Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography 
Jasper and Delphia Day
Staff workers

photograph of the Day Family
“Aunt Polly (Mary Ann Shell Day) and the Jasper Days (Jasper Day and Delphia Day with two children).” Photograph before 1917. FN [Vl_35_1144a.jpg]

TAGS: Jasper Day, Delphia (Cress) Day, launderers, contracts, Barbara Spelman, Mary (Polly) Ann Shell, William B. Day, Pine Mountain Settlement laundry, staff workers, Day family,

Launderers, November 1941

Jasper Day and his wife, Delphia (Cress) Day, worked as launderers at the Pine Mountain Settlement School for a short time in 1941. Their contract was for the school year November 1, 1941, through June 30, 1942, but they left within three weeks after they were hired.

Jasper and Delphia Day: AT PINE MOUNTAIN

As launderers, their duties were to wash all the School’s laundry, keep the laundry room clean and tidy, iron shirts for boys and workers, and workers’ dresses in the summer. In an undated handwritten letter to Mrs. Marsh and Miss Barbara Spelman, then Office secretary, Jasper indicated that he would come to the Office to work on their contract with PMSS, “for I have worked long enough now to know just how I want the contract made… [and] just how the Laundry is to be done from start to finish.”

Evidently, an undated typewritten agreement between the Days and PMSS was the result of that meeting. The agreement contained the following regulations: (1) List of the order in which the laundry will be washed. (2) List of the only persons allowed to use the Laundry (the ironing girl and Mrs. [August] Angel, who had special baby laundry). (3) Description of the Infirmary laundry needs. (4) The policy for laundering blankets, quilts, and mattress pads. (5) The Days must have Mrs. [Glyn] Morris’s written permission to do extra laundry. (6) All laundry must be delivered in bags and labeled. (7) Lines in back of Laurel House must be clear on Mondays for laundry. (8) The Laundry must be kept locked when not in use.

Although the regulations in the agreement were arranged “with the hope of making the laundry service better for all concerned,” there was not enough appeal in the overwhelming work load to keep the Days at Pine Mountain. They left the School on November 21, 1941 but kept long-time Community relations with the School

Jasper and Delphia Day: FAMILY BACKGROUND

Jasper Day was the son of William B. Day, a Kentucky farmer, and Mary (Polly) Ann Shell. He had three siblings: Sol Day, Louisa Day, and Josiah (Joseph) Day.

Jasper Day was born on July 15, 1886, in Leslie County, Kentucky. He worked on the railroad and as a miner and logger. He married his first first wife, Nancy A. Shepherd, on June 20, 1907, in Harlan, Kentucky, and they had 8 children.

Three of Jasper’s children died very young: Ernest Day, Martha A. Day, and George Washington Day. Jasper and Nancy’s other children were Willard Day, Joe (Josiah) Day, Clara Day, Ella Day, Rachel Day. Clara and Rachel were adopted through Pine Mountain Settlement School by couples in Ohio and Michigan. A son, Willard Day died on December 25, 1941, at age 29 of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Jasper, then a widower at age 34, married his second wife, Delphia (or Delpha) Cress, on April 12, 1928. Delphia, age 17, was born in 1911 in Kentucky, the daughter of Lindsey (Lew) and Amanda Elizabeth (Lizzie) Cress. Jasper and Delphia had at least five children, according to the U.S. Censuses 1930 and 1940: Orlena Day, Arivia Day, Junior Day, Elizabeth Day, and Retha Day.

Jasper died on November 9, 1975, in Cumberland, Kentucky.

Evelyn K. Wells, PMSS Secretary 1916–1931 and Interim Director 1931, wrote about the Day family and Aunt Polly, Jasper’s mother, in a letter dated December 29, 1916 (pages 6-7):

“The Days have moved from the old house on the Incline road to a new one-room house at the Head of Gabes Branch, a very lonesome place, with only a few hours of sunshine a day. Aunt Polly is old and sick, but she has a gypsy nature, and if she cannot be on the road herself, she longs to be at a window seeing folks pass. But there is no window in the new house, and she has missed her one excitement. So the School gave her a window for Christmas, and Jasper, her son, is going to put it in. One of the little boys who went with us carried the little Christmas Tree, and the others spelled each other with the window and carried other pretties. Aunt Polly couldn’t come to the tree at the School, because Jasper had sold the mare that day, so Miss [Ethel] de Long sent Bobby [horse] for her, and she came and had a beautiful time, seeing more of her old friends than she had seen for years.”

Delivering the window

See Also:
DAY Family
JASPER and DELPHIA DAY Correspondence

SOL DAY – Biography



Jasper and Delphia Day

Alt. Title

Jasper Day ; Delphia C. Day ; Dephia Cress ; 




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Jasper and Delphia Day ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Jasper Day ; Delphia (Cress) Day ; launderers ; contracts ; Barbara Spelman ; Mary (Polly) Ann Shell ; William B. Day ;

Subject LCSH

Day, Jasper, — 1886 – 1975.
Day, Delphia Cress, — 1911 – 1997.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2021-04-09 aae (reused a discarded page titled “Alice Cobb Correspondence 1930’s”)


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: Biography – Staff/Personnel.




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel.

Coverage Temporal

1886 – 1997.

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Cumberland, KY ; 


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 Jasper Day and Delphia C. Day ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Jasper Day and Delphia C. Day ;




“[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




JASPER and DELPHIA DAY Correspondence” and “SOL DAY.” Series 09; Biography – Staff. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BY-TFV4?cc=1804888 : accessed 09 April 2021), > image 1 of 1; citing multiple county clerks, county courts, and historical societies, Kentucky.

“Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1965,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N9BY-J31 : accessed 8 April 2021), Jasper Day in entry for Willard Day, 1941; citing Death, Totz, Harlan, Kentucky, United States, certificate, Office of Vital Statistics, Frankfort; FHL microfilm 1,913,387. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images,  FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XMFK-WH9 : accessed 09 April 2021), Delphia Day in household of Jasper Day, Leatherwood, Perry, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 26, sheet 3A, line 7, family 34, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 774; FHL microfilm 2,340,509. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9M1-SJW6?cc=2000219&wc=QZXY-8T5%3A790105801%2C793627401%2C790126601%2C795177801 : accessed 09 April 2021), Kentucky > Harlan > Magisterial District 4 > 48-33 Magisterial District 4, Pine Mountain, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Putney, Rosspoint (part) > image 17 of 54; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012. Internet resource.

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