Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: Students

ANNA BELLE COX, Boarding School Student 1942

TAGS: Anna Belle Cox ; boarding students ; Eula Gray Cox ; Malcolm M. Arny ; guidance counselors ; student application forms ; home and parents forms ;

Anna Belle Cox was a boarding student at Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1942. She was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1927. Her family lived in Kenvir, Kentucky, one of Harlan County’s mining communities. Before coming to Pine Mountain Settlement School, Anna Belle attended Black Mountain elementary school in Harlan County from 1939-1942.

Her father, Lucas C. (“Luke”) Cox, was a miner and grew up at Pine Knot, Kentucky. Her mother, Delora (Hensley) Cox, was a house worker who was born in Harlan County at Ages, Kentucky. Both parents completed 8 grades in elementary school. Previously the family had lived in Putney, Kentucky, and Terra Haute, Indiana. She had one sister, Eula Gray Cox, whom she tells was a “freshman” and was employed as a clerk at Black Mountain Store. [Anna Belle’s brother, Billy Cox, died of typhoid in December 1926 before Anna Belle was born.]

Anna Belle was 12 years old and in the seventh grade at the time Anna Belle’s mother wrote to Director Glyn Morris, asking for the School to admit Anna Belle. She expressed hope that the School could provide music instruction for Anna Belle and that the program at Pine Mountain would give her more personal attention than she would receive from the local school.

Upon receipt of the mother’s letter, Malcolm M. Arny, the School’s guidance counselor, responded on August 27, 1940, that Pine Mountain would be unable to take Anna Belle, as she was still in grade school and would not qualify for the program at Pine Mountain until she became a high school student. He explained:

For the past few years we have not had any of the grades here at Pine Mountain school. Because we do not have the facilities for teaching any child in the grades, we shall be unable to accept your daughter Anna Bell[e]. 

Two years later, Anna Belle and her mother tried again, beginning with a letter to Glyn Morris in which she requested information about tuition and curriculum. Again, Morris referred the inquiry to Malcolm Arny, the School’s guidance counselor, who then sent them an application blank and a school catalog. Anna Belle’s completed Student Application Blank and her mother’s completed Home and Parents Record tell much about Anna Belle, her family and her home life.

Anna Belle Cox listed her reasons for making the application to Pine Mountain: “Because of the advantages it [PMSS] offers” and “…I’m acquainted with it.”

In the “My Autobiography’ section of the application form, Anna Belle noted that her regular duties at home included helping the family with gardening, poultry raising, and household chores. Her interests centered around her church (Baptist) and various clubs. She noted that her parents would like for her to train to be a nurse when she completes high school. Her preference was to live in a city, as an urban environment would provide a “[b]etter opportunity for a job.”

On the “Home and Parents Record,” Anna Belle’s parents indicated that Anna Belle was not to visit with strangers and that only folk dancing should be allowed. The application asked parents to indicate the age that they hope she will marry. They noted that they would like her to marry at age 21 and that they, too, wished for her to live in the city. They reported that there were 5 members in the household, including a grandson, Billy Joe Moore, age 7.

In May of 1942 Malcolm Arny wrote to the family saying that Anna Belle’s application would be given every consideration. On June 15, 1942, a letter accepting Anna Belle to Pine Mountain Settlement was sent to the family.

Anna Belle Cox spent only six days as a student at Pine Mountain Settlement School, leaving on September 12, 1942. Records in her student file show that, during her short stay, she had undergone a physical examination and had taken the Stanford Achievement Test.

However, there is no record in Anna Belle’s file that explains the reason her time at Pine Mountain was cut so short.

See also:




Anna Belle Cox

Alt. Title

Anna Bell Cox




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Anna Belle Cox ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; boarding students ; Black Mountain elementary school ; Luke Cox ; Delora Hensley Cox ; Eula Gray Cox ; Malcolm M. Arny ; guidance counselors ; student application forms ; home and parents forms ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Kenvir, KY ; Pine Knot, KY ; Ages, KY ;

Subject LCSH

Cox, Anna Belle,  25 December 1927 – [?].
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




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 19: Students.

Coverage Temporal

1927 – 1942

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Kenvir, KY ; Pine Knot, KY ; Ages, KY ;


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 Anna Belle Cox; clippings, photographs, books by or about Anna Belle Cox;




“[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

2016-06-04 hhw ; 2016-06-29 aae ;



Anna Belle Cox Correspondence. Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

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