Ruth Gill Hammond was born on May 20, 1901 to William Harrison Gill and Mary Adelaine Karr Gill in Phoenix, Arizona. William Harrison Gill was an evangelist missionary who worked among the Native American tribes of the Old Southwest (mainly Arizona and Nevada) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ruth Gill Hammond studied at Oregon State College where she earned her degree in Home Economics. After completing her degree in Home Economics, she went on to earn her Master's degree from Columbia. After completing her education, Ruth taught Home Economics at several different schools. Schools at which she taught include Anderson Union High School, Buffalo State Teacher's College, and Lingnan University in Canton, China. The bulk of her teaching career (12 years) was spent at Lingnan University. In September of 1932, Ruth was married to A.R. Hammond, sales manager for McFarland Office Appliance Company for the territory of Siam (Thailand), and together they had three children: Barbara Ruth, John William, and Carolyn Louise. After marriage, Ruth resided in Bangkok, Thailand with her husband and children until finally returning to Oregon.
Scope and Content
The Ruth Gill Hammond Papers consists of correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, Home Economics books, and ephemera. The collection is organized chronologically within each respective category. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence to and from Ruth Gill Hammond. Subject matter of the correspondence covers the daily activities of Ruth Gill Hammond and others, family matters, business and professional matters, and brief descriptions of historical events in Siam (Thailand), China, and the United States. Boxes 1 and 2 contain correspondence to and from Ruth's family, friends, and professional associates. Bertha (Blount) McFarland and Ava (Milam) Clark contribute a bulk of the correspondence. Box 3 of the collection contains notable correspondence between Ruth Gill Hammond and A.R. Hammond which recounts their relationship and thoughts about one another in great detail. Their correspondence also provides details of their daily activities and major events in their lives. Other notable correspondences include letters to and from Ava Bertha (Milam) Clark or "Auntie Muz" who was a very close friend to Ruth Gill and A.R. Hammond. She was also a well-known Home Economics professor and dean at Oregon State University. The collection also contains a few correspondences noting historical events in Siam (Thailand), China, and the United States (1932, June 18; 1932, July 2; 1935, Apr. 27; 1935, Nov. 27; 1940, Mar. 18). Other frequent and notable correspondence names include: Myrtle Viola Candell, Charles Keyser Edmunds, Clara H. Groesbeck, Lucille Barnard Hanaford, James M. Henry, Faye Kilpatrick, Catherine E. Reed, Mildred L. Sipp, and M. Ellwood Smith. The collection also consists of scrapbooks about Ruth Gill Hammond that recounts a number of different events in her life from her childhood to raising a family of her own. The scrapbooks contain typed copies of various correspondences written by and to Ruth Gill Hammond; several photographs of Ruth, the Gill and Hammond family, China and Lingnan University, Siam (Thailand); and various memorabilia. The scrapbooks provide a detailed description of the life of Ruth Gill Hammond through narration and photographs. The Volume 2 scrapbook contains notable information about William Harrison Gill including an article by Bertha Blount McFarland and copies of letters written to Ruth from her father. One entire scrapbook is devoted to the relationship between Ruth Gill Hammond and A.R. Hammond and their wedding (Red scrapbook with jade circle). The manuscripts and ephemera include the genealogy papers of Ruth Gill Hammond that provides research information about the Gill family. Ephemera include various pamphlets and handwritten notes pertaining to the life of Ruth Gill Hammond and include a Lingnan University Newsletter, an article by Ruth Gill Hammond on home management, a brief history of the College of Home Economics at Oregon State University, the menu aboard the S.S. President Hoover, The William Harrison Gill Trust pamphlet, and letter envelopes. Also included in the collection are photographs of Ava Bertha (Milam) Clark and Ruth Gill Hammond as well as old passports belonging to Ruth Gill Hammond.
The collection also contains two books that were given to Ruth Gill Hammond by Ava Bertha (Milam) Clark. The books contain handwritten notes on the inside pages by Ruth and Ava. "The Care and Guidance of Children" contains photographs of Ruth's children as book illustrations and examples. "Adventures of a Home Economist" is authored by Ava Milam Clark and contains a signed note addressed to Ruth.