Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Transcribed Part 2
TAGS: Harriet Crutchfield Journal II Transcribed; Harriet Crutchfield; Harriet Crutchfield Orndorff; Pine Mountain Settlement School; ballads; Katherine Pettit; Mr. & Mrs. Browning; teachers; bacca pipes; folk dancing; Marguerite Emerson; Margaret Motter; Marian Kingman; Creech Family; Aunt Sal’s Cabin; Mrs. Lewis; Angela Melville; Helen Caldwell; Astrid Anderson; Miss Purbrick; Mrs. Martha Burns; Mr. Harshbarger; Ruth B. Gaines; Laurel House I; food; Miss Hill; Miss Lillie; Far House; Miss Whitenack; housemothers; Marguerite Emerson; Ruth Campbell; Miss Denton; Antioch College students; Mr. Argetsinger; Miss Daniels; horses; picnics;
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL II TRANSCRIBED is part II of full transcriptions of Harriet Crutchfield’s handwritten letters which she sent to her parents in 1928 and 1929. Harriet was a PMSS teacher of fifth grade from 1928 to 1930 and later a member of the PMSS Advisory Board.
Her complete journal consisted of over 200 pages of Pine Mountain observations, reflections and experiences that filled a small black binder. Displayed below are transcriptions of images 047-100. Those images can be seen here: HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL II.
Harriet’s letters were written on both sides of each sheet of paper and each sheet is numbered only on one side. The transcribed pages are numbered sequentially and do not follow Crutchfield’s sequence which numbered for the page, including front [recto] and back [verso]. The front sides of some pages had the following letterhead: “Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, Harlan Co., Kentucky.”
Holes were punched on the left side of each sheet to fit into a Journal, resulting in some truncated words which are indicated by question marks. Question marks also indicate indecipherable words. The text has been slightly edited for clarity.
The transcriptions are in chronological order and may not necessarily match the order of the image numbers.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD for her full biography.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1928 for summaries of her 1928 correspondence.
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL GUIDE 1929 for summaries of her 1929 correspondence.
For IMAGES of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL I (001-046)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL II (047-100)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL III (101-152)
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL IV (153-207)
For TRANSCRIPTIONS of her correspondence while at PMSS, see:
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL II TRANSCRIBED
HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD Journal Transcribed Part 2
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Sunday, September 23, 1928
[notation at top of page] I just received an order of things such as coffee, marmalade, sardines, cheese, etc., from Montgomery Ward, so you can picture me feasting and flourishing. We’re having very chilly weather.
My dearest Ma,
The handkerchiefs arrived safely and were gratefully received, altho [sic] I am thankful to say that they are not needed at present. The one with the yellow embroidery wasn’t mine. I had a green one like it which must be at home with quite a few others. Don’t bother about it, but tell me if the yellow one is Kitty’s. If it is I’ll send it home, but if it is Margaret’s I’ll just keep it as she might have to pay duty on it, if I sent it to her.
Each week I feel sure I am…
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…going to get my accounts straightened out, and then the free hours slip by without my getting ever near them. I really think I will get it done next week.
These past seven days have been unusually busy ones for me. Monday afternoon I went off to get Bob and I gave him all my free time up until Wednesday evening. It was wonderful having him here, and he surely made a hit with the school. Several of the other teachers have told me that for a couple of days he was the sole topic of conversation among the girls at their tables. He can describe for you the kind of folk dancing we….
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…do down here. The workers have a class every Tuesday night and Miss [Marguerite] Emerson & I take turns going.
Wednesday and Thursday nights I was busy with rehearsals for a ballad that the workers acted out in pantomime for the entertainment of the school at the assembly which we have every Friday for about half an hour after dinner. It was the story of an old lord with three daughters. A suitor came to call and chose the youngest, to whom he gave a beaver hat and a gay gold ring. The eldest daughter was so jealous, that,…
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…asking her sister to go for a walk by the Northern Sea, she pushed her in and would take no pity. The young thing in desperation swam down to a miller’s pond, where she cried for help. The miller came and fished her out, only to steal her golden ring, whereupon he pushed her in again. The miller was hanged at his mill gate and the eldest daughter was burned at the stake.
You can imagine how effective and dramatic the performance was. We had a tin tub with a placard for the Northern Sea, and the young girl squatted in that and begged for mercy. Everything was done in the realistic style. Our costumes were amazing. Miss Hewitt, a young girl just out of high school, who helps with the young girls at Miss…
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…[Katherine] Pettit’s house, was the heroine, and she wore an old pink taffeta evening dress. I was the gallant suitor. I wore my green riding breeches and a pair of rubber boots. Then with a Roman[?] sash about my waist, a short cape waving about my shoulders, and a tam with a corn top[?] for a feather, perched jauntily on the side of my crown, I was a sight for the gods. The children almost went mad with delight. One of the workers took a picture of us all, and if it comes out well, I will send you one. Two or three workers sang the ballad as we acted it out.
Thursday, night, also, I went to a dinner party at the Brownings. Mr….
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…Browning is in charge of all the farming here and Mrs. Browning takes [?] charge of the music and gives music lessons. Mr. B. was born right in this valley and used to come here to school. Mrs. B. was a teacher here for the 5th & 6th grades, and she fell in love & married him. She comes from Louisville. They have been married 8 years and seem very happy. There were about ten of us over there and we surely had a delightful time and a marvelous dinner. One of the students came up and did an old dance for us. They call it bacca pipes. They dance all around the pipes and do heel & toe stunts about them. It is fascinating to watch. Then we did some…
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…folk dancing ourselves.
Again Thursday evening, Miss [Marguerite] Emerson invites different friends to come in to sew & she has given me a standing invitation. We always have a good time talking and towards the end, we are fed with nectar & ambrosia. Miss E. is a wonderful cook &, being in charge here at the practice house, she always has the kitchen at her disposal. Consequently, you can imagine we look forward with pleasure to Thursday evenings.
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…and I went on a ride and breakfast picnic. I took to the mare Maud again, and found her just as speedy as usual.
However, a good time was had by all. We got back in time for dinner at 11:30 as something special was planned for that time. Uncle Wm Creech, the founder of the school, had 8 children, and consequently many grandchildren. They all decided they would like to fix up the old cabin here on the school grounds, and have it as a little museum to show how cabins used to look with all the old-fashioned things in them. Therefore, they all came over on Saturday and started the work putting in a chimney, filling in the chinks in the walls, mending the…
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…old hand mill, etc. It’s just a little one-room cabin and those eight children were born and raised in it. They say they used to have beds up in the rafters, so I guess that is how they all got into the small space. I hope it will be somewhat fixed up when you come down, but they don’t expect to finish it until next spring.
Well, anyway, at dinner time, they all came to eat with us at Laurel House, and we had some speech-making. It really was rare to hear those old men & women reminiscing about their parents & their youth. I couldn’t get all they said, partly…
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…because of the language, and partly because they would become so tickled or embarrassed with their story that they would giggle and sniffle until you could hardly catch a word. I met them afterwards and watched them for a while working at the stone foundation for the chimney. They were quite delightful. Mrs. Lewis, one of the daughters with whom I spent the night in Putney, is adorable. She reminds me of Grandmother quite a lot, so you know she has a sweet face and expression.
There is still lots to tell, but it will have to wait. Really soon I am going to write an account of each of the workers & tell you some about some of the individual children. Tell Kitty to write me some of the news from home.
With much love always, Harriet
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Thursday, September 27, 1928
Thank goodness it is warming up a bit. We have had some terribly cold weather during this past week, and I doubt if I would have lived if I had not had my warm [?] and my leather jacket. The frost has gotten some of the vegetables and a good many of the flowers, sad to say. I can’t imagine what winter is going to be like if it becomes increasingly cold. Of course, I know one always feels the first cold waves…
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…most because they are so different from the summer weather; but really it seemed worse than usual here. They say the cold is very penetrating in the mountains.
I have been promising you a letter about the other workers here, and since nothing spectacular has been happening so far this week, I suppose this is a good opportunity. There are twenty-four workers here, counting to the best of my ability.
- Miss [Katherine] Pettit, you know, is one of the founders of the school. She must be nearing 60 and has quite enough flesh to keep her bones well-covered. She is a real character — almost too much of one it seems, as everyone is afraid of her. She is a regular slave-driver and keeps both workers and…
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…children on the run continually. I wonder that she has been able to hold her authority, for usually some thing or body gives way under such a strain. She is most entertaining and funny when she gets to talking and, of course, she knows the country and the mountain people inside out. But I feel myself rather fortunate being out of the path of the storm, for she doesn’t seem to meddle with the academic work. She never does any public speaking. That all devolves upon
- Miss Angela Melville, who has come this year to take the place of Mrs. Zande, the other woman founder of the school, about whom….
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…that pamphlet I sent you told. She has been with the school a year now & [?] since it started, and is quite at home here with the traditions and the people. I think she is doing wonderfully as assistant director, especially when you consider what a difficult person Miss Pettit is to work with. Miss Melville was raised in the West Indies where her father was a clergyman. She is quite English. I sit at the table with her and so have gotten to know her quite well.
- Miss Helen Caldwell is Miss Melville’s secretary. She is new — just came here the first of August. She was raised in Sy[?], Turkey, her father teaching in the university there. She is young and very nice — engaged to…
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…a boy in the U.S. embassy in Brazil. It must be hard to be so far away from each other.
- Miss [Astrid] Anderson, the bookkeeper, completes the office force. She is a young Norwegian — just been in this country about two years, so she has a broad accent still. She is here in the U.S. to learn English & have experience, I guess. She had worked for some time in N.Y. and, wanting a change, came down here. She is very funny and I like her lots.
- Miss [Marian] Purbrick, the nurse is very English. She must be around 50 yrs. old. She is a riot, naturally funny and with quite a peppy disposition. I enjoy her immensely.
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…A couple of boys were fighting the other day & came to her with black & blue faces. She sent them home without any treatments — said she wasn’t here to referee fights. The poor woman is kept trotting continually, for there seems to be an unending series of real accidents in addition to the regular steady number of boils, bites, cuts, colds, etc. I told you about the boy who was stabbed in the groin. Then one was bitten by a copperhead and a woman just aways down the road was badly burned a few days ago. In addition to nursing & doctoring, Miss P. teaches a couple of classes in hygiene and directs a health squad of the boys & girls, which is quite fine.
6. Mr. Browning is at the head of the farm. I believe I wrote you about him before…
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…when I told about going to dinner there. He has a great many boys working under him all the time and has to be a very good manager. He teaches agriculture, too.
- Mrs. Browning — his wife — was from Louisville. She is awfully nice — is at the head of the music here — teaches 15 or 20 kids piano, plays for all the dancing, Chapel, etc. She is in charge of the fair. Fair, I should write, that we are having this Saturday,
- Mrs. [Martha] Burns — a woman of about 55, is a mountaineer and quite an unusual person, as she is crazy about MIss Emerson and doesn’t live far from here, in a cute little one-room cabin of her own. I see quite a bit…
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…of her. She is in charge of the cows & chickens and they say her domain is a sight to see. I haven’t gotten over there yet. She works her head off and everything is as neat and clean as a pin. We have 16 cows now.
- Mr. Harshbarger — new this year — is in charge of maintenance and teaches manual training. He is taking Mr. [Luigi] Zande’s place and, really, the poor man never seems to have a minute’s rest. He has to take care of all the furnaces and they seem to break quite often; the Delco plant; the water system, and all the hydrants leak; do all repairs to the buildings. Many chimneys have to be fixed, roofs mended, and endless odd jobs turn up. I am hoping that he will put some kind of a closet in my room soon, and he says he will…
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…when the proper tools, which he has ordered, arrive. I think he is quite young and very nice.
Next, I will tell you about the housemothers. I really don’t envy these women their jobs, as they have to be after the kids every minute and they are awfully tied down to their houses.
- Miss [Ruth B.] Gaines is the head of Laurel House where we all eat and 20 girls live. She not only directs the house and decides what work all the girls in the school shall do but she is the head of the kitchen, plans all the meals, etc. She is really a wonder and concocts some delectable affairs. We had…
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…a wonderful chocolate bread pudding the other day. Her cheese dishes are so good, too. She has been here about 13 years out of the 15 that the school has been going. She has a temper of her own, too, and when she speaks, the girls jump.
- Miss Hill, one of the mountain girls who came here to school, is Miss Gaines’ assistant; she works mostly in the kitchen and is fine at it. She is young, but I don’t see much of her, so can’t say what she is like. She seems very nice.
- Miss Lillie is in charge of Far House, which holds about 13 girls and three teachers. She must be around 45 and is a peach — can tell awfully funny stories. She is new this year, but comes from Cany [?] another mt. school, so she fits in very easily.
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- Miss Whitenack is another housemother, in charge at Old Log Cabin where there are 8 girls. She is an older woman, too; very nice, though I know her only slightly. She is just back from Honolulu where she spent a couple of years. She is new this year.
- Mrs. Keezel, an older woman, is in charge of Boys’ House where all the boys — 38, I think — stay and about four teachers. I guess she has her hands full. She was at Hindman Settlement School last year, so is used to the life. She is new this year also.
- Miss Huyett[?], a young girl just out of high school, is Miss Pettit’s assistant. She seems to be the housemother of Big Log Cabin where Miss Pettit lives and where all the younger…
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…girls stay, around 20 of them, I guess. She is so small that you can hardly distinguish her from the girls she is in charge of. She is the worker from Winchester, Va., Uncle will be interested to know. She seems very nice, but I see almost nothing of her.
- Miss Marguerite Emerson, in charge at Country Cottage, I have told you about, I’m sure. She must be around 40 and is a peach. I am mighty lucky to have gotten such a nice companion since we are the only two workers in this house. She has been here 3 years, I believe.
And now come the teachers. Of course, the most important comes last. There are six in the Academic department and 2 in the Industrial. I guess you might say 3 counting Mr. Harshbarger (isn’t that an awful name?) in on the Manual Training.
- Miss Margaret Motter is the Principal…
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…of the school and teaches English and Ancient History. She is between 30 & 35 I guess and a perfect peach. She & Marian Kingman are about my best friends here and we have elegant times together. I see quite a lot of M. Motter for we both work at the schoolhouse and we nearly die laughing over the funny things that happen there. Her English papers are simply excruciating. She is head of the Sunday School, too, and does a hundred odd jobs. She is new this year & is doing very well. She was in a camp town in Ky. once before, teaching & asst. superintendent, so it isn’t all new to her. She lives at Boys’ House.
- Miss Ruth Campbell, Wellesley ‘27, is a…
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…very capable young person. Miss Melville tells me she is only 21 and she was here last year. She teaches history, civics, economics & geometry, besides gym and all the folk dancing. She was born in India, her parents being missionaries, but has lived in this country most of her life. She is awfully nice & I hope to know her better. She lives at Far House which is about as far as it can be from here.
- Miss Carol Rhone[?], Univ. of Col [Cal?]. ‘28; teaches the 5th & 6th grades and also one class in American History, because she loves it. She is a funny person, full of energy. She is engaged [?]chly to a boy out in Col [Cal?]. She & Miss Caldwell live in Far House & console each other I guess. She is new this year, of course.
- Miss Denton lives at the Infirmary and teaches 7th & 8th grades. She must be around 30 or 35. She is mighty nice — from Mich. and more the country type of teacher, awfully willing. She was here last year & so has helped to initiate [?] new ones.
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21. Mr. Argetsinger (another awful name) teaches history, biology, physics, & ? Also gym for the boys. He is an Antioch student & comes down here for 6 weeks stretches. You know the system. He is very nice; I don’t know him very well or see much of him.
- Miss Marian Kingman teaches cooking & sewing. She is about 28 or 30, I guess, & a peach. Lives at Laurel House & comes from New Jersey.
- Miss [Florence] Daniels is the weaving teacher. She must be around 35 — is awfully nice. I don’t know her terribly well. Her domain is a fascinating one, as Bob may have told you.
- H.C. [Harriet Crutchfield] completes the cast — you have…
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I trust this data hasn’t exhausted you. I thot [sic] it was good to write it all at once.
Mother, will you please ask Dr. Lambert how many drops of that Cod Liver Oil I am to take per day. There are no directions on it. I don’t believe I need it at all, & as it is so precious maybe I had better send it home for some of the weaker brethren.
I must stop. With loads of love to you all,
As ever, your own gal,
Mother, thanks for Teddy’s and Eilios’[?] letters.
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Wednesday, October 3, 1928.
I received your letter with the two postal cards in it and was delighted with all of it. Then to-night letters from Father and Sister arrived so I feel very well treated. It seems as tho [sic] I could spend all my time here writing letters and never get caught up. This will just be a note, for I leave to go in a few minutes to learn a sword dance with some of the other workers.
I am sending this mainly…
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…to get Margaret’s manuscript to you. It surely is interesting! I can’t imagine why she hasn’t received a lot of letters from me for I’ve written her about seven, at least, since she left.
The trees are all turning now and are a most gorgeous color combination. I have never seen such lovely shades of red. Last Sunday I took a 10-mile hike and it was magnificent. I hope it will last a long time.
Did you get the list of things I wanted sent and a small additional one from Bob? I would also like some of my silver knifes, forks and spoons, about 1/2 doz. of each, I guess. Don’t you think I might as well use them down here? Also, I believe I’ll have you send some books down. I’ll send names later. Love, Harriet.
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Tuesday, October 9, 1928
Where shall I begin? The packages that arrived last Friday night had so many wonderful surprises in them that I was fairly overcome. The brown bread was and still is (thank goodness) a marvelous treat, and what riches to have a whole pound of butter. I must admit that we have been getting a half a pound of butter a week — Margaret Motter, Marian Kingman & I — to take on our picnics and use in between times. It comes on Friday from Putney and costs us 10 cents apiece. Also, we get a loaf of bread, but it is just…
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…baker’s bread and cannot compare with the home product. And the St. Johnsbury crackers and the candy — really, it was a marvelous feast.
You know I am in charge at Country Cottage all day Sunday, and Sunday evening is one of the weakest meals here. Cold cornbread, milk and cookies. Margaret and Marian (you know whom I mean) are free that evening, so they come up to my room and we prepare a little feast for ourselves after the girls have retired around 7:45. We always ask Marguerite Emerson to eat with us, and then one other person is usually honored with our invitation. Last Sunday we did have an elegant spread. We made welsh rabbit and poured it on the St. Johnsbury crackers — it was marvelous. I have a wonderful 584 percolator which I got from…
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…Montgomery Ward and we made coffee on it. It surely was good. I’m crazy for you to come down and see how it all is.
The Donahoe candy tastes better than ever this time. I think it must have been especially fresh.
And now as to the other box. It was so exciting opening it. I hope I won’t forget to thank you for anything. Each article was most gratefully received. The alligator shoes and rubbers were used that very night, for it rained pitchforks. The hangers also were put into immediate use. I have not yet put up the wonderful contraption that is to hold [?], but it will be a marvelous comfort. How did you know I needed such a thing? The weather is so beautiful now that I can’t…
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…believe that a couple of weeks ago I was simply congealed, However, I know that by and by that new water bag is going to be one of my best friends.
My flashlight is perfectly marvelous. I feel as tho [sic] I were parading on Broadway with it lighting my way. Apparently, the little baby light I had was just waiting for relief, for ever since the new one arrived I haven’t been able to squeeze a spark out of it. I must take it home and find out what is the matter with it. The heel pads were fine. I am so glad to have them in my old shoes so that I can use them for the rough wear and save my nicer ones.
And last but certainly not least, is my adorable new fountain pen. It is a beauty, writes like a gem and has a wonderful point. How in the world did you happen to choose the color? It matches to perfection the ever-…
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…sharp pencil I [?] myself to in Cincinnati. Please let me know how much I owe you for all these articles and I will add it on to the bill I already owe you. I am ever so grateful to you for having gotten them all and sending them to me, but I want to pay for them myself since I am still getting my allowance.
Do you have any idea when you and Father are going to come down here? M. Motter is planning to take M. Kingman & me over to see her sister at Wheelright, Ky., sometime, and we don’t want to plan a time when you might be coming. She mentioned Thanksgiving as a possibility, but of course no plans are definite. I don’t even know if we could…
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…get off then. I must write Cousin Julia about M. Motter’s brother-in-law. He was working at Van Lear, Ky., as manager for the Consolidation Coal Co. and was dismissed just about the same time that Cousin Marvin was. I forget his name now. Anyway, he is working at Wheelright now & we would be visiting his wife.
I am returning a letter which goes to the Sewickley Music Club; no, I believe I will send it to Mrs. Adams, the sec’y, as I need to write her anyway. But hereafter if anything comes for me with Music Club on the outside, please [?] it over to Mrs. Barron.
Tell Father I will try to answer his many questions soon, but not in this letter. I am glad he is so interested. I thot I explained before about why we did not have more cows — it is very poor grazing country…
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…hereabouts, and consequently, the cows have to be given extra food even in summer. The soil is so poor that they cannot raise nearly enough grain and fodder for the cattle for the winter, so most of that has to be imported — all very expensive. Even if we were overflowing with cream, however, I don’t see when the girls would have time to churn. They are so busy now that they only have between one hour and one and a half in which to prepare all the lessons for the next day.
My Latin class [?] from 4:15 – 5:00, the last period in the day and the poor girls are so dead tired then that they are about ready to drop. The industrial work, if anything, gets the most attention here, which makes it hard…
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…for the academic teachers. However, when I see the filth and slothfulness in the homes here about, I am convinced that it is much more important for the girls to learn cleanliness and neatness than how to parse a Latin noun. So I struggle along with my weary little girls patiently.
Mr. Harshbarger, the jack of all trades, spiked his ankle on Sunday and had to be carried over the mt. on a stretcher this A.M. to go to a hospital at Lynch. The nurse feared tetanus might develop as his leg was badly swollen. Miss Purbrick is always having adventures turn up at her post.
Oh, I meant to say about the eggs. I suppose this is a bad season for laying, isn’t it? All the eggs we get now have to be used in the cooking, but we will probably have more later. There don’t seem to be but a few chickens about any of the neighbors’ houses.
Thanks again for the thrilling packages.
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Sunday, October 14, 1928
The October days seem to be fairly flying by and I don’t find much time to write. We are having the most gorgeous weather now, what should have been the last part of September instead of that frigid two weeks, and I am enjoying it tremendously.
Your long letter which arrived last Thursday night was a marvelous treat. I knew you had been very busy but had no idea of all your doings. No, you had…
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…not written me a word about all the missionary meetings. They surely do eat into your time.
I think it is a fine idea for me to send the letter on to Margaret and I will do so to-night. Also, I am returning Albin’s, which I enjoyed, and the endorsed U.F. check. I will pay my Grogan [?] bill.
The two tins of cookies arrived last night, but as I was away I didn’t get them until this afternoon. You’re a darling to do so much for me, but I hate to have you take the time. I’m getting badly spoiled — instead of losing pounds as I should, I fear I will return to the fold a roly-poly. I am still enjoying the bread and butter, the latter has kept wonderfully considering the…
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…very warm weather we have been having.
I wonder whether it is safe for me to send the United Fruit check to you endorsed this way. Next time should I put “for deposit only” or some such thing?
Margaret Motter, Marian Kingman and I went to Harlan for the weekend to attend the County Fair there. We arose at 3 A.M. Saturday and walked over the mountain to catch the 6:00 A.M. train. We had a good time, eating ice cream and going to a movie Sat. night, where I am sure every baby in town was whimpering and crying. One of the interesting features to…
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…us was the way in which they paged people here. Some man would stand at the rear and just call out the names in a loud imperious voice. We decided that hereafter we had better leave our names at the box office.
The fair wasn’t much — couldn’t compare with the one here at school we thought. I must write you about it soon. I have to stop now and go to a farewell party for Mr. Argetsinger, the Antioch teacher who goes back to school for six weeks now. His successor, a Mr. Gale, arrived to-day and walked over the mt. with us. He seems awfully nice but looks about Albin’s age.
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Sunday, October 21, 1928
We’ve had the most gorgeous day. This Sunday was Mountain Day at the school, which means that each housemother took her whole family out and cooked dinner (mid-day meal) on the mountains. Not being housemothers, some of us teachers took a holiday and went for a long ride — it was to be longer but we took quite a bit of time getting off. There were six of us on horseback,…
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…so we must have looked like quite a cavalcade. We rode about seven miles, which means a good deal more over these poor mountain roads than it would at home, had a stupendous picnic and returned.
I rode Nell, a horse that belongs to the school. Miss Pettit does not think they can afford to keep her for the winter and was going to sell her. She offered to let Ruth Campbell, one of the teachers, and me, use her for the rest of the year if we pay her food bill — about $15.00 a month. This is really quite a good proposition I feel, as it means we do not have to lay out any capital nor have the bother of selling the horse when we want to leave. Also, we can…
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…keep her at the school barn which is very near, while the two other teachers who have horses have to lodge them with some neighbors quite some little distance away.
This all sounds so good that you must suspect a hitch — and yes, verily there is one. Nell is a fine big creature and steps right along — better than any beast I have been on yet. It is great fun to ride her. But the boys have spoiled her temper by teasing her. She bites and kicks and scares you to death in a general way whenever you approach her. Also, she never fails to…
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…slip her bridle when an opportunity presents itself so that you have to carry an extra rope and tie her up with it when you get off. The fun begins when she has to be bridled again. I would not mind all that so much; but if we decide on this deal, I think I would have to get her from her stall and saddle her every time I use her and I doubt if I get up courage enough. The two times I have tried her so far, some of the boys have saddled her for me.
I must stop and go to bed now. I really intend to write more of my doings, but I can’t find time — nor ink.
Loads of love to each one,
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Monday, October 29, 1928
Many, many happy returns of the day! How I would love to drop in on you to spend November 1st and help devour the birthday cake. I know Kitty will have a splendid feast for you. It’s wonderful to have a Mother who gets younger as the years roll by. I hope you have a perfect day and you can be sure I will be with you in spirit
According to your request, I am enclosing a small contribution towards the ice cream bowl. I can hardly wait to see…
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…it in use. I am also having you sent a flower bowl or jar from a place in Kentucky where they make blue pottery. I am crazy about it and think you will be too. I trust they fill my order correctly and send you the right shape. Because we teach here in the Ky. mts., they give us teachers a reduction of 50% I believe, which makes the articles come very cheap. I thot it might be nice to order some for Christmas if you like the sample.
I am sorry you were worried about the horse and walk over the mountain. I will be discreet, at least until you come down here and we discuss the matter. It is thrilling to think of seeing you fairly…
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…soon. Let me know as soon as your plans are at all formulated, as it is thoughtful to let the school know when to expect visitors. Sometimes the guest rooms are all full. Miss Pettit is looking forward with pleasure to your visit she told me, as did also a number of others whom I have told of your approach. Be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing, as you’ll probably freeze to death. Also, no silks of any kind. I think I can probably arrange to walk or ride over the mountain to meet you if you let me know in time. Unless you come, arriving at…
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…Putney Monday night or Thursday night so that you can take the supply train over early Tuesday or Friday morning, I think it would be best for you to come through to Laden arriving around 10 A.M. There I will meet you with a horse and you will ride over the mountain. Don’t bring much baggage.
Please let me know as soon as possible about dates (excuse this repetition) as Miss Emerson is planning to make a trip to Hindman either the weekend of Nov. 9th or Nov. 16th. As I have to take her place while she is away she has very considerately offered to stay here, whichever time you are coming, so that I can be free. If you….
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…could let me know by return mail around which weekend you would be here, I would surely be glad. You see, Miss E. has to plan ahead to rent her horse & lots of other things. You could let me know the day & hour of your arrival later.
Will you please find out how many drops of this concentrated cod liver oil I should take a day & when? I am still bothered with pimples[?].
Several times when writing I have tried to remember to thank you for sending the Herald. It really is wonderful in keeping me in touch with Sewickley affairs. I cut out…
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…the choice bits each week and send them on to Margaret.
I hope you are not expecting to find me emaciated when you see me. You know I thrive on plain food and we have plenty of it — good and wholesome. That, combined with your contributions & that of friends and families of Margaret Motter and Marian Kingman, keep my angles[?] well filled. Also, Marguerite Emerson (I told you she knew Miss Margaret Campbell) is a wonderful cook and she invites me to a feast every Thursday night.
Your distribution of Margaret’s wedding gifts was very smart. Is everything put away now? How about the wedding pictures? May Steiner sent me a lovely one of her.
With much, much love, my dearest Mother,
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Nov. 4, 1928. Monday.
This is not to be much of a letter, but a real one will follow soon. You have probably wondered what has come over me. A week ago Saturday, Ruth Campbell, one of the teachers, heard that her mother had died, so of course, she left immediately and was gone all week. I took her geometry and civics classes as well as coaching basketball for her. Also. I had to stage a Hallowe’en party for the whole school Friday night, so you can imagine that I had enough to keep me occupied last week. I intend to catch up on letters this one.
I was thrilled by the arrival of two…
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…packages for me. The bread & butter is delicious and the nuts a most pleasant surprise. Kitty’s package was also wonderful and I shall write & tell her so. The bedroom slippers are a daily delight.
I am glad to report that my hands are almost well. They really bothered me remarkably little, considering the position of the sores and how horrid they looked.
I can hardly wait to hear when you are coming down here. Also, the election makes life quite interesting. To think that to-morrow the die will be cast.
With loads of love,
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Wednesday, November 14, 1928
I sent off a letter to you and Mother yesterday, giving you most of the information you need for the trip down here. I am delighted that you are really coming. I would prefer to have Kitty visit me another time and thus spread out my visitors a bit more; but she is most welcome anytime and I’m sure there will be room for all three of you.
I would rather have you come on Friday as then we could have the week-end together, as I am more free then; but if the middle of the week is better for you, come ahead. Just let me know when to expect you. By the way, special delivery stamps…
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…on letters get news here just about as quickly as telegrams. When Ruth Campbell’s mother died, she got the news by special delivery before her telegram arrived.
My L. & N. timetable is dated Aug. 20th, so it may not be accurate. However, it looks to me as if the best train for your exit would be the evening train No. 24 which would leave Putney at 5:52 and get into Cinc. at 8:20 the next morning. I am sure we can arrange details all right at this end. Or the best way to find out about accommodations would be to inquire at Cinc. and Pineville. I would appreciate B. & O. and C. & O. timetables if you can get them easily.
Tell Mother to bring a small steamer trunk for me. She might put in it Grace’s hiking shoes and a pound of absorbent cotton.
Loads of love,