Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff, Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Boone (“B.C.”) Callahan, Student (1913-?), Staff (c. 1927-1943)
Boone C. Callahan (c.1903-1982)


Brit Wilder, Bill Hayes, Boone Callahan. Excerpt from the 1943 Pine Mountain Family Album, page 4. [1943_family_album_photo_brit.jpg]

TAGS: Boone Callahan, B.C. Callahan, woodworkers, maintenance men, Manual Training teachers, 1943 Pine Mountain Family Album Katherine Pettit, Brit Wilder, Berea College, Bradley Polytechnic Institute, Bradley University, Farm House, Bill Hayes, farm managers, mine supervisors, Burkham School House, Marguerite Butler, Laurel House II, Callahan Family


Student, c. 1913-?
Maintenance Man, Woodworker, and Teacher c. 1927-1943

Boone Callahan was one of the several individuals at Pine Mountain Settlement School who were featured in the 1943 Pine Mountain Family Album as making “distinctive contributions to the life of Pine Mountain.” And during his many years with Pine Mountain, he indeed kept the School “up,” as Miss Katherine Pettit admiringly described his work in her April 1931 fundraising letter. He did so primarily as a woodworker and repairman from 1927 to 1943. By 1931, he was in charge of the upkeep of the campus buildings. He also served as a teacher of Manual Training (Woodworking and Mechanics) during those years.

The Album, printed by the Pine Mountain Settlement School in March 1943, provides a photograph and this biography of Boone Callahan:

Boone and Brit [Wilder] were among the first students to come to Pine Mountain, and since the days when they cut “pretties” for Miss Pettit with their pocket knives, they have never been far away from the active life of the school. Boone had special training in Berea and at Bradley Polytechnic Institute [now Bradley University, Peoria, IL], and has been in charge of the carpentry department for years. He lives with his family at Farm House….

Someone has rightly said that as long as we have Boone, Brit [Wilder, mine supervisor] and Bill [Hayes, farm manager] there’ll always be a Pine Mountain.

Excerpt from the 1943 Pine Mountain Family Album, March 1943, page 4.

Letters written by those who knew him indicate their appreciation for his caring and hard-working manner. When the first Burkham School House burned down in January 1919, Marguerite Butler wrote home to her sister:

Mr. Callahan heard of [the burning of the School House] early Friday morning and by two was here with $100 worth of clothes for the boys. Not a stitch was saved. I don’t know whether he got Harlan stores to give it or raised money but he came with doz. pair shoes, doz. overhauls, shirts and underwear.

Letter from Marguerite Butler, PMSS worker, to her sister, January 1919.

And describing the construction of Laurel House II, an anonymous author remembers the following: “…Boone Callahan organized the student labor to help for 3 hours a day, helping with ceiling, windows and hauling supplies. in 1941 the new Laurel House was completed.

Also, in 1941, an unsigned letter, possibly from Director Glyn Morris‘s secretary, to Mr. Callahan quoted Morris as saying, “He is a most faithful and efficient workman and time increases my respect for his ability. He possesses qualities of workmanship which are becoming more and more hard to find.

Many years after Boone left PMSS in 1943, Burton Rogers sent him a 1954 letter, thanking him for the gift he made as a memorial to Miss Gladys Hill. Rogers then wrote:

I may say that we think of you often as we go about the campus and the buildings with so many reminders of you and your work, both in furniture and in the larger building construction and arrangement. You have certainly left your mark on Pine Mountain in a very unique and wonderful way.

Letter to Mr. Callahan in Cleveland, OH, from Burton Rogers, PMSS Director, September 15, 1954.

Burton Rogers’ sentiment still resonates today in those who are aware of the many contributions Boone made to the physical plant of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, demonstrating his technical skills as well as the artistry of his woodcraft.


By July 1943, Boone and his family were living in Cleveland, Ohio. Boone wrote to William Webb, PMSS Acting Director, that he was enjoying his “war work” as Salvage Inspector for the Fisher Body Aircraft Bomber Plant. In December 1943 a PMSS secretary wrote to an acquaintance of Boone’s that Boone was

earning a good salary, as many war workers are, and is undoubtedly able to do a good deal for his wife and children. The adjustment from Pine Mountain life to city life was a big one for them to make as life is very simple here….

Letter to Miss Mary H. Crawford in Hollywood, CA, from [unsigned], Secretary, PMSS. December 3, 1943.


Boone  C. Callahan was born c. 1903 in Kentucky to Henry and Polly Callahan. He was the second oldest of four children, Minnie, Boone, Allie, and Manna. He married Estelle from West Virginia and the couple had three children, Virginia, Aubrey, and Bernard. The October 1933 issue of the PMSS publication Pine Cone, announced the “New Baby on Campus (Mr. & Mrs. Boone Callahan)” who was Boone and Estelle’s first son, Aubrey Callahan.

Boone C. Callahan died on December 1, 1982, in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 79.

See Also:
BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1928–1936 (Part I)
BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1936–1941 (Part II)
BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1941-1954 (Part III)


Boone Callahan

Alt. Title

Boone C. Callahan ; B. C. Callahan ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt,Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Boone C. Callahan, B.C. Callahan, Boone Callahan, Pine Mountain Settlement School, woodworking, repairs, carpentry, 1943 Pine Mountain Family Album, Katherine Pettit, Brit Wilder, Berea College, Bradley Polytechnic Institute, Bradley University, Farm House, Bill Hayes, farm managers, mine supervisors ,Burkham School House, Marguerite Butler, Laurel House II, Callahan Family

Subject LCSH

Callahan, Boone C. — 1903 – December 1, 1982.
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




Collections, text, image 


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


Series 09: BIOGRAPHY and Series 19: STUDENTS




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: BIOGRAPHY and Series 19: STUDENTS

Coverage Temporal

1903 – 1982

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Berea, KY ; Peoria, IL ; West Virginia ; Cleveland, OH ;


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 Boone C. Callahan,clippings, photographs, books by or about Boone C. Callahan ;




“[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

2014-11-03 hhw,2015-08-26 aae,2016-10-08 aae ; 2023-08-01 aae ; 



BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1928-1936 (Part I)
BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1936–1941 (Part II)
BOONE CALLAHAN Correspondence 1941-1954 (Part III)

Staff Directory 1913 to present. Series 09: BIOGRAPHY, Series 19: STUDENTS.  Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers.Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 August 2015), Boone Callahan, Magisterial District 4, Harlan, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 48-33, sheet 11A, family 159, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1314. Internet resource.

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