Mrs. Ruth Van Haaften Collection
Scope and Contents
- Van Haaften, Ruth, 1896-1990 (Donor, Person)
Biographical / Historical
Edward Van Haaften was born July 18, 1894, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His family, which included his father Peter (an immigrant from the Netherlands), his mother Gertruda, his three sisters, Bessie, Evelyn, and Alice, and one brother, John, lived in 234 Burr Oak Street. Edward worked at the Armour Company in Detroit, Michigan until he entered Army service on August 21, 1917. He was assigned to the 102nd Aero Squadron, and served overseas in France. During his service he rose to the rank of Master Electrician.
When Edward was released from service in 1919, he returned to Kalamazoo, obtained a job working for the Roamer Auto Manufacturing Company, and married Ruth on July 19, 1919. They lived at Summer Homepark on Long Lake and soon built and moved into their home located on 6368 Douglass Avenue in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Edward remained active in the Army Reserves as a Second Lieutenant, and began working with Consumer’s Power Company. He was called into the Civilian Conservation Corp in both 1933 and 1940. In 1941 he was called into active duty and was assigned to the Signal Corp attached to the Air Force. He was stationed in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama. Ruth accompanied him for these assignments. Soon afterwards, Edward was transferred to the Strategic Air Command in Florida and subsequently sent overseas for six months during which time Ruth moved back to Michigan and lived with Edward’s sister, Bessie, and mother. Edward was released in 1946 from his station in El Paso, Texas, and returned to Kalamazoo to work until retirement in 1959 for Consumer’s Power Company, and to live until his death on May 5, 1967. Ruth died on February 11, 1990 in Kalamazoo.
6 boxes : The collection amounts to 2.35 cubic feet
Language of Materials
The condition of the collection varies. The photographs contained in boxes 3 and 4 are in excellent condition. However, many of the photographs contained in box 5 had previously been stored tightly rolled for many years. Despite attempts to correct the tendencies of these individual photographs to roll, many still revert to that shape, and must be handled with care. The documents tend to be in delicate condition. Often times, yellowing has caused problems with legibility to varying extents. As for the artifacts, they range greatly from the war medals, which are in good condition, to the cook book which is extremely fragile with many brittle pages and a loose binding.
- Mrs. Ruth Van Haaften Collection Finding Aid
- Christopher Miller
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US