ANNA WULF PISHZAK Correspondence I

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Ann Wulf Pishzak Correspondence II 
Teacher of Home Economics, Pine Mountain Settlement School, 1925-1927, 1931-1932
Teacher, Primary Grades at Big Laurel 1928-1929, 1938-1944
[Published 2021-Feb-21 aae]

ANNA WULF PISHZAK Correspondence I, April 1925 – Dec. 1938

TAGS: Anna Wulf, Anna Wulf Pishzak, correspondence, Ethel de Long Zande, Lewis Institute in Chicago, domestic sciences, home economics, Girl’s Industrial Building, cooking, sewing, Medical Settlement Big Laurel, photography, telegrams, Practice House

CONTENTS: Anna Wulf Pishzak Correspondence I

[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 many 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, “AM” to Angela Melville, and “GAM” to Glyn A. Morris. Letters from Anna Wulf are handwritten unless indicated otherwise. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]

1925 Applying for a PMSS Position

[001], [001a] April 14, 1925. PMSS Application Blank for “Anna Wulf,” Chicago IL.
Age: 30
Education: B.S. degree in Domestic Economy at the Lewis Institute of Chicago … graduate of the Moody Bible Institute.
Interests: teaching cooking, sewing, general science … Sunday School work and religious work among young people.
Preferred Salary: $75.00 a month with expenses
How did you become interested in PMSS work? Through Miss Grace (Gordon) Hood of Lewis Institute.
Three names and addresses of references are listed.

[001a] Reverse side of [001]. Wulf writes that she could teach other subjects as well if she has time to prepare. “I am dependent upon myself for support. My father and mother are partially dependent upon me. However, if $75.00 with expenses is too high, I should consider a little lower salary, provided it is liveable.”

[002], [002a] May 4, 1925. Response to request for reference from Ethel Zande, PMSS, Member, Executive Committee, for Anna Wulf. Handwritten entries include “Personality – pleasant, good-natured, placid, self-possessed, rather athletic, poetical.” 

[003], [003a] April 28, 1925. Response to Zande’s request for a reference for Anna Wulf. Handwritten note on the reverse side: ”Miss Wulf has expressed a desire to teach in a missionary school; with such a spirit she may put whole-hearted endeavor in working among your people. … Unlike many of the students now in school, she does not seem to find the excitement of city surroundings necessary to her happiness.”
[004] April 24, 1925. Response to Zande’s request for a reference for Anna Wulf. 

[004a through 004d] March 29, 1925. To Zande from Wulf in Chicago, IL, relating her interest in the vacancy at PMSS, as reported to her by Miss Grace Hood of the Lewis Institute of Chicago. She graduated from Lewis Institute in 1918 with a B.S. in Domestic Economy. “Since graduation, I served as the chemist for a flour milling company for four years, and then as draftsman and supervisor in a large concern where I am at present employed.” No teaching experience except practice teaching at Lewis Institute. Also, graduate of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, and would like “to do some religious work along with the regular work. … I am interested, not so much in the salary, but in the possible benefit I might be to the people with whom I work.”

[005] April 8, 1925. To Wulf from EZ (Zande), who encloses a questionnaire for Wulf to complete and return. “I am glad that you want to come to the mountains really to help. You would find a tremendous need for simple teaching in cooking and sewing among our girls.”

[006] May 4, 1925. Handwritten letter to Zande from Helen Sikuta, Chicago, IL, who apologizes for the delayed return of the questionnaire. “I know you will find in Miss Wulf a worthy member of your faculty.”

[007] May 7, 1925. To Miss Mable Whittaker, Chicago, IL, from EZ (Zande), who asks her to interview Anna Wulf.
[008] May 7, 1925. To Wulf from EZ (Zande), who asks here to meet with Miss Whittaker, a former PMSS worker.
[009] May 28, 1925. To Wulf from EZ (Zande), who heard from Miss Whittaker that Wulf would “fit in here very well.” However, Zande asks if Wulf would wait a couple of weeks while Zande looks into another applicant who has recent teaching experience.

[010] through [010b] May 28, 1925 (hand-stamped). Three-page handwritten letter to Zande from Whittaker, who describes her meeting with Wulf, “a poised, unassuming girl…she has a quiet sense of humor and is the kind of girl I would like to have for a friend. … I should think a girl with a stronger personality would be better for that particular job, but Pine Mountain does things to these ‘mouse’ types that bring out their best.”

[011] through [011c] June 2, 1925. Four-page letter to Zande from Wulf concerning her meeting with Whittaker. [011b – page 2] She understands she is “under a serious handicap in not having had more teaching experience.” [011a – page 3] But she believes “that where God calls He also enables.” She has also applied to a missionary board but prefers PMSS.

[012] June 9, 1925. To Wulf from [unsigned, apparently Zande], who asks Wulf “to come to Pine Mountain next year as teacher of cooking and sewing from August 24th to May 15th, at $60.00 a month and living.” Describes how little some of the girls know about sewing, cooking, or housework, so her teaching “should be intensely practical.” Asks Wulf to arrive early to become acquainted with the country and the girls. Tells her the type of clothing to bring; Encloses traveling directions.

[013] through [013c] June 15, 1925. Four-page letter to Zande from Wulf, who accepts Zande’s offer. Asks about equipment; whether to bring suitcases or a trunk; class sizes; whether workers use the swimming pool.

[014] June 18, 1925. To Wulf from EZ (Zande), who answers Wulf’s questions. Describes the new building for teaching Domestic Science and its equipment [Girl’s Industrial Building]; a trunk can be checked to Putney and brought to PMSS on the lumber train; workers can use the pool; classes vary from six to seven or from twelve to fifteen.

[015] through [015b] July 28, 1925. Three-page letter to Zande from Wulf, who wrote to Mr. Wilson Lewis to meet her at Laden on August 12. She is still waiting for the teaching schedules.

September 1925 – June 1927 Teaching At PMSS


[016] July 31, 1925. To Wulf from EZ (Zande), who provides details of the teaching schedule which she has yet to write down, stating which grades will have cooking, sewing, weaving, and home economics.

[017], [018], [019] August 2, 1926. Bills from a Cincinnati company to EZ, Cooking Department, for specified amounts of cooking ingredients.

[020] August 14, 1926. To Wulf in Chicago from [unsigned, apparently Zande], who asks if Wulf, when she returns from summer break, will move from Laurel House to Far House for the year; describes her plans “to make a general shuffle in workers.” The School has 54 continuing students plus new ones.

[021] December 30, 1926. To Wulf in Chicago from EZ (Zande), thanking her for the picture, which she will send to her mother; enjoying Christmas holidays, but “hating to lose my sister tomorrow.”


[022] June 2, 1927. To Wulf in Chicago from EKW (Evelyn K. Wells), wishing her a “fine vacation and a good rest.” Wells asks Wulf to send new pictures, which will be used in the School’s literature. Mentions Miss [Dorothy] Bolles and Miss Cunningham’s orders. “Mrs. Zande and Berto went with Miss [Abby] Christensen and Miss Burger to South Carolina…Miss [Ruth] Gaines, Miss Heney and Miss Davis…went by but as far as possible towards Washington.”
[023] June 20, 1927. To Wulf from EKW (Wells), thanking her for the pictures and enclosing a check for them. Wulf will return from her holiday in July.

[024] September 24, 1927. To Wulf from [unsigned], asking Wulf if she would sleep in Miss (Pearl) Fightmaster’s room for a night while the trachoma doctor and nurse are at the School for a clinic.

1928 – 1929 Teaching at Big Laurel School


[025] March 8, 1928. To Wulf at Big Laurel, KY, from EZ (Zande), who is interested in Wulf’s suggestion to stay at PMSS this summer, suggesting a housemothering job. “I am so glad you are enjoying the little school….”

[026] May 24, 1928. To “Gentlemen” at Animal Husbandry Department, Experiment Station, University of Kentucky, Lexington from KP (Katherine Pettit, Co-director), requesting bulletins concerning cows and dairy barns for Wulf.

[027] June 14, 1928. To Wulf in Chicago from EKW (Wells), reporting when Big Laurel School opens. Provides the address for “K. Wright,” at Dobbs Ferry, NY. Wells mentions her vacation in South Carolina.

[028] September 1, 1928. To Miss [Angela] Melville from Wulf, who confirms that $85 is her salary “but Miss Wells informed me when I took the new position for this year that I would [be] getting an increase…. After three years of service for the school, and a combination of positions here this year, I really believe I am entitled to an increase….”


[029] June 20, 1929. To Wulf from AM (Melville), sending her, at Pettit’s direction, a check for planting a field and cleaning the Community House, charging it to the Medical Settlement operating expenses. Asks what the Medical Settlement pays for labor per day.


[030] April 30, 1930. Reference for Wulf, written by Angela Melville. “She came to Pine Mountain in the summer of 1925 and taught sewing and cooking to the girls in the school for two years. Then she went to the Medical Settlement….” Handwritten notation in margin: “To Mr. Yates. Also to Am. College Bureau, Chicago.”

1931 – 1932 Teaching at Practice House


[031], [031a] April 28, 1931. Two-page letter to Wells from Wulf in Chicago, asking “if there will be any vacant position on your staff which I could fill.” She expresses interest in housemother or office work but prefers teaching the primary children.

[032] May 2, 1931. To Wulf from EKW, Acting Director (Wells), who lists the positions that might interest Wulf; (1) running Practice House; (2) summer work with Emily and Miss Gaines as housemother and kitchen help; (3) Companion for Miss Taylor for the summer at Big Laurel. (4) teaching a group of the younger children in the Schoolhouse. Wells lists the salaries for each job.
[033], [033a] May 7, 1931. Two-page letter to Wells from Wulf, who accepts the Practice House position and asks for more details.
[034] May 14, 1931. To Wulf from EKW (Wells), who is “delighted” about Wulf’s decision; wishes Practice House was still called “Country Cottage”; suggests that she contact Miss Jessie Ross in Wheeling, WVA, for information about “how she managed things this year.” Mentions having a “dogwood winter.”

[035] July 30, 1931. To Wulf from GAM, Director (Glyn A. Morris), who asks her to arrive by August 21 to prepare for School opening.

[036] November 23, 1931. To Wulf from [unsigned], Secretary, Meeting announcement.


[037] January 20, 1932. To Wulf from [unsigned]. Citizen’s National Bank in Harlan, KY, has closed and her check was not deposited.

[038] May 12, 1932. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; Reference for Wulf written by Morris. “Miss Wulf is quiet and unassuming but enters whole-heartedly into all of the activities of the school.”

1938 Working at Medical Settlement, Big Laurel

[039] January 12, 1938. Western Union telegram to Mrs. William Pishzak (Anna Wulf) in Chicago from Morris, asking of her interest in a Medical Settlement position.
[040], [040a] January 14, 1938. Two-page letter to Pishzak from [unsigned, likely Morris], responding to her December 12th telegram. The position at the Medical Settlement is the result of needing someone to live there; describes plans for training Practice House girls in home economics there. Also, a small power plant will be installed there for electrical lighting and to show movies to the community.
[041] January 16, 1938. Western Union telegram to Morris from Pishzak, accepting the position.
[042] January 16, 1938. To Morris from Pishzak, accepting the position. “My former two years at Medical Settlement stand out distinctly in my mind as two years of enjoyable work.” PAGE 2 IS MISSING.
[043], [043a] January 20, 1938. Two-page letter to Pishzak in Chicago from [unsigned, likely Morris], who is glad she accepted the position. Salary is $50 a month with $10 a month maintenance. “The entire Settlement will be under your care.…”; garden; clubs and classes; community group program; vacation allowance; insurance plan for workers; retirement income policy.
[044] February 3, 1938. To Morris from Pishzak concerning her arrival date.
[046] February 8, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned], concerning her arrival.
[045] February 22, 1938. To Morris from Pishzak. She will stay overnight with Mrs. Creech after arriving in Harlan.

[047] March 21, 1938. To Pishzak at the Medical Settlement, Big Laurel, KY, from Morris, who will arrange for Mrs. Ollinger to relieve her once a week; advises ordering dairy feed from H.T. Hackney and Company; will see Nancy Boggs about the cow.
[048] March 28, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned]. Re-scheduling Mrs. Ollinger’s visits.
[049] April 18, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned], concerning sawdust, a milk bucket, and breeding the cow.

[050] April 21, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Pishzak, asking his opinion on accepting Miss Miller’s offer to play the piano for the group singing at Sunday School.

[051] April 22, 1938. To Pishzak from Morris, who discourages her to include Miss Snyder or Miss Miller in work at Big Laurel, writing “I believe that the situation will resolve itself eventually to friendliness.” Morris has written to Mr. Braker, who heads the organization that finances Snyder and Miller.

[052] April 28, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Pishzak asking about the bus for the students and buying soybeans.

[053] June 22, 1938. To Arthur Dodd, PMSS Acting Director, from [unsigned]. Asked to replace Grace Lewis with Elizabeth Miniard for help with canning.
[054] June 23, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned]. More about scheduling Elizabeth Miniard, Grace Lewis, and Emily Rose [Lewis].

[055] July 1, 1938. To Mr. Wilson from Pishzak, asking for help with “our Delco” so that there will be lights for a party that night. [056] Notations on the reverse side of [055].

[057] July 29, 1938. To Morris from Pishzak, reporting that Chloe Smith will be absent for the week and the need for Lillian to stay.

[058] August 28, 1938. To Morris from Pishzak in Chicago, informing him of her arrival date, including an overnight with Mrs. Creech.

[059] October 3, 1938. To Pishzak at Medical Settlement, Big Laurel, from [unsigned], who advises that Pishzak have an employer in charge of the Settlement in her absence, such as Miss Smith.
[060] October 5, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Pishzak, who agrees to having Miss Smith in charge.

[061] November 8, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned], asking about prevalence of gum-chewing among Medical Settlement girls.
[062] November 11, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Pishzak, about allowing gum-chewing, per Black Book, article 15, except at parties. She will now forbid it except in their rooms.

[063] November 16, 1938. To Pishzak from Morris, who asks if Mr. Ellsworth M. Smith can stay at the Medical Settlement while visiting PMSS. He is the Director of Adult Education Cooperative Project, Conference of the Southern Mountain Workers, who is starting clubs of “older people to study their problems together.”

[064] November 17, 1938. To Pishzak from [unsigned], informing her of Morris’s absence for a week and enclosing literature.

[065] December 12, 1938. Western Union telegram to Morris from Pishzak, expressing interest in a position and asking him to hold it open for two months. 

[066], [067] December 27, 1938. Two-page letter to Dodd from Pishzak in Chicago, asking to stay longer in Chicago. “I am quite tired and feel that a rest will do me good.” She worries “that some of the boys might run in too frequently at the Medical Settlement in her absence,” and suggests that he look into it. 
[068] Western Union telegram to Pishzak from Dodd, telling her when to return.

Next: ANNA WULF PISHZAK Correspondence II, 1939 – 1961
See Also: ANNA WULF PISHZAK Staff – Biography