DR. IDA STAPLETON and REV. ROBERT STAPLETON Correspondence 1928-1946

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 14: Medical, Health and Hygiene – Line Fork
Dr. Ida Stapleton, Medical Doctor & Co-Administrator, Line Fork 1926 – 1937
Rev. Robert Stapleton, Minister & Co-Administrator, Line Fork 1926 – 1937

DR. IDA STAPLETON and REV. ROBERT STAPLETON Correspondence 1928-1946, PART II


TAGS: Dr. Ida Stapleton Rev. Robert Stapleton Correspondence 1928-1946 Part II ; Dr. Ida Stapleton ; Rev. Robert Stapleton ;Line Fork Settlement ; medical settlements ; Ethel de Long Zande ; horseback travel ; Katherine Pettit ; applications for PMSS employment ; PMSS hiring procedures ; The Cabin fire 


Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton arrived at Line Fork Settlement, a satellite of Pine Mountain Settlement School, on August 30, 1926. Located in Letcher County, Kentucky, the satellite program provided medical care, industrial training, and social and religious services for the nearby community. 

Their correspondence, divided into two parts, comprises 132 items that cover the couple’s application for a position at Line Fork and their subsequent correspondence following their arrival and work with the satellite settlement and the supervising institution, Pine Mountain School. The bulk of the correspondence is that of the Rev. Robert Stapleton who managed the business end of the Line Fork facility and who developed the religious programming.

The contents of the letters give the reader an understanding of the day-to-day operations of the Medical Settlement as well as Stapletons’ relationships with the Pine Mountain staff and the community they served so well.


CONTENTS: Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton Correspondence 1928-1946 Part II

NOTE: The letters in the PMSS Collections from the Stapletons are original and typewritten or handwritten. The correspondence from PMSS staff consists of carbon copies of typewritten letters (or half-page notes) that are unsigned because they are meant for the PMSS Office files. The writer’s initials often appear at the bottom of the page, along with those of the secretary who typed the letter, indicating the dictator of the letter:

“AM” for Angela Melville (Office Organizer/Interim Director 1928-1930.)

“EKW” for Evelyn K. Wells (Secretary/Interim Director 1931)

“EZ” for Ethel de Long Zande (Co-Director 1913-1928)

“GAM” or “GM” for Glyn A. Morris (Director 1931-1942)

“HH” for Hubert Hadley (Director 1930-1931)

“KP” for Katherine Pettit (Co-Director 1913-1930)


1928 (Continued from Part I)

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_066.jpg] May 10, 1928. To Dr. William Stapleton Jr. in Detroit, MI, from [? – likely, Katherine Pettit]. Thanks him for his $5 annual subscription. 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_067.jpg] June 16, 1928. To Dr. William Stapleton Jr. in Detroit, MI, from EZ. (Ethel de Long Zande). Thanks him for his $5 annual subscription. Tells of the success of “one of our old boys…from White Oak Creek, a most remote district….”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_068.jpg] June 18, 1928. To Mr. Stapleton in East Rochester, NY, from KP. Appreciates his reports of his travels and will send them to Miss [Ruth] Dennis, who tells KP of Rev. Stapleton’s good work with the young men in the neighborhood: “…[T]hey all seem devoted to you and interested in your standards and ideals.” Miss Ursula Tyler of China and Mr. Roettinger will speak on July Fourth.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_069.jpg] July 9, 1928. To Dr. William J. Stapleton Jr. from EKW (Evelyn K. Wells). Welcomes his contribution of $5. Describes PMSS’s Fourth of July, writing “…[F]or Pine Mountain it is…a chance for neighbors, who never see each other from one day to the next, to visit, and the one day of the summer when you can buy ice-cream on this side of the mountain!”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_070.jpg] October 9, 1928. To Mr. William Stapleton Jr. from AM. “Every month your check brings us encouragement and cheer….” Describes the fall colors and over 100 busy PMSS students. Hopes he will visit someday.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_071.jpg] December 12, 1928. To Mr. William Stapleton Jr. from [?]. Thanks him for his monthly contribution. Tells of the success of the household arts teacher who holds classes at the homes of children on the surrounding creeks.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_072.jpg] December 18, 1928. To Dr. Ida Stapleton at Gilley, Letcher Co., Ky. from AM. A friend wants to give PMSS a magazine subscription and asked if Stapleton was interested.

1929

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_073.jpg] March 11, 1929. To Mrs. Stapleton from KP. Will let her know when Miss [Sarah Marcia] Loomis can go to Line Fork. KP wants to visit the Stapletons at Line Fork: “I just want to sit around your fire and hear all the things you and Mr. Stapleton have to say.” 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_074.jpg] April 19, 1929. To Mr. Stapleton from AM. An insurance agent will visit within two weeks. “Mr. Srnespiger says that we should make out a detailed list of the things that were burned. … he wants it by room.” She quotes from his sample schedule, which Stapleton should follow. “The insurance on the building was $1700.00 and on the furnishings, $500.00. The thing to determine now is what proportion of the latter amount we can rightly claim.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_075.jpg] September 19, 1929. To Dr. Stapleton from KP. Miss Carleen Froebel of Louisville, KY, and her Sunday School class want to donate a box of medical supplies and a box at Christmas. Asks Stapleton to tell Froebel “what you want in your bag as you go around among your people”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_076.jpg] September 19, 1929. To Miss Carleen Froebel in Louisville, KY, from KP. “I am so glad to hear through Miss Wheeler that you and your Sunday School class want to do something for our health work.” KP suggests that their donations of supplies and Christmas boxes be sent to Dr. Ida Stapleton in Gilley instead of the Medical Settlement at Big Laurel. “Dr. Withington has been here much longer and has been able to make more friends and really gets what she needs. Doctor Stapleton’s distances are so great and she spends so much time in the saddle that she does not have much time to go out and ask for help.” Mentions Froebel’s recent visit to PMSS and will show her Line Fork next time.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_077.jpg] September 26, 1929. To The Reverend Robert Stapleton from AM. Mr. Roscoe Weibell of Beechfork School will speak in the Chapel on October 13, the same day that Stapleton was to speak. Asks if Stapleton will re-schedule. Mr. Paul Meeds will speak on a later date. “…[I]t will be great to have more men speak to the boys.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_078.jpg] October 22, 1929. To Dr. Stapleton from KP. Asks Stapleton to write an article for the Beta Sigma Omicron’s quarterly title “The Life of an Extension Center” in return for the money they donated for the extension center.

1930

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_079.jpg] January 8, 1930. To Dr. Stapleton from AM. Asked for the number of patients sent to hospitals in 1929 and those taken by stretcher and their diagnoses; for a Notes article.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_080.jpg] June 12, 1930. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from HH. Thanks Stapletons for their gift to the School and promise of $100 by Christmas.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_081.jpg] June 21, 1930. To Mr. Hadley from Robert Stapleton. Encloses check for $10 to cover gifts from his sisters Jessie and Lizzie Stapleton in Saginaw, Michigan. Encloses an “announcement which [is] being spread around here a good deal. No, I do not say it would be my style but it is well to know what others are doing.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_082.jpg] July 1, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Thanks Stapleton for “ your enlistment of your two sisters among our friends. I have just written to them, and want to thank you, also, for your part of this gift of theirs.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_083.jpg] July 5, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Thanks Stapleton for his “generous check” and his assistance at the Fourth of July celebration.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_084.jpg] August 6, 1930. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from HH. Thanks them for their gift. Because of the current drought, the School needs help to get through the winter. Will send a receipt when our receipts, books and records are returned by the auditor.

 [stapleton_ida_r_1925_085.jpg] August 13, 1930. Handwritten letter to Hadley from Ida S. Stapleton at The Cabin. Encloses a report of monthly activities at Line Fork and vicinity. Pass it to the Board of Trustees, “beginning with Mrs. C.A. Holton, London, Ohio,” then return for filing.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_086.jpg] August 20, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Sends a quote from the agent, Mr. Rodes Arnspiger in Lexington, concerning insurance on personal property at Line Fork.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_087.jpg] August 22, 1930. To Dr. Stapleton from HH. Because Dr. Withington is returning late this fall, HH asked Stapleton to come to PMSS for the students’ examinations, which he is “anxious to have done as soon as possible after the children come….”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_088.jpg] September 23, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Asks if Stapleton will conduct Fair Day, as Mr. Feltner did last year.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_089.jpg] November 10, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Asks Stapleton to hold the Thanksgiving service at PMSS; Thanksgiving dinner will be served by Miss [Ruth] Gaines. Also asks for copies of his monthly reports for the files. “We prize these reports and use extracts from them quite frequently in our letters to givers.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_090.jpg] November 14, 1930. To Mr. Hadley from Robert Stapleton. Agrees to join in the Thanksgiving exercises. Asks HH to attend the Bear Branch school community dinner, which would please the teacher Mr. Dennis Boggs.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_091.jpg] November 18, 1930. To Mr. Stapleton from HH. Glad Stapleton will contact the Thanksgiving service; HH will join the community dinner.

1931

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_092.jpg] June 1, 1931. Typewritten original on letterhead stationery for Pine Mountain Settlement School, listing Darwin D. Martin of Buffalo, NY, President of Board of Trustees and C.N. Manning of Lexington, KY, Treasurer. RE: 

“Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stapleton have been engaged by the Pine Mountain Settlement School on a five year’s understanding beginning in April 1929, to take charge of the medical and welfare work at Line Fork, at a monthly salary of $50.00 apiece and a monthly allowance of $30.00 apiece for living expenses. One month’s vacation with salary during the year. (Never claimed)

Signed, Evelyn K. Wells, Acting Director
Ida S. Stapleton
Robert Stapleton

The Stapletons plan a sabbatical half-year’s leave, possibly four months, during the summer of 1932.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_092a.jpg] [n.d.] Unsigned handwritten notation on reverse side of 092. “Actual cost of maid(?) $16 or $17 per month. We are to pay $10 and the Stapletons make a gift of the other $6 or $7.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_093.jpg] July 1, 1931. Handwritten note to Mr. [Glyn] Morris from Robert Stapleton. Encloses financial statement for June.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_094.jpg] July 7, 1931. To Rev. Robert and Dr. Ida Stapleton from GAM. Thanks Stapletons for their financial statement and the check for $8.25. The Morrises are planning to visit Line Fork soon.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_095.jpg] September 17, 1931. To Rev. Robert and Dr. Ida Stapleton from GAM. Praised their work on the “Line Fork Neighborhood News.” Thanked The Reverend for preaching on Sunday. Mentions Hazel.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_096.jpg] September 30, 1931. To Mr. Morris from Robert Stapleton. Along with his September financial report, he encloses a $5.00 gift from his two sisters, Jessie and Lizzie Stapleton in Saginaw, MI, and $10.00 as his monthly gift.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_097.jpg] October 2, 1931. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from GAM. Thanks them for their check and financial statement.

1932

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_098.jpg] January 11, 1932. To Mr. Stapleton from GM. Encloses a letter and asked if Stapleton has heard anything about the “William Osborn case.” Thanks him for the pictures he sent; “The one of you and Doctor Stapleton is very good.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_099.jpg] February 23, 1932. To Doctor Stapleton from GM. Encloses a card from Miss Gertrude J. Barlow, Editor of URN, Beta Sigma Omicron, asking that articles for URN be sent to her instead of Mrs. Orth.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_100.jpg] February 29, 1932. To Reverend Robert and Doctor Ida Stapleton from GM. Thanks them for their contribution.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_101.jpg] July 1, 1932. Original unsigned contract typewritten on letterhead stationery for Pine Mountain Settlement School, listing Darwin D. Martin of Buffalo, NY, President of Board of Trustees and C.N. Manning of Lexington, KY Treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stapleton have been engaged for five years’ at PMSS, beginning April, 1929, to take charge of the medical and welfare work at Line Fork; monthly salary $50.00 each with $30.00 for living expenses; one month’s vacation with salary during the year.

1934

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_102.jpg] March 26, 1934. On letterhead stationery for “The Cabin, Gilley P.O., Kentucky” to Morris from Robert Stapleton. Provides address for the Eastern Clergy Bureau in NYC. ; Mentions Dr. [Francis S.] Hutchins speaking. Mrs. Stapleton will visit PMSS with Azbel’s brother.

 [stapleton_ida_r_1925_103.jpg] September 18, 1935. To Mr. Stapleton from [?]. Asks for Dr. Estabrook’s latest address. Also, needs address for the woman who sends gifts to PMSS from American Home and Country Life magazines, so he can thank her.

1936

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_104.jpg] March 17, 1936. To Morris from Robert Stapleton on letterhead stationery for “The Cabin.” Mentions the snowy weather, Mrs. [Lexine] Baird’s visit to Line Fork, and attending “workings.” “It seemed best not to visit Pine Mt. until the quarantine is entirely lifted, not that we are afraid of the mumps or [any] of the things that are to be had over in your country.” Stapleton declines Morris’s offer to ride to the Knoxville conference with him, since Mrs. Stapleton is still with her sister. Stapleton may go to the National Council in Mt. Holyoke, Mass. in June.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_105.jpg] March 22, 1936. To “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton on letterhead stationery for “The Cabin.” Stapleton hopes to visit PMSS soon for a day. “Seven years ago tonight we had a tide and I was marooned at Big Laurel til the second morning before two of us could make our way up Little Laurel and then down to Line Fork. I wonder if you ever did that trip. It used to be quite a stunt.” 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_106.jpg] April 10, 1936. To Mr. and Mrs. Morris from Robert Stapleton on letterhead stationery for “The Cabin.” Thanks Mr. Morris for bringing Mrs. Stapleton to Pine Mountain from Berea.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_107.jpg] April 30, 1936. To Mr. Morris from Robert Stapleton on letterhead stationery for “The Cabin.” The Stapletons accept Morris’s offer for the year at $60.00 a month beginning in July.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_108.jpg] May 4, 1936. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from [?]. Thanks them for the tulips for “our Sabbath day.” 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_109.jpg] May 5, 1936. To Mr. Morris from Robert Stapleton on letterhead stationery for “The Cabin.” Suggests that it would be best for Ruth Ann to stay at PMSS for vacation and “fall in with your plans in this new movement” instead of helping with her sister’s children at home.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_110.jpg] May 7, 1936. To “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton. Stapleton was invited to a “working” at Bennett Hall’s – “[A] good opportunity of seeing quite a number of folk.” Asked for information about the program on May 15; enjoyed the dogwood breakfast and church service last Saturday.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_111.jpg] May 11, 1936. To Mr. Stapleton from [?]. Just returned from Seymour, Indiana; celebrated a 47th wedding anniversary. Invites Stapletons to a wedding on Thursday afternoon for [August] Angel; Dr. Morgan of Knoxville will speak at commencement on Friday. 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_112.jpg] July 23, 1936. Two-page handwritten letter to Mr. Morris from Ida S. Stapleton on “The Cabin” stationery. She examined the “sick boy,” Boone Hall, and thought he had sunstroke but when he was taken to the County Health doctor, Dr. Collins, a “laboratory list” indicated spinal meningitis. Even though the doctor said it was not contagious, he “put the house in quarantine.” [113] Page 2. Maxine Wright had not been sick “once since she returned” and will return to school.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_114.jpg] August 29, 1936. Two-page handwritten letter to Mr. and Mrs. Morris from Robert Stapleton on “The Cabin” stationery. Stapleton invites them to the annual Labor Day picnic at the Cabin for the two communities; suggests that they bring their movie camera. [115] Page 2. Hopes Miss [Alice] Cobb will be at the picnic.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_116.jpg] November 19, 1936. To “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton on “The Cabin” stationery. Asked Cobb about Thanksgiving Day events; will have dinner with Mrs. Henry Creech on Thanksgiving Day. He hears that Bertha Lewis’s brother is doing well in the hospital; two more books were found and “added to the list given from Miss Pettit’s library here.” Heard about the Octet in Detroit. “Our friends did not get to the party as it seems that it was more for ‘the upper 400’…” The Octet was also on the radio. Mentions Bennet Hall and Manon Cornett. 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_117.jpg] November 24, 1936. To Mr. Stapleton from [?]. Waiting for Mr. Smith to arrive in time for the organ recital. Mr. Morris returns tomorrow.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_118.jpg] December 16, 1936. To Mr. and Mrs. Morris from Robert Stapleton. Relays his plans to visit at PMSS. Traveling to Harlan with Almon Cornett; hopes to have Miss E. [Edith] Cold with the Stapletons for the vacation; Miss Fay will join them. “We drink to the health of George VI in fruit juice and wish him the best yet for his reign.”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_119.jpg] December 27, 1936. Handwritten letter to “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton. Will join PMSS staff in the “festivities of the evening” and suggests “a radio connection with New York for the midnight revels on Broadway at Times Square.”

1937

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_120.jpg] January 26, 1937. To Mrs. Stapleton from [Alice Cobb]. Asked Stapleton to suggest a girl for a scholarship to the Berea Opportunity School; will write Miss Dingman for more information. Asked for an update on Stapleton’s story about baby Nola Fay.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_121.jpg] January 28, 1937. Two-page handwritten letter to Alice Cobb from Mrs. Stapleton. Recommends Rachel Cornett for the Berea Opportunity School and gives her credentials, but may not afford the railroad fare to Berea or have suitable clothing. [121a] Provides updates and story about Baby Nola Fay Holcomb and her family.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_122.jpg] February 4, 1937. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from [? likely Alice Cobb]. Received the hymn numbers and sending them to the printer. “Maybe they will make up the first job of the new linotype machine.” Also received a letter from Miss Dingman stating that it is too late for Rachel to attend Opportunity School; may try next year. Mentions Miss Fay; epidemic of colds.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_123.jpg] February 37, 1937. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton from [? likely Alice Cobb]. Encloses letter from Mrs. Shipman, asking about work with the country people. Received six boxes, possibly of donated clothes, addressed to Stapleton. Mentions Fern Hall

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_124.jpg] April 13, 1937. To Mr. Morris from Robert Stapleton. Encloses letter from Mr. Atkins of Chicago, who is interested in Line Fork and has sent the Geographic for many years; asks Morris if his address is on the PMSS mailing list.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_125.jpg] April 29, 1937. To Miss Cobb from Robert Stapleton. Asks the time of the dogwood breakfast (8:00). Mrs. Stapleton needs a ride to a Harlan dentist – may ask Almon Cornett. Asked what time the Saturday “exercises” begin and if there will be ice cream and sandwiches. 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_126.jpg] May 17, 1937. To “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton. Asked for help in meeting the train bringing the Adams.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_127.jpg] May 23, 1937. To “Miss Alice [Cobb]” from Robert Stapleton. Enjoyed their guests. [Arthur] Dodd offered to take them to Harlan on Tuesday but they wish to leave later via bus. Makes arrangements for his boxes to Harlan. Miss Fay’s personal photographs have been found and asks Cobb to mail them to her. Sends message to Miss Jean concerning oats and hay from Hackney Company.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_128.jpg] July 5, 1937. To Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton in Lapeer, MI (c/o Miss Carrie Salmond, Lapeer Savings Bank) from [?]. “We shall do as you suggested regarding the bill for $28 which will cover her entrance fee for two years and will leave a balance of eight dollars which we shall give to Miss [Louise] Merrill to use for her. By this time you are well on your way to Germany and with you goes our very best wishes. I wanted to tell you, better than I did during the rush of commencement, how grateful we are for all that you have done for Pine Mountain and for the community in which you lived. … The home which you kept there has been an inspiration to us. …”

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_129.jpg] September 6, 1937. Two-page letter to Mr. Morris from [? likely Robert Stapleton] in Siegen, Germany. Encloses letter from his son-in-law who visited PMSS last year. Stapleton asks that Morris send the son-in-law information about “needy cases” that he might fund. Stapleton wrote his son-in-law that Miss Lorna Wearing has been with us for two years and gave him her address. Wonders if Line Fork will have its annual district Labor Day picnic, started some 8 years ago. Tells about the nearby firm for which his son-in-law works and other observations about staying in Germany and his grandchildren. [129a] Page 2. Sends greetings to Mrs. Morris and Miss Merrill. Describes his current living conditions. 

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_130.jpg] October 27, 1937. Two-page letter to Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton in Germany from [? likely, Glyn Morris.] Encloses a copy of the Pine Mountain Guidance Institute Program; plans to attend a conference in Washington to bring attention of national leaders to the need for more facilities for rural children. PMSS has a New Building and is now building a milk house near the barn. [130a] Page 2. The staff this year is a variety of all ages and more mature than last year. “The Bakers [Robert and Lutrella Baker] seem to like Line Fork….I miss very much your visits here at Pine Mountain and the good chats we used to have in the Office. …”

1946

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_131.jpg] May 3 [?], 1946. Handwritten letter to Mr. [H.R.S.] Benjamin from Ida S. Stapleton in Garden City, NY. Thanks him for his “Macedonian Appeal”; mentions Muriel Boggs and Granny Begley.

[stapleton_ida_r_1925_132.jpg] May 16, 1946. To Dr. Stapleton in Garden City, NY, from H.R.S. Benjamin. Thanks her for the gift of $2.00. Expresses appreciation for the work that Mrs. Baker and the Stapletons at Line Fork.


GALLERY: Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton Correspondence 1928-1946 Part II 

(66 items of 132)


Return To:

DR. IDA STAPLETON and REV. ROBERT STAPLETON Correspondence 1925-1928  PART I

See Also: 

ALICE COBB STORIES Stapletons Leaving Line Fork May 31 – June 1, 1937

Dr. IDA STAPLETON and Rev. ROBERT STAPLETON Biography

GUIDE TO Dr. IDA STAPLETON and Rev. ROBERT STAPLETON REPORTS

LINE FORK Settlement

STAPLETON Letter 1936 – September “My Dear Miss Lewis…Thank the Lady…”