Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 13: Education & Educational Programs
Series 21: Rural Youth Guidance Institute
RURAL YOUTH GUIDANCE INSTITUTE
TAGS: Rural Youth Guidance Institute; O. Latham Hatcher (1868-1946); John Jacob Niles; Southern Women’s Educational Alliance; African Americans; Rural women, Southern States; rural-urban migration; rural youth education; rural youth vocational guidance; Eastern Kentucky education; women social reformers; rural employment;
The Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth was a vocational guidance service organization originally created under the leadership of Orie Latham Hatcher and called the Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women (1914-1921). It was later known as the Southern Woman’s Educational Alliance (1921-1937). It was this organization that gave rise to the Pine Mountain Settlement School Rural Youth Guidance Institute in 1935 and that remained an influence on the Pine Mountain programs through the consultant, Orie Latham Hatcher, until approximately 1945. The Rural Youth Guidance Institute in Harlan County continued after 1945 under the direction of the Harlan County Superintendent of Schools, James A. Cawood. It was disbanded in 1963 [?].
The records at Pine Mountain Settlement School comprise an extensive set of organizational records for the Harlan County Rural Youth Guidance Institute largely during the administration of Pine Mountain Settlement School Director Glyn Morris. As a partner of the Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth and with the “technical direction” of Orie Latham Hatcher, the founder and director of the Alliance, the Pine Mountain Settlement program continued until 1945 and the death of Hatcher. Under the direction of the Harlan County Schools system, the Institute continued under the direction of the Harlan County Superintendent of Schools, James A. Cawood, and other Pine Mountain Directors who followed Morris. The length of the war lead to the termination of Morris’ contract at Pine Mountain and when he returned from the war he was asked by the Council of the Southern Mountains to assume the roll of Executive Secretary of the Council. During his one year with the Council, Morris was contacted by his friend from Guidance Institute days, James Cawood, to assume the role of Principal at Evarts School where he would manage 1600 students (grades 1- 12 and a one-room segregated school for African Americans). The challenge of work with a familiar population was enticing and Morris returned to the area and continued for a time on an emergency instructional certificate.
The series at Pine Mountain includes extensive correspondence with the Alliance and with O. Latham Hatcher, miscellaneous administrative files, project files, conference files, subject files, writings and talks, publications, clippings, press releases, and scattered photographic prints. The materials document the evolution of the Pine Mountain Rural Youth Guidance institutes from their early focus on increasing vocational opportunities for rural youth to its later activities in providing county-wide vocational programming for the rural youth.
Additional subjects addressed in the papers and photographs include rich regional information related to the economic conditions throughout the South; the migration patterns from the Eastern Kentucky regions to various cities; papers written by various faculty associated with Berea College; Appalachian culture, including crafts and music; community life in the South; and integration notes on Harlan County African Americans.
Also related are the collections held by the Rubenstein Library at Duke University, NC. See especially the Rubenstein Library/Collection Guides, Guide to the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth records, 1887-1963 and undated, bulk 1914-1946.
Note that large quantities of ephemeral material were discarded from the Duke holdings including ” Large quantities of newsclippings from the Jackson Times (Breathitt Co., Ky.) and the Harlan Daily News (Harlan Co., Ky.) concerning social life in both counties …”
Glyn Morris at Pine Mountain Settlement School was strongly influenced by the work of Orie Latham Hatcher and the two struck up an extensive correspondence. In his autobiography, Less Traveled Roads [p. 44], Morris notes that when she died in April of 1946, he was invited at her request to preside at her funeral service. He says of the event that “I did so, sadly, for she had taught me much. Now she lies in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, with great leaders of the South all around her.”
[See Duke University – Finding Aids for more information on Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth and Orie Latham Hatcher.]
EDUCATION – EARLY YEARS (1913-1930)