HARRIET BUTLER Correspondence

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Harriet Butler
Nurse, Big Laurel Medical Settlement
1919 – 1924

HARRIET BUTLER Correspondence

Maya Sudo Album: Harriet Butler seated on bench at Medical Settlement, Big Laurel, early 1920s. [sudo_album_024c_mod.jpg]

HARRIET BUTLER Correspondence 1921-1929

Nurse, Medical Settlement at Big Laurel 1919–1924

TAGS: Harriet Butler, Medical Settlement at Big Laurel Kentucky, community medicine, nurses, Harriet Butler, Medical Settlement at Big Laurel, community medicine, nurses, Inter-Mountain Coal and Lumber Company, clinics, the road, Indian Cliff Dwelling, Dr. Grace Huse, Deschamps’ house, USDA Circulars, tuberculous cow


[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. The initials at the bottom left of most PMSS letters indicate the writer (along with initials of the secretary). For example, “EZ” are the initials for Ethel de Long Zande and “KP” refers to Katherine Pettit.  Letters from Harriet Butler are handwritten. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]


024 September 7, 1921. To Miss [Harriet] Butler, Pine Mountain, KY, from Merritt Wilson, President, Inter-Mountain Coal and Lumber Company, Elkins, WVA, about “the piece of land down near the mouth of Big Laurel.” He agrees to the arrangements she has made; the extra fencing will not be a problem.

023-023b September 13, 1921. Three-page handwritten letter to Miss [Evelyn] K. Wells, from Harriet Butler, Bay View, MI, enclosing a Coffee Co. bill and Mr. Wilson’s reply about the land. She describes Mrs. Huse’s physical condition.

026-026c September 29, [no year]. Four-page handwritten letter to Miss Wells from Harriet Butler in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Grace Huse will not be returning soon and the clinic should be held without her; suggests the arrangements for the clinic, involving Miss [Anna] Peters and Miss Metcalf. Harriet will visit her sister in West TN; Mary Huse and Grace Huse (daughters) are nursing Mrs. Huse. 

025-025b October 3, [no year]. Three-page handwritten letter to Miss Wells from Harriet Butler in Trenton, TN. “Mrs. Huse diagnosis is pernicious anemia.”  Harriet will return to Big Laurel [Medical Settlement] in 2-3 weeks. She will ask Wilson Lewis to meet her. 

027-027b [No Date; date-stamped October 4,1921] Three-page handwritten letter to Miss Wells from Harriet Butler, who hopes the clinic will be arranged for by Miss Williamson without Dr. Huse. Updates about Mrs. Huse’s condition.

028 October 4, 1921. To Miss Butler, St. Louis, MO, from KP [Katherine Pettit], giving updates about Big Laurel and mentioning Miss Williamson, Billy, Miss [Anna] Henneberger; Marguerite Butler is helping Miss Dunbar. The Zandes have just returned.


022 March 8, 1922. To Harriet from [unsigned]. Florence Reeves, an old school friend, has been visiting; Miss Peters will be returning to join Miss Henneberger and possibly replacing Miss Dunbar. 

021 March 9, 1922. To Harriet in Trenton, TN, from EZ (Zande), sending her part of a letter from Alice Andrews. She is glad Harriet is returning to Big Laurel. “Pioneer life like yours at Big laurel certainly is hard, unless you are working with people who have the same large point of view.” Sending the book, The Growth of the Soil. The road bill has passed the house and hopes Senator Brock will get it through the Senate. Mentions Miss Gill, Ninnie, Ora Creech, Aunt Sal [Creech].

017 April 17, 1922. To Harriet from [unsigned], sending her plants, stock seeds “from Mrs. Vananzi’s Italian garden”; asked for some of her pink honeysuckle; pink tulips, dogwood tree on the West terrace.

020 April 24, 1922. To Miss Butler in St. Louis, MO, from KP (Pettit), describing her and Miss Wilson’s travel plans to Hindman; hopes Harriet will join them.

016-016a May 5, 1922. Two-page letter to Harriet in St. Louis, MO, from EZ (Zande). Miss Peters is taking William Henry Boggs’ wife and Cindy Turner to Lynch for mastoid operation by Dr. Todd. Joe Day’s boy has already had the operation. Mentions Miss Dunbar, Miss Henneberger, and the doctor’s sister. 

019 May 25, 1922. To Miss Butler from KP (Pettit), about payments to “[t]he man who took us over from the railroad station to Hindman….”


018 January 13, 1923. To Harriet from [unsigned], writing that Miss Dunbar should not return; “It seems to me that the spirit of the children and the neighbors about their own school is fully as important as reading and writing, and perhaps more so.”

014 May 17, 1923. To Harriet from [truncated]. Updates: Miss [Aileene] Lewis is staying with Miss Peters at the Medical Settlement in May. She adopted a 4-month-old girl, discovered for her by the same person who found Mary Rockwell [Hook]’s son. Visitors from the State University have excavated the “big cliff by Old Log House” and advised on the Indian skeletons Frances Johnson and Pettit found there. 

010 October 11, 1923. To Harriet Butler, Medical Settlement, from EZ (Zande), asking what length of fencing she needs for the front of the grounds; galvanized tank. She suggests “a drinking place on the road for the public, the sort we have around the ground here.” Sending books for Lula.

011-011a August 31, 1923. Two-page letter to “Friends” (Miss Butler and Dr. Huse) from EZ (Zande), [011] who thanks Dr. Huse for the box of heather; comments on the trip they are taking [to England?]; describes the Chapel. According to Mr. Mould, the Inter-Mountain people won’t be mining coal above Lewis Creek. Mentions her baby Elena; Miss Pettit’s time in Michigan; Miss Wells’ letters from England; [011a] the Settlement’s need for a reservoir. Mr. Nesbitt is teaching at Big Laurel. Recommends Maude Baker as housekeeper. Harry Callahan survived a head injury; Miss [Maya] Sudo. Mentions her mother, sister (Helen), and Berto (son).


009 June 9, 1924. To Harriet from [unsigned], asking if Aunt Judy and her neighbors would approve of teaching country dancing at the summer camps, if they are called “plays” or “games.”

008 September 11, 1924. To Miss Harriet Butler, ℅ Dr. Grace Huse, St. Louis, MO, from  KP (Pettit). Miss Southworth and Miss Frey, a Berea teacher, visited from Hindman.

007 November 24, 1924. To Harriet from EZ [Ethel de Long Zande], writing about her stay in Colorado; whether to buy the Deschamps house;  advertising the house for possibly $900; Harman’s appreciation for the saddle Harriet gave him.


015-015a July 6, 1925. Two-page letter to Miss Butler in St. Louis, MO, from KP (Pettit), expressing interest in Butler’s letter about California and Frances Macklbey. Dr. John West Duke visited PMSS for several days doing eye examinations. “He was one of the most enthusiastic visitors we have had.” Miss Sudo died in Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, after gallbladder surgery. Asks about Mary Breckenridge’s plan for midwives in Leslie County, along with Miss Ireland, a Scotch nurse. Miss Smith and Miss Butler are funded by the Rockefeller-Spelman Foundation, doing survey and clinic work in North Carolina. She and Miss [Ruth] Gaines visited the Medical Settlement, Mrs. Alderman, Dr. [Alfreda] Withington, and the new buildings. “We certainly are grateful to Dr. Huse for making it possible.”

002-002e August 28, 1925. Five-page handwritten letter to Ethel [de Long Zande] from Harriet [Butler] in St. Louis, MO. [002] Harriet hopes the house situation will be permanently settled. She heard from “Alice” that the deed can’t be found. [002a] “We have done the very best we knew to do about disposing of the place.” She describes their efforts, mentioning Columbus Creech, Mr. Deschamps and Grace [Huse]. Asks that Miss [Bessie] Gaunt sends  updates. [002b] More about the deed’s whereabouts. [002c-002e] Moving to Gray Summit; more about Grace. Regards to Mr. [Luigi] Zande. Miss Butler and Mrs. Campbell are looking for a folk-school location. 

001-001a September 3, 1925. Two-page letter to Harriet Butler, Gray Summit, MO, from EZ [Ethel de Long Zande]. [001] Henry Creech now has the deed; “Squire Creech has the house,” as Dr. Huse could not afford it. Two Wilder children will probably stay here in order to attend PMSS. The worker in Model Home is teaching a few neighboring children. Miss Vallette; Big Laurel; Little Laurel School; Alberta Creech; Mrs. Alderman. Miss [Anna] Krauss is arriving from Nebraska to serve as a nurse. Plans for the church; EZ is on the building committee; baseball is pulling the community together; quote from The Peaks of Shala. [001a] Rachel Lewis hasn’t returned to school yet. The staff misses Mr. Deschamps, who is at Peabody College, Nashville, TN. An Antioch student is living with the boys. Miss Pettit’s travels; visitors. Dr. Abell, Dr. Lock, and a “moving picture man” came from Louisville to take pictures of the school for a paper for the Southern Surgical Association. Tannie Farley; Lucretia Garfield; Dr. Huse’s illness. Helen (de Long) will be teaching at Towel Hill School, Wilmington, DE. 

003-003a September 2[?], 1925? [truncated]. To Harriet at Gray’s Knob, MO, from EZ, who tells about the new house at Big Laurel, “a great improvement over the Play House,” and is planning to replace the dispensary. Mentions Miss [Anna] Brockschlager, Big Laurel housekeeper; Little Laurel and Big Laurel schools; Aunt Judy and Uncle John; Elly Jane’s husband; Till Harris; improved roads; Jack’s Gap; Berto Zande; the Deschamps now at John Campbell Folk School; Helen de Long.


004 September 8, 1926. To Miss Butler and Dr. Huse from KP (Katherine Pettit), who was away for seven months on a trip and wishes she could share her experiences in Egypt, Palestine, India, etc. Mentions the Stapletons just arriving at Line Fork; the new building at the Medical Settlement; Dr. Withington on vacation; moving Aunt Sal’s house “over against the Pole House hill”; Hindman [Settlement School] reunion; Mr. Smith’s new high school; and “Frances.” 


006 October 17, 1928. To Miss Butler from [unsigned], with updates concerning Angela Melville, Mr. [William] Browning, Miss Gaines, Mr. Zande, and his replacement; his children are with Helen de Long in Wilmington, DE. “The Board bought the Zande house and gave it to the school as a memorial. Miss Melville is living there now.” Dr. Withington; Dr. Huse’s accident; 14 girls at her house; 35 pupils at Berea. Mrs. Keezel from Hindman is in charge of Boys House. Till Harris, who had attended the WSTU convention, was arrested for moonshining. The letter-writer was invited by Big Laurel women to join them at Bennet Lewis rock; Sally Harris.


005-005a July 10, 1929. Two-page letter to Miss Butler from KP (Pettit), providing updates concerning [005] Fourth of July celebration at PMSS; summer workers; rebuilding roads and bridges after March flood. She describes her annual mountain day with the down Greasy women; [005a] conversations with children; visit to the barn, Mrs. [Martha] Burns, Willie Lewis, Winfield; visit to Brasstown, [TN], Marguerite Butler and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Deschamps; Mary Breckenridge; Dr. Withington; Miss Gaines. “So many of our children go to Berea now that we take many more new ones each time….Some are taking nurse’s training.”

USDA Circulars

013 March 1917. Circular 74. United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, Frankfort, Ky. “The Incidence of Bovine Infection of Tuberculosis in Edinburg,’” Edinburg Medical Journal, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, March 1917, 178-196.

012-012a March 1923. Two-page Circular 76. “From Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vo. LXII,” titled “United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, Frankfort, Kentucky. Tuberculosis Contracted by a Family from a Tuberculous Cow at Valdosta, Georgia.” The paper concluded that “…[T]he tuberculous milk-cow is a serious danger to our public health.”


See Also:
HARRIET BUTLER Staff – Biography