Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Gerna Campbell, Teacher & Principal 1953-1965
Cora Lee Campbell, Teacher 1953-1965
Gerna Campbell (1916-1997)
Cora Lee Dixon Campbell (1917-2016)

Gerna Campbell Staff

Gerna Campbell, PMSS teacher 1953-65. Source: Framed photo on display in the PMSS Library.  [pmss_archives_photo_ gerna_campbell.jpg]

TAGS: Gerna Campbell, teachers, principals, Cora Campbell, Cora Lee Dixon Campbell, Barbara Campbell, 1930 US Census, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Community School, Letcher County


Principal of the Community School at PMSS, 1953-1965

In 1953, Gerna Campbell was hired as principal of the Community School, a day-school elementary education program which was instituted at PMSS in 1950 following the closure of the Boarding High School program in 1949. He served as principal as well as a sixth-grade teacher at the School until 1965. 

In his letter to Ruby Yocum Thatcher, dated May 27, 1954, he offers the former PMSS teacher a position in the Community School and also provides substantial information regarding the many accommodations necessary in the transition to the new School.

His wife Cora Lee Campbell was also a Community School teacher during her husband’s years as principal. In 1963, she directed the play, “Each To His Own Cravin,‘” conceived and presented  by PMSS staff and tenth-grade students. The play was based on the early history of the School.

While at PMSS, Gerna and Cora Campbell and their daughter, Barbara Campbell, lived in Doctor’s Cottage (also known as Jubilee House). 

Both Gerna Campbell and Cora Lee Campbell were 1952 graduates of Berea College.


As of the 1930 United States Census, Gerna Campbell was living in River, Letcher County, Kentucky. He was born c. 1916 in Kentucky to John and Arminta Campbell. He had four siblings: Arthur, Grace, Eunice and Louisa.

Cora Lee Dixon Campbell was born June 2, 1917, in Cannosset, KY, and died on February 16, 2016 in Rio Vista, KY.

See Also:
GERNA CAMPBELL Letter to Ruby Yocum

Return To:


Gerna Campbell

Alt. Title Cora Lee Campbell ; Cora Lee Dixon Campbell
Creator Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. Creator Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Gerna Campbell ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ;
PMSS workers, teachers ; Cora Lee Campbell ; Barbara
Campbell ;1930 US Census ; John Campbell ; Arminta
Subject LCSH Campbell, Gerna, — 1916-1997.
Campbell, Cora Lee Dixon, – 1917-2016.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.)
— History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Date 2017-05-11 aae
Publisher Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Contributor n/a
Type Collections ; text ; image ;
Format Original and copies of documents and correspondence
in file folders in filing cabinet.
Source Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff 
Language English
Relation Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.
Pine Mountain (Harlan County), KY ; River
(Letcher County), KY ; 
Rights 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.
Donor n/a
Description Core documents, correspondence, writings and
administrative papers created by or addressed to
Gerna Campbell; clippings, photographs, publications,
illustrations by or about Gerna Campbell.
Acquisition n/d
Citation “[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 2017-05-11 aae ; 2019-05-29 aae ; 2019-06-03 aae ;
2022-01-16 hhw ; 2023-06-07 aae ;
Bibliography Campbell, Gerna. An Evaluation of the Pine Mountain
School. OCLC #51567694. 1963. Print.

Campbell, Gerna, and Melanie Zuercher. Gerna
Campbell Interview. 1982. Sound recording.

Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive Collection.
Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
On-site ephemera.

Berea College Magazine, Spring 2005. “Passages,” page 37. Accessed 07 June 2023.

“Cora Campbell Obituary.” Loyall Funeral Home, Loyall, KY, on
Accessed 07 June 2023.

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images,
FamilySearch (
/61903/1:1:XMFM-626 :
accessed 11 May 2017), Gerna Campbell in
household of John Campbell, River, Letcher, Ky ,
United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17,
sheet 17B, line 96, family 309, NARA microfilm
publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National
Archives and Records Administration, 2002).
Internet resource.