FELDE Family

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel, Students
Series 19: Students

FELDE Family
Maurice & Marcella Felde, Teachers (1958-1960)
Felde Children, Students (1958-1960)

TAGS: Felde Family, Maurice Felde, Marcella Felde, teachers, Community School students, Peter Rogers, Felde Family Ensemble, Barbourville KY, Louisville KY, Berea KY

FELDE FAMILY: At Pine Mountain

The Felde Family spent two years at Pine Mountain, from 1958 to 1960. They arrived at Pine Mountain after a year in Berea, Kentucky, where Maurice Felde, the father, had been teaching chemistry (which he studied during his undergraduate days) and music at Livingston High School, located 25 miles from Berea. At the same time, his wife, Marcella Felde, taught grades 5 through 8 at Fairview School.

During their time at Pine Mountain, the parents were employed as teachers and six of their seven children attended the Community School, the youngest being too young to attend. They came to Pine Mountain during an increase in the School’s student population and a re-structuring of the School’s grade levels.

Peter Rogers, the son of Burton Rogers, PMSS Director from 1949 to 1973, and Mary Rogers, founder of Environmental Education at PMSS, shares his recollections:

In the late 1950s, Pine Mountain added first the 9th grade and then the following year the 10th. At about the same time, the County asked Pine Mountain to also take in the older students (6th or 7th grade and up) from the Green Hills district to alleviate the overcrowding there. They also restructured the 7th through 10th grades into a “middle school” pattern with a fixed homeroom, but with students changing classroom for each subject while the teachers stayed with their own room and their own special subjects.
The Felde family came (evidently from Berea community) to teach in this new setup. I remember Mrs. Felde taught us 7th grade English in the room at the foot of the stairs in Burkham [Schoolhouse]. The Feldes also arranged several musical programs in the Chapel, sometimes including groups of students, sometime other staff, and sometimes visiting guests.

Whenever I hear or sing “Let us break bread together on our knees,” I think of Mr. Felde. No one had ever asked us to sing a song like that before. 

Peter Rogers, via email to PMSS, 12 July 2019

FELDE FAMILY: A Musical Group

The family was best known as the Felde Family Ensemble, a musical group that included the mother and father and their seven children. Featuring choral and instrumental music ranging from simple folk hymns to classical music, they performed concerts in a variety of places, including churches, schools, hospitals and military bases. Maurice Felde served as a tenor vocalist and director of the ensemble and Mrs. Felde was the accompanist. According to an article in The Louisville-Courier about a Felde Family concert in 1958, the five oldest children played instruments (violins, violas, and a cello) and all seven of them sang.

FELDE FAMILY: After Pine Mountain

The Feldes stayed in the area after leaving Pine Mountain Settlement School. The parents were teaching in public schools at Boone Heights, near Barbourville, Kentucky, when Peter Rogers last contacted them:

I soon lost track of the family. We visited them in Barbourville a few times after they left Pine Mountain and before they moved to Louisville where Noel and Sylvelin (and maybe some of the others) played in the Youth Orchestra and then the Louisville Orchestra. 

Peter Rogers, via email to PMSS, 12 July 2019

FELDE FAMILY: Family Background

Reverend Maurice Byron Felde was born December 1913, in Barnesville, Minnesota. He was one of five sons and three daughters of Mr. Mathias L. Felde (1874-1956), a merchant, and Mrs. Borghild Hansdotter Jahr Felde from Norway (1887–1969). A graduate of the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he became an ordained Lutheran minister. He held pastorates in North and South Dakota, and, at one time, he and his wife operated a day nursery in Minot, N.D. He died at the age of 86 in December 1999.

Maurice married Inez Judith Marcella Benson in Barnesville, Minnesota. Marcella was born February 1915 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Truman Harvey Benson, a Lutheran minister, and Tillie Benson. She graduated as an English and sociology major from St. Olaf College, a private liberal arts college of the Lutheran church in Northfield, Minnesota. There, she also studied piano and sang in many choirs. From 1938 to 1940 she was a social worker at Gilbert Henry Community Center, near Berea, Kentucky. She taught in Iowa schools and later in public schools at Boone Heights, near Barbourville, Kentucky, as well as at Pine Mountain. As of January 1963, less than a year before her death, she was teaching English at Parkland Junior High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

Marcella Felde died December 1964 at age 49 of leukemia and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Maurice and Marcella Felde had seven children: Noel Manly (b. 1945), Sylvilen Joy (b. 1946), Nathan (b. 1948), Marcus Paul Bach (b. 1950), Bryon (b. 1951), Jon Rockwell (1953), and Gloria (c. 1957).

Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z

TitleFelde Family
Alt. TitleFelde Family Ensemble ; Maurice Felde ; Marcella Felde ;
CreatorPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. CreatorHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Subject KeywordFelde Family ; Maurice Felde ; Marcella Felde ;
teachers ; Community School students ;
Peter Rogers ; Felde Family Ensemble ;
Subject LCSHFelde, Maurice, — 1913-1999.
Pine Mountain (Ky.) Settlement School — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Date2019-07-21 aae
PublisherPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
ContributorPeter Rogers, the son of Burton Rogers, PMSS
Director from 1949 to 1973, and Mary Rogers,
founder of Environmental Education at PMSS.
TypeCollections ; text ; image ;
FormatOriginal and copies of documents and
correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.
SourceSeries 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel, Students
Series 19: Students
RelationIs related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel,
Students and Series 19: Students.
1874 – 1999
Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;
Barbourville KY ; Louisville KY ; Boone Heights, KY ;
Barnesville, KY ; Minneapolis, MN ; Berea, KY ; Iowa ;
Northfield, MN ; North Dakota ; South Dakota ; Minot., ND ;
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.
DescriptionCore documents, correspondence, writings and
administrative papers created by or addressed to
members of the Felde Family ; clippings, photographs,
publications, illustrations by or about members of
the Felde Family.
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 Updated
BibliographyFelde, Maurice B. An Inquiry into the Curriculum of
the Talmud Torah Hebrew Day School As Index to the
Bible Background of the Average Jewish Child.
Thesis/Dissertation, 1947. Print.

Felde, Maurice B. Agape: Zhongguo ; with Love to
China. Poetry. Place of publication not identified:
publisher not identified, 1986. Print.

Felde, Maurice B. Shalom!: South Africa. Poetry. Place of
publication not identified: publisher not identified,
1987. Print.

Felde, Maurice B. Namastay. Poetry. Place of publication
not identified: publisher not identified, 1986. Print.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK12-5CL9 :
accessed 20 July 2019), Inez Judith Marcella
Benson Felde; Burial, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky,
United States of America, Cave Hill Cemetery;
citing record ID 144468089, Find a Grave,
http://www.findagrave.com. Internet resource.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch
accessed 20 July 2019), Mathias Felde; Burial,
Moorhead, Clay, Minnesota, United States of
America, Riverside Cemetery; citing record ID
69094258, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

STUDENT LIST.” Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel and
Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“Maurice Byron Felde” and “Inez Judith Marcella Felde
(Benson).” www. Geni.com. Internet resource.

“Minnesota, Clay and Steele County Obituaries, 1865-2006,”
database with images, FamilySearch,
accessed 20 July 2019) Reverend Maurice B Felde in
entry for Mr. Mathias L Felde, 1956;
citing local historical societies. Internet resource.

“Musical Felde Clan Due Here.” Courier-Journal, Louisville,
KY, 9 June 1963, page 22. [Includes group photograph
of entire family.] Internet resource.

Niles, Rena. “Musicians Are Born — Seven to One Family.”
Courier-Journal Magazine, Louisville, KY, 18 May 1958,
Pages 12-13. Internet resource.

“Teacher-Musician Mrs. Felde Dies.” Courier-Journal,
Louisville, KY, 14 Dec 1964, Page 13. Internet resource.