Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 05: Administration, Board of Trustees
Elizabeth Hench, Secretary of the Board of Trustees (1914 – ? )
ELIZABETH C. HENCH
Elizabeth C. Hench (1869-1939) was the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Pine Mountain Settlement School from 1914 until 1931 [?]. She was the champion of the farm at the School in its early years and almost single-handedly responsible for establishing the Ayrshire herd during the years when the School supported and depended on a dairy. An accomplished writer, Hench’s correspondence is always spirited.
She was born in Carlisle, in Perry County, Pennsylvania on the 26th of May 1869 [?] and was educated at Miss Florence Baldwin’s School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, near her home. She then attended the University of Michigan from 1893-1895, finally earning her Ph.B degree (Bachelor of Philosophy) in the second semester of 1895.
For one year, 1896-1897, she attended graduate school at the Thurston Preparatory School in Pittsburgh, PA, where she prepared in history and English. Following her graduate work, she accepted a position as a teacher of English in the East Side High School in Saginaw, Michigan. She remained in this position from 1897 until 1900 when she traveled to England to study at Newnham College, Cambridge. Her study in England from 1900-1901, was brief, but formative. She returned to the States in 1901 to accept a position as an English teacher at the Manual Training High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she taught for the remainder of her career, eventually becoming the head of the English department. She also pursued additional graduate work at Columbia University, but the dates of her study there are unknown.
It was at the Manual Training High School that she met Ethel de Long who had come to Indianapolis as a teacher in 1905, following her graduation from Smith College and a brief teaching appointment at Central High in Springfield, Massachusetts. Ethel de Long and Hench both taught at Indianapolis; Hench, from 1918 until her resignation in 1925 and Hench, five years until 1910 when she was recruited to Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky. While both Hench and de Long taught at the Manual Training High School, they do not appear to have been there at the same time. However, both Hench and de Long were fortunate to work under Calvin N. Kendall who was the Superintendent of Schools in Indianapolis during their tenures with the Indianapolis school. Kendall, who appears to be both a mentor and later a friend, advanced in his career to become the New Jersey Commissioner of Education and an important figure in national education. He was a life-long friend and admirer of both Ethel de Long and Elizabeth Hench and, for a brief time, Kendall also served on the Board of Trustees for Pine Mountain. He was obviously a valuable source of support for Ethel de Long as she shaped the educational program at Pine Mountain and for Hench who sat on the Board. It was most likely de Long who recruited both Hench and Kendall to the Board of the School.
Elizabeth Hench was an engaged board member. Her correspondence is extensive and as the Secretary of the Board, she was the keeper of the School’s events and the generator of much of its early memory. But, it is her one-woman campaign to bring Joy to the School that is the most memorable record of her engagement.
Joy was a cow. She was the first of a long line of cows that had names that grew from the name “Joy” and that formed the Ayrshire herd at Pine Mountain. The COW LETTERS, (1927-1933) are a series of “Dear Friend” appeals for donations to support the herd. Her appeals are among the most entertaining documents generated by any board member and represent one of the most successful campaigns to raise money for the school’s farm.
Elizabeth Hench never married, but there is evidence of very interesting men who found her attractive. One of these was Alphonse R. Dochez, winner of the Nobel Prize for his work with scarlet fever and other diseases and founder of the journal for the Society for Experimental biology and Medicine (SEBM) 1932-1934. [See: August 11, 1913, NYT] Dochez worked for Presbyterian Hospital and was associated with the Rockefeller Institute for Medicine in New York City and was well known as a charming but reclusive bachelor. A colleague of Dochez’s was Philip Hench who was also a leading pioneer in the field of microbiology. Philip’s relationship to Elizabeth is not known, but he was also from Perry County, Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Hench died on October 25, 1939, at the age of 70. Her obituary in the Indianapolis News, Thursday, October 26, 1939, indicates that she died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she had been born and had retired after twenty-four years in the Indianapolis school. Her death, by all accounts, was unexpected, though she had retired early due to ill health.
ELIZABETH C. HENCH CORRESPONDENCE
|Alt. Title||Elizabeth C. Hench|
|Creator||Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY|
|Alt. Creator||Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;|
|Subject Keyword||Elizabeth Hench ; Board of Trustees ; Angela Melville ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; fundraising ; Ayrshires ; cows ; Darwin D. Martin ; PMSS Board of Trustees ; Southern Mountain Workers ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Mississippi ; Brasstown, NC ; Mr. Campbell ; Katherine Pettit ; Ethel de Long ; “Billy” ; Miss Florence Baldwin School ; Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania ;|
|Subject LCSH||Hench, Elizabeth, — 1869 – 1939.
Melville, Mary Angela, — 1886 – 1977. Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History. Rural schools — Kentucky — History. Harlan County (Ky.) — History. Rural schools — Appalachian Region, Southern. Schools — Appalachian Region. Credit unions.
|Date digital||2009-09-13 ; 2015-01-31|
|Publisher||Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY|
|Type||Text ; image ;|
|Format||Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet|
|Source||Series 05: Administration, Board of Trustees ; Series 9: Staff/Personnel ;|
|Relation||Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 7: Director’s Files, and Series 9: Staff/Personnel|
|Coverage Temporal||1916 – 1939 ;|
|Coverage Spatial||Pine Mountain, KY ; Mississippi ; Carlisle , Pennsylvania ; Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania ;|
|Rights||Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.|
|Description||Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers created by or addressed to Elizabeth Hench; clippings, photographs, publications by or about Elizabeth Hench.|
|Citation||Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain, KY|
|Processed by||Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;|
|Last updated||2007-07-12 hhw ; 2009-09-13 aae ; 2013-09-29 hhw ; 2014-03-09 aae ; 2014-04-09 hhw ; 2015-01-31 hhw ; 2017-03-06|
Pictured Knowledge: the New Method of Visual Instruction Applied to All School Subjects Volume III Hardcover – January 1, 1930. by Calvin N. (Editor) Kendall (Author)
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