EVELYN K. WELLS

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Staff/Personnel
Series 09: Directors
Series 03: History

EVELYN K. WELLS

Secretary 1916 – 1931
Interim Director 1931


TAGS: Evelyn K. Wells ; secretaries ; education ; Appalachian music ; folklore ; folk music ; ballads ; balladry ; mountain music ; folk tales ; sociology ; anthropology ; folk dance ; English Folk Dance and Song Society ; Country Dance Society ; Playford tunes ; broadsides ; Marguerite Butler ; Edith Canterbury ; Katherine Pettit ; Luigi Zande ; Glyn Morris ; Wellesley College ;


Evelyn  K. Wells [ the K. is for Kendrick] earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley (Massachusetts) College in 1913. Her first appointment upon graduating was at the Hartridge School, a private, nonsectarian school in Plainfield, New Jersey, which lasted until 1915.

Evelyn Wells

Evelyn K. Wells. [pmss_photo_MOD_wells_evelyn_portrait_enlarged-jpg]

In 1916 she traveled to Pine Mountain Settlement School, where she was employed as the secretary for the School for the next 15 years. In 1931 she served as acting head of the School until a permanent director could be appointed. That director was Glyn A. Morris whose changes in the Pine Mountain program often caused friction between the two.

Following her departure from Pine Mountain Wells still remained connected and served for a time on the Board of Trustees for the School. It was during this period, in the late 1930s that the two strong personalities of Wells and Morris clashed. Many of the confrontations centered on administrative issues, for the two remained constant in their affection for mountain life and for the European traditions that the School so strongly supported.

Miss Wells returned to Wellesley College in 1932 and graduated in 1934 with a Master of Arts degree. She remained at Wellesley for the remainder of her career, becoming prominent in the study and teaching of English Literature and Anglo-American folk dance and song. She retired in 1956 as a Professor of English after twenty years at Wellesley College, subsequently becoming an Honorary Member of the Alumnae Association.

Her extended stay at Pine Mountain contributed in part to her keen interest in folk music, as she described in the acknowledgments for her book, The Ballad Tree: A Study of British and American Ballads, Their Folklore, Verse and Music, Together with Sixty Traditional Ballads and Their Tunes:

IN the preparation of this book I am obligated to many individuals and experiences. My long-standing associations with the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and its American branch, the Country Dance Society, have focused my attention on the collecting and teaching of traditional song, while a course given for a number of years at Wellesley College has served as proving ground for its presentation in more or less the form of this book. …
EVELYN K. WELLS
Wellesley, Mass.
January 1950

Evelyn K. Wells, reading. [Katherine Pettit Album I.]

In the ninth year of the Pine Mountain Settlement School’s existence, The Atlantic Monthly magazine reprinted an article, “A Glimpse of the Kentucky Mountains,” describing the Appalachian community surrounding the School. Miss Wells wrote an eloquent letter, dated January 7, 1921, to the magazine’s editor, protesting the article’s negative characterizations of “country folk.” Her words demonstrated a deep respect for the mountain people whom she came to know while working at Pine Mountain Settlement School.


EVELYN K. WELLS: GALLERY

SEE ALSO: 

EVELYN K. WELLS GUIDE TO ADMINISTRATIVE CORRESPONDENCE

EVELYN K. WELLS, GUIDE to EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME 1915-1923

EVELYN K. WELLS 1915 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME 

EVELYN K. WELLS 1915 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME – Horseback to Hindman

EVELYN K. WELLS 1916 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME

EVELYN K. WELLS 1917 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME

EVELYN K. WELLS 1918 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME 

EVELYN K. WELLS 1919 EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS HOME

RECORD OF PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL 1913-1928 [INDEX] (Early in-depth history of Pine Mountain Settlement School)

Foreword

2.        Introductory

3.          Year by Year [Construction, Workers, Gifts, Children, Events, etc.]

4.          Physical Growth

5.          Support and Budget

6.          Some Interesting Gifts

7.          Industrial and Vocational

8.          Farm – Dairy – Poultry

9.          The Country Cottage

10.        Academic

11.        Health

12.        Extension Work

13.        The Fireside Industries

14.        Folk Songs and Dance

15.        Athletics

16.        Dramatics

17.        Some Contributions to the Outside World

18.        Religious Life

19.        The Road

20.        Various Happenings

21.        Policies – General

22.        List of Workers

[22 sections of Pine Mountain Settlement School History gathered by Evelyn K. Wells from 1913 to 1928]

EVELYN K. WELLS PUBLICATIONS

Wells, Evelyn K. The Ballad Tree: A Study of British and American Ballads, Their Folklore, Verse and Music, Together with Sixty Traditional Ballads and Their Tunes. New York: Ronald Press, 1950. Print.

[See Bibliography below for a listing  of additional publications.]

EVELYN K. WELLS “A Little True Blue American,”  Over Sea and Land: Our Southern Mountains, November 1920, p. 140.

EVELYN K. WELLS TALKS

EVELYN K. WELLS PMSS Harvard University talk, on Folk Music. July 21, 1955

Title

Evelyn K. Wells

Alt. Title

Evelyn Kendrick Wells

Identifier

EVELYN K. WELLS

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Evelyn K. Wells ; Evelyn Kendrick Wells ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; directors ; secretaries ; education ; Appalachian music ; folklore ; Hartridge School ; Wellesley College ; folk music ; ballads ; balladry ; mountain music ; folk tales ; sociology ; anthropology ; acting head ; English literature ; folk dance ; folk song ; English Folk Dance and Song Society ; Country Dance Society ; University of New Hampshire Library ; Southern Appalachian Archives ; Berea College ; Mountain Life & Work ; Playford tunes ; Journal of the International Folk Music Council ; broadsides ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Wellesley, MA ; Plainsfield, NJ ; Durham, NH : Berea, KY ; Marguerite Butler ; Edith Canterbury ; A Glimpse of the Kentucky Mountains ; The Atlantic Monthly ;

Subject LCSH

Wells, Evelyn Kendrick.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Folk dance music — Appalachian Region.

Date

2004-06-26

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Text ; image ;

Format

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

Source

Series 7: Director’s Files ; Series 9: Staff/Personnel ;

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 7: Director’s Papers and Series 9: Staff/Personnel

Coverage Temporal

1913 – 1956

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Wellesley, MA ; Plainsfield, NJ ; Durham, NH ; Berea, KY ;

Rights

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.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Evelyn Kendrick Wells ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Evelyn Kendrick Wells ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

“[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

2007-06-28 hhw ; 2009-06-15 hhw ; 2009-09-08 aae ; 2013-10-31 ;

Bibliography

The personal papers and collections of Evelyn K. Wells are located in The Country Dance and Song Society Archives and University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, New Hampshire. Extant administrative files of PMSS directors from 1911 to 1940, including those of Miss Wells, are located in the Southern Appalachian Archives, Special Collections & Archives at Hutchins Library, Berea (KY) College.

The selected bibliography below provides some indication of the wide network of contacts and colleagues in the scholarly world of folksong studies that she established during her career.

Books

Wells, Evelyn K. The Ballad Tree: A Study of British and American Ballads, Their Folklore, Verse and Music, Together with Sixty Traditional Ballads and Their Tunes. New York: Ronald Press, 1950. Print.

Wells, Evelyn K. Cecil Sharp in America. London: English Folk Dance and Song Society. 1959. Print.

Journals

Wells, Evelyn K. “A Little True Blue American,”  Over Sea and Land: Our Southern Mountains, November 1920, p. 140. Print [Copy on file at PMSS]

Wells, Evelyn K. “Ballad Backgrounds in the Appalachians.” Mountain Life & Work. 23 (Fall 1947): 14-18, 23-24. Print.

Wells, Evelyn K. “Information, Please.” Mountain Life & Work. 36 (Summer 1960): 32-33. Print.

Wells, Evelyn K. “Playford Tunes and Broadside Ballads.” Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. 3 (December 1937): 81-91. Print.

Wells, Evelyn K. “Some Currents of British Folk Song in America 1916-1958.” Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. 8 (December 1958): 129-141. Print.

Reviews

Coffin, Tristram P. The British Traditional Ballad in North America. Philadelphia: Publications of the American Folklore Society, Bibliographical and Special Series 2, (1950, revised edition, 1963). Print.

Green, Archie. Green Fields of Illinois, an LP record of traditional folk music performed by artists from southern Illinois. Champaign-Urbana, IL: Campus Folksong Club, University of Illinois, 1963. Sound recording.

Ives, Edward D. “Twenty-One Folksongs from Prince Edward Island.” Northeast Folklore. 5 (1963). Print.

Ives, Edward D., and Larry Gorman. The Man Who Made the Songs. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1964. Print.

Laws Jr., G. Malcolm. Native American Balladry: A Descriptive Study and a Bibliographical Syllabus. Philadelphia: Publications of the American Folklore Society, Bibliographical and Special Series, v. 1, 1950. Revised edition, 1964. Print.

Lomax, John A. Adventures of a Ballad Hunter. New York: Macmillan, 1947. Reviewed by Evelyn K. Wells in Mountain Life & Work. 23 (Winter 1947): 25-26. Print.

Evelyn Wells frequently served as a reviewer for the Journal of the International Folk Music Council. The following reviews, included in the March 17, 1965 (v. 17), issue of that journal, are but a few of the many reflections she gave to materials published on folk music.

Flanders, Helen Hartness, Tristram P. Coffin, and Bruno Nettl. Ancient Ballads Traditionally Sung in New England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1960-1965. Print.

Greenway, John. Journal of American Folklore 77. Print.

Hand, Wayland. Western Folklore XXIII. Print.

Richmond, W. Edson. Midwest Folklore. VIII. Print.

Arrangements & Revisions

Miss Wells was among the music arrangers in the following book:

Botsford, Florence Hudson, ed. & compiler, Folk-Songs of Many Peoples with English Versions by American Poets. New York, NY: G. Schirmer Inc, October 1933. Print.

Miss Wells assisted Alfred Dwight Sheffield in revising and enlarging the third edition of the following book:

Sheffield, Alfred Dwight, revising editor, third edition of Dictionary of English Synonyms & Synonymous Expressions Designed as a Guide to Apt and Varied Diction by Richard Soule. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1938. Print.

In the preface to this edition, A. D. Sheffield wrote the following:

The editor wishes to make a special acknowledgment for the assistance rendered in this task by Miss Evelyn K. Wells, who made the primary revisions and her care have greatly lightened the labor of final revision.

CAMBRIDGE, August, 1937

Lecture

Wells, Evelyn K. “Of English Literature – On Renaissance Poetry and Music.” Lecture presented on October 30, 1962, at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. Advertised in The Tech (October 24, 1962) 6. Print.

Thesis

Wells, Evelyn K. “A miscellany of broadsides set to the tunes of Playford’s English dancing master (first edition, 1650).” Thesis. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College Department of English Literature, 1934. Print.

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