13, 1937. Two-page letter to Goddard from [unsigned, apparently Morris], stating that, after some investigating has decided that Milan is not qualified to do the work for Goddard. “…[W]e have been striving to help Nan find her place…. We feel a very strong sense of responsibility for any of the students when they have completed their work here….” Alternatively, Morris suggests Lela Christian.

[014] through [014b] December 8, [no year]. Three-page letter to Morris from Goddard, who praises the school calendar and asks for additional copies to send to others. Encloses addresses of “people who saw the children dance at Mr. Ford’s….” as contacts for PMSS. “How I would love to be at Pine Mt. for Christmas festivities.” Asks if she can purchase wreaths made by the girls.

[015], [015a] December 15, [no year]. Two-page letter to Miss [Alice] Cobb(?) from Goddard at Grosse Pointe Farms 30, MI, enclosing a check for brooms and calendar fund.

[016] December 15, 1937. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned, apparently Morris], thanking her for her December 8th letter, check, and list of names; encloses calendars she ordered. Regrets that the PMSS girls cannot make the wreaths she ordered. “The girls who need the money are not proficient enough at wreath making to warrant sending the wreaths out and collecting for them.” Morris recommends writing to Richard Baker in Gilley, KY, who can order them from Mrs. Bert Smith a wreath-maker.


[017] January 7, 1939. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned]. Referring to her letter of December 24th, a receipt for $7.00 is enclosed. Thanks her for her comment about the tables; an attempt will be made to correct the defects.

[018] July 18, 1939. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned], who is planning a trip through the Middle West in November on behalf of PMSS and asks for contacts in her area. Mentions a new motion picture of Pine Mountain that blends historical background with the current school and community; will sing “mountain ballads and teach country dancing, if necessary.” 

[019] September 15, 1939. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned], who presumes Goddard must have been away and encloses a copy of the letter she wrote in late summer. Also, encloses material about the [Guidance] Institute to show one of the ways PMSS is cooperating with Harlan authorities.

[020] through [020c] September 18, [no year]. Four-page letter to Morris from Goddard, who describes her November activities: community fund drive, heading an anniversary drive for Vassar College’s endowment, “where I was a student.” Regrets she can’t offer to “put on something for PMSS.” Praises Morris’s work on the Guidance Institute.

[021] November 15, 1939. To Mrs. Goddard from Fern Hall, Secretary, on PMSS letterhead, who asks Goddard for the address of Florence W. Orrell, of Detroit, who donated $50. Notation on the letter in Goddard’s handwriting: “Only name in telephone book is: Agnes Orrell,[ street], [phone number].”

[022], [022a] December 13, 1939. Two-page letter to Morris from Goddard, who encloses a donation; orders nine hearth brooms.

[023] December 18, 1939. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned, apparently Fern Hall], who thanks her for the gift and the address for Orrell; the brooms have been sent; mentions PMSS’s herd of 20 cows and the importance of a new calf that will be tenderly cared for by the students. [We hope that] here in this little valley is a place where the finest things in men are being strengthened and made secure. … Thank you for all that you do for Pine Mountain.”


[024] February 19, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned, apparently Morris], who asks her advice about approaching Mr. and Mrs. Ford for help in replacing the School’s “worn-out Fordson” tractor. Mentions burning down of Laurel House.

[025] through [025c] February 28, [no year]. Four-page letter to Morris from Goddard. “I will be very glad to go to Dearborn next week and call on one of the personal secretaries of Mr. Ford whom I know well….” Offers to sell brooms at a Junior League Shop, if they were less expensive.

[026] March 4, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from Morris, thanking her for her February 28 letter and check; will ask Mr. Hall about getting a reduction on the brooms; encloses price list for brooms; grateful that Goddard will see Mr. Ford’s secretary about a tractor for PMSS. 

[027] March 8, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned], who asks Goddard, as a member of the Advisory Board, to make corrections to the enclosed names and address cards for an Easter Week mailing of the appeal letter.

[028] March 11, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned]. The  broom-maker ( B.F. Hall) already gives the School a 25% reduction on each broom and can’t make them any cheaper.

[029] through [029b] October 28, 1940. To Morris from Mrs. Goddard, regretting that she could not do anything about the tractor. “I had a new baby in the summer and in the spring did not seem to accomplish all that I planned to.” She orders several brooms; asks about fitting new brooms on old handles.

[030] November 1, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from [unsigned], who has asked the bookkeeper, Miss Barbara Spelman, to order the brooms. Asked her to “make a try at the Fords regarding a tractor for Pine Mountains,” and would accept old or used models. Mentions the new Laurel House under construction and using the Thanksgiving Ball as a house warming event when it’s completed.

[031] November 15, 1940. To Mrs. Goddard from Secretary. Mr. Ball can put new brooms on old handles for half the price.


[032] through [032c] March 15, 1948. Four-page letter to Miss [Alice] Cobb from Mrs. Goddard, who regrets she cannot attend the Board meeting due to a planned trip with her eldest daughter and son. “I feel that I have been of no value as a member of the Advisory Board…. My connection with Pine Mountain is very dear to me, but the duties and cares of four children under fifteen have not left me much time for many outside jobs.” Suggests that changing the size of the PMSS calendar may increase sales.


[033] February 26, 1959. To [Burton] Rogers from Mrs. Goddard, who encloses a check as a partial gift “in response to a letter from Miss Kingman for ‘Operation Dishwasher.’” The rest of the gift will be sent before June 1 to make a total of $100. “…Mr. Goddard and I are glad to have a small part in what will surely be a welcome addition to your kitchen.”

[034] March 7, 1959. To Mrs. Goddard from Rogers, thanking her for her gift. Mentions that “Dr. Tootell is back for three months, coming from his retirement in Berkeley, California,” to run the clinic for the community, as a test of the public response. Welcomes Mr. and Mrs. Goddard to visit and “see Pine Mountain as it now is. I certainly hope you would not be disappointed.”

See Also KITTY S. RUSSEL Staff – Biography