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Howard Haines Turner Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-210

Scope and Contents

The Turner Papers are the archives of H. Haines Turner. Materials include a full range of personal documents, diplomas and certificates, financial and medical records, some personal and family correspondence, particularly in his later years, as well as his files of the courses that he taught at Earlham, Indiana University, and other institutions of higher learning. Of particular interest are his letters home from Vietnam while he was there under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in the mid 1960's; some of these were previously published by the AFSC. Also included is his correspondence with prisoners in Indiana and documentation of the work that he did with inmates.


  • Creation: 1927-1995


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Biographical / Historical

Howard Haines Turner (1909-1996) was a Quaker economist and educator who was active in a variety of social concerns, particularly in improving the justice system. He also had a lifelong interest in cooperative communities and worked in South Vietnam under the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 12, 1909, the son of Henry Chandlee (1871-1954) and Charlotte Chapman (1877-1942) Turner, he graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science in 1930. He married Catherine Pierson (1910-1999) two days after his Commencement, and then left for Europe to study at the London School of Economics. The couple returned to the United States the following year. Haines Turner did graduate study at Columbia University from 1931-33, and was awarded a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1941.

Turner held a number of jobs during his career. He began work as a statistician with the economic advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was employed as the Executive Secretary of the District of Columbia Cooperative Federation from 1937-38, and also was an instructor at the University of Texas and the Wharton School. In 1941 he joined the staff of Pendle Hill, a Quaker conference center in suburban Philadelphia, Pa., where he developed short-term courses to broaden the outlook of labor union members. In 1957 he joined the faculty of Earlham College, and two years later moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where he was an Associate Professor of Labor and Economics at Indiana University. He retired from Indiana in 1973.

Partially due to the influence of Clair Wilcox at Swarthmore College, Haines Turner refused his inheritance from his father, one of the founders of Turner Construction Company. He strongly believed in living on the fruits on his own labor. While he was at Pendle Hill, Turner took a leave of absence to work as a laborer for Magma Copper Company in Arizona, a farm hand at Losantville, Indiana, and machine operator for Chevrolet Motor Company in Muncie, Indiana. From 1951-1952 he worked as an office worker, and later worked for the American Labor Education Service and for the Amalgamated Food and Allied Workers Union of New Jersey. His job at Indiana allowed him to develop off-campus courses for labor unions in the State, establish advisory committees of local union officers, and coordinate a Union Leadership Program. After his retirement he continued to work part-time for the Labor Center.

Turner was an active member of the Society of Friends. In 1966-1967, he took a leave of absence and did volunteer work for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), establishing a social service project in South Vietnam and recruiting personnel for a medical project at Quang Ngai. At home, he was involved in working to improve conditions in the penal system. He visited prisoners in the local county jail, maintained correspondence with some of them, and tried to assist in their rehabilitation. He was a cofounder of Citizens for Juvenile Justice. He and his wife played a significant role in founding the Community Kitchen of Bloomington in 1982. He was also one of the founders of Harmony School in 1975, which was originally begun to serve disadvantaged children. He was also interested in intentional and cooperative communities. His wife, nicknamed Cay, was born Catherine Clark Pierson (1910-1999), the daughter of Senator and Mrs. Arthur Pierson of Westfield, N.J. She graduated from the Mary Lyon School of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and was a member of the class of 1933 of Swarthmore College.


8 linear ft. (16 boxes)

Language of Materials



Howard Haines Turner (1909-1996) was a Quaker economist and educator who was active in a variety of social concerns, particularly in improving the justice system. He also had a lifelong interest in cooperative communities and worked in South Vietnam under the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).


The collection is divided into five series:

  1. Early Life & Education
  2. Teaching & Other Employment
  3. Vietnam, AFSC, & Peace Work
  4. Prison Work
  5. Family & Personal Life

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession information

Donor: Clark P. Turner, 3/1999; Accession number: 99-011, 2000-015

The collection was given by Clark P. Turner, the son of Howard Haines Turner.

Related Materials


H.H. Turner

Separated Materials

Pictures, including photos and slides of Vietnam, circa 1967, were removed to PA 82.


  1. Obituary, Friends Journal, 1996.
Howard Haines Turner Papers, 1927-1995
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

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