Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff 
Series 14: MEDICAL
Lexine Baird, Nurse, 1932-1936
Mrs. Lexine Williams Baird (1895-1980)


Lexine Baird, Marguerite Emerson, Arthur Dodd, Alice Cobb (?), (?). [cobb_alice_004.jpg]

TAGS: Lexine Baird, Hattie Lexine Baird, Lexine Williams Baird, Lexine W. Baird, Hattie L. Williams, nurses, Dr. John W. Baird, Meriwether Hospital, Sydenham Hospital, Highland Institute, Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, Big Laurel Medical Settlement, Rachael Lewis


Nurse 1932-1936

Lexine Baird may have been “small in stature,” as some described her, but she was also said to be a tireless worker with a strong personality. Always cheerful, well-liked, bright in intellect, devoted to her patients, and “vitally interested in the health and conditions of the school children” were words used to describe Mrs. Baird by references that accompanied her application for a nursing position at Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS). 

Lexine was on her own financially for most of her adult life. On June 20, 1927, Lexine married Dr. John W. Baird who died only two years later at the age of 48. One of her references, Mr. N.S. Whitaker, a trustee of a Baptist school in western North Carolina, explained her situation in his letter to PMSS: 

[Mrs. Lexine Baird] is the widow of a mountain doctor who gave his life to his mountain people and died, while still young, as a result of exposure. She has the personality and spirit of this good man. Dr. Baird died leaving Mrs. Baird nothing but the home and some debts…[H]e had given his service and died without funds.

Mrs. Baird was 36 years old and living in Fletchers, North Carolina, when she submitted her application in April 1932. She wrote that she had studied as a graduate registered nurse at Meriwether Hospital, Asheville, NC, and performed postgraduate work at Sydenham Hospital, Baltimore, MD. She had most recently been in charge of the hospital at the Highland Institute for 18 months, looking after the needs of 150 students, and doing community work. The hospital and school, located in Guerrant, Kentucky, were overseen by the Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church. She became interested in PMSS through Mr. R.S. Crowe, Principal of Highland Institute.

A contract was drawn in July 1932 between Mrs. Baird and Director Glyn Morris, stating that she was hired as a nurse at PMSS and in the community for the ensuing year 1932-1933, beginning July 1 at $75 a month. Her pay would include living expenses (laundry $1.00) and a one-month vacation with pay in the summer.

In 1934, she was re-hired to replace Sam and Susie Lee (Cardwell) Kendricks at Big Laurel Medical Settlement, who were leaving in August. She lived and worked there in 1934-1935 with Rachael Lewis. Records in the PMSS archives indicate that she was also a PMSS worker in 1935-1936.


During the year following her departure from Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1936, her correspondence indicates her fondness for the School. In a letter to Director Glyn Morris, dated February 18, 1937, she wrote:

”I must confess I have missed everything about Pine Mountain heaps, especially the woods and everything therein, but I have had a grand time there. … If ever I can do anything for the school you know I am always ready.”

On July 19, 1957, Lexine Baird re-connected with the School, requesting a photograph of “Aunt Jude Turner and the sheep.” Burton Rogers, then director, responded that he would send a photograph and added,

“Many people in the community remember you, and we have had three or four Lexines in school here, living proof of their parents’ fondness for you!”

In return, Lexine wrote about her memory of Aunt Jude Turner:

“The year I went to Medical Settlement to help them, among the fine gifts I received Aunt Jude brought me a hen and fifteen chickens! As soon as the chickens were weaned I returned the hen for she was a pet of Aunt Jude’s. I’ve thought so often of Aunt Jude and can never picture her growing old.”

In the same letter (July 23, 1957), she added:

“Some of those Lexines should have Alice also as their name for dear Alice Cobb held the flash light for me so many times.”


Lexine Williams Baird was born December 1, 1895, in North Carolina. Her mother, Nancy (“Nannie”) Mae Cooper Williams (1872-1909) died when Lexine was quite young. Lexine’s father, Zebulon Vance Williams Sr. (1862-1940), a farmer, was then left to care for Lexine (3rd oldest) and her 8 siblings: William H., Mallie E., Virginia M., Robert C., Mollie E., Zebulon V., George C., and Valton R. Baird Williams.


Lexine Williams Baird died on December 30, 1980, in Fletcher, North Carolina, at the age 85. She was buried in Mars Hill (NC) Cemetery.


See Also:
LEXINE BAIRD Correspondence I
LEXINE BAIRD Correspondence II


Lexine Baird

Alt. Title

Hattie Lexine Baird ; Lexine Williams Baird ; Lexine W. Baird ; Hattie L. Williams ; Mrs. Baird ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Lexine Baird ; Hattie Lexine Baird ; Lexine Williams Baird ; Lexine W. Baird ; Hattie L. Williams ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; nurses ; Dr. John W. Baird ; Meriwether Hospital ; Sydenham Hospital ; Highland Institute ; Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church ; Sam and Susie Lee (Cardwell) Kendricks ; Big Laurel Medical Settlement ; Rachael Lewis ;

Subject LCSH

Baird, Lexine, — December 1, 1895 – December 30, 1980.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.


Series 09: Biography – Staff 




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.

Coverage Temporal

1862 – 1980

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Fletchers, NC ; Asheville, NC ; Baltimore, MD ; Guerrant, KY; Mars Hill, NC ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Lexine Williams Baird ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Lexine Williams Baird ;




“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2018-01-21 aae ; 2018-04-02 aae ; 2019-09-2019 aae ; 2024-02-12 aae ; 



“Baird, Lexine W.” GUIDE TO PMSS WORKERS 1913-2000s. Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch   (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV2M-5KR1 : accessed 2018 April 02), Hattie Lexine Williams Baird, 1980; Burial, Mars Hill, Madison, North Carolina, United States of America, Mars Hill Cemetery; citing record ID 58071694, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com. Internet resource.

“North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994,” database, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FG2W-358 : accessed 2018 April 02), Lexine Williams Baird, 30 Dec 1980; citing Fletcher, Henderson, N.C., v 48B cn 48713, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,984,721. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RKS-GZ2?cc=1727033&wc=QZZ4-VTP%3A133642301%2C134766701%2C133642501%2C1589089314 : accessed 2018 April 02), North Carolina > Buncombe > Fairview > ED 19 > image 12 of 44; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Internet resource

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