Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Samuel Winfrey, PMSS Farmer & Teacher 1933-1936
Samuel H. Winfrey (1900-1993)

THOMAS J. MADON Student ; ALICE COBB Staff Trustee

Summer 1934. (l. to r.) Oscar Kneller, Miss Lewis, Ben Turner, Tom Madon, Mrs. Faulkner, Miss Alice Cobb, Mr. Sam Winfrey, Mrs. Baird, Mr. Burns. [X_100_workers_2569d_mod.jpg]

Instructor in Poultry and Dairy Work, 1933-1936

TAGS: Samuel Winfrey, Samuel H. Winfrey, Sam Winfrey, Berea College, teachers, Glyn Morris, application for a PMSS position, vocational education, Smith-Hughes Act, 4H Club camps, poultry, dairy work, The Pine Cone, Dr. Kenneth Gould, Sunny Jim (horse), Lucy (cow), violin playing, logging boys

SAMUEL WINFREY: Application to Pine Mountain

‘Sam Winnifree,” Sam Winfrey, teacher, c. 1933. [neff_vennie_004]

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Berea College in June 1933, Samuel  Winfrey, learned from the college that Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) had an opening for a teaching position. In his August 5, 1933, application letter to Glyn Morris, PMSS Director, he explained that his degree qualified him to teach Vocational Agriculture under the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917, which promoted and provided federal funds to the states to promote vocational education.

Winfrey went on to write that he was 33 years old and unmarried. “[I was] reared on a farm in Russell County, Kentucky, and am familiar with farming conditions such as you have in Harlan County.” He described his experience organizing and directing 4H Club work, having been a leader in four club camps. At Berea College he was active in agricultural work. In his senior year he served as president of the Agricultural Home Economics Club. He also had “five years experience as a teacher in the rural schools of Russell County.” He listed his references and planned to interview with PMSS representatives at Laden, Kentucky, on August 8. Apparently, he a paid a visit to the School and met Glyn Morris at that time or soon after.

SAMUEL WINFREY STAFF: Instructor At Pine Mountain

Although Winfrey had some hesitancy concerning the salary that Morris offered, he began working at Pine Mountain on August 18 as instructor in poultry and dairy work and manager of those two departments. Besides his routine teaching and barn maintenance, two articles in The Pine Cone, a PMSS student publication, illustrate other kinds of tasks that Winfrey was called on to do.

An article on page 1 of the April 1934 issue of The Pine Cone describes acquiring a horse for the current PMSS physician, Dr. Kenneth Gould.


By the aid of donations given by people who are interested in Pine Mountain Settlement School, and the medical work it does, a horse has been bought for the doctor [Dr. Kenneth Gould]. The horse is very necessary to the doctor on his trips through the community giving medical aid.

 Mr. Winfrey, Instructor of Dairy and Poultry, went to Richmond, Kentucky, where he secured the horse. 

The horse is the well known Sunny Jim owned by our former doctor. The horse was ridden through from Richmond to the school by one of our neighbors.

Another article is displayed as a tongue-in-cheek obituary for one of the PMSS cows on page 4 of the February 1936 Pine Cone:

On Friday, January 24, 1936, Lucy (nee Lucy J.), beloved mother of Big Boy Jr., and devoted grandmother of Lela died of a combination of old age and accident, having reached her 22nd anniversary. Sorrowful and with much weeping, Mr. Winfrey, T.J. Madon, and Robert Collins prepared the body for the funeral services which were held at Laurel House….


Samuel Winfrey had a talent for playing the violin and often entertained at social events at PMSS and in the community. A November 1933 issue of The Pine Cone, a PMSS student publication, referred to Winfrey in its “Big Laurel News” column: “The people at Medical Settlement feel quite honored to have Mr. Winfrey of Pine Mountain school, entertain them with his violin.”

According to one of Alice Cobb‘s many stories, “Party for Logging Boys 1934,”

Last night we had a party and asked the logging boys from Creeches to come over and play their guitar and banjo along with Winfrey’s fiddle. ….

Tonight the logging boys and Sam played at Creeches and we went to hear. I love these evenings at Creeches. …There was just one dim lamp and we all sat around two or three deep, on the edges of the beds (where the children were already asleep…). And as the music twanged out I enjoyed watching the men — Gib Lewis and Henry [Creech] and some others. They sat as though they were made of stone, never smiled, never moved a muscle, except to tap ever so slightly with one foot, and just listen, listen, listen.  

Alice Cobb also mentioned Winfrey in “Taking Moving Pictures Down Greasy 1935” at a party at Frank Turner’s home:

We rode through about a mile of creek bed, and nearly got stalled in several places on the way. Walking is better, I guess. They had a banjo and a guitar besides Sam Winfrey‘s fiddle, and it was good old mountain music all right. I never danced to such fetching tunes — the music seemed to carry us right through the figures. ….


Samuel Winfrey, born June 25, 1900, in Russell Springs, Kentucky, was the youngest of the nine children of Samuel Davis Winfrey, a farmer, and Marian Ellen (Leach) Winfrey. In June of 1940, he married Aurelia Johnston (1912-2012). They had at least one child, Samuel J. Winfrey.

Samuel Harrison Winfrey died on January 11, 1993, in Marion, Illinois.


Title  Samuel Winfrey
Alt. Title Samuel H. Winfrey ; Sam Winfrey ; Samuel Harrison Winfrey ;
Creator Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Alt. Creator Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;
Subject Keyword Samuel Winfrey, Samuel H. Winfrey, Sam Winfrey, Berea College, teachers, Glyn Morris, application for a PMSS position, vocational education, Smith-Hughes Act, 4H Club camps, poultry, dairy work, The Pine Cone, Dr. Kenneth Gould, Sunny Jim (horse), Lucy (cow), violin playing, logging boys
Subject LCSH Winfrey, Samuel Harrison, — 1900 – 1993.
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 2022-11-21 aae
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 – Staff
Language English
Relation Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff.
Coverage Temporal 1900 – 1993
Coverage Spatial Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;  Russell County, KY ; Russell, Springs, KY ; Laden, KY ; Marion, IL ;
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
Description Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Samuel H. Winfrey ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Samuel H. Winfrey ;
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  

Samuel Harrison Winfrey 1900-1993 FAMILY TREE on (accessed 19 November 2022). Internet resource.

“Sam Winfrey,” Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 November 2022), Samuel H Winfrey in household of Sam D Winfrey, District 4, Russell, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 9, sheet 7A, line 4, family 44, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 777; FHL microfilm 2,340,512. Internet resource.

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SAMUEL WINFREY Correspondence