MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1937 Box 18: 2-59

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography
Series 05: Board of Trustees
Series 10: Built Environment
Mary Rockwell Hook Correspondence 1937 Box 18: 2-59
Published 2015-03-25 hw
Updated 2021-09-30 aae

MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1937 Box 18: 2-59
January 9, 1937 – December 8, 1937

Mary Rockwell Hook (1877 – 1978)
PMSS Architect and Consultant 1913 through c. 1968
Member, PMSS Board of Trustees

TAGS: Mary Rockwell Hook, correspondence, 1937, Mrs. Inghram D. Hook, architecture, architects, Glyn Morris, goats, Florida oranges, Boone Callahan, Sarasota FL, Churchill Weavers, James S. Crutchfield, PMSS Board of Trustees, Alice Cobb, Gladys Morris, Evelyn Wells, endowment fund, extension centers, Mr. Ball, executive committee, Nolan property

CONTENTS: MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1937 Box 18: 2-59

[Note: Letters from PMSS staff in the PMSS Collections are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed copies were sent to the correspondents. Mrs. Hook’s letters are handwritten. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in order of the image numbers.]

January – February 1937

001 January 9, 1937. To Mary Rockwell Hook (Mrs. Inghram Hook) in Kansas City, MO, from Glyn Morris on PMSS stationery, agreeing to have the goat promised by Hook. Mr. (August) Angel would like very much to have it at Practice House.” Handwritten notation from M.R. Hook, offering to send or bring down a couple of goats from a friend who raises them and she will pay for them.

002 January 14, 1936. To Hook from (unsigned), telling her “how happy we were to have you at Pine Mountain…. I want you to know that I am, personally, very grateful for the part which you play in making Pine Mountain what it is, and….grateful for the services you have rendered to Pine Mountain through all these years.” Thanks Hook for the Florida oranges for the children.

003a-003b Jan 28, (no year – later notation: “1937”) Two-page letter to Morris from Hook at the Jung Hotel, New Orleans, LA. Apologizes for not getting the plan to (Boone) Callahan for the inside pool(?); describes how busy she is. She will visit en route to Florida in late February or early March.

005 February 2, 1937. To Hook in Kansas City, MO, from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who welcomes her to PMSS: “It’s always fun to have you here.”

004 February 6, 1937. To Hook in Whispering Sands, Sarasota, FL, from (unsigned), who is sending Hook a copy of Morris’s letter to her originally addressed to Kansas City.

006a-006e February 13 (no year). Five-page letter to Morris from Hook. [006a] Since Dick (Hook, son) is attending high school in Sarasota, “part of the family will be residence most of the time…. My mother is here now & a sister from Italy, Mrs. Venanzi, Louise Hook, a sister-in-law, and the Lindmuellers of Chicago.” Informs Morris that The Churchill Weavers are in Sarasota and suggests they sell Pine Mt. products. [006b] Asks Morris to visit and help her drive to Pine Mountain. Tells her plans for renting rooms when (their house) is built. “Living shorn of all the frills – but interesting, a la Pine Mountain.” [006c] Asks about Miss Fay, who may come to Whispering Sands to study the birds and fish. “Our bayou is more entertaining than Broadway.” Lists two questions about the PMSS building.

008 February 20, 1937. To Morris from J.S. Crutchfield, who is sending Morris a copy of his letter to Mrs Hook. In it, he tells of his reaction to the tour of the “Pine Mountain Settlement Scholars” in the Eastern cities. “They made a splendid impression.” He thanks Hook for her “continuous contribution to the Pine Mountain School.”

009 February 23, 1937. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris) answering her questions in her February 13th letter. The entrance and second floor has not been built yet. He is taking a group to the Folk Festival and therefore cannot visit Florida. Gives his observations of Miss Fay, but will discuss this more when Hook visits.

March –  April 1937

010 March 15, 1937. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who will be away from Pine Mountain in April. “We are quite busy getting out the April Letter and the report to the Board…. The report is going to be printed in our own shop so I am anxious to get it to you to show you what nice work can be done.”

011 N.D. To Miss (Alice) Cobb from Hook, who encloses a rough draft of a report and her notes made in December 1936; she wanted to list the plant, personnel, value of the buildings, teachers’ salaries. Asks Cobb to list the teachers and their subjects.

012a N.D. Hook’s handwriting. Reverse side of 12b, with a sketch of a stage (?). Listed as “#3,” she indicates when and how the Director’s car should be used. Suggests a station wagon for trips to concerts and weekly trips for supplies.
012b Page 2 of Hook’s handwritten rough draft of a report showing items 3, 4, and 5. Item #3 is similar to #3 in 012a, adding the renting of a Plymouth plus his Ford for the “dancing trip.”

Item #4 urges that Mrs. (Gladys) Morris is “put on as a paid worker. She is very capable & has been teaching a class in home nursing, helping with sewing class, & inspiring the girls to design & make their own clothes. For 3 months she ran Laurel House in order to see just what the requirements & complications of that position were. …[S]he has taught home management. It has been very hard to get a suitable teacher for the home making dept — one of the most important depts in the School…..”

Item #5 mentions a fund of $1,000 as a memorial to Capt. McKemy of Virginia, “presented by Edgar Dawson of NYC to be used for the equipment of a pro(?) stage.”

007a-007b March 23, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Hook, who tells of her plans to travel to PMSS for two days. Evelyn Wells has been trying to get the Board together for a meeting. She will bring Mrs. Morris the “latest models for swimsuits – very easy for the girls to make.” 

013 April 20, 1937. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris). He and Gladys are considering a visit to Sarasota, then South Carolina.

014 April 27, 1937. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who looks forward to seeing her in Sarasota; describes his preparations for the next Board meeting. The Berea Glee Club visited PMSS for a weekend. This weekend, the School is expecting delegations from Black Mountain College and Orchard School in Indianapolis. “More and more I think Pine Mountain is going to be a center for tourists.” 

015 April 29, 1937. To Hook at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC, from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who regrets missing a meeting with her in NYC due to May Day at PMSS. Miss Wells is planning a board meeting without Morris if necessary; Morris doesn’t approve. He tells Hook that she should discuss with board members who come to NYC the matter of salaries and a policy for using the endowment fund. She should also talk with Mr. Crutchfield about “citrus and apples.”

016a-016b April 23, (no year) Later notation: “[1937]” Two-page letter to Morris from Hook, who is [016a] arranging for a Board meeting in NY or Pittsburgh during the first of May weekend. Afterward she will ride to Sarasota with nurse Lillian Hedquist, then to Pine Mountain, “More and more I am thinking that we can’t just educate these boys [016b] and girls and turn them loose. As my contribution to the young, I want to provide jobs for as many as possible. I hope we can work in a few at Sarasota and maybe other places.” She is still looking for a painter who knows “about correct treatment of wood surfaces. We have such beautiful wood. I don’t want to spoil it or make it look conscious.” Hook writes about several ideas she has about the “pool” and its location. 

May – August 1937

017a-017f May 4, 1947. Six-page letter to Morris from Hook at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC. [017a] The board meeting, held at the Cosmopolitan Club “was very valuable to all of us, even tho’ unofficial.” It became evident that a meeting of all nine members would be impossible. “We will have to depend upon an executive committee with written notes from the rest. One of the requirements of trusteeship should be a yearly visit to Pine Mt & a definite effort to get funds for the school.” [017b] Describes meeting with Evelyn Wells, then Mrs. Jack, then Mrs. (Dorothy Olcott) Elsmith, and later Ruth Campbell and Mr. Swift. Wells will write a report.

[017c] Tells about Mr. Swift; she asked Mr. Cutler to send Swift a copy of the tables that Mr. (John) Spelman is working on. [017d] The board members discussed raising salaries and the use of the endowment fund; need figures from Mr. (Charles) Manning. [017e] The members also felt the extension centers should be used more intensively. [017f] Closing.

018-019 May 14, 1937. Two-page letter to Hook in Kansas City, MO, from Glyn Morris. [018] He includes a transcription of a letter he is sending to all the Board members. In the letter, he describes Commencement, continuation of the extension centers and of a project using students as community workers. Morris then asks the board to decide on several problems. First, disposal of the $1,000 gift to be used as a memorial to Capt. William McKemy that came from Prof. Edgar Dawson of NYC, possibly for a stage in the school auditorium, which Mrs. Hook can design. [019] The second matter is the hiring of Mrs. Morris to teach Home Economics and Home Management. Third: purchasing land adjoining the school property from the Shell heirs. Morris hopes to have the Board’s opinions on these matters in July.

020 July 2, 1937. To Hook in Sarasota, FL, from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who has returned from vacation in Sarasota and thinking “of a permanent residence at Whispering Sands.”

021 August 3, 1937. To Hook in Kansas City, MO., from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who tells her that the “work on the building is rapidly coming to a close…. The white stain did not go very well on the outside. The weathered-brown is not bad to look at now.” He may be hiring Mr. and Mrs. Ben Tinsley for the Medical Settlement.

September – December 1937

022a-022b September 10, (no year). Two-sided letter to Morris from Hook, who hopes he will go through with an October 2nd board meeting, even though she regrets that she cannot attend.

024a-024d September 26, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Hook in Sarasota, FL, [024a] who is getting ready to start a new construction in Florida, so she cannot come to PMSS. [024b] “I hope that Mr. Manning will work out a way to appropriate a certain sum yearly for the endowment fund so that we can run a credible school there for the next fifteen years. Most of the buildings won’t last much longer than that….” [024c] Describes living in Sarasota. Asks Morris to find a girl or two to do housework, wait tables. [024d] The building will have 18 rooms.

025 October 4, 1937. To Hook from (unsigned, apparently Morris), who has met with Mr. Ball, the new board chairman, with whom Morris is very pleased. Both want Hook to attend the November meeting in order to assure a quorum. “It is imperative that we settle several matters at once…It seems to me that the School is facing some rather serious issues and that we need badly at this time the concerted support of the members of the Board.” He encloses a study that he made last summer.

026a-026g October 10, 1937. Seven-page letter to Morris from Hook. [026a] Regrets that she cannot meet with Morris; asks if an executive committee could be set up, consisting of Morris, Mr. Manning, and Mr. Ball. [026b] “with power to act in case it is not possible to get a trustees meeting.” She asks Morris if the eight points were discussed. [026c] She gives her thoughts on No. 5 (retirement income), No. 6 (fire insurance), [026d] No. 1 (memorial to K.P. [Katherine Pettit], No. 2 (car usage), [026e] No. 3 (acquiring the Nolan property), No. 4 (a stage in the school building), No. 7 [026f] (a sabbatical for Morris), No. 8 (using the endowment to run the School for the next 15 years – “the approximate life of our buildings.”) 

027a-027b October 26, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Hook at The Shoreham, Washington, DC. Hook consulted Inghram (her husband) about Morris’s “dilemma in not being able to get a quorum.” Inghram said it was customary “to secure a written vote from each member and have your subsequent action approved at the next meeting.” Hook asks if this could be applied to appointing an executive committee. She feels that a definite yearly meeting date must be set up.

023a-023c December 8, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Hook, regretting that she cannot attend the Nativity Play. Asks Morris for updates; plans to travel by train to Florida about January 2nd.

See Also:


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MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence Guide

CONTENTS: MARY ROCKWELL HOOK Correspondence 1937 Box 18: 2-59

Box 18 – Folder 2-59 (51 items)