Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Dorothy Swisshelm
Line Fork Settlement 

Cabin at Line Fork. [norton_067.jpg] Two unidentified workers,

TAGS:  Dorothy Swisshelm, Line Fork Settlement, Dr. Ida Stapleton, Cabin at Line Fork, 1927 medical work, home visitation, medical care, industrial training, poverty, rural health, rural physicians, nursing,

DOROTHY SWISSHELM, Teacher, Industrial Worker, Aide at Line Fork Settlement, 1927

Dorothy Swisshelm was only at the Line Fork Settlement for the months of June and July, 1927. She came from Louisville, Kentucky, and assisted Dr. Ida Stapleton and her husband, The Rev. Robert Stapleton, at the center as a teacher, industrial worker, and occasionally as an aide to Dr. Stapleton.

The daughter of M. Ashton and Matilda Swisshelm, Dorothy was born possibly June 24, 1904, in Ohio. As of the 1920 U.S. Census, she had two sisters, Eleanor and Lucille, and five brothers, Howard, Emmet, Ralph, Edward, and William. She died possibly on January 11, 1994, at the age of 89 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

DOROTHY SWISSHELM: REPORT 1  June – July 1927 [2 pages] “My first endeavors were to get ….”

The following is the only report located of  Dorothy Swisshelm’s work at Line Fork. She wrote of her work at the Line Fork Settlement in a two-page handwritten document dated August 5, 1927. Soon after writing this report, she left her position, possibly for Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.

Work at Line Fork Settlement – June 21 – July 30, 1927.

My first endeavors were to get the older girls interested in a Bible class held on Sunday afternoon at the Cabin. The first Sunday, there were eight present, the attendance thereafter ranging from four or five to a dozen. On Sunday we went on a hike, taking lunch with us, and had a very good time. I also talked to the girls as much as possible about keeping on in school and tried to get them interested in going on to high school some place.

On weekdays I tried to have certain afternoons for the boys, little girls, and older girls to come to the cabin for a play-hour. This was not very well attended because the children were all needed at home to hoe corn, etc.  But the children who did come seemed to have a very good time.

Occasionally I went to cabins where there were several children to look after and amuse[d] them while the mother was working. With Mrs. Stapleton I visited sick people and others to whom we carried books, newspapers and magazines.

I feel that what little I did was not nearly so much benefit to the people as it was to me, but hope that I have helped some in the wonderful work carried on at Pine Mountain.

Dorothy Swisshelm
August 5, 1927.
Louisville, Ky.



Alt. Title

Dorothy V.(?) Swisshelm




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Dorothy Swisshelm ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Line Fork Settlement ; medicine ; health ; health literacy ; Dr. Ida Stapleton ; Rev. Robert Stapleton ; teachers ; industrial workers ; medical aides ; reports ; Bible classes ; Cabin ; hikes ; Western College ; Oxford, OH ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Louisville, KY ; Line Fork, KY ; Cincinnati, OH ;

Subject LCSH

Swisshelm, Dorothy, — 25 June 1904 – 11 January 1994 (?).
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.

Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.

Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.

Rural health services — Appalachian Region — History.

Date digital



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: Staff/Personnel




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Staff/Personnel ; Series 10: Built Environment – Line Fork Settlement ;

Coverage Temporal

1904 – 1994

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Louisville, KY ; Line Fork, KY ; Oxford, OH ; Cincinnati, OH ;


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 Dorothy Swisshelm; clippings, photographs, books by or about Dorothy Swisshelm ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-02-06 hw ; 2014-03-01 aae ;



Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Pine Mountain, KY. Series 09: Staff/Personnel and Series 10: Built Environment – Line Fork Settlement. Archival material.

Staff database, Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Pine Mountain, KY. Computer file.

“United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch ( (accessed 01 Mar 2014), Dorothy Swisshelm in household of M Ashton Swisshelm, Louisville Ward 12, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States; citing sheet , family 190, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820582.

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