Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Marguerite Butler Letters 1922


TAGS: Line Fork, Katherine Pettit, Ethel de Long Zande, Open House, schools, visitors, folk dancing, scout activities, Sunday School, Hamilton College, fundraising

Note: Letters are often updated. Often dates are assigned from the content of the letter. The following order of the 1922 LETTERS is approximate.

Click here to read Marguerite Butler’s biography.

CONTENTS: Marguerite Butler Letters 1922

bid_086 through bid_088

1.    1922 LETTER 1 – Sunday, January 22 – “Dear Mother — I never had such an easy trip. The four of us sat in the state room talking until 9:15 while the porter made our berths….” [images 001-005]

returned to Pine Mt. on train with Misses Humes and Webb ; visited Line Fork ; arrival of children ; meetings with Pettit and Zande ;

MBB NOTE – “This was written just before I left for a speaking trip….” [image 006]

2.    1922 LETTER 2 – Sunday, January 1922 – “Dear Mother — Yesterday it was 10 degrees below zero, today it must be up to 60 degrees above…” [images 007 – 010]

need to fix Line Fork well ; visited Divide and Incline schools and neighbors ; preparing Open House ; Emily returned ;

3.    1922 LETTER 3 – January 20, 1922 – “Dear Jeannette — A letter came from Mrs. Taylor to speak at Seventh Presbyterian Church at the regular Sunday night meeting, February 12th….” [images 011-014]

scheduling speaking appointments at home ; planning trip to Chicago ; has a typewriter ;

4.    1922 LETTER 4 – Sunday, Jan 23, 1922 – “Dear Mother — I still do not know just when and where to send my suitcase. I’ll enclose a list of what I want so you can have them ready….” [images 015-018]

worked on Line Fork well ; visited two schools on Abner’s Branch ; Mrs. Sharrow and Miss Coolidge visit ; folk dancing with workers ; Scouts pageant and meeting ; provides books at Sunday School ;

5.    1922 LETTER 5 – Sunday, May 16 (14?), 1922 – (“This is a queer letter. Read to the end. If I don’t come Tuesday, please send these things Wed.”) “Dear Jeannette — You will be surprised to hear I am running away to Lexington again…” [images 019-024]

invited to speak at Beta Sigma Omicron Society banquet at Hamilton College ; visits and dinners with neighbors ; applied to Mrs. John C. Campbell for trip to Sweden ; Deschamps family to visit ;

6.    1922 LETTER 6 – Sunday, May 21, 1922 – “Dear Father — You must have sent the box Wed. for it never came thru so well before. The tomatoes were perfect. It arrived at just the right time for I….” [images 025-026]

returned from Incline ; enjoyed food from Father’s box ;

7.    1922 LETTER 7 – [no date] – typewritten letter to Miss Erna Berry Watson, Hamilton College, Lexington, Ky. from [?] – “My dear Miss Watson: Miss Pettit has asked me to send you a letter about Miss Marguerite Butler herself and about her work at Pine Mt. First, about Miss Butler herself:….” HAND-WRITTEN NOTATION at end of letter: “Thought this might interest you.” [images 027-028]

MBB Note — “For a time Hamilton College paid my salary. I think $75 a month. I know I spoke there once. M.B.” [image 029]

8.    Newspaper clippings – [no dates] – “Mrs. N.R. Elliott is chairman of the committee, composed of….The round table discussion was ably led by Miss Marguerite Butler of Pine Mountain school.”
“The Vassar Alumnae Club will entertain Thursday with a luncheon in honor of Miss Marguerite Butler of the Pine Mountain School….”
“Miss Katherine Pettit and Miss Marguerite Butler of the Pine Mountain school, are guests of Mrs. J.R. Morton while here….” [image 030]

GALLERY: Marguerite Butler Letters 1922

TRANSCRIPTION: Marguerite Butler Letters 1922

[Brackets indicate notations by HW.]

LETTER 1 – Sunday, Jan. 22 – [images 001-005]

Sunday Jan. 22 [bid_086]

Dear Mother — I never had such an easy trip. The four of us sat in the stateroom talking until 9:15 while the porter made our berths. In the morning he had to shake me to awaken me. We had an hour in Pineville. I led the line into the baggage room where we piled all knapsacks, suitcases, wraps, etc. Then we had breakfast and bought some food — that is, Miss Humes and Miss Webb did. I wish you could have seen us loaded down. And will you believe it, we came in a chair car to Dillon. Of course the chair car came out of Noah’s Ark so it only cost 38 cents but there were big comfortable chairs – looked like dentist’s chairs — only four other people, clean towels, liquid soap, etc. We were ladies.

At Baxter I saw Mary Cooper, Grandma Cooper’s grand-daughter.  From Harlan on we had a private car. Henry was there to meet me with Queen. She certainly is a jewel. She came just like the wind and never was there a lovelier day. The new road certainly gives a wonderful view of the mountains all the way. I got here by 12 o’clock train time which was half hour ahead of this time so the first bell for dinner had not rung. Everyone was so surprised to see me. The other three on mules didn’t get in until two o’clock but as Henry wanted to get in early we came on ahead.

I had dinner, saw everyone, unpacked, straightened out everything, took a bath, read my mail — then went to Miss Pettit’s at three o’clock. The man who was trading for me on Line Fork (horse trade) arrived so you see I didn’t get back any too soon. I was with Miss Pettit two hours, then had to go up to see Mr. and Mrs. Zande. It was six when I got back here.

Yesterday Miss Parkinson with two other workers started out for Wooton Creek to be gone three days. The children were all invited to May’s [May Ritchie Deschamps] for a party so Miss G[aines] and I had a party here at the fire all alone. We went to bed early.

This morning I had to ride down Greasy to see a man about some business and then go to Line Fork. Two matters had to be settled today. I didn’t stay long, getting back here just about 12:30. Delia gave me a lovely quilt in blue and white — a Xmas gift.

The children are all coming in. You see, one half went the first week and the other half the second week. Every girl is back now at Laurel House. All afternoon mules have been arriving bringing the children — a lot of new ones have come. I saw a man come with two boys but they went away again so I guess there was not room for them.

The bell for vespers just rang but I am not going.

Miss Pettit does not leave until Tuesday. Tomorrow I am to see her at 9:30 and then later both Mrs. Z[ande] and Miss Pettit together.

I hope you are better. Now don’t go off to movies and stay there thru dinner hour. You may get hungry. I will be thinking of you all Tuesday at Symphony. Wasn’t our treat nice Friday?

I can’t realize I just got in yesterday — and before I know it I’ll be off again.

A card from Stan (?) that she had a little 8 lb boy, Robert Craig, December 23.

Good-bye. My love, Marguerite

(Isn’t this a nice card from Grade Denby. Give enclosed paper to father and ask him what it is for.)

MBB Note – [image 006]

This was written just before I left for a two months speaking trip in Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Miami, Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago — quite an experience. M.

LETTER 2 – January 1922 – [images 007-010]

January 1922 [bid_088]

Dear Mother — Yesterday it was 10 degrees above zero, today it must be up to 60 degrees above. Such a change overnight. I had sixteen at Sunday School. They were so excited over the pictures of play. I let each family pick the one they would like a print of.

Yesterday I had to go to Line Fork and I tell you I wore all the clothes I had. It was bitter cold and a high wind but I didn’t get cold a bit. It was beautiful with everything white with snow. The sun made it so brilliant I could hardly see. I have to go over to Line Fork again to-morrow for several days to fix the well. When I was home it just stopped running. I am afraid a joint has cracked letting in air. It will be a job to fix.

Thursday I went to Divide and Incline schools, stopping by with Uncle Calvin and Aunt Sara Nolan for a while. They surely are dear old people. Uncle Calvin said if the old woman got sick he was going to send for me to keep house for them.

Several days I have been busy in office writing letters and planning trip.

Tonight Miss Gaines & I are going to Delia’s for supper. She came down yesterday afternoon just before supper to invite us. Did I tell you that Delia had made a quilt for me for Xmas in blue and white. I’ll use it at Open House.

The curtains are all up at O[pen] H[ouse] and they are dear. One night I changed the lamp shade, putting in the orange checked gingham. It changes the house so.

I can’t say just when I start but around the end of month. I’ll let you know later so where to send my clothes. Please fix my hat.

Emily just got in from home. She was gone ten days. Said she just couldn’t stay away any longer, she wanted the bathtub so. Miss Gaines did not expect her back until Friday.

My love to you all. I am not going to write long letters because I’ll see you all again
so soon.

Lovingly, Marguerite

LETTER 3 – January 20, 1922 – [images 011-014]

January 20, 1922

Dear Jeannette — A letter came from Mrs. Taylor to speak at Seventh Presbyterian Church at the regular Sunday night meeting, February 12th. As Luella is making several appointments for me I wrote her immediately if that night was open to call Mrs. Taylor. It is going to mess arranging things. I told Luella to go ahead and make appointments for it takes so long to get word here and then if I’m gone over-night a letter is delayed a day. So all I can say to do is for my numerous business managers to consult each other. I hardly think I’ll get home before the 9th. Honestly, I just don’t know as the places I go to in Ky. are all personal interviews and you can’t tell how many times you have to call before you find a person in.

I’ll send literature to-day to Rev. Symans. I should think that would be a splendid church to speak. Will you call Luella and tell her before she makes definite appoint­ments, unless she is sure it is a place I ought not miss, to call you, for you may have one for same time. If I cannot stay long enough in February I’ll come back in March.

I am going to Chicago. Miss Dennis is filling a week there. I’ll enclose some letters Mother will enjoy reading. Do not return as there is nothing definite in them.

Yes, I would love a crepe de chene [sic] combination. Tell Mother to wait until I get home. There will be many needs for my trip. I have a Corona!! I have had two pictures taken on Queen.

Will send you literature today. Am so glad Mother and Auntie are having such a good time.

Am not writing on my Corona yet for so far it takes me two minutes to figure out “you”. (Isn’t it ghastly?)

Thank you so much. Thank Clarkey and Susan Shaffer, too.

Love, Muggins

[P. S. Mother’s letter came. I am so glad the comforts have been sent. I’ll let you know when they come. They certainly are needed.]

LETTER 4 – Sunday, January 23,1922 – [images 015-018] 

Sunday, January 23, 1922

Dear Mother — I still do not know just when and where to send my suitcase. I’ll enclose a list of what I want so you can have them ready.

Last Monday morning I started out early for Line Fork to fix the water. For two days we worked and at 4 Tuesday once more had running water. The settling of the ground at the well had bent the pipe so it broke right in half under the elbow. Henry Creech came Tuesday to help us cut and thread the pipes. When we found the trouble I had to send him back to the school for a new elbow. He left on Queen at 10:30, getting back at 1:05 – said he never was on such a good horse before. He told me to tell Jeannette if she picked a husband with as much judgment as a horse she’d get a good one.

Thursday I rode to the two schools on Abner’s Branch. The rest of the time I’ve been here writing letters, learning to use typewriter, reading up on my talk for conferences, etc.

Mrs. Sharrow, Vice President of Girl Scouts, and Miss Coolidge from Cambridge were here for four days. Thursday they went to Line Fork, staying overnight as Girl Scouts are organized there. They loved it!

Wednesday night we had workers folk dancing in school house, then served hot chocolate and cake. I danced once with Mrs. Sharrow and once with Miss Coolidge. I told them (I mean Miss Gaines and Parkinson afterwards) I had such a swell[ed] head when Mrs. Sharrow asked me to dance with her I couldn’t make my feet go.

Friday night the Scouts gave a pageant in school house — the history of this valley from very beginning.

Yesterday morning we had scout council meeting at Open House. Then I took the two guests to see Aunt Sal and she was dear.

Of course I had my Sunday School. School at the Divide is over so I have taken up several dozen story books so every Sunday children can take home a book. They are crazy over it. They elected a librarian and he keeps a record of every book taken.

Tonight Miss G[aines], Miss Parkinson, Miss Webb & I are going to have supper at Open House.

I’ll see you all again in a little while.

Love to everyone. Marguerite

LETTER 5 – Sunday, May 14, 1922 – [images 019-024]

Sunday, May 14, 1922

(This is a queer letter. Read to the end. If I don’t come Tuesday, May 16, please send these things Wednesday.)

Dear Jeannette — You will be surprised to hear I am running away to Lexington again. The special delivery was to come to speak at annual banquet of the Beta Sigma Omicron Society Friday night. Remember last year they wired me but I had gone east. I may stay over Sunday night to speak at the University. At least Frances suggested I do that.

I am enclosing a list of clothes which will have to be sent right away for I arrive Friday a.m. at 8. I guess I better address this letter to Mother for if it comes in the morning mail she can be getting it ready. I wish she would send the things in my new black suitcase so if by any chance I should go anyplace else I would have it. It can be put in a bag or wrapped the way Mother did before. I have two keys I think. One of them is in my desk drawer or jewel case so you could mail a key right away to me at Lexington in care of Miss Erna B. Watson, Hamilton College. I hope this reaches Lexington Thursday. I have written Miss Watson I’ll arrive 7:55 Friday a.m. You never know what is going to happen, do you?

Now about father’s box. It is lovely. I really ought to be writing him. Guess I will stick in a note to him about that. This is a funny letter, first started it to Jeannette, then Mother, and now want to write Johnnie.

I had such a good time at the Cooper‘s. They are darling old people. I hope J[eanette] can get down to see them the next time she comes.

Yesterday I had dinner at Aunt Sara‘s. They were expecting me and she had the nicest dinner. My eyes nearly fell out when I saw a great big bowl of strawberries. She had picked the biggest she could find. I had four dishes for dinner and stopped on my way back to have two more.

I walked up to Aunt Sal’s after dinner today, taking two new workers. Miss G[aines]a is coming up for supper.

I am enclosing a card and letter from E. and M.L. You can destroy both. I can’t make you understand all three countries, Norway, Denmark & Sweden, are under one Foundation and only 1 scholarship was offered altogether. Mrs. [John C.] Campbell received it and I was second on the list so if they had given one to Sweden I would have gotten it but they did not. Mrs. C. [Campbell] is still trying to get the money from some other agency. She doesn’t want to give up so you see I can plan on no vacation until this is absolutely settled. If I don’t go this year I’ll apply for next.

I wonder if Miss Webb called you. Kitty [Ritchie], Allie [Ritchie], May [Ritchie Deschamps] and Mr. D. [Deschamps] are coming this Friday. Miss Webb was going to drive them everywhere and I thought that you would all love to see them. I think they are going at 6:05 N.Y.C. so I asked her to up late in the afternoon. Couldn’t you leave U. C. [University of Cincinnati ?] early. May’s baby is a dear. You know May has been at our house before. I’ll leave here Thursday so you write me at L. [?]. I hope you are still getting along nicely and that Mother is too.

My love to you all. Marguerite

LETTER 6 – Sunday (May 21,1922?) – [images 025-026] 

Sunday (May 21,1922?)

Dear Father — You must have sent the box Wednesday for it never came thru so well before. The tomatoes were perfect. It arrived at just the right time for I got in Thursday after being gone for three days, and suppers were outside that night with just milk and bread. Miss Gaines and I had a real feast. The next night I invited our nurse and a new worker who was homesick.

Last night I got back about 5:30 from Incline. Supper was over at Laurel H[ouse] but indeed Miss Gaines had eaten nothing for you know she feels it is hers too. We built a fire in my nice new fireplace which Emily made and again feasted on sausage, tomatoes and lettuce. She said Emily made and again feasted on sausage, tomatoes and lettuce. She said to tell you that we never did have such before.  Enough for tonight and then we’ll have a change of diet. They ce strike the spot. I really don’t believe a box ever came thru in better condition certainly thank you. If you could see us at night you would understand.

Lovingly, Marguerite

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