Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School)


TAGS: 1920 PMSS catalog ; Medical Settlement at Big Laurel ; history ; William Creech, Sr. ; pioneer farmers ; educators ; blacksmiths ; district schools ; public works ; logging ; mining ; Miss Katherine Pettit ; Miss Ethel de Long ; Kentweva Coal Company ; Mary Sinclair Burkham Memorial Schoolhouse II ; reservoir ; Boys House ; nurses ; community ; Infirmary ; Old Log House ; Fireside Industries ; mountain handicrafts ; incorporation ; Board of Trustees ; religious life ; Community Christmas Tree ; Fourth of July Celebration ; Community Fair ; Far House I ; 1920 graduating class ; Laurel House I ; Sawmill ; fundraising ; The Road ; Miss Marguerite Butler ; extension workers ; circuit riders ; industrial workers ; Neighborhood House ; officers ; PMSS mission ; scholarships ;

This small promotional catalog was written in 1920 during the first years of the School. Included are details of the early history and the founding of Pine Mountain Settlement School, descriptions of the physical facility and staffing in 1920, progress on the Road (Laden Trail) construction, history of the extension at Medical Settlement at Big Laurel, PMSS’s mission and a list of PMSS officers.



 GALLERY: 1920 PMSS Catalog



“Do you make your children go to school?”
“My children, they hain’t to make; they cry to go.”

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Inc.
Pine Mountain, Harlan County, Kentucky

1920 PMSS Catalog: [Page 1]

The History
of the
Pine Mountain Settlement School

“Where there is no vision the people perish.”


“I don’t look after wealth for them. I look after the prosperity of our nation. I want all young-uns 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 am dead and gone.”

These are the words of Mr. William Creech, Senior, founder of the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Far back in the southern Appalachians, remote from modern conditions of life and thought, this pioneer farmer, thinker, and educator, working at his farm by day and his blacksmith’s forge by night, developed a great idea of education.

He saw his country “lost to knowledge:” children growing up without a chance to learn what good citizenship means; a country without roads and without doctors, sharing hardly at all the vast fund of knowledge which the last two centuries have added to civilization; with no education save the pitiful apology offered by the little district schools, to the comparatively few who could cover the distances to and from them.

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 2]

Uncle William saw that the people of his locality, without opportunity for acquiring the knowledge of the present day, were losing all the homely knowledge of the past. Year by year he saw more and more young men turn from farming to such “public works” as logging and mining; saw the young women no longer weaving sturdy linsey-woolsey but buying such cheap “factory” cloth as they could afford; and, as he himself wrote, “There being lots of whiskey and wickedness in the community where my grandchildren must be raised was a very serious thing for me to study about.”

Thinking over these things his vision shaped itself—what was needed was a good school where the children could be taught not alone to use their heads, but where hands and hearts should be trained—a school, the aim of which should not be excelling in mental acquirements, but teaching the greater art of how to live. “We need a whole lot of teaching how to work on the farm and how to make our farms pay,” he wrote.

When, in 1911, Uncle William met Miss Katherine Pettit and Miss Ethel deLong, both at that time connected with the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky, and found that their ideals of education were similar to his own, it was not strange that he should offer them the land they needed to start a school on the far side of Pine Mountain. Coming into this remote corner of Harlan County at the request of its people to see what the chances were for establishing a school similar to the one at Hindman, Miss Pettit and Miss deLong met not only a community pitifully eager for the opportunity held out for their children, but a leader among them who grasped his opportunity with both hands.

One hundred and thirty-six acres of land, all he had, Uncle William gave to found the Pine Mountain Settlement School. To this gift his sons have since added, and other lands have been given by the Kentweva Coal Company; so that today the Pine Mountain Settlement School, incorporated in 1913 under the laws of the State of Kentucky for one hundred years, owns over four hundred acres of farm and timber lands, and besides its buildings and equipment boasts a “peart” family of over one hundred.

It was vouchsafed to Uncle William, before his death in the spring of 1918, to see his dream coming true in actual wood and

PMSS Catalog: [page 3]

stone and in the group of children gathered together at Pine Mountain.

His “heart and cravin’ ” that his “people might grow better” takes each year more definite shape in his lovely valley where there are now six dwelling cottages to house the large school family, and to serve as laboratories in which the art of home-making is learned through the actual carrying out by the children of the work necessary to maintain a home; at the same time that new standards of living are assimilated through broadened opportunities and a happy and intimate home life.

The Mary Sinclair Burkham Memorial Schoolhouse has well lit and roomy classrooms and a beautiful Assembly Hall with a stage and dressing rooms. Already these walls are gathering memories of boisterous Sir Tobys, timid Sir Andrews, as well as beautiful Lady Olivias and Rosamunds. On May Day of last year—the first real Commencement of the School—a class of ten boys and girls was graduated. This year a high school has been started to meet the demand for more education of some of the members of this class who cannot go out to one of the higher schools for this work, and as a necessary preliminary to a teachers’ training course.

In the sewing classes boys and girls alike learn to make and care for their clothes; and in the kitchen the older girls, under the supervision of a Pratt graduate, are becoming good cooks as they prepare the meals for the Settlement family. At the barn and chicken yard, dairying, poultry raising, and the care of stock are taught the boys and girls who care for the twelve milk cows, four mules, two horses, hogs, calves, and chickens.

Far up on the side of Pine Mountain a 70,000-gallon reservoir affords the boon of pure water and fire protection to the Settlement.

This year the School has been fortunate in the gift from a generous friend of a Boys’ House to accommodate twenty-four boys and five workers. This cottage with its three sleeping porches and dressing rooms, play room and lovely oak paneled living room; with its dignified fireplace made of stone cut in the School’s quarry, opened its doors this fall to a group of eager-faced boys, keen for the education without which they “jest breathe through the world.”

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 4]

A resident nurse looks after the health of the Settlement family, and is at the service of the immediate community. It is a singularly healthy family that lives at Pine Mountain, but there has been much work done in the eradication of hookworm. “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” exclaimed a nurse who visited the School when she saw the sanitary closets which have been installed, and which are built according to State regulations. Dental and other clinics are held at the School whenever the gift of their services can be obtained from specialists.

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company provides passes for children suffering from trachoma and other ailments, making it possible for them to have hospital treatment which would otherwise be denied them. The trachoma cases are sent to the Government Hospital at Jackson, Ky., and other troubles are treated at the Louisville Children’s Free Hospital.

A school infirmary is nearly ready for occupancy. For the last three years the nurse has occupied the Old Log House, and until she has her own quarters the Fireside Industries Department—to house which the Old Log House was built— cannot begin its work for the conservation of mountain handicrafts.

Its papers of incorporation give the School entire freedom in this large field of rural service. The Board of Trustees, an independent organization composed of men and women in different parts of the country, desires the School to co-operate in every way with the community, to help solve the problem of wholesome social diversions and to share in the religious life of the community by Sunday School work and non-sectarian Christian association. So it is that on all the great days of the year the School’s grounds are the gathering place for the people of the surrounding country. There is the Community Christmas Tree, the Fourth of July Celebration, the Community Fair, and the weekly parties for the young people of the neighborhood.

To a stranger riding in for the first time and seeing the Settlement buildings, suiting so perfectly their surroundings, it seems incredible that five years ago this valley was a wilderness: that the only sounds heard were those of the wild things of the woods, where today are the hum of the sawmill, the carpenter’s hammer, the call of the ploughboy to his team, the School bell and children’s voices.

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 5]

defaul2The Big Log House
A home for twenty-five people


The Living Room at Far House [I]

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 6]

Mary Sinclair Burkham Memorial Schoolhouse [II]



1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 7]

Laurel House [I]

The Sawmill

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 8] MISSING

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 9] MISSING

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 10]


1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 11]


1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 10]

[Causey Family]


1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 12]

Other Activities
Established and Proposed

“I don’t want hit to be a benefit only for the people of this locality, but for all of Kentucky for the whole U-nited States if they want hit; for the whole world if it can get any good from hit!” 
—Uncle William, speaking of the work he founded.

The Road

Friends of the School of several years’ standing will remember the successful effort made in 1916-17 to raise $55,000 for the purpose of building a road over Pine Mountain, from the railroad to the School.

Owing to the war and the shortage of labor, the State (which is constructing the road according to the State Aid Plan) was unable to start work before the fall of 1919, when a convict camp to house the men who are doing the work was constructed on the south side of the mountain. This year a force of seventy-five men under able direction is at work on the second mile of the six-mile road of less than 7 per cent grade, that must carve its way through 100-foot cliffs of rock, to bring in to this valley over a broad highway more of the blessings of the Twentieth Century; and at the same time give an outlet to many

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 13]

people who now must climb over steep trails, or send a wagon a two-day trip of eighteen miles, over almost impassible roads, to the railway. Under favorable circumstances the road should be completed by the end of 1921.

As one rides over the heart-breaking trail today and looks down on the white ribbon that so slowly and laboriously is reaching out from your world to this shut-in one, the faith that removes mountains is brought to mind and Uncle William’s vision again speaks splendidly.

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 14]

The Medical Settlement

In a country without doctors and without any modern health knowledge, it is easy to appreciate what the establishment of the Medical Settlement meant to this community.

Last fall, a small log dwelling house and doctor’s office was erected at the mouth of Big Laurel Creek, four miles from Pine Mountain, and a doctor and nurse installed—the first nearer than the county seat, twenty miles away. The field for curative and preventive work is immense and no greater opportunity for educational work along health lines exists anywhere.

The Extension Work

For two years Miss Marguerite Butler has been the extension worker of the School, her duties including the supervision of eleven district schools, some of which are a day’s ride from Pine Mountain. Helping the young teachers to plan their programs, teaching a class at the request of the teacher who wistfully believes she “could do better if I could just see how you do it”: having sewing classes, playground afternoons, and Sunday School regularly in the nearer schools are only some of the varied activities the position of circuit rider entails.

So great are the possibilities of such work that the School decided this year to carry out its long-conceived plan and to establish on one of the remoter creeks a small dwelling cottage for a resident industrial worker and nurse. These two workers will supplement the very meager educational opportunities of the district schools by classes in canning, cooking, sewing, playground, Sunday School; and, both in the school and out in the community, preach and practice the gospel of health conservation through modern sanitation and district nursing. The cottage will be large enough to accommodate the district school teacher also.

This year a sufficient fund has been raised to start the work and as this book goes to press, the first Neighborhood House is being built on Line Fork Creek, through the generous cooperation of our neighbors in that community.

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 15]

[photo] A little district schoolhouse—the only community center in our country

The Children’s House

The hardest thing the Executive Committee has to do is to say, “No more room,” and it has been saying it four and five times every week since June 1st, when registration for the next school year started. Particularly is it difficult to refuse the “least” ones, who perhaps have lost a parent and who are not getting the right start in life.

The Executive Committee is dreaming its own dream of a Children’s House, where motherless children under ten years of age, to the number of fifty, may find a home, with medical care, proper food, and an environment favorable for laying the right foundation of a high type of manhood and womanhood. This house would be run entirely for little children who, according to their age, would benefit also by the educational opportunities of the School.

There is a beautiful site waiting for the friend, or friends, who want to help materialize this dream.

1920 PMSS Catalog: [page 16]

Officers of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Inc.

Executive Committee
Mrs. Ethel deLong Zande
Miss Katherine Pettit

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

General Advisory Board
Mr. Darwin D. Martin, President ……….. Buffalo, N. Y.
Mrs. J. R. Morton, Vice-President ………. Lexington, Ky.
Miss Elizabeth Hench, Secretary ……… Indianapolis, Ind.
Dr. Calvin N. Kendall ………………… Trenton, N. J.
The Rev. Alfred Lee Wilson ………… Cincinnati, Ohio
Mrs. Russell Stiles …………………… Crestwood, N. J.
Miss Mary Rockwell ………………… Kansas City, Mo.
Miss Loraine Wyman …………………. New York City
Mr. Daniel M. Lord …………………… New York City
Mrs. Celia Cathcart Holton ……………… London, Ohio
Miss Margaret McCutchen ………. North Plainfield, N. J.


To give industrial, moral, and intellectual education, Christian, but non-sectarian; to serve as a social centre in an isolated, intensely rural neighborhood; to further by teaching and by the wise use of its own 450 acres of land, the agricultural and economic development of the country.

The annual scholarship is $150.00. Any sum from $5.00 to $150.00 will give one a share in the education of a boy or girl. The School prefers to follow the method used in colleges and similar institutions, where the recipient of money is not known to the donor. By work on the farm, in the dairy, the garden, the workshop, the kitchen and cottages the children pay back to the School as much of the cost of their maintenance as their age and skill allow.


Title 1920 PMSS Catalog
Alt. Title Pine Mountain Settlement School, Inc., Pine Mountain, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 1920
Creator Katherine Pettit ; Ethel de Long ;
Identifier Permalink: https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=2925
Subject Keyword Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Pine Mountain Settlement School Catalog, September 1920 ; catalogs ; physical plant ; Medical Settlement at Big Laurel ; history ; William Creech, Sr. ; founders ; southern Appalachians ; pioneer farmers ; educators ; blacksmiths ; district schools ; public works ; logging ; mining ; linsey-woolsey ; factory cloth ; whiskey ; Miss Katherine Pettit ; Miss Ethel de Long ; Hindman Settlement School ; land ; donations ; gifts ; Kentweva Coal Company ; timber lands ; cottages ; homemaking ; Mary Sinclair Burkham Memorial Schoolhouse II ; classrooms ; Assembly Hall ; commencements ; high schools ; teachers ; sewing ; Pratt Institute ; farm animals ; reservoir ; Boys House ; sleeping porches ; dressing rooms ; play rooms ; living rooms ; fireplaces ; stone quarries ; nurses ; community ; hookworm ; sanitary closets ; clinics ; Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company ; trachoma ; Government Hospital ; Louisville Children’s Free Hospital ; Infirmary ; Old Log House ; Fireside Industries ; mountain handicrafts ; incorporation ; Board of Trustees ; religious life ; Sunday School ; non-sectarian Christian association ; Community Christmas Tree ; Fourth of July Celebration ; Community Fair ; Far House I ; 1920 graduating class ; Laurel House I ; Sawmill ; fundraising ; The Road ; WWII ; State of Kentucky ; convict camps ; doctors ; Medical Settlement ; Big Laurel Creek ; Miss Marguerite Butler ; extension workers ; circuit riders ; industrial workers ; canning ; cooking ; Neighborhood House ; Line Fork Creek ; Executive Committee ; officers ; Mr. C. N. Manning ; Security Trust Co. ; General Advisory Board ; PMSS mission ; scholarships ; Ethel Norton ;
Subject LCSH Pine Mountain Settlement School Catalog, September 1920.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Description A small promotional catalog written in the first years of the School that contains details of the early history and the founding of the school. Also included are details of the physical facility and staffing.
Publisher Pine Mountain Settlement School ; GIES Co., Buffalo, N.Y. ;
Contributor n/a
Date Digital 2008-07-02 ; 2013-11-09 ;
Type Text ; photograph ;
Format Catalog
Source Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive ; Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School) ;
Language English
Relation Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School) ;
Coverage Temporal 1920
Coverage Spatial Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Hindman, KY ; Knott County, KY ; Jackson, KY ; Louisville, 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 Ethel Norton, former teacher [multiple copies available from School and other donors]
Acquisition n/a
Citation Pine Mountain Settlement School Catalog, 1920. Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed by Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last updated 2009-08-29hw ; 2013-11-09hw ; 2014-06-10aae ;


Pine Mountain Settlement School Catalog, 1920. Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.