FLORENCE DANIELS

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel

Florence Daniels, Weaving Instructor, 1925-1929


Tags: Florence Daniels, weaving teachers, Shuttle-Craft School of Hand-Weaving, Katherine Pettit, Fireside Industries, handcrafts, Line Fork, Evelyn K. Wells, weaving patterns, Warp & Weft, One Small Stitch, Victoria Handweavers & Spinners Guild, Hull House


Although Miss Florence Daniels’ experience in weaving had only just begun, Miss Katherine Pettit, co-director of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, was anxious to hire her. As she wrote to Daniels on August 3, 1925, “…we need a weaving teacher this very minute. We have just heard that our weaving teacher [Miss Sand] is not coming back.”

Miss Daniels’ application blank indicated that she was 24 years old and from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Her education included 2 years at Newton Theological Institution in Newton Center, MA (M.R.E.), 4 years at Denison University in Granville, OH (A.B.), a postgraduate year at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA, and training courses at the Shuttle-Craft School of Hand-Weaving in Cambridge. She worked in a community center, an industrial school and in church vacation schools.

Her only knowledge of Pine Mountain Settlement School was gained from a pamphlet that a friend gave her, knowing it would interest Daniels. Indeed it did. She wrote on her application,

The pamphlet is quite old, having been published in January, 1918, but it gives an idea of the work carried on through the school and also the high ideals. … Is there a Fireside Industries department where the boys and girls can make articles to sell and so earn money toward their school expenses? I know that some of the mountain schools do that. And if there is, would there be any need for assistants in weaving, basketry, and other forms of handcraft? It would be a truly wonderful opportunity to work with the mountain children….”

FLORENCE DANIELS Correspondence: daniels_f_005.jpg & daniels_f_006.jpg

All of Miss Daniels’ references wrote highly of her, particularly Mary Meigs Atwater of the Shuttle-Craft Co., whose letter of August 21, 1925, stated, “She has a good sense of color and the true craftsman’s feeling for finish and exactness.” It appears that long after her student days, Daniels remained an associate of Atwater’s as suggested in the Warp & Weft newsletter article cited below.

Miss Daniels’ qualities were certainly sufficient for PMSS employment in Miss Pettit’s view. Thus, in her August 1925 letters, Miss Pettit offered Daniels a teaching position at a salary of $75.00 a month including board, adding: “Your laundry will be a dollar a month.” (Later, a contract that Daniels signed in December 1927 provided for a horse named Alafair.) Also, in the letter offering the position, Miss Pettit described the mission of the craft of weaving at Pine Mountain as that of “reviving an old-fashioned art, coverlets, blankets, etc. and [the use of] only vegetable dyes.” The School did have a Fireside Industries department which Miss Daniels eventually headed.

Miss Petitt’s 1925 letters stated that Miss Daniels would begin her work with weaving students in the new Industrial Building, the construction of which was completed that summer. However, she instead worked at Line Fork in the school year of 1925-1926, according to PMSS co-worker, Evelyn K. Wells, in her Fireside Industries report. Wells also recorded a highlight of Miss Daniels’ PMSS work:

The development of the “Summer and Winter” weave which began with Miss Eleanor Stockin, who worked out this old-fashioned method, and grew to flower with Miss Florence Daniels, has been one of the things the Fireside Industries Department is most proud of. This weave differs from the overshot in the winding of the warp [note to side: “in being a closet weave with not long skips.”] and the need for more treadles and harnesses, sometimes as many as twelve treadles and nine 7 harnesses being used. Any pattern may be woven by the overshot method. The name comes from the cool, white appearance of the predominating cotton thread on one side, and on the other, the rich warmth of the wool.

WELLS RECORD 13 PMSS Fireside Industries 1913-1928 by Evelyn K. Wells

“Summer and Winter” weave by Florence Daniels. The images shown above are courtesy of Jean Betts, editor of OneSmallStitch website and a weaver, spinner and dyer for over 35 years. The cotton weaving measures 8.5” x 15” and is 1 of 8 placemats woven on 8 harnesses. It is from the Permanent Collection of the Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) of which Jean Betts is the caretaker.

Florence Daniels: AFTER PINE MOUNTAIN

Florence Daniels continued her interest in weaving throughout her life, her skills becoming well-known and respected in the weaving field.

An article in the Warp & Weft newsletter of November 1949 reported that, at a weaving conference in Kankakee, IL, in September, “Miss Florence Daniels of Chicago assisted Mrs. Mary Miegs Atwater, recently retired organizer of the Shuttle-Craft Guild. She was among the 40 advanced weavers at the conference who talked about the pleasure of working under Mrs. Atwater.” Mrs. Atwater had been one of the references that Miss Daniels’ supplied in her application for a PMSS position in 1925.

8-harness “Summer and Winter” woven by Florence Daniels. [Source: “One Small Stitch” website, edited by Jean Betts.]

Including her start at Pine Mountain Settlement School, Florence Daniels taught weaving for 50 years. She went on from PMSS to teach at Berea (KY) College and later in Chicago. The caption and text in an image of her work on the One Small Stitch website, states that “After moving to Victoria [B.C., Canada] in 1953, she joined the Guild and continued teaching all ages, until her death in 1975 at the age of 75. She had been one of the original guild members…[and] many of the early members were her students.”

The guild mentioned above is possibly the Victoria Handweavers & Spinners Guild that began in 1934. According to a chronology of the Guild’s history, in 1952 “Miss Florence Daniels, Instructor of Weaving at Hull House, Chicago, was welcomed as a guest at the September meeting.”

Miss Daniels is mentioned again in the Guild’s history in 1961, as follows:

Miss Daniels taught summer school classes at the Gallery. She gave fall and spring classes, at first through the Department of Education evening program, and later, in her own home until her death in 1975. (Many of our present members began weaving with Miss Daniels.)

Victoria Handweavers & Spinners Guild, https://vhwsg.ca/about/guild-history/

Florence Daniels: Remembrances From Her Nephew

The following is an excerpt from a letter written in 2006 by Miss Daniels’ nephew, Corban Goble, to Debra Callahan, PMSS secretary at the time, and “others at Pine Mountain.” It was a follow-up to a visit that Corban and his wife Harriet made to PMSS. This part of the letter describes memories of his aunt.

Aunt Florence (or “Danny” to some of her friends or “Junia” to her family) was born in Massachusetts in 1900, went to Dennison College in Ohio and earned a religious education degree in Massachusetts. But somewhere along the line, she became enamored with handweaving, and I believe had taken courses with Mary Atwater. She was at Pine Mountain from 1925 to 1929… At one point she acquired a horse, Alafair, and when she left to join the staff at Fireside Weaving at Berea College, she rode Alafair through the mountains to Berea. In 1937 she moved to Chicago, teaching weaving at Hull House and operating her own weaving studio, known as Danny’s Den. But in 1953 she moved to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, joining a widowed uncle living there–and continued the teaching and weaving there until her death in 1975. And she never forgot those days lived at Pine Mountain.

Corban and Harriet Goble, Bowling Green, Kentucky, May 25, 2006.

Florence Daniels: FAMILY HISTORY

According to FamilySearch.com, Florence Dwinnell [Divinnell? Duinnell?] Daniels is most likely the Miss Daniels of this biography. If so, she was born on November 15, 1900, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, to John Herbert Daniels (1845-1920), a real estate agent, and Florence R. (Dwinnell) Daniels (1864-1948). She had two siblings, Ellen S. (b. 1894) and George E. Daniels (b. 1897) and a half-sibling, Ernest T. Daniels (1873-1924). She died on June 19, 1975, at age 74 in Victoria and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Fitchburg.


Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z

See Also:
DANCING IN THE CABBAGE PATCH Weaving at PMSS 1930s-1940s
DANCING IN THE CABBAGE PATCH Weaving at PMSS Beginnings
FIRESIDE INDUSTRIES SCRAPBOOK
FLORENCE DANIELS Correspondence
KATHERINE PETTIT – Weaving at PMSS – Beginnings
WEAVING Draper Loom Studio
WEAVING SAMPLES Pine Mountain Settlement School I
WEAVING SAMPLES Pine Mountain Settlement School II
WELLS RECORD 13 PMSS Fireside Industries 1913-1928


TitleFlorence Daniels
Alt. TitleMiss Daniels ; Florence D. Daniels ; Florence Dwinnell [Divinnell? Duinnell?] Daniels ; “Danny” ; “Junia”
Identifier
CreatorPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. CreatorHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Subject KeywordFlorence Daniels ; Florence D. Daniels ; weaving ; teachers ; Shuttle-Craft School of
Hand-Weaving ; Katherine Pettit ; Fireside Industries ; Ethel de Long Zande ;
handcrafts ; Line Fork ; Industrial Building; Evelyn K. Wells ; Angela Melville ;
Eleanor Stockin ; Mary Meigs Atwater ; weaving patterns ; overshot method ;
Warp & Weft ; Berea College ; One Small Stitch ; Victoria Handweavers &
Spinners Guild ; Hull House ;
Subject LCSHDaniels, Florence, — 1900 – 1975.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Hand Weaving — Study and Teaching.
Date2019-04-20 aae
PublisherPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
ContributorCorban Goble, nephew of Miss Daniels
TypeCollections ; text ; image ;
FormatOriginal and copies of documents and correspondence in
file folders in filing cabinet.
SourceSeries 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.
LanguageEnglish
RelationIs related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.
Coverage
Temporal
1845 – 1975
Coverage
Spatial
Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Fitchburg, MA ; Newton Center, MA ;
Granville, OH ; Ashburnham, MA ; Cambridge, MA ; Kankakee, IL ; Chicago, IL ;
Berea, KY ; Victoria, B.C., Canada ;
RightsAny 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.
Donorn/a
DescriptionCore documents, correspondence, writings and
administrative papers created by or addressed to
Florence Daniels; clippings, photographs, publications,
illustrations by or about Florence Daniels
Acquisitionn/d
Citation“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series
Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement
School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain
Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed ByHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last Updated2019/05/24 aae ;
Bibliography
Sources“Florence Daniels.” 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:QVGY-G22P :
accessed 20 April 2019), Florence Dwinnell Daniels, 1975;
Burial, Fitchburg, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America,
Forest Hill Cemetery; citing record ID 132810238, Find a Grave,
http://www.findagrave.com. Internet resource.

“Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXW9-SDZ :
accessed 20 April 2019), Florence Divinnell Daniels, 15 Nov 1900,
Fitchburg, Massachusetts; citing reference ID #, Massachusetts Archives,
Boston; FHL microfilm 1,843,720. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M22J-9ZR : accessed 20 April 2019),
Florence D Daniels in household of John H Daniels, Fitchburg Ward 3, Worcester,
Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1734, sheet 19B,
family 356, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.:
National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 628; FHL microfilm
1,374,641. Internet resource.