David Martin. [P1060023-1.jpg]
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: Students


Student 1940 – 1943, 1946
PMSS Advisory Board 1970s

TAGS: William David Martin ; Pine Mountain Settlement School students ; obituary ; Pat Hall Martin ; Flora Patsy Hall; Fern Hall Hayes; Enoch C. Hall, II:  John (Jack) Mullins Martin ; PMSS classes and teachers ; Pine Mountain Association of Alumni & Friends ; Mable Mullins;

William David Martin, known as “David,” was a student at Pine Mountain during the School’s last years as a boarding institution. David stated on his school application, dated July 1940, that he wished to attend Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) “because of training given there that is not given in [a] county high school.” He arrived at Pine Mountain School to begin his first year of high school after attending first through eight grades at Maggard School in Letcher County.

As of 1940, when David applied to PMSS, his parents had divorced. David, his mother and his younger brother, John (“Jack”) Mullins Martin, lived with the boys’ grandmother, Mrs. Jane Mullins. They joined David’s Aunt Della Mullins and her two girls, Emma Lou and Jane, in their grandmother’s seven-room white-painted frame house in Patridge, Kentucky. It was a lively home that was well kept, heated by a coal stove and lit by night with kerosene lamps. The home often saw visitors from Pine Mountain. One was an aunt, Mable Mullins, an early enrollee in the School, who had moved on to Berea where she received a nursing degree and ultimately retired as a Major from a very successful career in the Army Nurse Corps. Of note, a regular visitor in the home was Katherine Pettit who enjoyed many stays with the family. The Martin home was often the mountain retreat for Emma Lucy Braun, a trailblazing botanist, ecologist and conservationist, who with her sister Annette, an entomologist of note, spent many days in eastern Kentucky studying the forests and insects in the surrounding area.

The well-run household required that all members of the family contribute to the household and farm duties. David’s duties at home were feeding hogs, getting wood and coal, taking the corn to be milled, and helping with milking. Sometimes he used these skills to earn enough money to buy clothes. It is no wonder that, at Pine Mountain, he excelled where he felt most comfortable: agriculture, farm, field, and dairy. He was elected president of the 4H Club and president of the Audubon Jr. Club. His declared goals, when asked what he expected from a career path, were to first join the Navy and then become a farmer, even though his mother had “always hoped he would want to be a doctor.”

One of his favorite pastimes was reading and, in his home, he had plenty of opportunities to do so. He wrote in his application that his home contained “about 100 books.” A number of magazines and newspapers were also available, such as The Louisville Courier-Journal, Grit, American Magazine, McCalls, Women’s Home Companion, Holland’s Open Road for Boys, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan.

During his years at the School, 1940-1943, David, like most boarding school students at the time, divided each day between attending classes and working at various tasks on the campus. The following are the Pine Mountain School classes he attended and his teachers:

Hygiene – Miss [Ruth] Gaines
Science and Geography, Biology – Alice Joy Keith
Singing – E. Trufant
Reading, Bible, and History – Vera R. Hackman
Home Economics – W. Miller
Agriculture, Agriculture Survey – William Hayes
Auto-mechanics – Carl Oreson
Civics – Malcolm Arny
Typesetting – August Angel
Mechanics – Joss Burden
English – Miss Keen
Co-op, History and Economics, Mathematics – Gladys Hill
Field, Sociology & General Conference – Birdena Bishop
English, Social Studies – Edith Cold
Ethics – William D. Webb
Current History – Arthur Dodd
Algebra – Josephine Merrill
Chemistry – Ronald Henderson

David’s work duties took place at the Farm, Dairy, and Milk House (supervised by William Hayes) and Wood Shop (Boone Callahan). He also worked as the Mail Boy for the Office (Janet Grant), reliably picking up the School’s mail each day when it arrived at the post office.

During his last year at school, his interest in studying began to wane as his thoughts focused increasingly on joining the U.S. Navy. In March 1943, three months before the second semester ended, he withdrew from school to fulfill his dream of becoming a sailor. After three years In the Navy during World War II, he returned to finish his studies at Pine Mountain and became a proud member of the Graduation Class of 1946 and the proud husband of Flora Patsy Hall.

Joe Bramlett Album - David and Patsy (Hall) Martin wedding in the PMSS Chapel. Bridesmaid, Fern Hall Hayes to left and Jack Martin, best man, to far right. [bram_-46.jpg]

Joe Bramlett Album – David and Patsy (Hall) Martin wedding in the PMSS Chapel. Bridesmaid, Fern Hall Hayes to left and Jack Martin, best man, to far right. [bram_-46.jpg]

In the 1970s and 1980s, David Martin and his wife, Pat (Flora Patsy Hall), whom he had met during Pine Mountain boarding school days, were active members of the Pine Mountain Association of Alumni and Friends. Paul Hayes, then PMSS Director, wrote in the Homecoming Report dated June 16-17, 1979:

Our new president of the Pine Mountain Association of Alumni & Friends is Mrs. David Martin (Pat Hall), Modoc, Indiana. Pat is a teacher in the Modoc School System and husband David is a contractor, specializing in barn building. Pat was a member…of the famous CLASS OF ’44, which has contributed so richly to our Homecomings…

Pat Martin was the Alumni Association’s president until 1982 when David’s brother, Jack (John Mullins Martin), was elected to the office. Jack had followed his brother to Pine Mountain School as a member of the Class of 1945. His time at the School was interrupted by two years in the U.S. Air Force in World War II. In the 1980s through the early 2000s, As the President of the Alumni Board, Jack was a representative to and a member of the PMSS Board of Trustees where he acted as the liaison between the two boards.

William David Martin was born in Lynch, (Harlan County), Kentucky, on September 7, 1925. His father, J.D. Martin, was born c. 1895 in Cleveland, Tennessee, and had worked as an assistant mine foreman as of 1940. His mother, Ida Mullins Martin, was born c. 1897 in Partridge, Kentucky. She was a teacher before marriage, then a social worker for two years. In 1940 she was a supervisor of a Work Projects Administration (WPA) sewing project. The Martin family homestead often served as the base camp for many of the fieldwork trips taken by the noted environmentalist, Lucy Braun and Kathrine Pettit was a frequent guest in the active family home at Partridge, KY, not far from Pine Mountain School on the Cumberland headwaters.

David Martin passed away on May 23, 2016, in Modoc, Indiana. The following obituary notice, written by his daughter Mary Lin (Martin) O’Donnell, captures the essence of his life and the joys of his large family. It also tells the rest of David Martin’s story.

William David Martin passed away at home on May 23, 2016. He was born in Lynch, Ky., on Sept. 7, 1925. David attended Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky, where he first met his future wife, Pat Hall. In 1942, at the age of 17, he entered the U.S. Navy and served for three years. When he returned, he sought out Pat, who was attending Wheaton College near Chicago. They married April 3, 1947, in the Chapel at Pine Mountain and then took the train from Corbin, Ky., to Chicago and on to Ames, Iowa, where David attended Iowa State University. In February of 1948, the first of five children arrived: In order they are: David Alfred Martin (Cecilia), Doris M. Myers (Gary, deceased), Rebecca L. Estros (Robert, deceased), Richard A. Martin (Penny) and Mary Lin O’Donnell (Michael).

Their children gave them eight grandchildren: David Andrew Martin, Shannon Martin, Karen Hamm, Lisa Kaminski, Holly Justus, Tyler Martin, Scott Catey and Julie Huser. At present count he has 14 (plus five step-) great-grandchildren. A few days before he died, his newest great-grandson was born, his third-oldest great-grandchild graduated from high school and his middle daughter turned 65. In the midst of his decline, there were still occasions for celebration and there will be many more to come. So while we grieve his absence, we celebrate his life and the life he gave to us.

In his life he had been a sailor, a farmer, a salesman and the owner of a construction company. He was of that stoic generation that came through the Depression and World War II. In his late 50s, he drove himself to the hospital, walked to the reception desk and asked to speak to his daughter-in-law who worked there. When she arrived, he said, “I think I’m having a heart attack.” He was. That was typical of him.

After he and Pat retired, they took up ballroom and polka dancing. They bought a motor home and traveled across the U.S., attending polka dances and making new friends along the way. They took many cruises, including ones that took them through the Saint Lawrence Seaway; through the Panama Canal; to Hawaii, where he was stationed during the war; and to Alaska. He set foot in every state of the Union save one.

David is survived by his wife, Pat (age 90), his brother, Jack Martin (age 89), and his children and grandchildren and their spouses, and his great-grandchildren. He was dearly loved, and will be greatly missed, but is alive in the memories of his family.

The family asks that memorials to David be sent in his name to Pine Mountain Settlement School, 36 State Hwy. 10, Bledsoe, KY 40810.

[Written by Mary Lin (Martin) O’Donnell , daughter, May 24, 2016]



Always when some part of our life has come to a close.
There is the silent recalling of the past—
Old acquaintances, books, classmates, laughter, sorrow—
All blending to make life;
Some find a joy in seeking out these treasured stores,
Viewing them with soft eyes and glowing faces;
Others dare not look over these fragments of yesterday,
For there is a sadness in knowing
These happy days Will not be lived again.
But I have thought today about the time
When I shall be looking back
At my days spent at Pine Mountain,
Pondering and weighing each part with care,
large and small
Friendships, disappointments, peace, love.
I used to think it would hurt;
Now I know it never will,
For I have had a fleeting look today—
At the path that lies ahead.

—Patsy Hall (Wife of David Martin)
Published in the PMSS Conifer 1944






Alt. Title

David Martin




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Subject Keyword

William David Martin ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; David Martin ; obituary ; Mary Lin (Martin) O’Donnell ; Martin Family ; John (Jack) Mullins Martin ; Pat (Flora Patsy Hall) Martin ; U.S. Navy ; Association of Alumni and Friends ; Wheaton College ; Iowa State University ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lynch, KY ; Modoc, IN ; Chicago, IL ; Ames, IA ;

Subject LCSH

Martin, William David, — September 7, 1925 – May 24, 2016.
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


Mary Lin (Martin) O’Donnell


Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet Boys House Library and Archive


Series19: Students




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series19: Students

Coverage Temporal

1895 – 2016

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lynch, KY ; Modoc, IN ; Chicago, IL ; Ames, IA ;


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 William David Martin ; clippings, photographs, books by or about William David Martin ;




“[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

2016-06-03 hhw ; 2016-06-09 aae ; 2016-06-10 hhw



“Martin, William David” Student Files.  Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.

O’Donnell, Mary Lin (Martin), “Wiliam David Martin.” Obituary published in The Star Press (Muncie, IN) on May 25, 2016. Print.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K7TY-DK7 : accessed 11 June 2016), Jane Mullins, Magisterial District 1, Letcher, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 67-4, sheet 6B, family 99, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1330. Internet resource.

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