Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Willard Earl Enix, Student, 1935-1942
Willard Earl Enix (1925-1957)

Willard Enix Student

Willard Enix and Jack Halcomb working outside Laurel House, c. 1940. [pmss_enix_bishop_10_001 – edited-1.jpg]

TAGS: Willard Earl Enix, Willard Enix, Clyde Edward Enix, PMSS Students, Merchant Marines in WWII, PMSS printshop, Fred and Esther Burkhard, Berea (KY) College printshop, The Pine Cone, English country dancing, vocational education, Merchant Marines in WWII

WILLARD EARL ENIX Student, 1936-1942

In his later life, Clyde Enix, Willard Earl Enix’s brother, spoke often with his longtime friend, Esther Weller Burkhard, from Pine Mountain Settlement School. In those conversations, which Esther recorded in handwritten notes, Clyde proudly talked about his six siblings and reminisced about the tragedy that separated the siblings in 1935 and how the Clyde and Willard brought about the siblings’ reunion some ten years later. In particular, he focused on Willard and his abilities and achievements.

Esther’s notes were recently donated to the Archives of the Pine Mountain Settlement School and, consequently, have been used as a resource for this biography, along with other material already on file. Also helpful as a resource was Corinne Taylor Gregory’s article about the family titled “Christmas at Polly’s,” published in the November/-December 1982 issue of Back Home In Kentucky.

For more about the Enix family, the challenges the seven Enix children faced as orphans, and how they were brought together again, go to ENIX FAMILY and CLYDE EDWARD ENIX.


When Lula Enix, the children’s mother, died during childbirth on March 12, 1935, the two youngest Enix children (Carol and Bobby the baby) were cared for by relatives and two others were sent away to schools (Alta and Polly). Willard and Clyde Enix, along with their sister Janette, lived with their father, Ed Enix, until he unexpectedly died. They were then sent to Pine Mountain Settlement School as boarding students, Clyde in 1935, Janette for one year in 1936 (she moved on to Red Bird Settlement School in Bell County, Kentucky) and Willard in 1938.

Willard’s talents shone most brightly during his years, 1936-1942, as a Pine Mountain Settlement School boarding student. According to Clyde in his talks with Esther Burkhard, Willard and his sister Alta were already recognized as the musicians in the family and Clyde had “beautiful memories” of Willard’s singing.

Willard’s acting and singing talents were featured in the School’s 1940 production of H.M.S. Pinafore, a comic operetta by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan when he played the “First Lord of the Admiralty,” a leading part. Willard continued to apply his artistry as a tenor in later years, singing in opera and operettas while residing in the Miami, Florida, area.

Willard proved himself in other dramatic roles, as in the Good Friday presentation about the family of Jesus, Family Portrait, by Lenore Coffee and William Joyce Cowen. He portrayed one of the “Two Black Crows” in a 1940 Tomfoolery show and participated in the School’s traditional Nativity Play in the Chapel at Christmas 1942.

In the area of writing and publishing, Willard served as Assistant Manager for The Pine Cone, a student publication. One of his articles appeared on page 4 in the March 1942 Pine Cone, covering a 1941-42 visit to Pine Mountain by Virginia and Ray Garner, a film-making duo working under the auspices of the Harmon Foundation, who filmed campus activities. He described their film assignments in other locations after leaving Pine Mountain. He also planned much of the layout of the Conifer, a literary supplement to The Pine Cone.

His interest in the arts didn’t stop at singing, acting and writing. According to the January 1941 issue of The Pine Cone, he was part of a group of Pine Mountain students and staff that presented a series of English Country Dances at Loyall High School. And the May 1941 issue lists Willard as one of eight PMSS students in an exhibition at Wallins of several American, English, and Danish folk dances, including the Kentucky running set.

The February 1941 issue of The Pine Cone, reported on Willard’s work with another student, Frances Hall, on a project with the School’s Community Group: a recreation program at Creech School.

The skills that Willard learned in the PMSS print shop under teachers, August Angel and, later, Fred J. Burkhard, were to become crucial to his vocation in printing and publishing for most of his life. A December 1940 article in The Pine Cone reports on “Students Try Printing”:

Under the supervision of Mr. August Angel thirty students, twenty of them beginners at this trade, receive instructions in printing. The time is so planned that the students with a definite vocational interest in printing will receive the most training. A typical class period finds Oral Howard at the linotype setting up last minute PINE CONE copy while Bob Blanton is making up the pages. Willard Enix is running the big press and Ray Miller is working on the calendar. …

The Pine Cone, December 1940.

WILLARD EARL ENIX: After Pine Mountain

Clyde and Willard graduated from Pine Mountain in 1942 and the brothers moved on Berea (Kentucky) Academy, then Berea College, where they continued to study printing and publishing. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of World War II, they joined the Merchant Marines.

Returning to civilian life in 1946 and finding employment in Florida, the brothers set about encouraging their brothers and sisters, who lived in various parts of the U.S., to join them in Florida. In time, the project was happily accomplished, with all the siblings together in one place once again.

Willard Earl Enix was born on February 6, 1925, in Harlan, Kentucky, to Lula (Cole) Enix and Ed Enix. He had six siblings: Clyde Edward (b. 1922), Janette, Polly, Alta, Carol Jean (b. 1933), and Bobby (b. 1935).

Willard Enix suffered a heart attack and died in April 1957 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.

See Also:


Willard Earl Enix

Alt. Title

Willard Enix




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Willard Earl Enix ; Willard Enix ; Clyde Edward Enix ; PMSS Students ; Merchant Marines in WWII ; PMSS printshop ; Fred and Esther Burkhard ; Berea (KY) College printshop ; The Pine Cone ; English country dancing ; vocational education, Merchant Marines in WWII, ;

Subject LCSH

Enix, Willard Earl, — 1925 – 1957.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2020-05-11 AAE


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY


Esther Burkhard, teacher and wife of Clyde’s printing teacher at Pine Mountain Settlement School.


Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.


Series 09: Biography – Students
Series 19: Students




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Students and Series 19: Students.

Coverage Temporal

1922 – 1982

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; St. Petersburg, FL ; 


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 Willard Earl Enix ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Willard Earl Enix ;




“[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




Gregory, Corinne Taylor. “Christmas at Polly’s” article in Back Home in Kentucky, November/December 1982, pages 36-39. Print.

“WIllard Earl Enix.” Series 09: Biography and Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z