Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 05: GOVERNANCE – BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Series 07: DIRECTORS
1949 Directors Reports and Letters to BOT
H.R.S. Benjamin, PMSS Director, 1944-1949
GOVERNANCE 1949 Directors Reports and Letters to BOT
TAGS: Governance, 1949 directors reports and letters to BOT, PMSS Board of Trustees, H.R.S. Benjamin, Boarding School closure, students, building repairs, events, Chapel speakers, guests, donors, farm plans, Kiwanis Club, plays, PMSS Notes, Southern Mountain Workers Conference, Inquirers’ Class, Louisville Symphony, government surplus goods, J.S. Cruchfield, consolidated elementary day school, change in Berea College/PMSS relationship, PMSS Advisory Board
CONTENTS: GOVERNANCE 1949 Directors Reports and Letters to BOT
JANUARY 1949 (H.R.S. Benjamin)
[001- Jan] “REPORT TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL January 1949.”
HEALTH: colds, chicken pox, mumps
COMMUNITY PARTY: 255 neighbors attended; “The committee of students and workers, headed by Miss [Grace] Rood, kept us busy with movies, puppets, and competitive games.” Also, clothing sale, fishing pond of children’s gifts, homemade cake and hot cocoa.
STUDENTS: Four students didn’t return after Christmas; 5 have been admitted.
REPAIRS: Laurel House floors were re-sealed; six intra-mural war surplus phones now connect several buildings, gift of class of 1946.
[001a-Jan] DISCIPLINE: Descriptions of two student episodes.
CHAPEL SPEAKERS: Rev. Matthew, Mrs. Burton [Mary] Rogers, two seniors, and the director; vespers; students’ impressions of services appear in the January Pine Cone.
TRIAL SMOKING: A change in rules “now permits boys over 16 to smoke at specified times if they have parental consent,” resulting in improved morale.
[002-Jan] Citizenship Committee’s action against a rule-breaker.
STAFF 1949-50: Responses to the invitation to return have been excellent….I like the willingness of this group to hang together.”
BIG LOG: Difficulties of hiring and keeping a housemother.
GUESTS: Mr. Price introduced Mr. B.F. Reed, president of Big Sand Elkhorn Coal Corp., and Mr. Sam Cassidy, president of the Consolidated Coal Co. They were willing to visit and talk over problems at PMSS.
HOSPITAL FEES: Announcing a change in fees for the Health Association ($10), Office Calls ($1.50), Patient Day charge ($2.50), Obstetrical charge ($30).
[002a-Jan] LARGE GIFTS: Descriptions of gifts from a dentist (inspired by Miss [Alice] Cobb’s article), The Montclair Pine Mountain Association which has helped Pine Mountain from the very beginning, Southern Club of Pittsburgh, Wellesley College, Mrs. Henry Smith, Colonial Coverlet Guild, “two other faithful and generous friends,” Delta Sigma Sorority (sent largest check yet), The Short Hills Chapter D.A.R. of New Jersey.
[003 Jan] Closing. H.R.S. Benjamin, Director.
FEBRUARY 1949 (H.R.S. Benjamin)
[001-Feb] Quotes from Thomas a’Kempis and mention of an article in Atlantic Monthly. “The longer we work with these young people [adolescents] the higher is our respect for them…and with the patience advocated by a’Kempis much change can be wrought.”
FARM PLANS: List of farm plans for spring and summer drawn up by the committees, concerning pasture, hay land, row crops, silo, hay-curing, dairy cows, bull calves, hogs, laying flock, woodlot, trees, garden, milk supply. List of uses of PMSS’s total of 53.5 acres arable land, including leased land.
GENERAL REPAIRS: Far House furnace repaired by Mr. [Brit] Wilder and two boys. Swimming pool bridge rebuilt and raised a foot; a new bridge built at the toolhouse; “Lovers’ Rock” was relocated; trees cut for parking space, shrubs and trees were planted; hospital gate area was graded; use of sawmill.
GUESTS: Eleven Tennessee State College students; three from Union College; two from Annville Institute; a former student whose son is a student; three Wheelright (Ky.) friends with Miss [Margaret] Motter.
[001a-Feb] CHAPEL, VESPERS: Services by students; Rev. Glyn Morris gave communion; Mr. [Arthur] Dodd, Miss [Dorothy or Margaret] Nace, and Mr. and Mrs. Henderson received into the PMSS Church. A “vespers service was conducted by four students…on material from the World Christian Student Federation.”
FISCAL COURT: “At a called meeting of the county fiscal court Henry Creech and I appeared to present another plea for good roads on this side of the mountain.”
[002-Feb] KIWANIS CLUB: Benjamin spoke at the Club on The Orient. “I realized the need of keeping in touch with the civic-minded men of Harlan.
ROBERT CREECH, HOMECOMING: Benjamin conducted funeral service for Bob Creech, killed in action in Sept 1944, the first time the Chapel was used for such a service. His grave was located “just above the site of the home of Uncle William and Aunt Sal.”
“KING OF KINGS”: A movie about the life of Christ left an impression on the students.
DRAMATICS: Coached by Richard Chase, a group of younger student presented “Get Up and Shut the Door,” written at Campbell Folk School and based on mountain life.
SENIOR PLAY: “You Can’t Take it With You,” directed by Miss Heil and assisted by Mr. Henderson.
STUDENT MORALE: “Work has gone smoothly, though some individual discipline has been required. Basketball games…have given an outlet for energy and has kept up interest in class work since standards must be met by those on the team.”
DINING HALL: “Table atmosphere is dependent on host or hostess. Thanks are due those who achieve the feeling of ‘family’ [at their table].”
FEBRUARY NOTES: 4,626 copies of the February “Notes” were mailed; 230 went to alumni.
[002a-Feb] WLW BROADCAST: 25 inquiries were received after the December broadcast.
WASHINGTON PARTY: Description of “[o]ur one ‘long dress’ party.”
BIG LOG HOUSEMOTHER: Mrs. Carrie Brown.
SENIORS: “The 22 seniors are entertained at Zande House Sundays after vespers.”
H.R.S. Benjamin, Director.
MARCH-APRIL 1949 (H.R.S. Benjamin)
[001-Mar-Apr] “REPORTS TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL, March-April 1949. H.R.S. Benjamin tells of recent deaths of his father and brother.
SOUTHERN MOUNTAIN WORKERS CONFERENCE: Four adults and two students attended the conference in Gatlinburg [Tenn.].
THE INQUIRERS’ CLASS: Conducted annually during Lent, it covered “fundamental religious problems of the adolescent.”
[001a-Mar-Apr] LOUISVILLE SYMPHONY: PMSS workers attended two concerts in March.
SPRING VACATION: March 12-20. “Eighteen students remained on the grounds to do the necessary work. When students returned we were pleased that no epidemic came with them.”
SCHOOL ENTRANCE: Class of 1946 donated money for a cattle-guard entrance to the school. Benjamin describes how costs were held to a minimum. “When it is complete…stray cattle will not be able to come in.” Two students under supervision of Mr. Wilder and Mr. [William] Hayes helped with the work.
GOVERNMENT SURPLUS GOODS: Included 122 bags of new Florida potatoes. The school food budget “has profited greatly from surplus goods. “The high costs of the war years are dropping off appreciably.”
HOLY WEEK: “The week previous to Easter Sunday was observed with a daily period of fifteen minutes meditation in the chapel,” including organ music and scripture reading. Also, descriptions of observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
WEEKEND GUESTS: Included speakers, such as Dr. Howard Driggs, formerly of NY University English department, who has interest in the American Pioneer Trails organization.
MAY 1949 [J.S. Crutchfield]
[001-May] May 8, 1949. A letter to the PMSS Advisory Board from J.S. Crutchfield, Chairman, Board of Trustees:
“…[C]hanges taking place in the mountains,” such as improved roads and consolidated schools, “have brought public education to the majority of mountain youth. Thus, our high school program at Pine Mountain has gradually seemed less necessary. Moreover during recent years, …we have been forced to draw heavily on our capital funds.”
Therefore, a survey committee was formed last fall, consisting of Dr. William Jesse Baird, president of Morehead State College (Chairman), Dr. Howard Beers, and Dr. Leonard Meece of the University of Kentucky. The PMSS Board, on May 6 and 7, took action on their recommendations: (1) creating a consolidated elementary day school in cooperation with the county school board; and (2) changing the supervision of this new program.
[002-May] Crutchfield explains this change in supervision. After consulting with Dr. [Francis S.] Hutchins, President of Berea College, and action by the Berea trustees, a new arrangement of Berea’s relationship with PMSS was developed. A new PMSS Board consists of nine persons from the Berea Board. The former PMSS trustees continue as Advisory Board members.
“Under this arrangement Pine Mountain continues as an independent corporation with its distinct name, separate funds, corporate identity. The close relation with Berea assures the school greater stability and wisdom in meeting the problems of mountain society. The experience and guidance of Berea will be available in the administration of Pine Mountain.”
The subsequent responsibilities of the Advisory Board are explained. Appointments to the Advisory Board were Mr. E.R. Price of Wheelwright, Ky., Chairman; Dr. Maurice Seay of the University of Kentucky, Vice-Chair; and Dr. Paul F. Cressey, Norton, Mass., Secretary. For more, see GOVERNANCE Berea College and Pine Mountain Settlement School Agreement.
GALLERY: GOVERNANCE 1949 Directors Reports and Letters to BOT
GOVERNANCE Directors Reports to Board of Trustees GUIDE
GOVERNANCE Berea College and Pine Mountain Settlement School Agreement
GOVERNANCE BOT Alphabetical Guide 1913 to Present
PMSS Boards of Trustees GUIDE – Chronological Listing