Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Visitors, Scholars
WILLIAM D. FUNKHOUSER Visitor, Cliff Dwelling Excavator 1923
TAGS: William D. Funkhouser VIsitor, William Delbert Funkhouser, prehistoric peoples, Indian Cliff Dwelling, William S. Webb, Dr. Arthur M. Miller, Victor K. Dodge, anthropology, archaeology, excavation, University of Kentucky
William D. Funkhouser’s deep interest in Kentucky’s prehistoric native peoples and their artifacts and sites brought him to Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1923, soon after the discovery by a student of the Indian Cliff Dwelling on the School’s property. The School staff, sensing the archaeological value of the Cliff Dwelling, summoned Professor Funkhouser, a zoologist at the University of Kentucky (UK) recruited Dr. Arthur M. Miller, a UK geologist, and Victor K. Dodge, a businessman. The two latter men shared Dr. Funkhouser’s interest in anthropology and archaeology and all were knowledgeable in excavating Native American sites in a systematic manner.
Soon after the Cliff Dwelling excavation, Funkhouser and his colleagues, under the guidance of Professor William S. Webb, shaped the first Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at UK, gaining departmental status in 1926. The Department of Anthropology’s history page on the university’s website celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2016, stating, “Much of what is known about Kentucky’s prehistory is a result of Webb and Funkhouser’s early efforts.”
Funkhouser described his work at Pine Mountain in a short summary found in the important work, Ancient Life in Kentucky: A Brief Presentation of the Paleontological Succession in Kentucky Coupled with a Systematic Outline of the Archaeology of the Commonwealth, co-edited with William S. Webb in 1928 and considered a seminal work on Kentucky archaeology.
WILLIAM D. FUNKHOUSER Visitor: Background
William Delbert Funkhouser was born in Rockport, Indiana, on March 13, 1881, the first child of Hugh C. Funkhouser, a piano salesman, and Laura J. Funkhouser. As of the 1900 U.S. Census, he had three brothers and two sisters.
After graduating with honors from Wabash College in 1905 and teaching in high schools, he earned an M.A. degree in 1912 and a Ph.d. from Cornell University in 1916. He married Josephine Kinney Funkhouser (1881-1972).
In 1918 Funkhouser became a professor of zoology and the head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Kentucky (UK). He held that position for the rest of his life. He also became a professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology after he and Webb had established that department. From 1925 he served as dean of UK’s Graduate School.
He was a prolific writer on subjects in his fields of interest. According to his obituary in AAAS Science Magazine, he produced 327 publications. In addition, he received numerous honors and held memberships and offices in learned societies. The Science obituary described him as well-liked by all those who were associated with him, including two generations of students, who appreciated his easygoing way of presenting deeply engaging lectures.
William D. Funkhouser died in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 9, 1948. He and his wife are buried in the Lexington (KY) Cemetery.
For more about the Indian Cliff Dwelling and its excavation, go to
ARTHUR M. MILLER Visitor – Biography
INDIAN CLIFF DWELLING History
INDIAN CLIFF Ancient Relics Discovered by Mountain Girl Newspaper Story
NOTES of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, November 1926
VICTOR K. DODGE Visitor – Biography
Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z
|Title||William D. Funkhouser|
|Alt. Title||William Delbert Funkhouser ; Professor Funkhouser ;|
|Creator||Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY|
|Alt. Creator||Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt|
|Subject Keyword||William D. Funkhouser ; William Delbert Funkhouser; |
prehistoric peoples, Indian Cliff Dwelling, William S. Webb,
Dr. Arthur M. Miller, Victor K. Dodge, anthropology,
excavation, University of Kentucky
|Subject LCSH||Funkhouser, William Delbert, — 1881 – 1948.|
Pine Mountain (Ky.) Settlement School — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Kentucky — Antiquities.
Prehistoric peoples — Kentucky.
Paleontology — Kentucky.
Indians of North America — Kentucky — Antiquities.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
|Publisher||Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY|
|Type||Collections ; text ; image ;|
|Format||Original and copies of documents and correspondence in |
file folders in
|Source||Series 09: Biography – Scholars|
|Relation||Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School |
Collections, Series 09: Biography – Scholars.
|1881 – 1948|
|Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lexington, KY ; |
Rockport, IN ; Ithaca, NY ;
|Rights||Any display, publication or public use must |
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items
by United States copyright law.
|Description||Core documents, correspondence, writings and |
administrative papers created by or addressed to
William D. Funkhouser ; clippings, photographs, publications,
illustrations by or about William D. Funkhouser.
|Citation||“[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 ;|
|Bibliography||William D. Funkhouser was a prolific writer, having produced |
327 publications. Go to INDIAN CLIFF DWELLING for a partial
listing of his papers and books.
Funkhouser, William D, and William S. Webb. Ancient Life in
Kentucky: A Brief Presentation of the Paleontological Succession
in Kentucky Coupled with a Systematic Outline of the Archaeology
of the Commonwealth. Frankfort, Ky: The Kentucky Geological
Survey, 1928. Print.
“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch
accessed 23 July 2019), Josephine K Funkhouser, 1972; Burial,
Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States of America,
Lexington Cemetery; citing record ID 57034171,
Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.
“Obituary: William D. Funkhouser. “AAAS SCIENCE
Magazine. December 24, 1948, Vol. 108, p. 726.
University of Kentucky, Department of Anthropology and
Archaeology website. https://anthropology.as.uky.edu/
anthropology-history. Internet resource.
“United States Census, 1900,” database with images,
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9MS-GJB : accessed
23 July 2019), William D Funkhouser in household of
Hugh C Funkhouser, Center Township, Precinct 1 Indianapolis
city Ward 1, Marion, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration
district ED) 19, sheet 11A, family 228, NARA microfilm
publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives
and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,387.
“United States Census, 1930,” database with images,
accessed 23 July 2019), William D Funkhouser,
Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States; citing
enumeration district (ED) ED 8, sheet 8B, line 86, family 202,
NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National
Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 743; FHL
microfilm 2,340,478. Internet resource.
“William D. Funkhouser.” INDIAN CLIFF DWELLING. Series 09:
Biography – Scholars and Series 10: Built Environment.
Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers.
Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.