Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 13: Education & Educational Programs
Series 19: Students
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing I
Excerpts from Samples 1-20, Dated 1915-1945
TAGS: education, community and children’s writing I, students, correspondence, teachers, WWII, Katherine Pettit, Ethel de Long Zande, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Marguerite Butler, Henry C. Creech, Ruth B. Gaines, Oma Creech, Becky May Huff, Brit Wilder, Alice Cobb, Margaret Motter, Aunt Sal Creech
EDUCATION COMMUNITY AND CHILDREN’S WRITING I provides images of selected letters from students, teachers, and the community. Each image is accompanied by a representative excerpt from the letter.
Throughout the early history of Pine Mountain Settlement School, teachers and other staff collected writings by the community and the School’s students. The short (and sometimes long) writings by the children capture the profound impact of the educational environment at the School and its imprint on young minds — its students. Sometimes innocent reflections, sometimes angry rebellion, sometimes wisdom beyond their years, the student writing samples are an in-process education for both students and their teachers. The samples span a broad range of years and some letters trace the students into their later lives. We all can learn from these early attempts to order the world through language.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing I:
Excerpts from Samples 1-20, Dated 1915-1945
[NOTE: Excerpts have been slightly edited, but most misspellings have been kept intact. All writings are handwritten and sent from Pine Mountain unless indicated otherwise. See images below for complete writings. The following list of excerpts are in order of the image numbers.]
[NOTE: For full transcriptions of the writings in Part I, go to “EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writings Transcriptions I” unless indicated otherwise.]
1. Brit Wilder to Miss [Margaret] Motter. Sept. 4, 1928. “I don’t like school But I like what it makes you bee. I don’t feal that thir is anything so emportain for anyone life as schooling…” ” Mentions Miss [Katherine] Pettit. [Go to EDUCATION Children’s Writing (01) Brit Wilder for full transcription.]
2. Wilbur Wilder to Alice Cobb. September 27, 1945. Shima, Ryukyu Is. [Okinawa Prefecture, Japan] “Your letter…arrived here while I was down in Manila. I picked it up when I returned the next day. Do you suppose you know how much they meant to me? … I am awfully sorry to hear that some of our boys were killed in action. I knew “Bud” Pennington and Henry Creech very well. We certainly paid a heavy price to teach the rest of the world what we of Pine Mountain already knew. The diplomats of many nations could learn many lessons there.” Also mentions Stella Taylor and Lucille Christian.
3. Alice Cobb to Wilbur Wilder. December 6, 1945. [Typewritten] “Your very special letter was enjoyed by a number of us who know you, and I want to tell you how very happy we are to hear from you. … I have been so much impressed with your way of writing, and wish that you would keep a diary, or quickly write some reminiscences of what your life has been during the war years. I think the time is coming when information will be sought, and much will be forgotten if people like you do not have it in black and white — and with your very facile handling of English. I should think you might do some good things for publication….”
Mentions annual Fair, Abner Boggs, Centennial, fundraising for new hospital unit, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas Mummers’ and Nativity plays, Billy, Anne Wilder, Marlowe Nolan, Lana Holmes, DeRosa, Rosalie Creech, Marrion Floyd, Miss [Gladys] Hill, Miss Merrill, Mr. [Arthur] Dodd.
4. Maryon Cornett. Sept. 5, 1928. “Dear Miss Motter, I thought I would write you a letter to git a quonted with you. I have allway lived on a farm and have went to school which was abot 2 1/2 mi from where I live …”
5. Brit Wilder. December 2, 1928. “History. Pericles riled about two kndred towns the towns out side the city didnt have any sayso in the govern of the city. they didn’t like this. The comon people tryed to get the laws so that they would be more just. Just the people livin in the city could hold office by lots…” [Go to EDUCATION Children’s Writing (01) Brit Wilder for full transcription.]
6. Becky May [Mae] Huff. August 3, 1918. “Dear Miss [Marguerite] Butler, I would like to heare all about your trip. I guess you are having a fine time riding in your new automobile. Mossie is well again she came back to Laurel House this morning open House haven washed away yet it is still where it was when was here but it is very lonsome without you all…” Mentions Molly, Frances and Miss Jeanette. [For full transcription, go to EDUCATION Children’s Writing (06, 44) Becky May Huff.]
7. A note written by Marguerite Butler Bidstrup, n.d., describing a letter she received from Oma Creech. “The last line tells that William — Delia’s youngest — died on May 11. He sat in a bucket of hot water, shortly before his sister met a tragic death by fire. I was there for that….” [See #12 for listing of Oma Creech’s letter. For full translation of the note and letter, see biography of OMA CREECH here.]
8. List of “Letters to Marguerite Butler, 1916-1925, 1916-23, from students & neighbors”
Oma Creech, May 23, 1916
Minnie Callahan, Nov. 7, 1920. Sunday School, Aug 1918
Christopher, Feb 1914
Elsie Creech, May 22, 1916. William C. died. (burnt)
Doshia Minyard [Minniard] , May 11, 1915, Nov. 31, 1917, Aug 1918, Nov. 22, 1917, Dec. 22, 1920
Rhoda Melinda Lewis, Mar. 6, 1921
Chester Lewis, June 24, 1915. Far House built Jan. 20, 1915.
Mossie Minyard, Nov. 17, 1917 (Vegetable cellar), Nov 27, 1917, Aug. 3, 1918
Hazel Howard, Nov. 9, Oct 14, 1920
Mathias Williams, Nov. 14, 1920
Maude Creech, Nov. 1920, May 23, 1921
Docia (sic) Minniard (sic)
Caldane Brown (?) [Caledonia ?]
Sallie Cooper, May 12, 1921
Becky Mae [May] Huff, Aug. 3, 1918
Maud Baker, Nov. 15, 1923
Clara Siler from Chautauqua, New York, July 20, 1925
Ethel de Long 1914
Delia Creech, Nov. 20, 1922, 1923, 1924
Henry C. Creech, 1924
Ruth Ann [Ellen?] Metcalf, Feb 1922, March 1922
9. Delia to “Mag.,” Nov. 29, 1923. “It seems so good to have you back at Cincinnati….” Mentions her twin babies, Wilmer, Charles, Elsie, Oma, Henry, Grannie Creech, Elsie and Sally Wilder, Columbus [Creech] and Emily, Miss [Ruth B.] Gaines, Miss Metcalf, Line Fork, John Begley, Denver Begley, railroad, Elsie Smith and Grant Creech, Mrs. [Ethel de Long] Zande, and E. McCullough.
10. Edna Ritchie to “Mama,” April 5, Easter [no year]: “…we are really in Pine Mountain, and it seems that I am home again. I haven’t been so completely happy in I don’t know when….You can’t imagine what thrills we got when we came in sight of familiar places. It is the same old place, only a few things changed. The living room porch has been enclosed in glass. It’s a lovely place, lots of growing plants and goldfish…. They have a tennis court now….There is such a nice bunch of girls and boys. They seem to take much more interest in dancing than they used to in my day….”
Mentions Nola, Frona (?), Grace, Susie, Herma, Cuma, Becky Mae Huff, Anna Kraatz, Miss Pettit, Mollie, Miss Gaines, Emily, Mrs. Burns, and Patty.
11. Elsie Creech to Miss Butler, May 22, 1916. “…Oma is going to a school every day….Little William bog burnt up May 11. William died…fell in the buckit of hot water.”
12. Oma Creech to Miss Butler, May 23, 1916. “William got burnt May 11.” See #7 (above) for an introductory note by Miss Butler. For full translation of Butler’s note and this letter, see biography of OMA CREECH here.
13. Henry C. Creech to Marguerite Butler, July 6, 1924. “I have been looking after Queen since you left as I did when you went over sea… Miss Medcalf rode her to Whitesburg and went to the blacksmith there to get a shoe fixed but, no, Queen would not let him tuch her. After half an hour she brought her back for me to fix up and you know that makes me kindly proud of myself….” Also mentions Miss Medcalf and Miss Smith at Line Fork and his wife, Delia. [For full translation of Henry Creech’s letter, go to EDUCATION Community Writing (13) Henry C. Creech.]
14. Chester Lewis to Miss Butler, Jan. 20, 1915. [Note by M. B. [Marguerite Butler?]. “This was written in Cincinnati where Chester Lewis stayed for some time with Mr. & Mrs. Philip Roettinger. It was at this time he wrote, “Hit’s the quarest thing you [push ?] the wall in & the light comes in.” Chester wrote, “I have been in the hospital for a week….”
15. Doria to Miss Butler, May 11, 1915. “Monroe [?] started home to walk twenty-five miles by himself and Becky May went home to stay a week….” Mentions John and Miss [Ruth] Gaines.
16. Chester to Miss Butler, June 24, 1915. “Miss de Long is building a new house for us to live in up above the pole house. It is called the far house….”
17. Maud Baker to “Little Fairy” [Miss Butler?], Nov. 15, 1917. “We can hear Miss Gaines calling to the [?] girls clear down in the room where we are.” Also mentions Abigha and Dosia.
18. Mossie M. to Miss Butler, Nov. 17, 1917. “…I wish you could be here now and look at the vegetable cellar. It is looking nice. Dona and Miss Gaines and me worked…on it. We moved palates (sic, pallets) and swept the cellar clean….” Also mentions Miss de Long, Emily, Miss Secor, Lorain, Miss Pettit, Viola, Becky May, Miss Jeannette.
19. Doshia Minyard to Miss Butler, Nov. 22, 1917. “When you see a frog on a stump, hit its tail and think of me … I hope you are having a good time. Laurna comes in to the table every meal and takes three cups of coffie every morning and to spoons fulls of shugger and she told me to write and tell you and she lets Shirley serve all the time…” Also mentions Miss Gaines, Mossie, Bonnie, Becky May, Viola and Donnie.
20. Shirley Sizemore to Uncle Sam. “Do any one have to put 3 sents stamp on a soldier letter. Please stop the war soon so we will have peace. I hope our american soldiers wins.”
GALLERY: EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing I – Samples 1-20
EDUCATION Children’s Writing (06, 44) Becky May Huff 1918 & 1927
EDUCATION Children’s Writing (01) Brit Wilder 1928
EDUCATION Children’s Writing II (58) Douglas Reynolds c. 1947
EDUCATION Community Writing (13) Henry C. Creech 1924
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing: TRANSCRIPTIONS I – Full transcriptions of samples 1-20, 1915-1945.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing II – Excerpts and images 21-40, 1917-1925.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing TRANSCRIPTIONS II – Full transcriptions of samples 21-40.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing IIIE – Excerpts and images 41-58, 1921-1950.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing TRANSCRIPTIONS IIIE – Full transcriptions of samples 41-58.