Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Stella Taylor, Student 1934-1938
Stella Creech Taylor LaMoreaux (1919-2001)


Stella Taylor, PMSS Student, 1934-1938. [taylor_stella_bio_005]

TAGS: Stella Creech Taylor, Stella Taylor, PMSS students, student applications, Community Nursing at PMSS, Community Group, Berea College, Grace Rood, nurses training, WWII, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Veterans Hospital, Hubert J. LaMoreaux, Taylor family, nurse anesthetists

STELLA TAYLOR Student 1934-1938

Stella Taylor, PMSS Student. [taylor_stella_bio_006]

Stella Creech Taylor was the daughter of Robert Lee Taylor and Louise Creech Taylor, the latter a descendant of William Creech, the donor of land for the construction of Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Stella was one of four children in the Taylor family. She was born in Dungannon, Virginia, on May 16, 1919. Her family moved to Big Laurel, Kentucky, near Pine Mountain School when she was five years old. Her father, a logger and farmer, was land-rich, owning seventy-five acres of land near the community of Big Laurel.

As of c. 1934, the oldest sibling, John Taylor, was 26, Henry Stewart Taylor 19, and Frank Taylor 17. Only Delia Ann Taylor was younger than Stella and, at age 11, in the fifth grade in school.

Stella’s application describes a home that echoed many homes in the area – a three-room log structure, heated by coal and kerosene, where the walk to school was a long one of approximately five miles.

This early childhood prepared Stella to join the extended program of Community Nursing at Pine Mountain Settlement School. From that training, she blossomed in the profession she had declared was the only work she wished to do.

STELLA TAYLOR At Pine Mountain

Grace Rood was a longtime and well-respected nurse at the School’s Infirmary from 1936 until the early 1960s. Among her duties was training senior girls in community medical services. The trainees’ education included helping at the Infirmary by caring for newborns, keeping medical records, traveling with the doctor on house calls, giving inoculations in the district schools, and rendering first aid. The training and experience the students received often inspired them to continue their nursing studies at accredited schools. Miss Rood guided nearly a dozen of those students to go into the medical profession, including Stella who was among the first of “Miss Rood’s girls” to do so.

Students assigned to this “Community Group” not only rendered much-needed advice and aid to homes up and down the creeks but, in return, received practical experience and helped to connect the School with the community. In 1937, the group started a Consumer’s Cooperative Store which taught students all aspects of running a business.

Stella’s effective work among the needy families who lived in Big Laurel and Little Laurel was held in high regard by staff and community alike. A narrative about Stella on The Alumni page of the “1944 Pine Mountain Family Album” reminisces about Stella’s time at PMSS:

Stella came to Pine Mountain in 1935 from the mouth of Turkey Fork, eight miles away. One of our earliest recollections of her stay here is the heartfelt remark of a staff member, “If only we had 120 Stellas!” She was a loyal Co-op, and a devoted community worker, responsible for much of the constructive work done among needy families on her own creek, and through it all she was steadily preparing to be a nurse, under Miss Rood’s guidance. After graduation in 1938 Stella continued her course at Berea, graduated last spring, and is now somewhere in England with the U. S. Army.

Besides proving herself to be an exemplary student at Pine Mountain Settlement School, Stella found time for extracurricular activities. She served as an “associate” with the student publication, The Pine Cone, for four of its issues in 1937-1938. She also wrote a column titled “Community News” (1937 October), and a poem titled “The Turn of the Year” (1938 October). In 1937, she acted in the play, “A Dress to Dance In,” directed by Glyn Morris. In January 1939, she gave a talk about the Community Group. On May Day 1939, Stella was among the junior and senior students that performed the class dance. 

According to a biography written by Stella’s niece (see transcription and images below), it was necessary for Stella to leave PMSS in 1938 during her senior year to care for her ailing mother. It was Miss Rood who encouraged Stella to return to school later in 1939 and graduate, then attend the Berea School of Nursing in Berea, Kentucky. Although her senior year was delayed, Stella was still considered a member of the Class of 1938.

After graduation in 1942 from the Berea School of Nursing, Stella returned temporarily to PMSS to assist at the Infirmary as a fill-in nurse during the staff’s July vacation period. She continued to keep in touch with Grace Rood for many years. While on a vacation trip in 1953, Miss Rood stayed several days with Stella who was then living in Cleveland, Ohio.


“Class of ’38.” Excerpt from The Pine Cone, May 1938, Vol. 5 No. 6, page 01. [1938_class_pmss2.jpg]

TRANSCRIPTION: Stella Creech Taylor – [001] Biography

The following documents tell her story in detail. The first transcription and image is of a biography by her niece, Betty J. Taylor Johnson. The second is a transcription of an obituary from Mynatt’s Funeral Home, Knoxville, Tennessee. The third is a note to Stella in her later years from a family member. The transcriptions have been lightly edited for clarity.


Stella was born on May 16, 1919, in Dungannon, Virginia. Shortly afterward the family moved to Kentucky and lived on a small mountain farm. She attended a Harlan County, Kentucky, elementary school at Big Laurel, Ky. She then attended the Pine Mountain Settlement Boarding School a few miles from her home. This school has some affiliation with Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. While at Pine Mountain she was befriended by Nurse Grace Rood. Nurse Rood was in charge of the school infirmary and traveled all over the area to treat and care of people in the community.

Stella dropped out of school her senior year and stayed home to care for her mother who suffered from a heart condition and died at the age of 54. Miss Rood was instrumental in getting Stella back to school at Pine Mountain to finish her senior year and then on to Berea for nursing school.

Stella completed her nursing training education in 1942 and did her student practice training in Cincinnati, Ohio. Stella then went into the army as a nurse on July 20, 1943, and was there until January 22, 1946. She was with the 44th Evacuation Hospital and landed at Maidenhead, England, on Thanksgiving Day, 1943. They were with the 1st Army and moved about 32 times. The 44th treated our young men on the battlefields and prepared them to move to hospitals for more intensive care. The most patient history she asked the wounded men was, “Soldier, where do you hurt?” She saw and endured some terrible scenes. She served as a First Lieutenant.

On Sunday, July 20, 1992, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article about women in War. There was a feature about Stella. While serving in World War II she earned the following medals: World War II Victory Medal, Meritorious Service Unit Placque, European Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon (5 bronze stars).

She served in Normandy, landing at Omaha Beach a few days after the invasion. She served also in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.

After her service to our country, she returned homе and began her nursing career at the© Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. She took time from the Cleveland Clinic and went to Johns Hopkins for further training as a surgical nurse. She then returned to the Cleveland Clinic to pursue her career as a surgical nurse. A few years later she had the urge to do more with her nursing career and attended the Mayo Clinic for training as a nurse anesthetist…She retired from the Clinic, signed on at the Veterans Hospital and retired from that facility.

Stella is still a bright, very intelligent, witty lady. A good conversationalist who shares some of the stories willingly. Some of the war horrors she saw remain with her. She is a heck of a Scrabble© player. My hope is that anyone who reads this short introduction about who Stella is will take time to get to know her.

Stella has a younger sister, Delia Ann Lewis, and a brother Frank still living. My father, John, her oldest brother, died about 30 years ago and her brother Henгy died about 4 years ago. She still grieves for her husband of 42 years, Hugh LaMoreaux. Life for her has not been joyful since his going away. Her family deeply respects and loves her. I hope you have the opportunity and time to get to know her.
— Betty J. Taylor Johnson [Niece]

TRANSCRIPTION: Stella Creech Taylor – [002] Obituary

LaMoreaux, Stella Creech Taylor, age 82, of Knoxville, Tennessee, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio, passed away August 31, 2001, at St. Mary’s Residential Hospice. She was born in Dungannon, Virginia, and moved to Harlan County, Kentucky, as a small child. Stella was graduated from Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, Ky. (Harlan County), [and] Berea College of Nursing, Berea, Kentucky. 

She was a veteran of World War II serving as a First Lieutenant Army Nurse with the 44th Evacuation Hospital. She landed at Maidenhead, England, on Thanksgiving Day 1943. They were attached to the First Army and moved 52 times. They landed at Omaha Beach, Normandy, a few days after the invasion. She served at Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. Their main mission was to get the wounded soldiers from the battlefields and sent to hospitals. She did advanced surgical training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and was graduated from the Nurse Anesthetist program at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She was retired from the Cleveland Clinic and from the Veterans Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Hubert J. LaMoreaux, parents, Robert and Louisa Creech Taylor of Big Laurel, Kentucky, brothers, John Taylor and wife Elsie Taylor, Henry Stewart Taylor and sister-in-law Grace Taylor and nephew Bobby Taylor.

Survivors, one brother, Frank Taylor, of Big Laurel, Ky. One sister, Delia Ann Lewis and her husband Kim of Hamilton, Ohio. Several nieces and nephews, Pearl Taylor Ewalt, and husband Chuck, of Las Vegas, Nevada. Beth Taylor Carlander of Orlando, Florida, Betty J. Taylor Johnson and husband Ronald, of Powell (Knoxville) Tennessee, Clark Taylor and wife Sherry, Corbin, Kentucky, Glenna Taylor Cox and husband Jim of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mark Taylor and wife Linda, of Richmond, Virginia. Anne Taylor Thompson and husband Ted of Frankfort, Kentucky, Claude Taylor and wife Brenda of Miami, Florida, Kenneth Taylor and wife Susie of Big Laurel, Kentucky, several Taylor great and great, great, nieces and nephews. One sister-in-law, Alice LaMoreaux, Cleveland, Ohio. Several LaMoreaux nieces and nephews in the Cleveland area, Bob LaMoreaux and wife Joyce, Bill LaMoreaux and wife Mary, Cora Martin and husband Gerald, Marian Lalich and husband Mel, and Betsy Williams, Jim LaMoreaux, Mary Rowe and Nancy Wolf in the Columbus, Ohio area. Stepson Michael Lamoreaux of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 …. The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Pine Mountain Settlement School.

TRANSCRIPTION: [003] Note To Stella from Family

When [we] were trying to convince Stella that she needed some assistance to make her life easier, my husband, Ron Johnson wrote out some facts to remind her how important she is to us. — Betty J. Taylor Johnson [Niece]

Stella, you are an important person in our family history and you have accomplished more than anyone in our family….

      1. Completed college on your own.
      2. Completed post-graduate medical training.
      3. Participated in and survived the greatest war in history. You are part of the greatest generation of Americans in history.
      4. Held the lives of thousands of people in your hands as you performed your daily work.
      5. God surely must be pleased with your life. He must have sent angels to guide and protect you.
      6. You still have a lot of work to do. Our grandchildren deserve to know you and what you have accomplished. You need to work on your memoirs so that future generations of our family will know you. You have an important legacy to leave to our family. 

We know that you are fiercely independent and do not want anyone to interfere in your affairs. It is time to let us help you. You have earned this help. It is not offered in pity, but in admiration of you. When you die and God sends angels to lift you up to heaven are you going to say no thank you, I can make us up alone? We must help you get on with God’s plan.
— Ronald Johnson [Husband of Stella’s Niece]


001 Biography Written by Stella’s Niece
002 Obituary for Stella Creech Taylor
003 Note to Stella Taylor from Family


Alt. Title  Stella Taylor ; Stella Lamoreaux, Stella T. Lamoreaux ; Stella Creech Lamoreaux ; Mrs. Hubert LaMoreaux ;
Creator Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Alt. Creator Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;
Subject Keyword Stella Creech Taylor, Stella Taylor, PMSS students, student application, Community Nursing at PMSS, Berea College, Grace Rood, nurses training, WWII, WWII medals, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Veterans Hospital, Hubert J. LaMoreaux, Taylor family, nurse anesthetists
Subject LCSH Taylor, Stella. — 1919-2001.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Date 2024-03-05 hw
Publisher Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Contributor n/a
Type Collections ; text ; image ;
Format Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.
Source Series 09: BIOGRAPHY
Series 19: STUDENTS
Language English
Relation Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: BIOGRAPHY and Series 19: STUDENTS
Coverage Temporal 1919 -2001
Coverage Spatial Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Dungannon, VA ; Big Laurel, KY ; Berea, KY ; Cincinnati, OH ; Maidenhead, England ; Cleveland, OH ; Knoxville, TN ; Cleveland, OH ; Normandy, France ; Rochester, MN ; Baltimore, MD ;
Rights Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor n/a – School records
Description Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Stella Taylor ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Stella Taylor ;
Acquisition n/d
Citation “[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed By Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last Updated  2023-03-26 hw ; 2024- 03-11 aae; 2024-03-11 hhw ; 2024-03-17 aae ;  2024-03-24 aae ; 
Sources Accessed 04-10-2024. Internet resource.“Stella Taylor.” Series 09: BIOGRAPHY and Series 19: STUDENTS. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.“United States Census, 1930”, FamilySearch ( : Accessed Mar 11 2024), Entry for Bob Taylor and Louisa Taylor, 1930. Internet resource.”United States Census, 1940″, FamilySearch ( : Accessed Mar 11 2024), Entry for Robert Taylor and Henry Taylor, 1940. Internet resource.

See Also:
STELLA TAYLOR Correspondence I (1934-1938)
STELLA TAYLOR Correspondence II (1939-1940)

For References to Stella Taylor on Other Pages, Go To:

ALICE COBB STORIES A Trip to Turkey Fork and Big Laurel 1937
ALICE COBB STORIES Farewell Trip to Line Fork 1937
ALICE JOY KEITH Correspondence
ALUMNI RELATIONS 1984 Newsletter
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing I
PUBLICATIONS RELATED 1938 Bertha Shepherd Little Journeys I PMSS
[Page 24]
STUDENTS 1938 Graduating Class

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