Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Faye Trail, Student 1942-1946
Member, PMSS Assn of Friends and Alumni 1970s-1980s
Frances Faye Trail Deaton (1928-?)

Faye Trail Student

05_2441 Graduating Class of 1946. Genella Boggs, Nell Jones, Hazel Winters (Kilgore), Billy Tye, Birdie Miniard, Evelyn Ayers, Class Sponsor and Trustee, Clark Bailey, Shirley Holbrook, Maxine Moses, Glen Brown, Jeanette Lucas (or, Nell Cox ?), Faye Trail. (Front row from rt): Millard Sellvey, David Martin, Frank Richards, Lester Centers, Jerry LaRue. (Far back row older man): Dr. Clark Bailey. [098_IX_students_05_2441003.jpg]

TAGS: Faye Trail, Faye Trail Deaton, school record, Pine Mountain Settlement School Class of 1946, John H. Deaton, poets, writers, PMSS students, Association of Friends and Alumni, homecomings, coal mining camps, literary Faye Trail Deaton

FAYE TRAIL Student, 1942-1946

Faye Trail (Deaton) was among the Class of 1946 graduates of the Pine Mountain Settlement School. She and her husband, John H. Deaton, also a former PMSS student, remained connected to the School through their work with the Association of Friends and Alumni and attendance at homecomings in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the Homecoming Report of 1986, “Ebb” Ayers Howard described memories of her classmates in a list of “Reflections.” She wrote this about Faye Trail Deaton: “My life time friend; very talented and warm, doting grandmother now. Hasn’t changed a bit from first grade.”

FAYE TRAIL: Her Writings

For the 1986 Homecoming Report, Faye submitted “A Pine Mountain Trail,” in which she described how her time at the Pine Mountain Settlement School had influenced her life:


This year we were asked to bring something from our Pine Mountain years for “Show and Tell”. Pursuant of that, I searched through my small collection of memorabilia — old Pine Cones, Conifers, George Washington Ball dance cards, a letter postmarked Great Lakes, Illinois, 1945 from a young sailor named John Deaton. And there, folded neatly, were half a dozen letters written by Mr. [Arthur W.] Dodd that had been enclosed with letters of my own to my parents. Pine Mountain’s report card. In the first letter, dated December 1942, was the statement “One person who knows Faye best says she is chronically “agin” nearly every thing and everybody.” I read that part of the letter again and then stopped to consider it, going back in my mind to those first months at Pine Mountain. I had to concede that those words were true. Why?

I had come from a situation at home that had required me to cope with problems from the age of twelve that would have bested many adults. My mother had ceased to be a mother and had become a child. The responsibility of feeding, bathing, dressing and looking after her fell to me. I tried to assume the running of a household. I was overwhelmed. When I discovered that my mother’s “strange sickness” had become a source of gossip in the community — humiliation was added to my troubles. I reacted to this new hurt by becoming angry and defensive. Thus — I came to Pine Mountain. That place where the beauty soothed, where the good and gentle workers took the raw edges [off] my being and with their teaching, encouragement, praise and caring, helped me reshape my world.

That, Pine Mountain, is one of the reasons I love you.
Faye Trail Deaton

 Faye Trail Student

Senior Class of 1946. Front row: Millard Selvey, David Martin, Lester Centers, Frank Richards, Jerry LaRue. Second row: Nelle Jones, Genella Boggs, Hazel Kilgore, Bill Tye, Shirley Holbrook, Dr. Clark Bailey, Evelyn Ayers, Maxine Moses, Colleen Day, Glen Brown, Jeanette Lucus, Faye Trail. [nace_1_042b.jpg]

Faye was a prolific writer as a student and following her graduation. She especially enjoyed poetry. One of her earliest poems written while at Pine Mountain School, captures a favorite craft at Pine Mountain while memorializing Aunt Sal, wife of William Creech, a founder of the School. The poem weaves together the many strands of humanity with the physical craft of weaving.

See “Bibliography” below for a partial list of books and poems written by Faye Trail Deaton.
See also FAYE TRAIL DEATON Alumni Reflections, a 1991 rebuttal letter to editor of Appalachian Heritage.

Faye Trail Deaton poem, 1946. [deaton_faye_weaver__002.jpg]


Frances Faye Trail was born in 1928 in Twila, Kentucky. Throughout the 1930s she and her family lived in the coal mining camp in Harlan County. She had one sibling, a brother who was three years older. Faye’s mother, Viola Masin Trail, was born c. 1907 in Ohio. Her father, Wiley Trail, was from Tennessee. At age 34, he was working as a machine operator in a coal mine according to the 1940 United States Census.

Faye and her husband raised two sons. During the 1970s and 1980s, Fay and John Deaton lived in Morristown, Tennessee.

See Also:

FAYE TRAIL DEATON Alumni Reflections – 1991 Rebuttal Letter to Editor of Appalachian Heritage


Faye Trail 

Alt. Title

Faye Trail Deaton ; Faye Deaton ; Mrs. John H. Deaton




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Faye Trail Deaton ; Faye Trail ; Faye Deaton ; Mrs. John H. Deaton ; Frances Faye Trail ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; PMSS Class of 1946 ; John H. Deaton ; poets ; writers ; Association of Friends and Alumni ; homecomings ; PMSS alumni ; “Ebb” Ayers Howard ; Arthur W. Dodd ; Viola Masin Trail ; Wiley Trail ; coal mining camps ; books by Faye Trail Deaton ; poetry by Faye Trail Deaton ;

Twila, Kentucky ; Morristown, TN

Subject LCSH

Deaton, Faye Trail –1928 – [?].
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Boarding schools — Kentucky.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
American poetry — 20th century.




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 and Series 20: Alumni and Alumni Relations.




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 19: Students and Series 20: Alumni and Alumni Relations.

Coverage Temporal

1928 – 1980s

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Twila, KY ; Morristown, 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 Faye Trail Deaton ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Faye Trail Deaton ;




“[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

2016-05-27 aae ; 2021-11-26 hhw ; 2024-02-25 aae ;

Sources & Bibliography


Deaton, Faye Trail. “A Pine Mountain Trail.” PMSS Homecoming Report, 1986. Page 7. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark: /61903/1:1:K7T4-XJS : accessed 26 May 2016), Fay Trail in household of Wiley Trail, Magisterial District 7, Harlan, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 48-46, sheet 2B, family 35, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1314. Internet resource.


Deaton, Faye T. “Faye Trail Deaton Collection of Papers.” Appalachian State University, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Archives. 2003. Print.

Consists of one loose poem (“Puppeteer”) written by Faye Trail Deaton and a corresponding letter briefly describing its origins.

Deaton, Faye T. “Gently Blows the Wind.” Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 1990. Print.

Deaton, Faye Trail. “Lalla’s Christmas.” Appalachian Heritage, Vol 17, No. 4, Fall 1989, pp. 7-11. UNC Press. Print.

Deaton, Faye T. “Tossed by the Wind: Poems.” United States: F.T. Deaton, 2003. Print.

Deaton, Faye Trail. “My Dad’s Hat” and “By the Fireside” in CONIFER, May 1945. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Deaton, Faye T. “View from a Grapevine Swing.” Place of publication not identified: Xlibris Corporation, 2001. Print.

A collection of stories about life in a Kentucky coal mining camp in the 1930’s as remembered by the author when she was a young girl in Harlan County, Kentucky.

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