Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff 
Everett K. Wilson
Teacher, Counselor 1935-1940
Everett Keith Wilson (1913-1999)


002_19 Everett K. Wilson playing badminton at Pine Mountain Settlement School. [burkhard_peo_002-19.jpg]

TAGS: Everett K. Wilson, Ev Wilson, sociology, Antioch College, counselors, teachers, University of Chicago, work-study programs, students, sociologists, American Sociological Association, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emil Durkheim, Wilsonian discipleship, sociology, Passing on Sociology, sociologists, American Sociological Association, school principals


PMSS Teacher (Antioch Coop):
Civics, History, Social Science, Athletics 1935-1940
Student Counselor 1935-1937

Everett K. Wilson: EARLY LIFE

Everett Keith Wilson was born to Myrtle K. Wilson in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in 1913 and immigrated to the United States six years later. According to the PMSS Staff Directory, he came to the Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1935 to teach civics, history, social science and athletics through a cooperative agreement of Pine Mountain Settlement School and Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. During his first two years at Pine Mountain, he also served as a student counselor, and briefly as the school principal.

The Pine Mountain Settlement School experience was his first introduction to sociological instruction and a deep immersion in the instructional experience both practical and theoretical. It was at Pine Mountain that he began to formulate his instructional methods. His small book written in 1937, A Study in Civics, was his first attempt to put his ideas into educational practice. Wilson’s time in Nova Scotia was brief as his family moved to the United States following World War I but the family’s rural experience and life close to the land clearly helped to influence Wilson’s views on rural sociology and informed his work at Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Everett K. Wilson: ANTIOCH 

One of the most significant influences on Everett’s personal and intellectual life can be found in his early experiences at Antioch College as a student during the Depression years and following his Pine Mountain Settlement School years, as faculty at Antioch. The unique educational model of Antioch, with its work-study program, its emphasis on great books, and its balanced program of practice and theory, produced students who were self-starters, imaginative and highly motivated. The mission of the college was to build a strong dialectic between pragmatic actions and the theory that informed the practice. The dissolution of barriers at the college between students and faculty further leveled the learning experience and deepened the social bonds in the educational environment. It was the ideal forum in which to experiment with instruction and with sociological practice.

His years in the work-study program at Pine Mountain and his return to teach at Antioch enhanced his belief in the practice and theory model of education. While at Antioch he married Elizabeth (“Betty”) Owen, also a student at Antioch, who served as PMSS’s librarian from 1938 to 1940. After leaving Pine Mountain the couple had two children, Alice (Wilson) Duggan and Duncan Keith Wilson.

Everett K. Wilson: PINE MOUNTAIN

Pine Mountain Settlement School was the perfect first job transition from Antioch for Everett and for other progressive staff who came to Pine Mountain from Antioch as part of the institutional agreement to share first-year instructors in an educational training program.

Invited to Pine Mountain by Director Glyn Morris in 1935, Everett was hired to teach civics and social studies courses and to assist in the administration of the developing curriculum under the new Director, Glyn Morris. Like many of the staff at Pine Mountain, Ev, as he was known to his colleagues, also had many duties outside the classroom, including advisor to the Pine Cone, the student newspaper. He read the copy, helped with typesetting, and encouraged students to write critically for various school publications. He was a folk dancer, judged ballad singing and farm produce at the Autumn Fair Day and, like many staff at the School, he shared a varied mixture of other responsibilities, including acting as a best man at the wedding of former student and the School Farm Manager, William Hayes.  Evidence abounds that he had a profound influence on the students with whom he worked, though his time at the School was brief.

Best men at 1940 School Farmer, William Hayes wedding. Everett Wilson, third from left. Far left, Silven Hayes, ? Wilson, ? , Paul Hayes, John Hayes (all Hayes brothers were students of Everett Wilson, and came from the Coxton coal camp, near Harlan. Paul late in life, became a Director of Pine Mountain Settlement School.


Conceived and authored by Wilson while he was an intern at Pine Mountain, and printed by the Pine Mountain press, the small book was a remarkable accomplishment.  It was quickly vetted by faculty and students alike and captured the attention of educators across the country.  The small book, A PINE MOUNTAIN STUDY IN CIVICS was issued to each student and offered them a clear road map for social interaction at the school, the community, the state, the nation, and the world. The Foreward to the small book notes

Good citizenship begins at home. Too often we are willing to wave our flag and sing with fervor the national anthem while at home in our own communities we become entirely forgetful of our duties as citizens.

It is well to be reminded of these duties and problems occasionally. We accept without thought the privileges of citizenship in a community — the benefits of specialized labor, of friendly neighbors, of fire and police protection, of water, electricity and good roads. These benefits are the contributions of good citizens, both past and present, to our communities. We owe them our gratitude. But we also have an obligation to the future. 

The small text drew its lessons around the needs of both the very rural student as well as those students coming from the less prosperous and more urban coal camps in the area, such as Coxton, near Harlan town. The very thoughtful work of Wilson caught the imagination of the well-known educator, Harold Spears, who visited Pine Mountain in 1937. Spears was particularly taken by Wilson’s small A Pine Mountain Study in Civics that was well underway for use in the classroom. Spears used liberal quotes in his chapter, “Meeting Needs at Pine Mountain,”  in a groundbreaking study and re-evaluation of curricula, across the U.S.A titled, The Emerging High School Curriculum and Its Direction,(American Book Company, 1940)  published in 1940. 

Spears says of the small 100-page PMSS Civics book, that it starts  “… with the here and now of the student,  ..the experiences he knows, and gradually leads him into the experiences of the outer world.” Spears then goes on to describe additional text that directs the students in their comparisons and the need to “pull with the group.” 

Wilson’s  Study in Civics was comprised of six projects:

  1. Specialization and dependence at Pine Mountain
  2. The home and the family
  3. Public welfare
  4. Education
  5. Law and government
  6. Your lifework

In addition to the Civics text, Spears cites the “Living Together” course at the School that comprised two of the five hours of the day’s classes and was considered a core class to be taken by all students. Again, it was heavily dependent on Wilson’s skills as a Counselor. The Co-op program of Pine Mountain was also required and addressed instruction in financial management. 

A close look at the work of Wilson following his first exploration of good citizenship against his later work after WWII is instructive.  Assessing the impact of the war on good citizenship in classroom instruction and on the relations of individuals within their respective communities began to appear across the country. Wilson returned to Antioch to teach and there he soon found himself challenged by other wars. The race riots of the late 1960s and later the Viet Nam War challenged the Pacifist temperament of Wilson.  Yet, another upheaval was on the horizon for Wilson.

The 1960s put Wilson in the center of the Peace Movement and another era of dissent and cultural shift at the liberal and evolving institution of Antioch, where he had returned to teach. The social turbulence proved unsustainable for the pacifist Wilson and he soon accepted an offer to teach at the flagship institution, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Among Everett’s fast friends at Pine Mountain Settlement, were Fred Burkhard, the printing instructor, and Esther Weller, the Counselor at the School who had shared the Antioch experience with Everett. Fred and Esther later married and over the years they maintained a regular correspondence that charted the growth of their interests and that of their children. From that correspondence, we learn of the growing talent of Ev’s daughter Alice Wilson Duggan, a poet and writer. Everett’s influence may be found especially in her small children’s book, Violet’s Finest Hour (Illustrated by Harvey Stevenson) 1991. Alice Duggan’s work has been published by Alaska Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, SAND, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Drunken Boat and more.

Everett K. Wilson: CHICAGO

Wilson’s teaching agreement with Pine Mountain ended in 1940 when he proposed his pursuit of additional educational degree at the University of Chicago. He was accepted at the university for an advanced degree in what was then a new field of study, Sociology. He was interrupted by WWII but returned to Chicago to complete his work and degree and to become one of the most well-known early scholars in the field of Sociology.

When Wilson left Pine Mountain in 1940 for graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Chicago his Progressive and Deweyian tendencies were further encouraged by the direct influence of John Dewey, long associated with the University of Chicago. Dewey had just published his groundbreaking work, Freedom and Culture (1939). Further, Dewey’s long association with Jane Addams of Hull House was intimately known by Wilson through the rural settlement movement at Pine Mountain where the views of Addams permeated the environment. Both Dewey and Wilson were strong advocates of democracy and were guided by two fundamental elements of democracy —schools and civil society. Wilson’s thesis at Chicago (1942) was Criteria of Urbanism Applied to Religion in Chicago. Thesis (S.M.)–University of Chicago, for the Department of Sociology.


When World War II interrupted Wilson’s doctoral work and he experienced the hard reality of studying during wartime, Wilson returned to Antioch College. He was invited back to his Antioch alma mater to teach and eagerly accepted the challenge, staying for eighteen years until the college shifted its focus in the turbulent 1960s and Wilson moved on to North Carolina.

WWII certainly tempered Wilson’s views regarding democracy and civil society, and he was further influenced by other scholars at Antioch, a stronghold for conscientious objectors during the war years. During these years of reassessment of the Nation’s values and direction, Wilson returned to Chicago intent on completing his degree, this time a Doctorate. He completed his degree while teaching a full load at Antioch and produced his lauded 1952 Doctoral thesis, Community Participation in Policy Formation an Analysis of an Attempt to Implement Democratic Processes Through Group Discussion in a Community College.

At Antioch, Wilson also served on the board of the American Sociological Association as its head of NSF-funded projects where he argued persuasively for including sociology as an elective course in the curriculum of secondary schools. It was a model he had already tested at Pine Mountain when he authored the small book A Pine Mountain Study in Civics that served as a core tool in the rural secondary educational program. Wilson never lost his interest in trying to add Civics to the high school curriculum, convinced of its value to a democratic society.

Everett K. Wilson at UNC-CHAPEL HILL

By 1968 Wilson’s reputation as a scholar and leader in the field of sociology was well-grounded and he was invited to come to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was an offer that was just right for both principals. At UNC-Chapel Hill he opened his vision even more and the field of sociology even wider by establishing the first program in the nation for the training of graduate students in the practice of sociological instruction. No doubt inspired by his commitment to instruction, Wilson had immersed himself in the theory and practice of one of the leading scholars and instructors of sociology, Emile Durkheim.


Emile Durkheim had long been considered the father of sociology and the principal architect of modern social science. He became a focal point for Wilson’s aspirations and to his credit, he found him early in his career. The affinity for Durkheim’s and the Frenchman’s foundational knowledge of sociology informed much of Wilson’s sociological theory in the classroom and for his growing scholarship.

Emie Durkheim, like Wilson, had strong ideas with regard to integrity and to coherence and their importance to cohesive communities. The beginning years of Wilson’s training at Pine Mountain was a living testimony to the impact of the “machine age” and how rapid industrialization can fracture traditional social and religious ties. His late years at Antioch had given him a perspective of how divisive liberal views can be on social institutions. Further, Wilson had been witness to the rapid adoption of new social institutions and lifestyles and had observed both with a keen eye and mind.

Wilson never lost sight of the influential teachings of Durkheim.  Among Wilson’s many accomplishments was the translation and critical review of the works of the French sociologist, philosopher, and social psychologist. It is instructive to see the intellectual voyage of Wilson from his early explorations in the small PMSS book, the 1937 A Study in Civics, and his Passing on Sociology: The Teaching of a Discipline (1980) a 400-page scholarly analysis co-authored with colleague Charles A. Goldsmid. The later work consolidated Wilson’s teaching philosophy in and out of the classroom and that brought together a lifetime of experience concerning the instructional process as it applied to the discipline of Sociology.

For example, at UNC Chapel Hill Wilson is recognized for his institution of peer groups of students and faculty using many of the lessons learned at Antioch, at Pine Mountain, and validated by Chicago and Durkheim. In the classroom at UNC-CH he filled many curriculum needs but is particularly remembered for his classes in the graduate theory course for sociology that inspired many budding sociologists.

In 1972 he again modeled scholarship by assuming the editorship of the international journal Social Forces which had been picked up as a title by the University of NC Press. In short, he left a legacy that will be hard to match in all the institutions he served. He retired from the UNC system in 1982 but continued to serve both the field of sociology and the university in various capacities during his retirement.

While at Carolina, Wilson also occupied high offices in the state, regional, and national professional associations related to Sociology.  He received numerous awards for his work including:

President of the North Carolina Sociological Association in 1974

1980 he received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contributions in Teaching Award.

Vice-president of the American Sociological Association in 1983

President of the Southern Sociological Society in 1985. 


In December 1999, Everett K. Wilson died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was survived by his wife Betty, his daughter Alice Wilson Duggan, a son, Duncan Keith Wilson, and three grandchildren. A full obituary notice may be found on the North Carolina Sociological Association website here.

During his full life, he left a wondrous trail of accomplishment that has inspired students, associates, the discipline of sociology, and the lifetime values of those who knew him. Pine Mountain Settlement School is so very proud to have shared with him the earliest shaping of that wondrous trail of scholarship, generosity, and commitment.

Comments by many of his former students may be found here: http://www.unc.edu/faculty/faccoun/reports/MemWilson99.htm

*Special acknowledgment to the following for their contributions to this biographical sketch: M. Richard Cramer; Glen H. Elder; Richard L. Simpson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


Everett K. Wilson’s publications are numerous and are listed below. Apologies if some have not been caught.

**Publications: Sorted by date.

Wilson, E. K. (1942). Criteria of Urbanism Applied to Religion in Chicago. Thesis (S.M.)–University of Chicago, Department of Sociology.

Wilson, E. K. (1952). Community Participation in Policy Formation an Analysis of an Attempt to Implement Democratic Processes Through Group Discussion in a Community College. Thesis–University of Chicago.

Wilson, E. K. (1958). Some notes on the pains and prospects of American cities. Confluence, Vol.7:1, Spring 1958, P.1-15.

Durkheim, E. (1961). Moral Education; a study in the theory and application of the sociology of education. By Emile Durkheim. Foreword by Paul Fauconnet. Translated by Everett K. Wilson and Herman Schnurer. Edited, with an Introduction by Everett K. Wilson . [New York]: Free Press of Glencoe. 288 pp.

Selvin, H. C., Hagstrom, W. O., Newcomb, T. M., & Wilson, E. K. (1963). The empirical classification of formal groups. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

Newcomb, T. M., Baird, L., & Wilson, E. K. (1966). College peer group: problems and prospects for research. National Opinion Research Center monographs in social research, 8. Chicago: Aldine.

Wilson, E. K., & Newcomb, T. M. (1966). Peer groups college: problems and prospects for research.

Wilson, E. K. (1966). Sociology; Rules, Roles, and Relationships. Homewood, Ill: Dorsey Press.

Wilson, E.K. (1966). College Peer Groups: Problems and Prospects for Research. Edited by Theodore M. Newcomb and Everett K. Wilson. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1966.303 pp.

Wilson, E. K. (1969). The Inductive Orientation in Teaching Sociology. High Sch J. 53 (2), 122-131.

Wilson, E. K. (1971). Sociology: rules, roles, relationships : instructor’s supplement. Homewood, IL.: Dorsey Press.

Wilson, E. K. (1971). Sociology: rules, roles, and relationships. Homewood, Ill: Dorsey Press.

Wilson, E. K. (1971). Student’s supplement to sociology: rules, roles, and relationships. Homewood IL: Dorsey Press.

Durkheim, E., Fauconnet, P., & Wilson, E. K. (1973). Moral education: a study in the theory and application of the sociology of education. New York: Free Press [u.a.].

Social forces (Indexes). (1974). Cumulative index, volumes 1-50, 1922-1972. Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press.

Wilson, E. (1975). Protective self-deception of sociology instructors. s.l: s.n.

Wilson, E. K. (1975). What Is This Sociology We Profess. Journal of Research and Development in Education. 9 (1), 3-12.

Wilson, E. K. (1976). The Carolina Course to Launch Sociology Instructors: Three Features and Some General Reflections. Teaching Sociology. 3 (3), 249-264.

Wilson, E. K. (1976). Learning to Teach: Some Resources for Graduate Students or People Wishing to Help Graduate Students.

Social forces, v. 56, no. 2, December 1977. (1977). Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press.

Goldsmid, C. A., Gruber, J. E., & Wilson, E. K. (1977). Perceived Attributes of Superior Teachers (PAST): An Inquiry into the Giving of Teacher Awards. American Educational Research Journal. 14 (4), 423-440.

Wilson, E. K. (1977). Sociology: Scholarly Discipline or Profession? Department of Sociology, 168 Hamilton Hall, 070 A, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 ($1.00).

Wilson, E.K. “Social Rules and Social Behaviour. Peter Collett.” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 84, Issue 2, pp. 466-469.

Baker, P. J., Ed, & Wilson, E. K., Ed. (1979). Knowledge Available and Knowledge Needed to Improve Instruction in Sociology. ASA Teaching Resources Center, American Sociological Association, 1722 N Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 ($7.00).

Wilson, E. K. (1979). The Scholarly Route to Becoming a Teacher of Sociology.

Baker, P. J., & Wilson, E. (1979). KAKN: proceedings of a conference on knowledge available and knowledge needed to improve instruction in sociology. Washington: American Sociological Association, distributed by the ASA Teaching Resources Center.

Baker, P. J., & Wilson, E. K. (1979). Knowledge available and knowledge needed to improve instruction in sociology: Conference : Papers. [np].

Wilson, E.K. (1980). “Emile Durkheim on Institutional Analysis. Emile Durkheim, Mark Tragott.” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 86, Issue 2, pp.419-421.

Wilson, E. K., & Selvin, H. (1980). Why study sociology? a note to undergraduates. Des Moines, Iowa: Iowa Dept. for the Blind.

Goldsmid, C. A., & Wilson, E. (1980). Passing on Sociology: the teaching of a discipline. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Pub.

Wilson, E., & Selvin, H. (1980). Why study sociology?: a note to undergraduates. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Pub.

Wilson, E. K. (1981). Improving Sociology Instruction by Selective Recruitment. Teaching Sociology. 8 (3), 291-311.

Baker, P. J., & Wilson, E. K. (1981). Special issue devoted to knowledge available, knowledge needed improving sociology instruction. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Wilson, E.K. (1981) “The Realm of Sociology as a Science,” Social Forces, Vol. 59, Issue 4, p.1054.

Wilson, E. K. (1982). Power, Pretense, and Piggybacking. Some Ethical Issues in Teaching. Journal of Higher Education. 53 (3), 268-81.

Wilson, E. K. (1983). Standards for Judging the Adequacy of Sociology I. Teaching Sociology. 10 (2), 210-18.

Wilson, Everett K. (1985) “What Counts in the Death or Transformation of an Organization,” Social Forces, Vol. 64, Issue 2, pp. 259-280.

Wilson, E. K. (1987). Spotlight on Sociology: Patterns of Social Arrangements as a Realm of Inquiry. Social Education. 51 (1), 26-27.

Wilson, Everett K. and Cahn, Stven M., (1988) “Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia,” The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 59, Issue 3, p.355.


Spears, Harold. The Emerging High School Curriculum and its Direction, American Book Company, 1940, pp. 73-93, “Meeting Needs at Pine Mountain.”

Naegele, Kaspar D. (1962) “Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education. Emile Durkheim, Everett K. Wilson, Herman Schnurer,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 67, Issue 6 pp.708-709.

Lofland, John. (1966) [Wilson article review] “Sociology: Rules, Roles, and Relationships,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 31, Issue 3, p. 870.

McGee, Reece. [Wilson book review: Goldsmid, C.A., & Wilson, E. (1980). Passing on Sociology: the teaching of a discipline. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Pub.] in Social Forces Vol 60, Issue 3, p. 913.

See Also:
EVERETT K. WILSON Correspondence
 EVERETT K. WILSON A Study in Civics 1937

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Everett K. Wilson

Alt. Title

Ev Wilson ; Everett Wilson ; Everett Keith Wilson ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Everett K. Wilson ; Ev Wilson ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; sociology ; Antioch College ; teachers ; University of Chicago ; work-study programs ; students ; higher education ; Passing on Sociology ; sociologists ; American Sociological Association ; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ; pedagogues ; scholars ; Emil Durkheim ; Theodore Newcomb ; college peer groups ; Social Forces ; UNC Press ; Charles Goldsmid ; Wilsonian discipleship ; teaching sociology ; North Carolina Sociological Association ; Southern Sociological Society ; ASA Distinguished Contributions in Teaching Award ; M. Richard Cramer ; Glen H. Elder ; Richard L. Simpson ; Gordon Fellman ; editors ; Edward Kain ; Howard L. Sacks ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; New Glasgow, Nova Scotia ; Chicago, IL ; Chapel Hill, NC ;

Subject LCSH

Wilson, Everett K., — 1913 – December 31, 1999.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Citizenship — Study and teaching.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.




Collections ; text ; image ;


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


Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections,
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.


1913 – 1999


Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; New Glasgow, Nova Scotia ; Chicago, IL ; Chapel Hill, NC ;


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.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Everett K. Wilson ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Everett K. Wilson ;




“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

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Last Updated

2015-10-24 hhw ; 2015-11-02 aae ; 2016-02-06 hhw ; 2019-06-18 hhw; 2019-12-17 hhw ; 2023-05-15 aae ; 2023-08-06 hhw ;

“Everett K. Wilson.” PMSS Staff Directory. Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Goldsmid, Charles A, and Everett K. Wilson. Passing on Sociology: The Teaching of a Discipline. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Pub. Co, 1980. Print.

“United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVYQ-35RM : accessed 2 November 2015), Everett K Wilson, Durham, North Carolina, United States, 11 Jan 2000; from “Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 – Today),” database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014); citing Herald-Sun, The, born-digital text. Internet resource.

Wilson, E K. A Pine Mountain Study in Civics. Pine Mountain, KY: Pine Mountain Settlement School, 1937. Print.