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Archives & Manuscripts

Russell-Pownall-Walton Family Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-280
The collection contains papers from the Russell, Pownall and Walton families as well as a few items relating to the Stubbs family. These papers include the diaries and journals of Charles Regnier Russell, Elizabeth Pownall Russell, Bertha Walton Pownall and Gertrude Walton. Together, these diaries span the years from 1918 to 1949. The collection also contains genealogical records, reunion mementos, family photographs, marriage certificates and financial records.

Of particular interest is a series of letters sent by Charles Russell to Elizabeth Pownall before their marriage in 1922. These letters were sent while Charles Russell was traveling with the Swarthmore Chautauqua during the summer of 1921. The collection also includes Chautauqua memorabilia.


  • 1839-1983


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.


3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)


Journals, correspondence, and miscellaneous papers of the Russell, Pownall and Walton families of Pennsylvania. Of particular interest is material relating to the Swarthmore Chatauqua and to Swarthmore College.

Biographical / Historical

The Pownall and Walton were Pennsylvania Quaker families who came to reside in Delaware County. The bulk of the collection involves Charles Regnier Russell and his wife, Ruth Elizabeth Pownall. Charles (1901–1955) and Ruth (1900–1983) Russell were longtime residents of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and were graduates of Swarthmore College in the Class of 1923.

Charles Russell was the son of Percy Russell and Agnes O. Regnier, members of New York Monthly Meeting. After graduating from Swarthmore College, he traveled with the Swarthmore Chautauqua circuit during the summer of 1921. He married Ruth Pownall in 1922. He served as Director of the First National Bank of Delaware County in Media and operated a small auto repair shop in Swarthmore. Ruth Elizabeth Pownall was born to Vincent Stubbs Pownall (1870–1942) and Bertha Julia Walton (1871–1956) in 1900 and was raised in Swarthmore where she attended Swarthmore schools and was a member of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. Bertha Walton’s sister, Gertrude Anna Walton (1867–1943), remained unmarried.


Folder titles and contents have been largely retained as arranged by the Piccards. The collection is divided into seven series:
  1. Ser.1 Charles Regnier Russell and Ruth Elizabeth Pownall
  2. Ser.2 Vincent Stubbs Pownall and Bertha Julia Walton
  3. Ser.3 Pownall and Walton Family Biographical and Genealogical Papers

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog

Custodial History

This collection was collected and arranged by Joan Piccard and her daughter, Elizabeth Piccard. Joan is the daughter of Charles and Ruth P. Russell and married Donald Piccard.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elizabeth Piccard, 2012 [Accession 2012.004]

Separated Materials

Photographs received with this collection have been catalogued separately as PA 156. These include family photographs ca. 1871-1949, a photo album compiled by Charles Russell during his travels with the Chautauqua, and people and places in Swarthmore, Pa.


An Inventory of the Russell-Pownall-Walton Family Papers, 1839-1983
FHL staff
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA