Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Florence Reeves, Volunteer, Housemother, 1922
Florence Reeves (1879-1954)


Chapel, 1922. [nace_1_013a.jpg]

TAGS: Florence Reeves, Pine Mountain Settlement School, housemothers, Katherine Pettit, Smith College, Mr. and Mrs. Charles I. Reeves, kindergartens, Edna Fawcett, Aunt Phronnie, weaving, Angela Melville


Volunteer Worker, Housemother 1922

Florence Reeves was at Pine Mountain Settlement School only for a short time in 1922. Her experience at the School, however, had a lasting impression on her as indicated by her personal collection that the School was fortunate to have received from her family.

Very little is known of Florence Reeves. Born in August 1879, she was the daughter of Charles I. Reeves (1853-1935), a bookkeeper and later the secretary of a trust fund, and Sarah Louise (Madison) Reeves (1853-1918). The Reeves were a prominent family in Montclair and also included a son, Harry N. Reeves, born in 1876, who became a lawyer.

She was apparently a graduate of Smith College (Northampton, MA) in 1901 at age 21 and was employed for a time as director of a public school kindergarten in Montclair, New Jersey.

Miss Reeves’ letter to Co-Director Katherine Pettit indicates she was living in Ward 2 at 103 Claremont Avenue, Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey.  Likely her experience as a director of a kindergarten made her a good choice for the work at Pine Mountain. The March 1922 issue of Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School mentions that “Miss Florence Reeves of Montclair, New Jersey, calls herself a visitor, but she is invaluable to us as assistant to the primary teacher and in many other ways.” Her age at Pine Mountain was 42.

Included in her collected materials that were sent to the School was her letter to Miss Pettit, dated June 7th, 1934,  in which she reflects on her time at Pine Mountain. She notes that she had published a small article, also included in her materials, about her experiences at the School and her encounters with “Aunt” Phronnie. Phronnie was well-known for her weaving as well as her knowledge of natural dyes. Florence was a friend of Pine Mountain worker, Edna Fawcett, with whom she stayed in contact through the years. Fawcett was also a weaver who continued to weave long after leaving Pine Mountain.

1922, the year that Florence was employed at the School as a volunteer worker, was a formative year for the institution, as many key staff departed for other work and some previous staff members, such as Miss Angela Melville returned to the School to assist with its administration. Consequently, there was considerable staff turn-over during this time. It is not known if Miss Reeves was hired as a short-term worker or if she did not find the work environment agreeable.


Florence Reeves died in 1954 and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.

Florence Reeves Collection

The materials that Florence Reeves left to Pine Mountain capture the fascination she and others had for the community that surrounded the School. Many of the workers had had little opportunity to work with populations such as those in eastern Kentucky and many of the cultural traits held a special fascination for them. Florence Reeves was one such staff member. She had a special ear for ballads, language and the many stories and conversations that swirled around her as she worked with the children at the School as their housemother and with the parents of many of the children. Her notes and letter reflect her profound experiences as she sought to both be observer and participant.

See Also:

FLORENCE REEVES “Aunt Phronnie Say by Her Fire Peeling Apples…”
FLORENCE REEVES Collection – Ballads, Songs, Colloquialisms
FLORENCE REEVES Correspondence,

Title Florence Reeves


Permalink: https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=15975


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Florence Reeves ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; housemothers ; Katherine Pettit ; Smith College ; Mr. and Mrs. Charles I. Reeves ; Harry N. Reeves ;  kindergartens ; Edna Fawcett ; Aunt Phronnie ; weaving ; Angela Melville ;

Subject LCSH

Reeves, Florence, 1879-1954.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY


The Family of Florence Reeves


Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 09: Biography – Staff.




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff.

Coverage Temporal


Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Northampton, MA ;


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.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Florence Reeves.

Documents, images and ephemera donated by the Reeves Family. Includes transcription of conversations, ballads, stories and anecdotal information on contacts with children and community while Florence Reeves was serving as staff at the School.

Agreement and inventory list not received.




Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-10-25 hhw ; 2018-04-03 aae ; 2024-02-16 aae ;


“Florence Reeves.” Find A Grave  website. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/184983174/florence-reeves ; accessed accessed 2018-April-03). Internet resource.

GUIDE TO PMSS WORKERS 1913 – 2000s, Series 09: Biography. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School, March 1922, page 3. Series 17: PMSS Publications.Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“New Jersey State Census, 1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV93-TSNN : accessed 2018-April-03), Florence Reeves in household of Charles I Reeves, Montclair, 2 ward, 3 district, Essex, New Jersey, United States; citing sheet #6B, household 141, line #83, New Jersey State Library, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,465,516. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6WJ7-8FL?cc=1325221&wc=9BWQ-ZVQ%3A1030550301%2C1031589101%2C1034349401 : accessed 2018-April-03), New Jersey > Essex > ED 207 Montclair town Ward 2 > image 29 of 33; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Internet resource.


de LONG – ZANDE Papers: Series I – Folder 70. Series 07: Directors. “[prior to March 9, 1919]  [Florence Reeves] to Ethel. ‘Ethel, my dear,— On Wednesday morning I mailed three boxes to you containing ‘hit’s things’—I hope they reach you safely and in time.’ [three index cards in envelope to Arabella de Long postmarked March 9, 1919].” Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

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