Ruth Comfort Mitchell Young

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ruth Comfort Mitchell Young (1882–1954) was an American author and playwright who wrote under her maiden name Ruth Comfort Mitchell, as well as her married name, Mrs. Sanborn Young. She was the wife of California State Senator Sanborn Young.


Mitchell was born in San Francisco, California, and spent summers in the town of Los Gatos, where her parents and grandparents had summer homes. At the age of fourteen, her first poem was published in the local Los Gatos Mail newspaper, thus launching her literary career, which continued throughout her lifetime.

In 1914, literary friends in San Francisco introduced her to Sanborn Young, who had recently sold his grain business and was traveling. The couple were married in October 1914 in the Grand Canyon and moved to New York City, where Ruth continued her literary pursuits, and he studied photography.

One of her plays, The Sweetmeat Game (1916) was set in San Francisco's Chinatown and inspired her to design her house, known as the Yung See San Fong House, in a Chinese style.

Ruth Comfort Mitchell Young wrote novels, poems, short stories, and plays. Because of her fame, many of the literati visited her house. The Youngs were known to be friendly with President Herbert Hoover, Robert W. Service, Gertrude Atherton, Gertrude Stein, and Fremont Older. Others who were known to visit the house included actresses Joan and Constance Bennett, Senator James D. Phelan, and Governor William D. Stephens. Ruth was very involved with the annual Los Gatos Pageant, the Los Gatos Christian Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Los Gatos History Club.

Both the Youngs were involved in Republican politics. Ruth served as Republican National Committeewoman from California for eight years and as national and state president of Pro-America, an organization of Republican women founded in 1933. Meanwhile, Sanborn served as a California State Senator for thirteen years.

In February 1954, Ruth was found dead in the bathtub.[why?] Sanborn died ten years later.


  • The Night Court and Other Verse (1916)
  • Play the Game! (1921)
  • Jane Journeys On (1922)
  • Corduroy (1923)
  • Narratives in Verse (1923)
  • The Wishing Carpet (1926)
  • Water (1931)
  • The Legend of Susan Dane (1933)
  • Old San Francisco Fire! (The Fifties) (1933)
  • Strait Gate (1935)
  • His wife could eat no lean (Contemporary California short stories) (1937)
  • Of Human Kindness (1940)
  • Dust of Mexico (1941)


  • "Yung See San Fong House" (data pages). Historic American Buildings Survey. National Park Service. Summer 1979. Retrieved 2007-03-11.

External links[edit]