TABLE OF CONTENTS
RG 069:158, Ruth Baker Stephan Collection of WWII Letters
Finding aid prepared by Sean Parke.
Copyright © 2012 by the Connecticut State Library
Mary E. Baker gave birth to Ruth Edgerton Baker on March 3, 1917. Ruth E. Baker grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. She was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Park Street in Hartford, Connecticut. Ruth Baker married John Edmund Stephan on October 9, 1943. During World War II, she wrote monthly newsletters from the Wesleyan Service Guild to military service members of her church. She worked at Highland Dairy, the Life Insurance Research Bureau, and the accident department of Travelers Insurance.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and photographs received by Ruth Baker Stephan from military service members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Hartford during World War II. The collection also contains monthly newsletters that Stephan wrote as a part of the Wesleyan Service Guild of St. Paul's Church. The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1. Correspondence, 1941-1948, undated, consists of all of the correspondence sent to Stephan from members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church during and after the war. There are also approximately 40 returned letters that were sent by Stephan and a folder of empty envelopes. In the correspondence the church members describe life in the military, talk about hometown news, and respond to questions and/or requests from Stephan's newsletters. All correspondence within the U.S. military was first approved by censors, as a result many of the war-time letters lack specifics that can be found in later post-war correspondence.
Series 2. Wesleyan Service Guild, 1941-1947, contains all of the copies of Stephan's newsletters; address cards and notes; St. Paul's Methodist Honor Roll list; and a St. Paul's Church bulletin.
Series 3. Personal Papers, circa 1927-1943, consists of Stephan's fifth grade history report of West Hartford, Stephan's 1941 salary receipts, an invitation to an insurance company anniversary dinner, and a copy of a newspaper article covering Stephan's wedding.
Series 4. Publications, 1945-circa 1964, undated, contains several newspaper clippings regarding members of St. Paul's Church. In addition, the series includes copies of The Hartford Courant.
Series 5. Photographs, 1942-1947, undated, includes photographs of service members of St. Paul's Methodist Church, as well as places they visited abroad.
Series 6. Artifacts, 1944-1945, one handkerchief found in a Christmas card from Stephan and duplicates of poem cards.
Series 7. Restricted, 1941-1963, undated, contains newspapers and clippings that are restricted due to condition.
Arranged in seven series:
Series 1. Correspondence, 1941 - 1948, undated, arranged chronologically with undated folders at the end of the series.
Series 2. Wesleyan Service Guild, 1941 - 1947, arranged chronologically.
Series 3. Personal Papers, circa 1927 - 1943, arranged chronologically.
Series 4. Publications, 1945-circa 1964, undated, arranged chronologically.
Series 5. Photographs, 1942-1947, undated, is further arranged into the following subseries: People and Scenes. The people are arranged alphabetically by last name with unidentified people at the end.
Series 6. Artifacts, 1944-1945, arranged chronologically.
Series 7. Restricted, 1941-1963, arranged chronologically.
Restrictions on Access
Series 7. Restricted, 1941-1963, undated, is restricted due to condition. Contact State Archives staff for assistance.
These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
Stephan, Ruth Baker (local)
West Hartford (Conn.)
Connecticut -- History
Methodist Church -- Connecticut -- Hartford
Protestants -- Connecticut
Women in the Methodist Church
World War, 1939-1945
The Ruth Baker Stephan Collection of WWII letters was donated by Airline M. Stephan to the Connecticut State Library in December, 2010.
Sean Parke processed the collection in September-November, 2012 (Allen Ramsey supervised).