Reginald Wright Kauffman

Born: September 8, 1877, Columbia, Pennsylvania
Died: April 25, 1959, Roanoke, Virginia

Writer of numerous works of fiction and Hollywood film productions, Reginald Wright Kaufman was born to Andrew John Kaufman (a prominent Columbia attorney and president of the Central National Bank) and Anne Fausset Bruner.

Reginald embraced socialism and secular humanism about the time he entered Harvard. Although raised Episcopalian, he intellectually explored Mormonism, yet later actually joined the Russian Orthodox church, where he took the name ‘Basil.’ Some references suggest this was more a maneuver than an act of faith.

Reginald Wright Kaufman was a nephew (through marriage) of Samuel Wright, Esq. Samuel and his wife Ellen (Anne’s sister) lived in Anne’s household on South Second Street in Columbia and continued living there, after Anne’s passing, until they their deaths.

Upon graduating from Harvard in 1900, Reginald moved to Philadelphia with his first wife, Ellen, and one child. In 1911, in his introduction to The Girl That Goes Wrong, Reginald refers to having lived in a great many places both in the US and Europe. He and his wife barely supported themselves by writing sporadically for periodicals and newspapers.

Around 1910, Reginald and his new wife, Ruth, lived with Anne, Samuel, and Ellen at the same South Second Street house in Columbia (house next to the old Columbia Hospital).

Always willing to move where the work was, Reginald held the post of Editor of the Bangor Maine Daily News. And, only recently, it was discovered that he was an accredited correspondent with the United States Navy, and a member of La Société Académique d’Histoire.

Reginald Wright Kaufman went on to write numerous books, some of which were made into movie screenplays. And, although difficult to pin down, it’s said that some of his books, although fiction, refer to locations in and around Columbia.

View his Hollywood movie credits on the Internet Movie Database.

View a select list of his books on Amazon.

Reginald Wright Kauffman is buried in Columbia’s Mount Bethel Cemetery, along with his wife, Ruth Wright Kauffman.

Should you happen to possess information, photographic images, or other artifacts of R.W. Kauffman, we would be most interested to hear from you.

7 Responses to Reginald Wright Kauffman

  1. Les Powell says:

    I have a copy of his book entitled “Little Old Belgium”, a collection of poems. Inside on the frontispiece is written the following:
    Reginald Wright Kauffman, Rocky Top, Lebasco Estates, RFD (?), Bath, Maine.
    I have no reason to suspect that this is not a genuine signature of his, but can find no other information about the apparent address. The query in brackets is mine, I’m pretty sure that what I have there is accurate. (I’m based in the UK by the way)

    • Hi Les,
      I will share your email and ask someone at the museum to look for a signature from Reginald Wright Kauffman. That may help authenticate the signature. Not sure about that address, but again maybe we can look into it. Sorry for the delayed response. Best to you, Janette

  2. Les Powell says:

    Thanks Janette, I’d appreciate any further help.

  3. Stephen Hawkins. says:

    Stephen Hawkins, Lancashire, England.
    I am afraid that I can add little to the story of Reginald Wright Kauffman, except to say that I first read “The Azure Rose” at the age of about eight. (in the nineteen fifties)
    My Great Uncle (who lost his leg in the First World War) had a large collection of books, and I was allowed to borrow a couple of books every week throughout my childhood. I inherited the collection following his death in 1979.
    Kind Regards,

  4. deaton says:

    I too have discovered first addition of his book “The house of bondage” signed and willed to my husband’s grandfather and given to him shortly after the author’s death in 1959. The town the author is referring to is Sebasco Estates in Maine. It is just outside of Bath. The author misspelled it. Also RWK is the author’s initials. This is how he would sign most books. My book is also signed by the author’s daughter whom sent the book (one of the dying author last requests) to his dear friends.

  5. Sally Fronterhouse says:

    Reginald Wright Kauffman was my grandmother’s brother. I was just looking on line to see what information is available about him. I am interested in reading some of his books if they are available.

    • Hello Sally,

      We currently have 19 books authored by Reginald Wright Kauffman in our archival library. The only place that may have them available to borrow would be the Columbia Public Library.

      Address: 24 S 6th St, Columbia, PA 17512
      Phone:(717) 684-2255

      I should have his bio in our inventory if you would like me to copy that for you.

      Please let me know, and thank you for your request.

      Christopher Vera
      Director/Columbia Historic Preservation Society
      (717)572-7149 (c)

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