One might assume that the first class of professional Forest Rangers were born and raised in the United States, but that was not always the case. We learn in the fascinating account of Ranger Cecil Reindorp that he was a British citizen, advised to take a medical leave of absence by his doctor. In his letter to Gifford Pinchot of January 25, 1939, Reindorp recounts: "In July, 1907, just about the first anniversary of my marriage, my application for Life Insurance was turned down for the reasons that I had come to the U.S. from England on account of tuberculosis, and my health history and temporary condition at that time were unsatisfactory; the doctor who made the physical examination advised me find employment in the open air instead of office work." Like so many of the Old Timers, work in the out-of-doors was not just appealing but life-enhancing, and in Ranger Reindorp's case, life-saving!

Reindorp, who served from 1907-1922 in California and New Mexico, recounts how he found himself in the company of other immigrants during the war years. While stationed on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, he wrote: "The general run of the people at that time had little or no interest in game and fish 'conservation' as it was called."

Reindorp's narrative provides an interesting observation of his service: "Just about the time I had got settled down in my new location the Great War broke out in Europe; there were three of us living at Gallinas Planting Station--Hermann Krauch of German parentage; myself born in England, and Marcel F. Pincetl born in France, which provided a somewhat complicated situation, and when Joseph C. Kircher became Supervisor and came out to the District at various times, he took great delight in making the kettle boil."

From the narrative of Cecil R.C. Reindorp. Old Timers Collection. Gifford Pinchot Collection. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division.

 

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