Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 4A: Pine Mountain Settlement School History – Creech Family

CREECH LETTERS 1915 (1 letter)

November 20, 1915, Dear Friends Letter from William Creech to Friends of PMSS.

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Letterhead lists names of Executive Committee members, Treasurer, and members of the General Advisory Board. William Creech writes that at 70 years old he’s seeing his cravings of many years coming true. Work has progressed in the two years since he asked for the school under management of Miss de Long and Miss Pettit. Creech describes the various buildings that have been constructed or are underway. There are about 40 students from five years old and up who would have no chance in life without the school ;

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Creech visits the school nearly every day and sees much progress in the care of the children. He and the others hope for money to have 150 children at the school. He describes what they would learn. Cutshin people also want a school. Creech hopes friends will help the younger generation of mountain people have a better life. He has deeded his land to the school for that purpose. Signed by William Creech, Sr.

November 20, 1915, Dear Friends Letter from William Creech to Friends of PMSS.
[2 pages 073-074 ; with fragment of original transcription of letter from Wm. Creech ]


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Executive Committee
Miss Katherine Pettit
Miss Ethel de Long

C.N. Manning
Security Trust Co.
Lexington, Ky.

General Advisory Board

Mrs. J. R. Morton, President, Lexington, Ky.
Mr. Samuel M. Wilson, Vice-Pres., Lexington, Ky.
Miss Elizabeth Hench, Sec’y, Indianapolis, Ind.
Mr. Charles N. Manning, Treas., Lexington, Ky.
Dr. Waller O. Bullock, Med. Ad., Lexington, Ky.
Mr. Calvin N. Kendall, Trenton, N.J.
Miss Elizabeth Moore, St. Louis, Mo.
Mr. Charles S. Haight, New York City
The Rev. Alfred Lee Wilson, Cincinnati, Ohio
Miss Katherine Pettit., Pine Mountain, Ky.
Miss Viola Sullivan, Winchester, Mass.
Miss Ethel de Long, Pine Mountain, Ky.
Dr. Willis H. Butler, Old South Church, Boston
Miss Mary Rockwell, Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. Francis Taylor, Philadelphia
Prof. Harlan H. Barrows, University of Chicago
Miss Eve Newman, Waynesboro, Pa.
Miss Margaret McCutcheon, North Plainfield, N.J.

November, 20, 1915.

To all the friends that have holp (sic) the Pine Mountain Settlement School,

I was seventy years old the 30th day of last month, and I’m seein that goin on that I’ve craved to see for many years. Somethin like two years ago I wrote solicitin aid and assistance for the school which we was goin to try to build. Since that time the work has progressed mightily under the management and supervision of Miss de Long and Miss Pettit. I have invested all I have in the school and it gives me great satisfaction to see the change that’s been made. I don’t begrudge nary dollar that I put into it. The good people a helpin us had done a great thing for us, in helpin the poor and needy.

We are makin great headway. There has been two good houses built, beside an old log house rebuilt out of the fragments of old log houses somethin like a hundred years old; and a Pole House excellent furnished in old fashioned way to accommodate our visitors. One good barn nearly complete; one stone tool house; one House in the Woods used for school and sufficient in size to accommodate a good audience for speakin or church service. The frame is agoin up of a large buildin and we hope it can be used by Christmas. We are gettin the farm in pretty good shape and will soon be able to make a good deal of support for the school, in farm produce. We are clearin off and fixin to fence a cow pasture. If we can get money enough we will soon be in good shape.

[photograph captions: “A Pole House Excellent Furnished in an Old-Fashioned Way.” and “All Bright Children.”]

The school has got on hand about forty children from five years old and up, most of them destitute of any means whereby they could support theirselves and with no chance to get any trainin either for labor or education, all bright children, little boys and girls. Without the assistance of this school i don’t see any chance for them to ever make anythin out of theirselves. I visit the school…

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…nearly every day and I think the children progressin nicely. They don’t look any like they did when they come to this school, barefoot and almost naked. They look now well cared for and wear garments nice and clean, a thing they never knew before. They are doin awful well. We’re in hopes we can get money so we can fetch in 150 of just such children as we’ve been ahandlin. We want to teach them books and agriculture and machinery and all kinds of labor and to learn them to live up as good American citizens. We are tryin to teach them up so they can be a help to the poor and to the generation unborn.

[photograph caption: “The Far House.”]

People of other communities are payin us visits and are so pleased with the work here that they want us to start a school over on Cutshin about fifteen miles from here. On account of the vile work and drinkin carried on in that country amongst children, I think if we had a school there like this, it would be a great blessin to the children there. I think this is all the school that you and Miss Pettit and Miss de Long and me can manage, but I would be glad if somebody could go to help them.

I hope our good friends will come forard (sic) and help us all they can to make better people out of our wild mountain people that has been raised up here in ignorance and almost regardless of law. Their fore-parents has laid the pattern for them of drinkins, killins, whorins and abomination in the sight of God. (Hit’s rough to say, but hit’s the truth and I think hit ought to be said.) I see no chance to teach the old but if the children can be teached up in a better light they can lay an example even for their parents.

I don’t look after wealth for them. I look after the prosperity of our nation. The question of this world is naught. We are born into it naked and we go out naked. The savin of the soul is what we should seek. I want all younguns taught to serve the livin God. Of course, they won’t all do that, but they can have good and evil laid before them and they can choose which they will. I have heart and cravin that our people may grow better. I have deeded my land to the Pine Mountain Settlement School to be used for school purposes as long as the Constitution of the United States stands. Hopin it may make a bright and intelligent people after I’m dead and gone.

[signed] William Creech Sr.