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Joseph Henry Scattergood, 1877-1953



J. Henry Scattergood, a Founding Member of the Club, died June 15, 1953. He was born in Philadelphia and took degrees from both Haverford College and Harvard University. After graduation he began work with the American Pulley Company, moving shortly to the American Dyewood Company of which his father was President. In the course of his life he became a director of the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company, the First National Bank of Philadelphia, the Lehigh Coal Company, and other companies and corporations.

A member of the Society of Friends, Mr. Scattergood was the first Chief of the Friends’ Reconstruction Unit in France after the First World War and a member of the original Red Cross Commission to France. Under President Hoover he served as Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He was Treasurer of Haverford College from 1916 to 1949 and Treasurer of Bryn Mawr College from 1927 until a short time prior to his death. Mr. Scattergood was a trustee of the Hampton Institute and for a period served as President of the Trustees.

Mr. Scattergood’s mountaineering began soon after his graduation from college. Each summer during the first three years of the century he visited the Canadian Rockies. He was the first climber to visit the Ice River Valley. Among his ascents were Mt. Mollison (first ascent), Mt. Stephen, Cathedral (attempt), Mt. Chancellor (attempt with C. E. Fay), Mt. Goodsir (S. Tower; attempt with C. E. Fay, reaching a point 150 feet from the summit), Mt. Vaux (first ascent and traverse), Mt. Chancellor (first ascent), Mt. Wapta (first ascent), Mt. Victoria (N. peak, first ascent), and later in the Selkirks he climbed Mt. Sir Donald, Eagle, and Avalanche.

Through the later years of his life his interest in mountaineering was undiminished. He attended meetings of the Club as often as possible, and he took a deep interest in the activities of its members. Though he was in poor health at the time of Maurice Herzog’s visit to Haverford in 1952, he made a special effort to hear the story of the Annapurna climb and see the pictures. When the Haverford Mountaineers elected him an Honorary Member, he was greatly touched.

He was a man who gave generously of his time and effort for the betterment of his fellow men. His broad interests and abundant energy resulted in a life of accomplishment that was extraordinary. He had a sense of humor that was delightful. Through the years that I knew him he was always ready to talk about the mountains, and he used to refer again and again to the attempt on the South Tower of Goodsir.

Without doubt his mountain experiences and his mountain memories were a great resource and satisfaction to him all through the years.

Archibald Macintosh