Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 05: Governance – Board of Trustees

Series 09: Biography – Trustees

ALFRED LEE WILSON Rev., Trustee 1915-1920

TAGS: Alfred Lee Wilson Rev., Dr. Alfred Lee Wilson, Rev. A.L. Wilson, preachers, religion, Presbyterians, Board of Trustees, Advisory Board, social uplift, Ladies Society, Presbyterian churches, meeting houses, mission school, Community Life Movement

The Reverend Alfred Lee Wilson (d. 1949) served on the Board of Trustees at Pine Mountain Settlement School during its earliest years. (The Board of Trustees was known as the Advisory Board at that time.) His tenure lasted from November 1915 until September 1920.

Rev. Wilson came to the Board from his ministry at the Kenwood Church Interdenominational at Greenwood and 46th Street in Hyde Park, Cincinnati, Ohio. The denomination began as the Kenwood United Church of Christ, an Evangelical church, and dates from November 17, 1875. Over the years the church evolved while retaining its Evangelical roots. It became a community place where persons from various religious backgrounds could come together in unity on the basis of their shared Christian faith common to many Evangelical denominations.

The growth of the Cincinnati church was rapid and in 1886 a full-time minister, the Rev. John P. Hale, was hired. Hale remained until 1898 and was followed by three other ministers and then by the fourth, Rev. Alfred Lee Wilson. [Two other ministers were: the Rev. R. Crosser and Rev. Albert Joseph McCarney.]

Like the congregation and the ministers, the first meeting house in Cincinnati, established in 1885, grew quickly. The church added a large wing, known as the “Kenwood Chapel,” to the first meeting house. There was a later addition as well, in order to provide space for the very active Sunday School and the weekly prayer meetings. As the work of this active church gained recognition it also spread its reach to “social uplift.” The term was used to describe the work of churches beyond the local boundaries of the congregation. 

A continuing feature of the church, and particularly under the ministry of Wilson, was a very large Ladies Society which the church sponsored. It is from within this Ladies Society that Pine Mountian found many friends of the School and who supported its work.

It is likely that this Ladies Society brought Pine Mountain to the attention of Rev. Wilson. In the years following the turn of the century, there was an uptick of activity in women’s groups, particularly those in the Presbyterian church. The Women’s Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church was concerned that many Americans in isolated areas were not receiving proper social service assistance and education. Many women picked up the social work and education call in other churches and supported efforts to bring public services and aid to mission schools in the mountains of Appalachia. While Pine Mountain was non-sectarian, it followed the Community Life Movement that advocated for many of the same up-lifting activity.

Following Wilson’s departure from the Board of Trustees, he remained in touch with Pine Mountain and its Directors. For example, he returned to campus in November 1924 to give a sermon during the dedication of the new Chapel, according to Notes from the Pine Mountain Settlement School, November 1924. Harriet Crutchfield (PMSS teacher 1928-1930) mentions in a November 1929 letter that Wilson “has been on the look-out for a minister for P.M. for years and that he used to pay a Methodist minister from Harlan to come over once a year.”

Also, Glyn Morris noted in his Director’s Report of 1934 that he visited that year with the former Board member in Cincinnati. The two likely had much in common in their inclusive religious beliefs.

Apparently, Wilson did not remain an Evangelical, or the report is in error, as by November 12, 1967, the Cincinnati Enquirer described Wilson as a Presbyterian clergyman. [See]

See Also:
BLANCH RANNELLS Our Mountain Neighbors 1924

TitleRev. Alfred Lee Wilson
CreatorPine Mountain Settlement School,
Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. CreatorHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Rev. Alfred Lee Wilson ; Dr. Alfred Lee Wilson ;
A. L. Wilson ; preachers ; religion ; Presbyterians ;
Pine Mountain Settlement School ;
Cincinnati, Ohio ; Board of Trustees ; Advisory Board ;
social uplift ; Ladies Society ; Presbyterian churches ;
meeting houses ; mission schools ; Community Life
Movement ;
Subject LCSHWilson, Rev. Alfred Lee, — died 1949.
Pine Mountain Settlement School — History.
Rural schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region.
Date digital2010-11-27
PublisherPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
TypeCollection ; text ; image
FormatMisc. documents, booklets, and images ;
Original and copies of documents and
correspondence file folders in filing cabinet.
SourceSeries 05: Governance – Board of Trustees
Coverage temporal1885 – 1949
Coverage spatialCincinnati, OH ; Hyde Park ; Pine Mountain
Settlement School, Harlan County, KY ; Glens Falls, NY ;
RightsAny display, publication, or public use must credit
the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Inc. Copyright
retained by the creators of certain items in the
collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by
United States copyright law.
DescriptionCore documents, correspondence, writing and papers
of Dr. Alfred Lee Wilson, focused on the Pine
Mountain Settlement School years 1915 to
1920, when Wilson served on the Pine
Mountain Board of Trustees ; Clippings, photographs,
books by or about Alfred Lee Wilson.
CitationReverend Alfred Lee Wilson,” Series 05: Governance –
Board of Trustees, Pine Mountain Settlement School
Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.
Processed byHelen Hayes Wykle
Last updated2010-11-27 hw ; 2015-10-06 aae ; 2019-06-11 aae ; 2019-07-18 hhw ;
Historical ContextAlfred Lee Wilson served on the Pine
Mountain Board of Trustees from 1915 – 1920.
BiographyMinister at Kenwood Church Interdenominational,
Greenwood at 46th and Hyde Park, Cincinnati, OH.
SERIESLetters, Photographs, and Documents

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