THOMAS J. MADON Correspondence and School Records

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY
Series 13: STUDENTS
Thomas J. Madon Correspondence and School Records
Student 1931-1937

Thomas J. Madon Student

Postcard,,”Noe’s Bar-B-Q Inn, Harlan, KY” to PMSS from Thomas J. Madon, 1937. [madon_thomas_j_028]

THOMAS J. MADON Correspondence and School Records
Student 1931 – 1937

TAGS: Thomas J. Madon, Thomas Jefferson Madon, correspondence, school records, students, educational programs, dairy, farming, Brit and Ella Wilder, industrial training, grades, counselors, Glyn Morris, E.K. Wilson, tuition, Carrie Madon, student application, student autobiography, Everett K. Wilson, school counselors, local dairies


[NOTE: Letters from PMSS staff in the PMSS Collections are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed documents were sent to the correspondents. Letters from others are typewritten originals unless specified otherwise. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]


005 August 19, 1931. To Thomas Madon, Keokee, Va., from GAM (Glyn A. Morris), Director, who regrets that he cannot offer Madon a place at PMSS this year, because there is no more room. [Handwritten notation, bottom margin: “Placed. Will send (?). Mr. Morris says OK.”]


006 April 21, 1932. A PMSS bill to Thomas Madon for tuition March 6-April 6 ($3.00) and April 6-May 6 ($3.00).
007 November 17, 1932.A PMSS bill to Mrs. Carrie Madon, Pine Mt., Ky. for Thomas’s entrance fee, book rental, tuition August 22-November 22.
008 December 15, 1932. A PMSS bill to Mrs. Carrie Madon, Pine Mt., Ky. for Thomas’s tuition November 22-December 22.


009 April 26, 1933. A PMSS bill to Mrs. Carrie Madon, Pine Mt., Ky. for Thomas Madon.

001 May 4, 1933. “STUDENT APPLICATION BLANK.Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, Ky.”
Name: Thomas Madon
Post Office: Pine Mountain, Ky.
Place of Birth: Keokee, Va.
Date of Birth: March 30, 1917
School Last Attended: Pine Mountain 1932-33.….
Grade Ready to Enter: 9th 
Name of Guardian: Mrs. Brit Wilder [Ella, his sister]
Are Your Parents Living Together? Dead
Occupation of Guardian: Farmer….


010 May 1, 1934. To Morris from Carrie H. Madon, R.T. St. Elizabeth Hospital, Covington, Ky., enclosing payment of Thomas’s bill. “I wish to take this privilege to thank you for the kindness you have shown Tom and the interest you have taken in him. We all appreciate and recognize the remarkable good your school has done him.”

…School Last Attended: Pine Mt., 1933-34
Grade Ready to Enter: 10th
Names of Parents or Guardian: Carrie Madon
Are your Parents Living Together? Yes
Occupation of Father or Guardian: Nurse
Post Office of Parents or Guardian: Covington

011 December 26, 1934. To Brit Wilder, Pine Mountain, Ky., from Glyn Morris; copy to Miss Carrie Madon. “We have discontinued sending out report cards from Pine Mountain, but in order that we may have your cooperation I should like to give you the following report about Tommie.” Tom is “showing steady improvement…he is spending most of his time in learning dairying….[He] is growing quite rapidly and is taking part in many of the activities of the school.”


…School Last Attended: Pine Mt., 1934-35….
Name: Thomas J. Madon
School: Pine Mountain School…
“Prepared by the Southern Women’s Educational Alliance,…Richmond, Virginia.”
004a “I. First Facts About Myself:”
Name: Madon, Thomas Jefferson
…”II My Family”
Father: George Madon, died 12 years ago; born in Tenn.; occupation: mining.
Mother: Maiden Name is Noe; died 16 years ago at age 35; occupation before marriage: factory worker.
004b I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters: Those who left home and married were John, George, Ella, Beatrice, Edith. Now in school: Carrie, age 25, 2 years at Berea College. “III Our Home:” “Stay with sister at Pine Mt.” He lives in a log house, heated by coal and lighted by kerosene; water comes from a well or spring. ….
004c He would like to study dairying after high school.
004d He earns money by team-driving and truck driving. He likes to read and work with family; enjoys poetry, and studying English, business arithmetic, history, dairying.
004e DUPLICATE OF 004d
004f When he finishes school, he would like to live in the country because “my interest in dairying is performed in the country.” 

012 May 16, 1945. To Morris from Carrie Madon about sending items requested by Thomas. “I do not want him to go in need or be more shabbily dressed than any one else there, neither do I want him to have too much. I want him to learn to look out for himself and know what it is to do without things.”

013 May 29, 1935. To Carrie Madon from [unsigned], sending “a good report with respect to Tom’s work during this past year.” Tom was assistant to Mr. [Samuel] Winfrey in the barn. His interests are in agriculture and dairying rather than academic work. He is “capable and dependable…[and] has been promoted to the 11th grade.”

014 December 28, 1935. To Carrie Madon from Morris, reporting about Tom’s progress. He continues to assist in the Dairy.


015 July 3, 1936. To Carrie Madon from Morris, reporting about Tom, who “has made a great deal of progress since he came here five years ago.”

016-016a July 14, 1936. Two-page handwritten letter to Morris from Thomas Madon, who asks to work in the PMSS dairy for the summer, now that his work for Brit is done. 

017 N.D. To Dr.[Clark] Bailey from E.K. Wilson on PMSS stationary, asking him to examine Tom, who complains of pain from a possible “rupture.”
017a September 29, 1936. To Wilson from Bailey, diagnosing Tom’s pain as a hernia and that he should avoid heaving lifting.

018 December 11, 1936. To Mr. C.C. Smith, ℅ Smith’s Dairy, Verda, Ky., from E.K. Wilson, Student Counselor, recommending Tom Madon for work during Christmas vacation and after his graduation in May [1937] at Smith’s Dairy. Wilson describes Tom’s experience as a Dairy and Agriculture major at PMSS and has worked at the PMSS Dairy under Mr. Winfrey. Wilson mentions that “Mary Louise” has adjusted well to PMSS life.
019 December 11, 1936. To Chappel’s Dairy, Harlan, Ky., from Wilson, recommending Tom Madon in a letter similarly to 018.
020 December 11, 1936. To Mr. S.C. Kelly, Kelly’s Dairy, Evarts, Ky., from Wilson, recommending Tom Madon in a letter similar to 018. He adds that “Lawrence and Grace are, from various reports, doing very nicely. Lawrence will be in the play, ‘Sun-Up’…and has a major role in the Nativity play….”
021 December 14, 1936. Handwritten letter to Wilson from S.C. Kelly, Owner of Home, Dairy & Farm Products, Evarts, Ky., stating that he has “all the help I need on the farm, otherwise I should be glad to have Tom Madon work for me. Lawrence knows him well and likes him very much.”
022 December 17, 1936. To S.C. Kelly from Wilson, who explains the “hopes and philosophy of education at Pine Mountain” to encourage Kelly to help the School give students “wholesome contact with the workaday world.”

023 December 23, 1936. To Brit Wilder, Pine Mountain, Ky. from Wilson, reporting on Tom’s development at PMSS, as indicated by quotes from Tom’s teachers. Because Tom is “not making great achievement,” Wilson asks Wilder, as his brother-in-law, to “guide him to the realization that in the world work that there must be followers as well as leaders and that cooperation with others is usually the thing which counts most.”


024 April 12, 1937. To Mr. Lee K. Rowlett, Mgr., A&P, Harlan, Ky., from Wilson, who discourages Rowlett from hiring Madon as the latter is better fitted for dairy work. “…[T]he school feels that it must maintain its reputation for perfectly frank dealings with all employers of our students.”

025-026 April 15, 1937. Two-page letter to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred G. Bookwalter, Springfield, Ohio, from Wilson. He describes changes at PMSS since “Emily and Edwina were down here”: better accessibility, better equipment, new industrial building. He tells of the possibility of PMSS turning into a “kind of educational laboratory for Harlan county.” The University of Kentucky is accepting PMSS students without grades or credits; the Association of Southern Colleges may follow suit. The American Council of Education is surveying schools; two members visited PMSS and were “favorably impressed.” Wilson then describes Tom Madon’s background and abilities (including his undeveloped arm and hand due to infantile paralysis), in case the Bookwalters can place him in a job. In closing, Wilson writes “Pine Mountain is really a beautiful place to work…” but he will be leaving at the end of this year. He mentions that Clyde plans to enter University of Kentucky next year.

027 May 12, 1937.To “Sirs” from Mrs. Otis Noe, Noe’s Bar-B-Q Inn, Harlan, Ky., stating that the Inn could use two boys for summer work; asks for background details of any recommended students. [Handwritten notation in margin: “Written re Tom Madon.”]
028 Picture side of postcard for “Noe’s Bar-B-Q Inn, Harlan, Ky.
028a May 28, 1937. Address side of postcard to Pine Mt. Settlement School, from Foster Edins. “Send the boy over…” to work at the Inn.

029 June 2, 1937. To Ella and Brit Wilder from Arthur Dodd, Principal, reporting that Tom has graduated; was president of his senior class. “We shall continue to be interested in seeing Tom settled in some kind of work suited to his capabilities.”

030 June 3, 1937. To Mrs. Noe from Wilson, asking about the outcome of Tom’s interview with her. [Handwritten notation, top margin: “Tommy Madon. No placement as yet.”]

031 June 17, 1937. To Everett Wilson from “Lewis,” The Berryhill Nursery Co., Springfield, Ohio, responding to Wilson’s April 15 letter for his father that the nursery is already fully staffed and cannot take on Tom Madon for the summer. Lewis hopes Wilson will visit during the Antioch [College]’s commencement week.

032-032a September 7, 1937. Two-page handwritten letter to Glyn Morris from Tom Madon, Rummerfield, Pa. He is happy with the farm, the work, and Mr. Kneller. He misses PMSS, stating, “One never knows what Pine Mountain really is until he has done left it. I always felt that I was a member of a large family….”

033 September 14, 1937. To Tom Madon from [unsigned, apparently Morris, who is glad to hear of Tom’s “good fortune.” He gives his best to Oscar [Kneller] and Mr. and Mrs. Kneller.


[NOTE: The following student records are considered private material and have been removed from the Gallery. Their access may be provided on request, pending approval of Pine Mountain Settlement School and the archivist of the PMSS Collections. Contact the main PMSS Office for information.]

034 1935-36 and 1936-37. Tom Madon’s class schedules.
035 1936-1937. Report from G.M., A.D., and L.W., concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Social Studies (Current History, Sociology, Ethics). “Tom’s wit is his main asset.”
036 1936-1937. Report from J.S. concerning Tom Madon’s progress in English. “In the last weeks he has spent most of his time reading poetry, taking one period this last week to read to the class.”
037 1936-1937. Report from A.D., concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Science (Geology).
038 1936-1937. Report from G.H., concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Mathematics (Business Arithmetic).
039 1936-1937. Report concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Practical Arts (Manual Training).
040 1936-1937. Report from H.B. concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Farm and Dairy.
041 N.D. Followup report concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Current History as a Senior.
042 N.D. Followup report from AWD concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Sociology as a Senior.
043 December 13, 1936 and August 5, 1937. Reports concerning Tom Madon’s progress in Ethics.
044 Three work appraisals: N.D.: Followup of Tom Madon’s progress in Farm and Dairy in the second semester. May 6, 1937: Duplicate of 036. N.D.: Duplicate of 037.
045 N.D. Three work appraisals: Followup reports of Tom Madon’s progress in Business Mathematics and Manual Training in the second semester.
046-047 October 15, 1935, to November 10, 1936. Two pages of notes on Tom Madon’s attitude and behavior, grades, post-graduation plans.
048 N.D. Fragment of a School Record with entries for subjects, grades, text books used, and instructors.
049 1931-1935. SCHOOL RECORD for Thomas Madon with entries for subjects, grades, text books used, and instructors. Birth: March 30, 1917, in Keokee, Virginia. Parent: J.R. Madon. Parent’s Occupation: Miner. Principal: Margaret Motter.
050 1933-1934. ATTENDANCE AND CHARACTER RECORD for Thomas Madon. School attended: Everts, Ky. Completion of 6th grade. Date of Entrance: August 28, 1931.
051 N.D. SCHOOL RECORD for Thomas Madon. Principal: Arthur Dodd.
052 1931-1937. A record for Thomas Jefferson Madon at ages 14 through 19, showing Objective Ratings, Subject Ratings, Extra Curricular (Minstrel, Pinafore (lead), Choir, playground, Mikado (leading role), Vocational Experiences, Plans and Recommendations, Health.
053 Continuation of 052. Campus Social Adjustment, Pine Mountain Spirit, etc. PARENTS: George Madon, died 1924, miner. Mrs. Noe Madon, died 1920. Number of Older Brothers: 4 (John, George). Older Sisters: 4 (Ella, Beatrice, Edith, Carrie). Home Conditions: “Pine Mountain has been Tom’s home.”


THOMAS J. MADON Student – Biography