WILLIAM D. WEBB Interim Director

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 04: ADMINISTRATION – Directors
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Directors
William D. Webb, Acting Director 1942-1944
John William Dorland Webb (1908-1989)
Charlotte de Verne (Frisbie) Webb (1906-1999)

WILLIAM D. WEBB Interim Director

William D. Webb, PMSS Interim Director, 1942-1944. [pmss_webb.jpg]

TAGS: William D. Webb, Glyn Morris, PMSS Board of Trustees, Arthur Dodd, principals, interim directors, acting directors, Charlotte Frisbie Webb, progressive education, vocational programs, H.R.S. Benjamin, WWII

WILLIAM D. WEBB Interim Director, 1942-1944

After nearly 11 years as one of Pine Mountain Settlement School’s most influential and memorable directors, Rev. Glyn A. Morris took a one-year leave of absence. Germany, followed by other Axis states, had recently declared war on the United States, prompting Morris to leave PMSS the following spring of 1942 to serve in the war. Three weeks later, Mrs. Morris joined him in Joplin, Missouri.

Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees asked Arthur W. Dodd, then principal of the School, to act as interim director. Dodd served in that position until August 1st, when William D. Webb came to the School as acting director. Webb stayed at the School until 1944 when H.R.S. Benjamin was hired as the new director.

WILLIAM D. WEBB: Education and Marriage

Mr. Webb held a Master’s Degree in Rural Education Administration from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Before accepting the PMSS directorship, Mr. Webb had been appointed by the American Board of Congregational Foreign Missions to serve in Southern Rhodesia, but the war prevented him from sailing to Africa. Webb later studied theology at the Hartford Theological Seminary. From there he finally went to Rhodesia to work for the American Board of Foreign Missions as an administrator.

Mr. and Mrs. William D. Webb, c. 1942. [pmss_photo_possibly webb_jpg.jpg]

Mr. and Mrs. William D. Webb, c. 1942. [pmss_photo_possibly webb_jpg.jpg]

William Webb and Charlotte Frisbie were married in Damascus, Syria, on July 23, 1932. Both had a background in teaching in New York State, Syria, at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and the University of Shanghai in China. They lived in China for five years and their two children, Dorothy and David, were born in Shanghai. At the time of their arrival at PMSS, the children, at ages nine and seven years respectively, began attending the Creech community district school.

Mrs. Charlotte de Verne (Frisbie) Webb, a native of Southington, Connecticut, was a graduate of the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing and she quickly put her skill to work at Pine Mountain. She taught at the Big Laurel District School and contributed her knowledge and training to both the community nursing programs and to the community education programs. [From Pine Mountain, 1943, Family Album.]

WILLIAM D. WEBB: At Pine Mountain

A paragraph in the October 1942 issue of Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School welcomed the Webb family with the following words:

…We are grateful for the tact and graciousness with which the Webbs have come into our fellowship. In a community so small, and in many ways so self-sufficient, it is very difficult for a new personality to enter at the head. The spirit of the past ten years’ leadership has strengthened us to accept and welcome the new, and the good will of the new acting administration has made the welcome easy for us. Pine Mountain, braced by the same pioneering spirit which came with Katherine Pettit and Ethel deLong in 1913, faces the future with confidence — ‘business as usual.’

For the most part, William Webb continued the progressive educational and vocational programs begun by Glyn Morris. He stayed at Pine Mountain Settlement School until 1944, when Morris, after two years of distinguished military service in Europe, decided to study for a doctorate degree at Columbia University Teachers College in New York instead of returning to PMSS.

WILLIAM D. WEBB: After Pine Mountain

In March 1944, Webb announced in a letter to Arthur W. Dodd that the time had come for Webb to leave PMSS. He wrote that his “Mission Board, due to pressure of wartime conditions in its East Africa station, will not be able to loan me to Pine Mountain for another year.” The PMSS Notes of November 1944 bid the following farewell to Webb and his family:

…To William Webb, loaned to us by the Congregational Board for the past two years as interim director, we wish all good fortune as he and his family go out to their new work in British East Africa.


John William Dorland Webb was born on March 14, 1908, in Rockwood, Ontario, Canada. His parents were Rev. John Richard Webb and Margaret Hubbs (Dorland) Webb. William Webb died on August 10, 1989, in Worcester, Massachusetts, at the age of 81. Charlotte de Verne (Frisbie) Webb was born 1906 and died in 1999. The Webbs had one son, David D., and two daughters, Ellyn and Dorothy.


William D. Webb

Alt. Title

William Webb




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt, Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

William D. Webb ; William Webb ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; directors ; Glyn Morris ; Mrs. Morris ; Board of Trustees ; Arthur Dodd ; principals ; interim directors ; acting directors ; master’s degree ; rural education administration ; Cornell University ; directorships ; American Board of Congregational Foreign Missions ; American University of Beirut ; University of Shanghai ; Charlotte Frisbie Webb ; Dorothy Webb ; David Webb ; Creech community district school ; Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Katherine Pettit ; Ethel de Long ; progressive education ; vocational programs ; Columbia University Teachers College ; H.R.S. Benjamin ; Hartford Hospital School of Nursing ;

Subject LCSH

Webb, John William Dorland, — 1908-1989.
Webb, Charlotte de Verne (Frisbie), — 1906-1999.
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 7: Director’s Files




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 7: Director’s Files

Coverage Temporal

1942 – 1944

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Germany ; Joplin, MO ; Ithaca, NY ; Southern Rhodesia, Africa ; New York ; Damascus, Syria ; Beirut, Lebanon ; Shanghai, China ; Europe ; New York, NY ; British East Africa ; Southington, CT ; Hartford, CT ;


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 William D. Webb ; clippings, photographs, books by or about William D. Webb ;




“[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

2014-01-02 aae ; 2014-04-04 hw ; 2014-06-05 aae ; 2017-03-23 aae ; 2023-08-30 aae ;



Kelley, Urbin. “News of Southington: Missionary to Speak.” The Morning Record, Meriden, CT. (March 5, 1964): 14. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2512&dat=19640305&id=kaFIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=PQENAAAAIBAJ&pg=2383,486574 (accessed 2014-06-05). Internet resource.

Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School. XV.II (October 1942):1. Series 17: PMSS Publications. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School. XVII.I (November 1944):1. Series 17: PMSS Publications. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Pine Mountain, 1943, Family Album. Pine Mountain Settlement School. Series 17: PMSS Publications. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, Births, and Marriages 1980-2014,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV54-47NV : accessed 30 August 2023), William D Webb, Massachusetts, United States; from “Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 – Today),” database, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : 2014. Internet resource.


For details of the Webbs’ experiences as missionaries in Africa since they left PMSS in 1944, see this 1958 newspaper story:

Braunberns, Joanne. “Southern Rhodesia Schools for the Gifted: Teacher Reports on Education Progress in Africa.” Eugene Register Guard, (August 17, 1958): 10. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19580817&id=A_ZVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6756,2687904 (accessed 2014-06-05). Internet resource.

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