Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography


VISITORS to Campus

Sherwood Anderson – (September 13, 1876 – March 8, 1941) was an American novelist and short story writer, known for subjective and self-revealing works. Self-educated, he rose to become a successful copywriter and business owner in Cleveland and Elyria, Ohio. [Wikipedia] Political activist during 1930s. A friend of Glyn Morris, he came to Harlan and Evarts in May of 1931 with John Dos Passos and other writers, members of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners (NCDPP) that came to eastern Kentucky to take testimony from Harlan miners during the Mine Wars of the ’30s. Morris was called into Harlan by the Sherrif to explain his invitation to Anderson to come to PMSS and any connection he might have with the Communist Party. No connections were found.

William Aspenwall Bradley – Author, editor, translator, literary agent in Paris. Columbia University B.A. 1899, M.A. 1900. Visited for 2-3 weeks at PMSS while working on poems to be published by Houghton Mifflin as “Old Christmas – 1916-17. Reviewed books for the New York Times. Papers held by Columbia University.

Brockway, Howard A. (November 22, 1870 – February 20, 1951) was an American composer and musician who came to PMSS with Loraine Wyman to collect ballads and folklore.

 John C. Campbell – (14 September 1867 – 1919) was an American educator and reformer noted for his survey of social conditions in the southern Appalachian region of the United States during the early 1900s. He served a term as president of Piedmont College from 1904-1907. [Wikipedia] Briefly Director of Russell Sage Foundation. Husband of Olive Dame Campbell.

Olive Dame Campbell(1882-1954) Travelled with her husband, John C. Campbell in Eastern Kentucky in 1908-1909. Established John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. (1925). Published The Southern Highlander and His Homeland under John C. Campbell’s name. Many PMSS staff left PMSS to work under her direction at Brasstown, NC. See recently published Appalachian Travels: The Diary of Olive Dame Campbell edited by Elizabeth McCutchen Williams (2012).

Ellwood J. “Bud” Carr – Botanist, donor of the Ellwood J. Carr Botanical Collection, Plant Center, Girl’s Industrial Building. [See Series 23] For oral history of Carr see:

Rebecca Caudill Ayars – (February 2, 1899 – October 2, 1985) was an American author of children’s literature with more than twenty books published. Her Tree of Freedom (Viking, 1949) was a Newbery Honor Book in 1950. A Pocketful of Cricket (Holt, 1964), illustrated by Evaline Ness, was a Caldecott Honor Book. Close friend of Mary Rogers, PMSS staff and member of the Board of Trustees of PMSS. One of ten children in the family of Susan and George Caudill of Harlan County, Kentucky. She was born in Poor Fork, now Cumberland, Kentucky.

Harry Caudill – (May 3, 1922 – November 29, 1990) was an American author, historian, lawyer, legislator, and environmentalist from Letcher County, in the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky. Author of Night Comes to the Cumberlands and other books on the region. Lived nearby in Whitesburg, KY. and was a frequent visitor at PMSS.

Richard Chase – (February 15, 1904 – February 1988), American folklorist, was an authority on English-American folklore. He was born near Huntsville, Alabama, and graduated from Antioch College in 1929. Author of “Jack Tales,” teller of tall tales, and recreation specialist and sometime employee of PMSS. [See also: Series 9: Staff/Personnel.]

Charles D. Cole – Poet and writer.  Wrote the poem, “The Deserted House,” illustrated by Joe T. Vowell, a resident of Harlan and presented to Pine Mountain. Author of My Land My People  (1967) with illustrations by Mary Rogers.

John Dos Passos – (January 14, 1896 – September 28, 1970) Noted American novelist and artist. Member of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners (NCDPP). [Visited Glyn Morris at PMSS in 1932 ?]. His visit created a political firestorm in the county.

Theodore Drieser, – (August 27, 1871 – December 28, 1945) was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. “Dreiser led the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners (NCDPP) to the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky, where they took testimony from coal miners in Pineville and Harlan on the pattern of violence against the miners and their unions by the coal operators known as the Harlan County War. [Wikipedia] See: Dreiser, Theodore; National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners (1932). Harlan Miners Speak : report on terrorism in the Kentucky coal fields. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.

Ray Garner Groundbreaking International Producer, Director, Cinematographer, and Writer. Sponsored by the Harmon Foundation (1941). he and his wife made a film at PMSS. Collaborated with his wife, Virginia Gardner. See: Community Group Assembly, May 1942. See: From Every Mountainside: the Story of the Pine Mountain Settlement School (1941), color, silent. Harmon Foundation, an experimental school for mountain children in Kentucky.

Virginia Garner – (d. 2007) Noted Filmmaker, Writer and wife of Filmaker Ray Garner. Harmon Foundation sponsored the making of a film at PMSS (1941) on which the two collaborated. See: Community Group Assembly, May 1942. See also: The diaries of her experiences filming with Ray Garner in Africa as part of the Africa Motion Picture Project (also Harmon Foundation) which has now been compiled into a book, Images Out of Africa. See: From Every Mountainside: the Story of the Pine Mountain Settlement School (1941), color, silent. Harmon Foundation, an experimental school for mountain children in Kentucky.

O. Latham HatcherEducational consultant. See: Rural Youth Guidance Institute 1930s-40s. Friend of Glyn Morris.

Maude Karples – Collaborator of Cecil Sharp during the years 1916–1918. for field work on English folk songs that had survived in the more remote regions of southern Appalachia. “Sharp and Karpeles recorded a treasure trove of folk songs, many using the pentatonic scale and many in versions quite different from those Sharp had collected in rural England. Generally, Sharp recorded the tunes, while Karpeles was responsible for the words.” [Wikipedia] See: Cecil Sharp and Maude Karples’ Visit to Pine Mountain and description of first contact with the Kentucky Running Set.

Allan Lomax – (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) “American ethnomusicologist, best known for his numerous field recordings of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a musician himself, as well as a folklorist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker.” [Wikipedia] 1933 and 1937 at Pine Mountain School

Percy MacKaye – Writer, poet, and dramatist. Lived at Pine Mountain for a brief time with his wife, Marion.  The two gathered folk stories and studied the language of the people of the area. Produced theatrical productions based on their experiences at Pine Mountian.

John Jacob Niles – (April 28, 1892 – March 1, 1980) American composer, singer, and collector of traditional ballads. Called the “Dean of American Balladeers”Accompanied Doris Ulmann to PMSS.

Cecil Sharp – (22 November 1859 – 23 June 1924) Founding father of the folk-song revival in England in the early 20th century. Folklorist; discovered the Kentucky Running Set at Pine Mountain in 1917. Traveled with Maude Karples.

James Still – (July 16, 1906 – April 28, 2001) was an “American poet, novelist and folklorist. He lived most of his life in a log house along the Dead Mare Branch of Little Carr Creek, Knott County, Kentucky. He was best known for the novel River of Earth, which depicted the struggles of coal mining in eastern Kentucky.” Librarian at Hindman Settlement School. A frequent visitor at Pine Mountain.

Ruth May Strang – (April 3, 1895 – January 1971) American psychologist whose primary research interests were in child and adolescent psychology. Educator. Columbia University. PMSS Guidance Institute. 1930s-40s.

Doris Ulmann -Photographer. Educated at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. (See Kendall Bassett Photographs) Traveled to PMSS with John Jacob Niles and noted for her Appalachian photography. Photographed members of the Ritchie family in Viper, Kentucky who sent their children to school at Pine Mountain. Photographed families and individuals in the Pine Mountain community. Many photographs are held by Berea College, the University of Kentucky and the University of Oregon.

Marion Post Wolcott – Farm Security Administration (FSA) Photographer. Photographed in and around Pine Mountain Settlement School and Harlan County, KY.

Joe T. Vowell – Artist and resident of Sunshine area of the town of Harlan, KY. Illustrated the Charles D. Cole poem, “The Deserted House.” Also illustrator for 1923 film, Miss Harlan based on a book by Charles Mutzenberg, Kentucky Famous Feuds that explores the history of the region from wilderness to 1923 industrializationRelationship to G.D. Vowell ballad singer from Harlan is unknown.  G.D. Vowell was recorded by John Lomax.

Decorative Titles By: Joseph T. Vowel
Photography By: D.W. Engert.

This picture ran three days to standing room only crowds at the New Harlan Theatre in 1923. Shown daily from 1:30 to 11:00

Advance bookings included Lexington, Louisville, Cinn and surrounding Ky counties.

The film deals with the great advancement of Harlan County from it’s wilderness period to it’s present progress.

Wyman, Loraine. American soprano, noted for concert performances of folk songs, many collected herself from traditional singers in field work trips. Came to PMSS with Howard A. Brockway. See Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway