Biographical / Historical
Charles F. Jenkins was born December 17, 1865, the eldest of seven children of Howard M. Jenkins and Mary Anna (Atkinson) Jenkins. His father was a scholar of Pennsylvania history, active in the Society of Friends, editor of Friends Intelligencer, and a member of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. In 1890 Charles Jenkins married Maria Cope, and he became editor and publisher of Farm Journal, a magazine founded by his uncle, William Atkinson.
Charles F. Jenkins was active in Quaker concerns, including serving as Clerk of Green Street Monthly Meeting (1901-43) and Treasurer of the American Friends Service Committee (1917-1930), the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1919-1934), Friends Boarding Home Committee of the Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, and the Quaker periodical, Friends Intelligencer. He was active with his father, Howard M. Jenkins, in the development of the Inn and Community of Buck Hill Falls in Pennsylvania. He was a Manager of Swarthmore College for 40 years and President of the Board from 1933 to 1944. He also was a founder of the Ozone golf club and the Friends Social Union, President of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, a member of the American Philosophical Society and many other learned, social, and philanthropic organizations. In addition, he was an historian of Germantown, Pennsylvania, an author, and poet, as well as interested in horticulture. His garden, "Far Country," on his estate in Germantown included a hemlock arboretum and a Signer's Walk with stepping stones commemorating the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Jenkins also collected autographs of prominent Quakers and other important reformers. He established the Howard M. Jenkins Professorship of Quaker History and Research (later the Howard M. and Charles F. Jenkins Professorship) at Swarthmore College in memory of his father. He died July 2, 1951.