Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff


Mechanics Teacher & Maintenance Supervisor, 1933 – 1937

TAGS: James L. Faulkner, teacher, practice-teaching, Antioch College Cooperative Education Program, maintenance supervisors, Barbara Wilbur Faulkner

Barbara and James L. Faulkner on Pole House porch. [X_100_workers_2648_mod.jpg]
Barbara and James L. Faulkner on Pole House porch. [X_100_workers_2648_mod.jpg]

Before James L. Faulkner began his employment at the Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) in 1933, he attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He wasn’t the only one from the private liberal arts college to work at PMSS. During the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s a steady stream of PMSS teachers came to PMSS from Antioch College, either to practice-teach for six weeks in Antioch’s Cooperative Education Program or to work in permanent teaching positions after graduation, or both.

JAMES L. FAULKNER Staff: At Pine Mountain

James was among those who came to PMSS, first as a co-op teacher in 1930, then as an Antioch graduate. For four years, from 1933 to 1937, He taught auto mechanics and oversaw the maintenance of the School’s facilities.

Performing the duties of the School’s maintenance supervisor has never been an easy task, requiring technical expertise and effective juggling of the many essential infrastructure concerns, as well as teaching these skills to students. Glyn Morris, PMSS director at the time, described the position in a May 1937 letter to James C. Livengood, James Faulkner’s successor, as involving the “care of the light plant, the coal mine, teaching of mechanics, supervision of all heating plants, and any other mechanics work which may be necessary.”

During his first year at the School, James met Miss Barbara Wilbur, a recent graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, who was employed at PMSS as a teacher and bookkeeper in the Office. On November 8, 1933, James and Barbara were married in the School’s Chapel.

Fellow PMSS co-workers, August and Susie Hall Angel and William and Fern Hall Hayes, became close and long-lasting friends of Barbara and James Faulkner. August Angel, wrote the following memories of their PMSS days together in his autobiography, Trivia & Me:

Jim Faulkner, a colleague, and I shared a one-room log cabin, Pole House, on a knoll where now stands West Wind. The cabin was primitive with an outhouse and a spigot for cold water on the outside. Jim was a graduate of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and he taught auto mechanics.

Several evenings and weekends in the fall while at Pole House, Jim and I would sit outside the cabin and target practice with a high-powered automatic 401-gauge rifle. We would indiscriminately aim at rocks, trees, and other eye-catching objects in the valley below. There was a field of corn on each side of a stream that meandered down from Pine Mountain. When the blades on the corn stalks began to turn dry and brown and the corn was ripe, pigs raided the patches of corn. They were older sows and boars with distinctive ear notches that designated the local owners. They had been turned loose to forage on mast – especially nuts from beech, chestnut, and oak trees. The pigs had reproduced and now, accompanied by their piglets, sought a free meal in the bottom.

These browsing, semi-wild critters provided a tempting target when we shouldered the 401 – but at 200 or more yards, I don’t recall ever hitting one. I believe we enjoyed shooting only because we felt grown-up with a gun and thrilled at the thunderous sounds it made, which traveled up the valley and echoed back. Mr. Morris and Arthur Dodd, the school’s principal, often accompanied Jim and me in the target shoot.

This noisy pastime was eventually ended by cold weather, running out of costly ammunition, and by Jim’s eventual marriage; however, it did not end our interest in firearms. Together, Jim and I managed to scrape up $15 to buy a Kentucky hog rifle, complete with shoulder carrying bag, mold for shots, powder horn, and other gadgets necessary for the gun’s performance. We bought the rifle from Black Sol Day in a partnership deal. I still have photographs of Black Sol Day with this rifle. [See photos here.]

Jim and I roomed together until the Christmas weekend when he married another teacher named Barbara, who was a graduate of an eastern Ivy League women’s college. They then honeymooned in Pole House and set up residency there. As a result, I moved in with Oscar Kneller, the school’s farm boss.

Jim kept the rifle when he left Pine Mountain Settlement School and moved to Maine during World War II. Through the following years, we kept in touch by correspondence. In the 1960s, Jim and Barbara Faulkner visited Susie and me several times in Viper, Kentucky, where we relocated after a number of years in Pennsylvania. But, coming back to the hog rifle … on one of his visits to Viper, Jim surprised me by displaying the rifle in a sort of ceremonious gesture and remarking that he had possession of the rifle for 50 years, and now it was my time to have it for the next 50.

Bill and Fern [Hall] Hayes, also friends of Jim and Barbara, were guests at the “changing of the guard.” Bill and Fern were ex-students and ex-employees of Pine Mountain School and neighbors of ours in Viper. On the occasion of the Faulkners’ 50th wedding anniversary in 1985, Bill, Fern, Susie, and I paid them a surprise visit in Rangeley, Maine. In 1993, Susie and I visited Barbara in Mt. Vernon, Maine. By that time Jim had passed away.

JAMES L. FAULKNER Staff: After Pine Mountain

In 1937 James and Barbara moved from Pine Mountain, Kentucky, to North Tonawanda, New York, where James had been hired as a draftsman for a chemical manufacturing company. During their nine years in New York State, the family grew to include two daughters and one son, Hannah Bayley, Martha, and Timothy Willis.

In 1946, the Faulkners relocated to Mexico, Maine, where Jim worked as an engineer in the paper industry. While living in Mexico, both Barb and Jim were very active members of the Appalachian Mountain Club, assisting in trail maintenance and other activities. Later, they lived in several other towns in Maine, including Readfield, Ridlonville, and Millinocket, and then settled in Mt. Vernon, Maine, for their last 33 years together. In retirement, the Faulkners visited the country of Mexico several times. They eventually wintered in Stuart, Florida, where they purchased a mobile home.

The Faulkners remained in touch with Pine Mountain Settlement School, and as annual subscribers sent donations to the School. On October 8, 1948, while living in Ridlonville, Maine, Barbara Faulkner wrote the following in a letter to then-director H.R.S. Benjamin: “Although we left Pine Mountain eleven years ago, it will always be the place we love most.

James (Jim) Levant Faulkner was born on May 7, 1908, in New York to William W. Faulkner, an accountant (born 1872 in Pennsylvania), and Catherine Faulkner (born 1973 in New York). He had one older brother, William W. Faulkner Jr.

James died on February 10, 1990, after 57 years of marriage to Barbara. Barbara died on May 13, 2002, at the age of 90. They are survived by their children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The Faulkners’ daughter, Martha Faulkner Fenno, wrote the following to Helen Hayes Wykle in an email dated July 11, 2016:

Sarah [Martha’s daughter] wanted to see the chapel where my parents were married, and I hoped to find someone with whom to leave numerous pictures my father had taken in the 30’s, as well as other Pine Mountain memorabilia.

…Hopefully, Helen and I can meet somewhere – perhaps on our November [2016] trip south – so I can turn the box over to her [to add to the PMSS Collections]. My daughter wants to look through the contents with me sometime this summer but agrees that Pine Mountain is where they should be.

See Also:
JAMES L. FAULKNER Correspondence, 1930-1963


James L. Faulkner

Alt. Title

Jim Faulkner ; James Faulkner ; James Levant Faulkner ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

James L Faulkner ; Jim Faulkner ; James Faulkner ; James Levant Faulkner ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Antioch College ; teachers ; practice-teaching ; Cooperative Education Program ; maintenance supervisors ; Glyn Morris ; James C. Livengood ; Barbara Wilbur Faulkner ; Wheaton College ; August and Susie Hall Angel ; William and Fern Hall Hayes ; log cabins ; Pole House ; West Wind ; pigs ; Arthur Dodd ; Black Sol Day ; Oscar Kneller ; hog rifles ; Appalachian Mountain Club ; William W. Faulkner ; Catherine Faulkner ;

Subject LCSH

Faulkner ,James Levant, — 1908 – 1990.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2016-07-18 aae


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


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


Series 09: Biography – Staff




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff

Coverage Temporal

1908 – 2016

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Yellow Springs, OH ; Norton, MA ; Viper, KY ; Rangeley, ME ; Mt. Vernon, ME ; North Tonawanda, NY ; Mexico, ME ; Readfield, ME ; Millinocket, ME ; Mexico ; Stuart, FL ;


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 James L. Faulkner ; clippings, photographs, books by or about James L. Faulkner ;




“[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

2016-07-18 aae ; 2021-01-06 aae ;



Angel, August D. Trivia & Me: An Octogenarian Mirrors His Twentieth Century. London, KY: August David Angel, 2007. Print.

“Faulkner, James.” Staff Directory 1913 – present. and JAMES L. FAULKNER Correspondence, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVMK-6XN : accessed 2016-07-20 , James L. Faulkner in household of William W Faulkner, North Tonawanda Ward 4, Niagara, New York, United States; citing sheet 8B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,240. Internet resource.

“United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JR94-G2Z : accessed 2016-07-20), James L Faulkner, 10 Feb 1990; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing). Internet resource.

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