Scope and Contents
The collection contains mainly correspondence sent by John E. Kaltenbach to his parents while attending Wesleyan, then Yale Divinity School, and later while he was working at Scattergood Hostel. It also includes correspondence sent by John's sister Louise to her parents, mostly while she was attending Swarthmore, 1935-1939. There are a few miscellaneous letters which John's parents received from other correspondents.
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 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.
Biographical / Historical
John E. Kaltenbach (1915-1984) grew up in Royersford, Pa. While studying at Wesleyan University, he was involved with the Christian Student Association and the founding of the Peace Action League. After graduating from Wesleyan, he attended Yale Divinity School and planned to become a minister. In 1939 he left Yale to work with refugees at the Scattergood Hostel, serving as acting director from 1938-1940. By the time he left Yale to work at Scattergood, he had become a Quaker. He married Ruth E. Stanton at Middletown Monthly Meeting, Delaware Co., Pa., in 1941. In later life, he helped found the Meeting School, Rindge, NH, and Woolman Hill Conference Center.
Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa, was a Quaker boarding school between 1890 and 1931. It was closed during the Depression, but reopened as Scattergood Hostel in 1938 when the American Friends Service Committee was searching for short-term housing for refugees from Europe. Between April 1939 and March 1943, Scattergood housed about 185 refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, including families and children. John Kaltenbach met the first four arriving guests at Philadelphia's YMCA and drove them to Iowa in April 1939. Most refugees stayed at Scattergood for 3-4 months. While living at Scattergood, refugees studied English, participated in work crews, and grew their own food. In 1944, Scattergood reopened as a school.