GLYN MORRIS 1942 Study and Recommendations V Students

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 07: Directors – Glyn Morris


TAGS: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations V Students; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Harlan County, KY; PMSS students; education; educational study; institutional reports; Class of 1942; institutional history ; occupational statistics ; graduates; non-graduates; coal camps; student community project; Berea College; nursing; farm managers;

GALLERY: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations V Students (pp. 45-67)

NOTE:  The full gallery is not displayed for reasons of privacy.

TRANSCRIPTION: Glyn Morris Study & Recommendations V Students

[Slightly edited. Student names have been removed for reasons of privacy.]




Below is as accurate an account as could be obtained of occupations now being followed by Pine Mountain graduates.

Occupational Spread from First Class to Class of 1942

Number of graduates 123
Girls 74
Boys 49
From Harlan Co. 71
Other Counties 52
Left S.E. Ky. 40
Education incomplete 15
Remained S.E. Ky. 68
College or nursing school 51
In college now 14
College graduates or N.T. graduates 20
Some formal education other than college or N.T. 11
From this side of Pine Mt.(1) 21
Occupation unknown 6



May 1942 Graduation Class Numbers 17[?].

Teachers 16 Dairy Worker 1
Housewives (no college) 13  Beautician  1
Housewives (college ex) 6 Butcher  1
Armed Services 10 Bank Position 1
In College 8 Head Baker  1
Unknown  6 M.D.  1
Nurses Training 6 Co. Att. Officer  1
Secretarial 4 Public Health Nurse 1
Defense Ind. 4 Photographic Work 1
Clerical 3 Purchasing Agent 1
Truck Drivers 3 Postmistress 1
Registered Nurses 3 Chain Store Mgr. 1
Domestic Workers 3 Restaurant Hostess 1
Carpenters  2 Tree Surgery 1
Business School  2 Miner 1
Salesmen 2 Merchant 1
Mechanics  2 Florist Helper 1
Social Worker  1 Filling Station Att. 1
Taxi Driver  1 Music School 1
Loafer 1 Dining Room Hostess 1
Farm Supt. 1 County Agent 1
Telephone Operator 1 Farmer 1
Domestic Supt. 1 Graduate Student 1
Wholesale Groc. 1 Total  123

Most difficult of all is the making of any objective evaluation of the effect of Pine Mountain on its students. Practically no data are available on students who did not graduate, and at least 75% of the School’s effort has been devoted to these. One attempt to secure simple data failed because the addresses of students were inaccurate, due no doubt to the large amount of migration in industrial mountain communities. Some clues may be gathered, however, from reading the following sketches of students who spent varying lengths of time at Pine Mountain. These have been selected arbitrarily, on the basis of types into which the group naturally falls, but they represent as good a cross-section as can be made.



Xxxxx Xxxxxx

Xxxxx  Xxxxxx, … aged 17, is the oldest of a family of ten children. At the time Xxxxx entered Pine Mountain the family lived in a four-room frame house lighted by kerosene lamps and heated by open fireplaces. The building was located near the crest of a mountain about eight miles from Pine Mountain. The property was owned by the father. The only source of water was a spring located a short distance from the house.

Xxxxx entered Red Bird Settlement School in Bell County some thirty miles distant, in September 1936. She finished the first two years of high school there and left for some reason, which she explained in a very vague way at the time. She probably left because none of her yearly grades for the two years exceeded D, which is interpreted as a conditional pass.

She entered Pine Mountain as a day student in September 1938. The following anecdote was duplicated a dozen times by different teachers who contacted Xxxxx during the year: “ Xxxxx is a terrible bluffer. Not only does she attempt to bluff on every and all occasions, but she always does it unskillfully. She likes to race through a job just to give the impression that it was an easy one for one of her abilities. The result is usually unbelievably messy. She is always ill at ease and seems to be totally lacking in character and stability.”

Since it seemed probable that she would reap the greatest benefits from Pine Mountain’s program by living on the campus, all reasonable pressure was brought to bear to bring her in as a boarding student. All attempts failed but in the meantime and during the next year of school…



…she was trying to gain admittance to the secondary school at Berea.

After careful investigation of her case the College wrote Pine Mountain as follows: “A letter received a few days ago from Xxxxx makes no reference to the question of becoming a boarding pupil at Pine Mountain, but stresses the great difficulties she faces in going to school on the bus, namely, that she must wait in the cold for the bus and that she must leave home early and go home after dark, that she does not have sufficient clothing, etc. She evidently has firmly in mind the idea that if she can gain admittance here all her trouble would be over. Naturally, she will have the same difficulty in regard to obtaining necessary clothing at Berea which she would have at Pine Mountain and even if she gains admission on the half-day plan she will have the regular school bills to pay.”

The college also wrote Xxxxx as follows: “We note with interest that you have been invited to enter Pine Mountain School as a boarding pupil, and trust that you may take advantage of that opportunity. If you should wish to apply for admission to Berea for work of college rank after you complete your high school, you should consult with Mr. Morris as to when you should make application.”

At the end of her second year at Pine Mountain, she left home to live with relatives in Loyall, Kentucky, a large railroad junction in Harlan County, and to attend the county High School there. She wrote glowing reports of her progress and plans for graduation. She was graduated from Loyall High School at the end of the year.



Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx

Xxxxxxx’s mother was a former Pine Mountain student … who lived on lower Greasy Creek. Mr. Xxxxxxxxx, also a former Pine Mountain student, was employed in an automobile factory in Detroit. They were divorced about a year before Xxxxxxx made application to Pine Mountain, at the age of thirteen.

Xxxxxxx had had two or three years in the city and was consequently more sophisticated than her classmates. The legal arrangement affecting the child was not clear. The father remarried shortly after the divorce and Xxxxxxx came to Harlan County to live with her mother. Mrs. Xxxxxxxxx was employed as a waitress in a Harlan restaurant so that it was natural that she should wish to have Xxxxxxx at Pine Mountain.

Xxxxxxx entered the eighth grade at Pine Mountain. … She was a normal, healthy, attractive little girl, eager to do her best in work assignments. Skill at cleaning came slowly because she had done little work of this kind. She made gains in her classes and seemed well adjusted and happy.

During the second part of the first year, she remarked quite frankly to her housemother that she knew how to “work” both parents to get what she wished. During the year Mr. Xxxxxxxxx, who was earning about $50.00 a week, sent her a wristwatch and a portable typewriter. He also paid her school bills promptly and came to Kentucky once to visit her, bringing along Xxxxxxx’s stepmother.

It was evident that Xxxxxxx was being alienated from her mother, and at the end of her second year at Pine Mountain, the father came for her. She graduated from the xxxx Public School of xxxx, Michigan, in May 1942.



Day-Student Drop-Outs
Xxxxxx Xxxxx

Xxxxxx Xxxxx, aged fifteen, entered Pine Mountain in February 1941. He received his elementary diploma one week earlier from the one-room rural school at Little Laurel. (It is customary for Pine Mountain to invite all of those neighborhood students who finish the seven-month schools to join the first year groups for the remainder of the school year.)

There were seven members of the Xxxxx family (including the father and mother) at that time, Xxxxxx being the oldest child. They were renters of the most wretched log house on upper Greasy. Daylight could be seen through all of the four walls. A few months past, when the family attempted to move to a better location, the grandfather said, “Because Jeff couldn’t find a place right off he stored all of his ‘plunder’ under a friend’s house.” In this case they had to return to the old house, however.)

The parents have had no formal education beyond the fifth grade. The father has been in a continually poor state of health (possibly some form of arrested T.B.) which has contributed to his inability to make a decent living for the mother and children.

… [Xxxxxxl] attended school intermittently the first spring, due to illnesses, and the need for him at home during the gardening season.

In the fall he made a very satisfactory social adjustment, considering his background. His attendance also improved. Although the program for one section of the first year groups is designed along lines suited to this type of student, he did not have a background of skills sufficient [truncated text]…which was bookish in nature. (Two-…



…thirds of this schedule was entirely non-academic.) He was shy, noncommittal and easily offended by student teasing outside of the classroom.

During the winter months, the family subsistence ran down to starvation levels. The father, who was not considered ill, but trifling, would often lie in bed forty-eight hours with no food in the house. During these months Xxxxxx would miss several days of school a week working here and there for friends and relatives, to get food for the family. In January the youngest child died suddenly with spinal meningitis. The grandfather stated that none of the children had eaten for five meals before the death because there were “no vittles in the house.”

At this time Xxxxxx made a clean break with all attempts at formal education. Although legally under age he began work in a local coal bank under lease by his maternal grandfather. The grandparent stated that he felt sorry for Xxxxxx and that he wanted to see him make something out of himself, and therefore he gave him a steady job digging coal.



Xxxxxx  Xxxxx

Xxxxxx came to Pine Mountain in September 1933 from a broken home and a coal camp background. Although supposedly ready for tenth grade, he had a seventh-grade educational level. He had severe enuresis the first year and was asked to move from the dormitory to live with relatives in the community through the second semester. A few months later this was corrected by an operation in the school Infirmary. He was further handicapped by a poorly developed right foot, hand and arm, results of infantile paralysis.

During his second year, he moved back to the dormitory and developed an unusual interest in dairy work. This interest, and some ability, led to increased responsibilities about the dairy barn. He imitated the farm supervisor even to handwriting mannerisms. His lack of scholastic ability took a somewhat freakish compensatory turn. He knew the book numbers of all ballads used at the School by memory, and he sang principal roles in both Pinafore and The Mikado. He was an ardent baseball fan, although he swung the bat with only one hand. He also took great delight in organizing brief theatrical skits such as the dramatization of Good King Wenceslas at Christmas time.

When he graduated, the Pine Mountain Counselor secured an out-of-state job for him, on a friend’s farm in Ohio. Later he found permanent employment in a dairy in Harlan County. He is married now, has one child, and has been employed for five years in the same place.



Community Day-Student Drop-Outs
Xxxx Xxxxxx

Xxxx Xxxxxx, aged fifteen, lived up an isolated hollow off Little Laurel. She had ten living brothers and sisters, and five dead. One of the living sisters was an idiot approximately thirty years of age. Her family was extremely clannish, colorful, and filthy. The family lived in a crude four-room frame house with very few comforts. Note of her elder brothers and sisters had gone beyond the sixth grade in school.

Xxxx attended Pine Mountain as a day student during 1937-1938 in the eighth grade. …. She was cured of hookworm at the school Infirmary during her first year as a resident student.

The following anecdote came from her homeroom teacher near the end of her first semester. “Xxxx is much improved in cleanliness, trimness and energy. She is cultivating ‘teacher’ very assiduously now. She spends most of her time reading primer fairy tales and Christine’s
‘True Romance’ magazine. Engages freely in rough and tumble scuffles and stone-throwing matches with the biggest boys who seem to like and admire her, and treat her with respect.”

Xxxx’s brothers called on her very frequently, arrayed in red shirts and Western hats, their breaths heavy with alcohol. Usually, they brought guitars and pockets full of cheap candy and chewing gum. This became a general nuisance and was a problem that required delicate handling on the part of Xxxx’s housemother.

The following summary of Xxxx’s work in Home Economics for one year is interesting in the light of her abilities and her needs. “Xxxx does…



…her best work with foods. She requires much supervision but can follow carefully given directions. All her products in the Quick Breads unit were passing. Her share of the work for the class dinner was well done. The chicken was nicely fried and she helped with the slaw and cooked the beans. The chicken and beans she brought from home.”

“On her dress unit, she chose pink material. Now she understands why it is not one of her good colors. (She has red hair.) In trying to solve the problem she decided to make the dress for her sister, who has dark brown hair. Later she will make another dress for herself. She cannot follow the printed directions on the pattern and requires the closest supervision. She rushes along and does many things that have to be taken out and thinks the instructor is being too hard on her when she is required to take out stitches. She has learned to run the machine with a degree of ease but still has much room for improvement. She has made plain seams and lap seams equally well.”

Xxxx never reached the point where her industrial work was acceptable. Although many hygienic and social gains were made, she could not be asked to work in vacation times on her bill, because of the poor quality of her work.

During the summer of 1940, the family moved en masse to a coal camp in another section of the county. Xxxx was taken along to help with the housekeeping.



Above Average in Brightness and Initiative
Xxxx Xxxxx

Xxxx came to Pine Mountain in September 1931 from a coal camp, having finished the eighth grade in the local elementary school there. She came from a family which was well-knit socially, and also above the literacy level of the community. The mother had taught school for several years, and the father had served as both secretary and president of the labor union Local.

Her record at Pine Mountain was good but not exceptional. She was outstanding in extracurricular activities, had high ambitions and showed unusual loyalty to the ideals of the School. During her first two years, she was noted for her sharp temper, and for a readiness at all times to express opinions without restraint. She overcame these to a marked degree during her senior year and during her post-graduate year at Pine Mountain.

After four years at Pine Mountain, and graduation, she became first a student assistant and later a full-time employee, handling the School’s bookkeeping and the instruction of folk dancing. She was trained for both types of work at Pine Mountain and had in addition to summer sessions at Strayers Business College in Washington, D.C. After three years of work in the School office, she obtained a working scholarship at Stephens Junior College, where she graduated in May 1941. Her work experiences in Stephens were extensions of extracurricular and work experiences at Pine Mountain. She did secretarial work assisted in dancing classes and waited tables.

She is now a Junior at Denison University [Granville, Ohio], where she continues to manage her own finances, and plans to graduate in June 1943. She has recently been elected secretary of the Women’s Independent League on the University campus.



Transient Type
Xxxx Xxxxxxx

Xxxx xxxxxxx, aged thirteen, made application to Pine Mountain in March 1937 and was admitted in September of the same year for the eighth grade. … He was the oldest of five children and his father was a coal miner in a small coal camp in Harlan County. The home was a typical miner’s home, frame house, heated by grates, electric lights, community well, four rooms and an outside toilet. Xxxx gave the following reasons for wishing to attend Pine Mountain: “To learn social etique [sic] as well as to take up some vocation for earning my living such as agriculture or whatever I’m best fitted for.”

Small, but in good health, he was entirely unconscious of self, quick witted, good-natured, and abounding with energy. He made a satisfactory adjustment to all phases of his life at Pine Mountain. He was given some fairly responsible work assignments such as the keeping of important records at the dairy and he always did over and above what was required. His educational program was normal and he took any active part in campus activities.

His parents were above normal in hopes and ambition for their children. Showing an awareness of the rapid gains that Xxxx was making, they nonetheless were disturbed from time to time, about his not having credits in the traditional high school subjects. This uneasiness carried over somewhat to Xxxx’s thinking, as shown by his questions occasionally concerning which subjects were required for college admittance.

During the labor disorders in the county, Mr. Xxxxxx was unable to make payments on Xxxx’s account, which was in arrears by approximately…



…sixty dollars by the spring of his third year. By good fortune, an organization wished to settle this account in cash to relieve Xxxx of extra worry and save Mr. Xxxxxx from “selling our cow which is furnishing most of our food now.”

The family moved from Harlan County during the summer of 1940 to Gore, Oklahoma, and insisted that Xxxx accompany them and finish his last two years in the public school. He will graduate from the Gore High School in May 1942.

Average in Brightness and Initiative
Xxxxxx Xxxxxx

Xxxxxx entered Pine Mountain in September 1934 and graduated in May 1938. She came from a rural home on the south side of Pine Mountain, simple but above average for Big Laurel in cleanliness and economic status. She finished the eighth grade in a one-room rural school and entered the ninth grade at Pine Mountain….

Xxxxxx was quiet, studious and well-behaved, taking very little part in extracurricular activities. She received little or no spending money from home and reports at one time as “using blackboard chalk for whitening her shoes.” During her junior year she became interested in working at the school Infirmary and during her senior year, the student-community project was begun. This program got off to an unusually fine start due in part to Xxxxxx’s sound understanding of the neighborhood families and their problems. She was about to interpret local problems to an outside Worker with some degree of detachment.



Xxxxxx wished to attend Berea College immediately after graduation, but considerations of money, lack of training in certain subjects at that time required for entrance, and the School’s need to have her continue with the student-community group work begun the previous spring, postponed her entry for one year.

As her postgraduate experience at Pine Mountain related itself more and more to the work at the Infirmary, she became certain that Nursing was the profession for which she was best fitted. During the year 1938-1939, she assisted the nurse in the delivery of twenty-five babies.

She was accepted at Berea in the fall in 1939 and is graduating from the School of Nursing there in May 1932. Her record at Berea is not outstanding but is creditable. The college has offered to make her a member of its hospital staff next year and she has accepted the position.

In a sense Pine Mountain has thought of Xxxxxx as a kind of “text case” of its new program. At the time of her entrance there, Berea College authorities were somewhat doubtful about her preparation, inasmuch as she lacked Geometry. But recently the Superintendent of Nurses at Berea has requested that “If Pine Mountain has more students like Xxxxxx Xxxxxx, send them on to Berea.”



Xxxx Xxxxxx

Xxxx Xxxxxx, aged fourteen, was the youngest in a family of seven children. The father and mother had been legally separated for approximately ten years and Xxxx had lived here and there, first with one parent, then with the other, and most of the time with the families of her older sisters. The mother had a none too savory reputation and the father ran a small between-two-walls shoe repair shop in Harlan. Xxxx was very definitely an unwanted child and no one took the responsibility for teaching her property rights.

She was admitted to Pine Mountain partly because an older sister and brother had been there. The oldest sister graduated in May 1942. This tendency to take whatever she saw, with little apparent effort to cloak her thefts, showed itself early in her first term at Pine Mountain. She made little distinction between telling an untruth and a truth, and she managed both with the ease and unconcern of a habitual delinquent.

…[S]he began work of the first year group in September 1937[?]; …. A great deal of work was done by faculty committees during the first year to help Xxxx develop some sense of property rights and to replace her shaky set of values with others that might be built upon the following year. There was some question at the end of the school year about allowing her to return but the staff decided that she deserved another opportunity.

Early in her Co-op year, it became increasingly clear that her stealing bordered on kleptomania and that Pine Mountain was not equipped…



…professionally to handle what seemed to be a case for a special institution. Since Kentucky is short of corrective institutions, she was kept all of the first semester. In the Co-op store where much trust must be placed in the youngsters, she stole various articles with clerks all about and with the teacher in charge near at hand. The line between her own clothing and that of others was broken down almost entirely.

A group of teachers especially interested in her problem, prepared a case study for the State Child Welfare Board, with a view toward having that agency assume some responsibility for her at the end of the first term. They showed interest and were beginning to take some initiative when both Xxxx and her mother severed relations with the Board.

Another interesting aspect of her case was the fact that she loved Pine Mountain and was greatly disturbed emotionally when she was advised that she might not return.(1) Oddly enough, her academic record was very good during the last semester of her stay here. She was encouraged to go and live with an older married sister in xxxxxx, Kentucky, and attend high school there. A transfer with a full treatment of her problem was affected with the High School there.

  1. Evidently, this was the first place where she had ever been wanted and where she found some security. She realized the first unconsciously but did not believe or accept it consciously.



Xxxxx Xxxxxxx

Xxxxx, aged fifteen, gave as his reason for wanting to come to Pine Mountain: “Because it is a fine school and everyone who goes there makes something of himself.” His home was located in a picturesque valley in xxx County some five miles from the nearest high school. It was above average (the house) for the community, well built, well kept and had yards showing evidence of some planning. He had one brother who was older than he, and four younger brothers and sisters.

Xxxxx was robust physically and bubbling over most of the time with good-natured adolescent mischief. He made a satisfactory educational adjustment the first year, but he had many ups and downs in his labor program. He gave most of his supervisors cause for worry by his general attitude and by his inability to take criticism well. He made several attempts to leave school the first year but was persuaded each time to remain. He did learn enough about Printing to take a job during summer in a small shop in xxxxxx, Kentucky, where he earned $6.00 a week.

His scholastic record up until the time he was dismissed in the spring of 1940 by the Citizenship Committee, was one of steady improvement, both in interest and to quality of work. Quite in contrast to this, his conduct both on the job and on other occasions became progressively worse. His “record” before the student-teacher government committee was long and with the committee’s ingenuity and patience were near exhaustion. In April he was put on probation which called for automatic expulsion if he became involved in another serious…



...disciplinary difficulty. About two weeks later he broke into the temporary dining room and kitchen after dark (this was the year of the Laurel House fire) with the intention of carrying off food.

Although two teachers not on the committee worked hard for leniency, the group had little alternative other than follow through on its original sentence. He was sent home.

A short time after he left, Xxxxx joined the Army. He has kept up a steady correspondence with two or three students and teachers, and his letters indicate that he grew to be genuinely sorry for his mistakes and that there was little or no feeling of bitterness in his mind. He has had a promising record in one branch of the Air Corps, and when last heard from he had reached or had made for himself an opening for becoming a flying cadet.

Below-Average in Brightness
Above-Average in Courage and Initiative
Xxxxx Xxxxxxxx

From behind federal prison bars, Xxxxx’s father promised her that he would send her to school if she took care of things at home until his prison term was served. This delayed her formal school experience by two years.

She came to Pine Mountain in 1932 from an isolated rural home on Line Fork, located on the south side of Pine Mountain. Today she is a supervisor of work for one floor of a large metropolitan hotel.

In addition to the six-room frame dwelling house, the father owned sixty acres of land and several herd of stock from which a moderately comfortable living could have been made. The father wasted his powers and considerable economic resources in an unbridled use of alcohol. It was his custom in the early days of Xxxxx’s stay at Pine Mountain to…



…call on her while drinking heavily. In 1935 this anecdote was recorded. “Father came to visit her last Sunday afternoon, completely intoxicated. Xxxxx was exceedingly embarrassed and ashamed of his behavior at Big Log and elsewhere on the campus. She cried and apologized for him, and two of the large boys helped him mount his horse and start toward xxxxxxx in pitch darkness.” He spent 1931 and 1932 in a federal penitentiary for illegal liquor running.

With …. “rare classroom courage,” Xxxxx made average progress in her studies but excelled in her work assignments. At 19 she was more mature physically and emotionally than her classmates of the first year group. An anecdote was recorded during her senior year. “Excellent social adjustment…wide participation in several extracurricular activities including chairmanship of the Citizenship Committee, she is like and admired by all. She is exceptional not only in acceptance of Pine Mountain’s ideals but in the advocacy and personification of them.”  

In 1936 she was asked to housemother the younger girls at Big Log. In 1937 she was employed by Pine Mountain to run the Practice Cottage where five girls lived. For the next two years, she served as the school dietitian. In the fall of 1940, she was employed as a waitress in a private hotel and went from there to a position of increased responsibility in New York during the fall of 1941.



Xxxxxxx Xxxxx

Xxxx applied for admission to Pine Mountain at the age of seventeen in 1934. He had finished elementary school work at a county grade school located in a coal camp. This particular coal company had “nearly mined out,” so the general standard of living for families dwelling on company property was below normal for the County. His parents were above average culturally and had high ambitions for the four sons.

Xxxx’s two older brothers had been to Pine Mountain. The eldest, high in natural ability, had been dismissed after one year for a serious breach of conduct. The next of age spent two years at Pine Mountain and then became a miner in order to support the mother and help keep Xxxx and the fourth brother Xxxx in school at Pine Mountain. In 1936 the father and mother were separated, later divorced, and he left to work in the West Virginia coal fields. The other, a very attractive person and devoted to the four sons, had a serious form of tuberculosis which made it necessary for her to have one of her lungs collapsed.

After Xxxx had been at Pine Mountain two months this anecdote was recorded: “Good steady work…utterly reliable…received a work scholarship from Mr. Burdine and was made assistant to him in the mornings at the Dairy.” For the next six years this anecdote expresses the central theme of his developing relationship to the School, bringing him eventually to its staff as supervisor of farm and dairy in 1937, to marriage with a classmate, also a Pine Mountain graduate, and to an exemplary home life with a lovely child on the School campus.

…. [H]e gained approximately two years academically during his first nine months. He was a little slow scholastically during his last two…



…years, possibly because of his growing interest in the farm and dairy. Throughout the four years at Pine Mountain, there is no record of his having been involved in disciplinary trouble of any kind. Solid physically, he was a superior folk dancer and was one of the two boys chosen to take the long publicity tour with the dancing-singing team in the fall of 1936. He was never thought the less of in student opinion because of his firm stand for ideas and ideals of school and faculty but was a recognized leader among the boys. He was a little slow in assuming individual social responsibility, but this he seems to have turned into an asset.

Without benefit of college training in Dairying and Agriculture, he has done an outstanding piece of work at Pine Mountain, as a member of the staff. Greatly absorbed in his duties as he is, he has not marked time professionally. He keeps abreast of local, state and national happenings in his field, and attends conferences, fairs and important meetings sponsored by the University of Kentucky School of Agriculture. Building up the school herd to a standard not reached by college-trained men in the last ten years, he is considered one of the most successful farm managers in Harlan County.

Above Average in Brightness and Initiative
Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx

When the Student Interviewers called at the big rambling smoky coal camp hotel to interview Xxxxxxx’s sister, who was applying for admission to Pine Mountain in 1933, Xxxxxxx appeared in the back hall, too timid to come out in the open with her rumpled tow head and bare feet.

Her father, a deputy sheriff, had shot and killed Jim Lee. A few…



…months later he was killed by George Lee, Jim’s brother. The mother had remarried, but not very successfully. “Her second husband had nine children of his own. His oldest daughter killed herself while working in a Harlan restaurant. The father went down, shot the proprietor, missed, and fled the county.” There was one child from this second marriage. The mother, with great strength and courage, carried on alone as cook in a boarding house for miners in order to support her five children.

Xxxxxxx, small for her age, was accepted at Pine Mountain in September 1934. At thirteen she was ready educationally for the tenth grade. Since she came in the middle of the second term she was permitted to finish the year with an eighth-grade group but was advanced to the sophomore level in September 1935. … [I]t was hard to challenge her abilities in group work.

She was unusually active in extracurricular functions, especially those which were musical. With the exception of a strong attachment for one of the boys, her personality development was normal. She was a little spoiled by the teachers but gave no serious disciplinary trouble. It was necessary to reprimand her on several occasions for a somewhat “supercilious disregard for workers’ authority.”

She wished to get into some branch of journalistic work. The following anecdotes by two different teachers throw some light on her possibilities at the time. “A tireless and enthusiastic worker who wastes no time and makes no excuses. She plans her work and demands little attention. She is open to and asks for criticism; usually has a good reason for anything that she produces. Revision and alteration are somewhat disagreeable to her and she always does them somewhat re…



…luctantly, but does them, nevertheless. Her progress has been noticeable through the entire year. Again, “Her greatest gain in this course is a deepening of the understanding of what constitutes good writing. She became quite skillful in the matter of analysis of contemporary writers. She learned to classify and to appraise the various types. She know poetry from prose. All this study must in time help her in her own writing. She has had a struggle to try to overcome writing merely for effect. There were the trite sayings, the artificial vocabulary, the pretended emotion. When she puts her real self into her writing, she embodies much of what she know underlying right composition.”

Upon graduation in 1938 she was still somewhat immature physically and emotionally. She was invited back to Pine Mountain for a special post-graduate program. During this year, her older sister Xxxx went to the Orchard School in Indianapolis to teach folk dancing and handicrafts with no other training than her Pine Mountain experience. In 1939 both girls applied to and were accepted at Berea College. Xxxxxxx’s accomplishment there was average. She fell in love with one of the students and was married in a double wedding with her sister Xxxx during the second year at Berea. Mr. Morris performed the ceremony. She and her husband are living in Berea and continuing their college courses.

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