Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School)

Dear Friend Letters 1946

 CONTENTS: Dear Friend Letters 1946, April 20 – Pages 1 – 2 

Dear Friend Letters 1946 consists of one 2-page letter that includes the following subjects:

Letterhead lists names of director and treasurer ; Benjamin describes Granny Begley’s burial and the spirit she left behind ; tells of John E. Boggs’ application to work at the School as example of worthy community people needing the School’s help ; tells how many applicants for School placement are submitted and how many are accepted ; because friends are passing on or moving on, the School asks donors to organize an “add-one club” to list of PMSS friends ; tells story of a life saved by Dr. Henderson and Miss Rood using all the School’s penicillin and blood plasma ; 1945-46 budget of $845 is overdrawn ; appeals for help from old and new friends ; signed by H.R.S. Benjamin ;

 GALLERYDear Friend Letters 1946

 TRANSCRIPTION: Dear Friend Letters 1946

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H.R.S. Benjamin, Director

C.N. Manning, Treasurer
Lexington, Kentucky

April 20, 1946

Dear Friend:

Three weeks ago Mrs. Benjamin and I met with sixty-three friends of Granny Begley’s in a small, quiet mountain burying ground. We left her in the beauty of the spot with her friends who had preceded her. But Granny is not dead to any of us. We feel her spirit about us in Zande House where she put in years of joyous work for Mrs. Ethel de Long Zande. She became a part of the house and the flowers. To-day two lovely, colorful braided rugs for which she was justly famous lie on the floor of Zande House. She braided these for us though she was past eighty-four and nearly blind. She in her unselfish spirit made her contribution to the “on-going power” of Pine Mountain. Like many of our nearby and more distant friends, she has slipped on ahead. Now the “sarvis” blooms over her head, and the red maple breaks into leaf, while the trailing arbutus blesses her grave with its fragrance.

When John E. Boggs applied for a possible vacancy we received this: “Dear Mr. Benjamin, I received your letter stating about my application to stand. Yes, I do. There are three reasons I want it, first I like to work for the school. Second I want my children to attend school at Pine Mountain as soon as they get out of the grades. Third, because of my wife (sic) health I can stay at home and look out for her too. Thank you for considering me for the job.” This is a worthy community family. They work hard. The narrow valley and mountain-side farm will not entirely support them. The father wants education for his children. Pine Mountain offers them their best chance. Families like this one, we are here to serve. These children like Granny Begley’s grand-children belong here. Pine Mountain was established by two women with a vision in answer to such an appeal. We must not fail.

Last year we had one hundred and twenty-seven applications for places here. We are about to receive only twenty-four. Already for the entering class of 1946-47 we have sixty-three completed applications. How many will we again be forced to turn down? Our friends in this community are passing on. Many of our friends in the outside world are moving on, also. We appeal to each of you to organize an “add-one club” to Pine Mountain’ list of friends. In doing this we can perpetuate this work and we will not fail Granny Begley nor Miss Pettit and Mrs. Zande. In doing this you will carry on the light of education, medicine and religion which is so sadly needed. The…

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…faithful of the past have done well. Let us who carry on provide well for the maintenance of this well established property. Let us give continued opportunity to children otherwise denied the privileges of an education, religious training and medical care.

Along the county road, up over a rough, steep mountain path you come into Gabes Branch. It is off the beaten track. Several families live in this beautiful but isolated valley. Johnny Taylor while working in the lumber, “got a sprig in his finger.” He neglected it, unaware of the danger. Three days later he stumbled into the house, threw himself on the bed, and in a rough unusual tone said to his mother, “Go away, leave me along, you’re no count no how.” Answering the call for help two passersby came into the mountain cabin, quickly sized the situation, hurriedly fixed up a small cabin bed, put Johnny “thrashing and a-jerkin'” on it and carried him the eight miles to Pine Mountain’s small hospital. Dr. Henderson and Miss Rood at once began treatment. From the small stock of penicillin and blood plasma they drew to the final limit. In three days the crisis was passed. A grateful mother said, “He never sassed me in all his life before so I knowed he was out of his head. Thank you all for your doctoring. He would’ve died without you.” A happy Johnny is doing well. Our hospital won more eternal friends. They will do their little bit to continue it. But we used up our slender stock of penicillin and blood plasma and our 1945-46 budget of $845.00 is already heavily over-drawn.

Tell me just what you would reply to Muriel Boggs who wants to enter here next September and must take her chance against sixty-three already filed applications? What would you say to Billy Bailey who comes in today needing emergency treatment and the doctor and the nurse know that the supplies are gone?

We believe that you would do what Christ did for His people. You can help to satisfy the needs of these long-suffering, inarticulate Americans back of Pine Mountain. To you our old and our new friends, we make our “Macedonian appeal”. We know you will not fail us.

Gratefully yours,
[signed] H.R.S. Benjamin