Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: Students
Series 09: Staff/Personnel
Georgia Ayers Dodd (1918 –
PMSS Student 1933-1937
Community Worker 1937-1938
Housemother, Big Log Sept 1938-1940: West Wind 1942-1944
Dietitian 1950-1951

Georgia Ayers [Dodd] 14


Tags: Georgia Ayers Dodd ; Pine Mountain Settlement School students ; PMSS Octet ; community workers ; Arthur W. Dodd ; housemothers ; Hot Lunch Program ; Ganado (Arizona) Mission ; dietitians ;

As a student at the Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) in the 1930s, Georgia Ayers (Dodd) was already well-known as one of three sisters who were members of the PMSS Girls’ Octet.  Joanna, Ruby and Georgia Ayers and the rest of the group toured the country for the School on promotional trips in 1936 and 1937. A 1937 Octet program for a White House performance listed Georgia as the solo for the famous John Jacob Niles song, “I Wonder As I Wander.” She finished PMSS high school in 1937, the second of her six sisters who all graduated from the School.


Georgia Ayers (Dodd). [mexico_02.jpg]

Georgia was a talented and precocious student and attracted the attention of the administration who often looked for students to promote. Georgia was one of those.  At the end of the school year in June of 1936, she was invited to travel to Mexico with the Principal Arthur Dodd, Fern Hall, Secretary to Glyn Morris, Director, and Grazia Combs, a school administrator from Perry County, Ky. and the appointed chaparon.

The group drove to New Orleans and then on to Mexico city and the craft city of Taxco, A record of that journey is recorded in DANCING IN THE CABBAGE PATCH: 1936 PMSS & MEXICO.

Arthur Dodd was obviously “smitten” by Georgia’s bright and quick adaptability and her Ayers, beauty. Not long after the trip, Georgia and Arthur Dodd continued to cautiously “eye” one another. Dodd, saw in Georgia a potential member of the new “Community Group” program he and Glyn Morris had put together to offer both training and direct service to the local community near the School.

Georgia passed the scrutiny and her post-graduate year, 1937-1938, was spent as a member of the first “Community Group” at the School.  Consisting of five young women, all Pine Mountain students, this community visiting project was featured in The Emerging High School Curriculum and Its Direction by Dr. Harold Spears (1948) and garnered attention throughout educational circles.

Arthur Dodd and Georgia Ayers Dodd with daughter Elizabeth, c. 1943. {pmss_photo_MOD_dodd_family_enlarged-2.jpg]

Arthur Dodd and Georgia Ayers Dodd with daughter Elizabeth, c. 1943. {pmss_photo_MOD_dodd_family_enlarged-2.jpg]

At the end of Georgia’s participation in this project, she married Arthur W. Dodd, Jr., formerly her supervisor. Dodd was a very elgible bachelor. A Berea College graduate, he had come to the School in 1932 from Julliard where he studied music and was an accomplished pianist. Glyn Morris then added to his skills by asking him to serve the School’s mucic needs but also as the science and history teacher. Later he served as business manager, interim acting director, and school principal.

Georgia, as his new wife, worked on the Pine Mountain staff as houseparent for junior-senior girls from 1939-1949 and during that time gave birth to two girls, Elizabeth Oaks (“Libby”) and Margaret Cresswell (“Margo”). When the girls entered school, she went back to work In 1950-1951, as director of the Hot Lunch Program for the Harlan County Community School then held on the Pine Mountain campus.

Following their marriage, Georgia and Dodd stayed on at the School for another 14 years, both  strengthening the School’s programs with their skills and dedication and, at the same time, caring for her growing family. It is not surprising that the Dodd’s two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, born in 1943 and 1945 respectively, at the School later chose careers in teaching.

June 1951 marked the end of the Dodd family’s stay at Pine Mountain when they relocated to Ganado Mission, located on the Navajo Indian Reservation in northern Arizona. There Georgia served the Ganado Public School System as Director of the Food Service Program for the elementary, middle school and high school for the next 21 years, employing and supervising a staff of 18 mostly Navajo Indians.

Ever developing her abilities, Georgia attended several schools throughout her working years: George Peabody Teachers’ College, Nashville, TN; Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff; University of Arizona, Tucson; and Arizona State University, Tempe. Like Arthur she never lost her appetite for learning.

Georgia Ayers’ parents were Henry Gilmore Ayers (1894-1959) and Ethel Elizabeth Oaks Ayers (1983-1979). Georgia was born September 13, 1918, in Ewing (Lee County), Virginia. When in the second grade she moved with her family to the coal-mining village of Twila, Kentucky, just over the Pine Mountain from the School. She attended the local elementary school of Twila and followed that with her school years at Pine Mountain.

In later years, Georgia and Arthur Dodd settled in Johnson City, Tennessee, not far from the School and from both their families. Georgia was an active members of the First United Presbyterian Church in nearby Elizabethton, TN, where Dodd, also a member, served as the organist.  She was also active at the local and county levels of the Extension Service of the University of Tennessee following her “retirement”.



Georgia Ayers Dodd

Alt. Title

Georgia Ayers ; Georgia Dodd ; Mrs. Arthur W. Dodd




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Georgia Ayers Dodd ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Georgia Ayers ; Georgia Dodd ; Pine Mountain Settlement School students ; PMSS Octet ; community workers ; Arthur W. Dodd ; housemothers ; Hot Lunch Program ; Ganado (Arizona) Mission ; dietitians ; Joanna Ayers ; Ruby Ayers ; Community Group ; Elizabeth Oaks Dodd ; Margaret Cresswell Dodd ; Henry Gilmore Ayers ; Ethel Elizabeth Oaks Ayers ;

Subject LCSH

Dodd, Georgia Ayers — September 13, 1918 – [?]
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


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


Series 19: Students ; Series 09: Staff/Personnel




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 19: Students and Series 09: Staff/Personnel

Coverage Temporal

1918 – [?]

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;

Nashville, TN ; Ganado, AZ ; Flagstaff, AZ ; Tucson, AZ ; Tempe, AZ ; Ewing, VA ; Twila, KY ; Johnson City, TN ; Elizabethton, TN ;


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 Georgia Ayers Dodd ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Georgia Ayers Dodd ;




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

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2016-05-23 aae ; 2016-05-25 hhw ; 2016-06-05 hhw ; 2016-06-17 aae ; 2021-06-20 hhw; 2022-02-02 hhw


“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 May 2016), Henry Gilmore Ayers, 1959 and Ethel Elizabeth Oaks Ayers (1979) ; Burial, Rosspoint, Harlan, Kentucky, United States of America, Rose Lawn Cemetery; citing record ID 146597815, Find a Grave, Internet resource.

Guide to Students at PMSS. Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Staff Directory 1913– . Series 09: Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.


 Spears, Harold. The Emerging High-School Curriculum and Its Direction. New York: American Book Co, 1948. Print.

Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z

See also:

ARTHUR W. DODD Biography