Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Charles Schumacher Collected Papers, 1930-2003

Collection: CDG-A

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 U.S.A.
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator); Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers/records.
Schumacher, Charles (b. 1919)
Charles Schumacher Collected Papers
Inclusive Dates
Call Number

Language of Materials
Materials in English
22.5 linear inches [papers only]
Charles Schumacher was a chemist, chemical engineer and conscientious objector to World War II. He entered Civilian Public Service in 1944 and served in three CPS camps.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None, except that boxes are stored off-site
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Charles Schumacher, 2003 (acc. 03A-024, 03A-038)
Processing Information
Processed by SCPC staff; checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, Archivist, March 2003; added to May 2007
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Charles Schumacher Collected Papers (CDG-A), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record

Historical Background
Charles Schumacher was born in Bluffton (Ohio) in 1919. His college degree was in chemical engineering; he later earned an M.S. in chemistry at the University of Akron (Ohio). He married Mary Koontz on January 28, 1950; they had five children.
Schumacher, a member of the General Conference Mennonite Church, chose conscientious objector status during WWII. He entered Civilian Public Service on January 24, 1944 and served at three different locations: at CPS Camp #28 in Medaryville (Inidiana) for about 6 months; at CPS Camp #103 in Missoula (Montana) where he worked as a smokejumper with the U.S. Forest Service for about 2 years; and at CPS Camp #141 in Gulfport (Mississippi). Most of his collection of papers is made up of correspondence from his men and women friends during the years he was in CPS.
While in the Smokejumpers unit, he met Helen Brunner, a graduate student in music at the University of Washington. Brunner, who was from West Linn (Oregon), became his fiancée and they were planning to marry on August 4, 1945, in spite of stiff resistance from her mother who hated Schumacher for being a conscientious objector. According to Schumacher, Brunner's mother faked a heart attack the day before the scheduled wedding, and because of her it was never rescheduled, in spite of pleas from Schumacher for several years. Brunner started teaching music in 1945; she never married and took care of her mother throughout her life. Brunner, born in 1919, died just five days after her mother, on April 10, 1986. After Schumacher's wife died, he found a packet of letters from Brunner in his attic and decided to institute a search for her, but she had already died as well.
Schumacher's first job after CPS was as a chemical engineer for Firestone in their synthetic rubber plant in Akron (OH). After his marriage, he moved to San Francisco (California) and worked for 35 years as a project engineer / manager on chemical and refinery projects for American Bechtel Co. This included several long stints in Australia, London (England), Saudi Arabia, and in Qatar. He currently resides in Snohomish (Washington).

Collection Overview
These papers include biographical information; correspondence, 1930-1948; and photographs. Most of this collection consists of correspondence from Schumacher's friends during the years he was in Civilian Public Service.

All of this collection is stored off-site. Please contact the Curator at least two weeks in advance of a visit to the Peace Collection to discuss your research needs. Note that there may be a limit to the number of boxes you are able to request from off-site storage for any one visit.

Items removed:
Photos of friends and of other CPS camps removed to Photograph Collection

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1 [off-site SCPC-5742]
Biographical information
Draft registration & assignments
Letter of recommendation for sailing to Europe with UNRRA project, 1946
Photocopies of photos of CPS Camp #141 (Gulfport, Mississippi) and of UNRRA trip to Poland [originals removed to Photograph Collection]
Financial records, 1940s
Financial records: donations to CARE, 1941-1948
Search for Helen Brunner; her obituary; "letters of closure" written by Schumacher, circaa. 1999-2002
Search for Margot Taylor; letters from her; her obituary, 1999-2001
Reference material
Reference material: smokejumping
Outgoing correspondence, 1944
Outgoing correspondence, 1946-1948
Notes re: Ralph Spicer letters & photographs
Incoming correspondence: Helen Brunner, 1945 (January-December); 1946 (June 14) - 1947 (December)
Incoming correspondence: Egan Formanns (from Germany), 1947-1950
Incoming correspondence: Ralph and Inge Spicer, 1946-1947 [see also Incoming correspondence: general]
Incoming correspondence: Margot Taylor, 1945-1948

Box 2 [off-site SCPC-5743]
Incoming correspondence: general, 1930-1942

Box 3 [off-site SCPC-5744]
Incoming correspondence: general, 1943 - 1944 (October)

Box 4 [off-site SCPC-5745]
Incoming correspondence: general, 1944 (November) - 1946

Box 5 [off-site SCPC-5746]
Incoming correspondence: general, 1947-1948

This file was last updated on June 9, 2017