Dr. ABBY NOYES LITTLE Correspondence

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Dr. Abby Noyes Little Correspondence

DR. ABBY NOYES LITTLE Correspondence, 1926-1947

TAGS: Dr. Abby Noyes Little Correspondence, Aunt Sal’s Cabin, Ethel de Long Zande, Katherine Pettit, Dr. Alfreda Withington, donations, Miss Marian Purbrick, Dr. Ida Stapleton, Evelyn Wells, Glyn Morris, Oma Creech, Angela Melville, H.R.S. Benjamin, Creech Memorial Hospital

CONTENTS: Dr. Abby Noyes Little Correspondence

[little_abby_noyes_dr_001.jpg] through [little_abby_noyes_dr_028.jpg]

NOTE: All letters are typewritten. Letters from PMSS are unsigned carbon copies that were intended for the office files. Initials that often display at the lower left (along with those of the secretary) are clues to the identity of the sender.

The list below is in chronological order and not according to the numbering of the images.

All letters from Dr. Little were written from “Laconia State School, Laconia, N.H.”


005 March 18, 1926. To Dr. Abby Noyes Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande) who asks for a donation to Uncle William and Aunt Sals old log house. She describes the School’s acquisition of the log house and plans for its relocation and restoration:

“The first plan was that the house was to be restored in its present setting, [handwritten notation: behind the present dwelling], and furnished with Aunt Sal’s old things, — her loom, some weavings, the old chairs and pots and other implements. But now it is uncertain whether Columbus [Creech] will go on living at the old place, and the sons and daughters want the house moved down to the school grounds and set up here.

You can imagine the pleasure with which we make plans, — choose a site where it will look natural, plan the garden, with slips and cuttings from the bushes that grow about it now, so that Aunt Sal’s ‘roses and lilies’ will still bloom by her front door, collect things to go in it, and talk about the new shingles and chimney and floor that will have to be made. Bill Creech has been saving a poplar tree for years for the shingles. The boys are going to do much of the work of moving and setting up the house, and we … have promised to gather a sum of money to do the rest.”

Letter To Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), March 18, 1926. [little_abby_noyes_dr_005.jpg]

004 March 30, 1926. To Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), who thanks Little for a $5 contribution for “Uncle William’s old house.” We think we have had the most successful school year in the history of Pine Mountain. Our young people are developing more responsibility and initiative, qualities that will make them more valuable wherever they live. ….”

007 July 26, 1926. To Zande from Dr. Little, who sends a check to the School. Little is planning a visit to Pine Mountain with Zande’s and her friend, Miss Mary Dodge and asks the best time to do so and how to get there: “Is there any way of riding over the mountain except on mule back?” She mentions a letter from Miss Fawcett in Springfield and a visit by Miss Murdock, Miss Fitts and Miss Leonard. [Signed] “Affectionately, Abby N. Little.”

006 August 3, 1926. To Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), who thanks Little for her contribution. She welcomes Little and Miss [Mary] Dodge to visit in October, when Miss [Katherine] Pettit returns. The dental clinic will have ended in September. EZ encloses a leaflet with how to get to PMSS. Recommends reading Sandburg’s Life of Lincoln before arriving. “You will enjoy all the remnants of pioneer life here even more if you have just finished it.”

009 September 20, 1926. To Mrs. Zande from Dr. Little, who describes her plans for a week’s visit beginning on the 5th, after a night in Middlesborough (sic). She will send her clothing by parcel post.

008 September 24, 1926. To Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), who gives directions on how to travel to Pine Mountain: “by freight,” on the Cincinnati sleeper changing at Pineville to the local train. Recommends the Cumberland Hotel in Middlesboro. Answers that PMSS doesn’t have a stereoptican, but does have a moving picture machine to show Little’s Near East slides to the children. Mentions that Little may see Miss [Ruth] Gaines and Miss [Evelyn K.] Wells.

011 November 30, 1926. Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande). She received Little’s check; is recovering from her illness; and shares an amusing response that Dopha, a student, gave to Mrs. Hottenstein. 

013 December 16, 1926. To Dr. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), who enjoyed the “snaps” and will ask for copies of some of them; appreciated the Christmas books; has sent baskets to Little to be used as presents. The children are working on the House pantomimes and pageants. “Granny Creech’s son Denver died this morning. He has been sick, had a bad heart, and last took twenty grains of aspirin for a headache. His wife is about to have a fourth baby too.”

014 December 30, 1926. To Dr. Little from “KP” (Katherine Pettit), who thanks Little for the pictures; tells of Dr. [Alfreda] Withingtons recovery, walking “on the terrace back of the Infirmary”; describes the Nativity Scene in the Chapel.


012 December 15, 1927. To Dr. A.N. Little from “EZ” (Ethel Zande), who sends appreciation for her letter and a package of books. EZ describes Christmas preparations; Miss Dodge sent The Life of Peary, which is interesting Luigi (Zande).


001 September 28, 1928. To Dr. Abby Noyes Little from “AM” (likely Angela Melville). As requested, the writer encloses March 1920 Notes, which has an account of Christmas and asks Little to return it for PMSS files. AM describes the autumn weather and how well everyone is, including over 100 children in “our large family” and Miss [Katherine] Pettit. AM relates campus news:

Dr. Withington comes back tomorrow from her vacation and will be here for a week inspecting our children. Our new Newburyport nurse, Miss [Marian] Purbrick, an English woman who has lived in Massachusetts most of her life I think, is very fine. … Line Fork is probably having its most ideal period under the present regime. Mrs. [Ida] Stapleton is a doctor and they are just neighbors to the whole valley, tying it together through the example of their own lives. Besides this, Mr. Stapleton has a singing school which is much appreciated.

Evelyn Wells is going to work in Pittsburg (sic) this winter teaching folk dances to different groups there. She is now with her sister, Mrs. Holt…. The fair tomorrow!….”

Letter to Dr. Abby Noyes Little from Angela Melville, September 28, 1928. [abby_noyes_dr_001.jpg]


002 and 015 [DUPLICATES] May 7, 1935. To Dr. Little. “Dictated by Mr. [Glyn] Morris but signed in his absence.” A thank-you letter for Little’s gift of $10 and containing PMSS healthcare-related news:

“...Oma Creech finished her course at the Louisville Medical School last spring, and has spent the past winter as interne (sic) in the New England Hospital for Women in Boston…. She was in an accident a few weeks ago. She was struck by a car on the street, and painfully, but not permanently injured. She is recovering very nicely now…. We are all very proud of Oma — she has, I think, an objective view of the mountain problem, and with her sincerity and good common sense, contribute something rich and lasting to life in the mountains.”

Letter to Dr. Abby Noyes Little from Glyn Morris, May 7, 1935. [abby_noyes_dr_015.jpg]


010 November 10, 1936 (unclear, possibly 1926?). To Dr. Little from “KP,” (Katherine Pettit). “I am going to save your letter…to show to people who like to know about your work.”


003 and 016 [DUPLICATES] January 12, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. The letter thanks Little for the books that she sent to PMSS. The Community party was held for 250 neighbors, including former students, in the Laurel House dining room to celebrate the Christmas season.

017 March 17, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. Plans to visit Miss Wolf at the Medical Settlement and ask her summer plans before answering Little’s March 13th letter asking whether Miss Angela Melville can stay at the Medical Settlement. Appreciated Little’s offer to help financially.

018 May 8, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. Nothing definite yet concerning Miss Melville’s going to Medical Settlement for a month; waiting to hear from Miss Melville.

019 June 22, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. “It has been arranged by Miss Angela Melville to come to Medical Settlement for the month of July.” Asks about Little’s offer to help financially.

020 June 27, 1939. To Morris from Dr. Little ( letterhead shows her name and address). Asks for clarification of his letter of June 22 concerning her offer to financially help with funding Miss Melville’s position. She is willing to pay traveling expenses and asks about actual costs. [Signed] “Abby N. Little.”

021 July 4, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. The letter apologizes for the misunderstand and explains: “Our salary of fifty dollars a month, plus…maintenance will make it possible for Miss Melvill to meet all of her expenses so unless you have a wish to share in this it will not be necessary for you to make a gift.

022 July 12, 1939. To Dr. Little from [unsigned, apparently Glyn Morris]. Thanks her for her gift of $25 for Miss Melville; will send a pamphlet about PMSS’s Cooperative Store.


023 February 21, 1946. To Dr. Little from H.R.S. Benjamin, who thanks Little for the books she sent; describes the Book Party, to which attendees came dressed as characters in books. “…[W]e depend almost entirely on our own resources for our recreation and this party was another splendid example of the way staff and students meet such necessity.”

024 April 27, 1946. To Mr. Benjamin from Dr. Little, who asks if a hospital would be made a memorial building for Uncle William and Aunt Sal, as she read in a Pine Cone. If so, she would “like to add my bit.”

025 May 5, 1946. To Dr. Little from Mr. Benjamin. In answer to Little’s question, Benjamin writes, “We have every intention of erecting a new hospital here. Plans must go very slowly just now as materials are impossible to obtain, but we hold to our determination that in a few years we will have such a memorial” and welcomes donations.

026 May 16, 1946. To Mr. C.N. Manning, PMSS Treasurer, Lexington, KY, from Dr. Little, sending $200 for the PMSS Hospital fund. Signed “Abby N. Little.”

027 May 25, 1946. To Dr. Little from Mr. Benjamin, expressing the School’s gratitude for her $200 gift to the Creech Memorial Hospital, bringing the total gifts received to just past $5,000. The School is planning for the hospital although lacking in materials and enough money. It is hoped that aid will come through grants.


028 December 17, 1947. To Dr. Little from Mr. Benjamin, who thanks her for sendingReader’s Digest again this year. The students enjoy it so much….”-

See Also ABBY NOYES LITTLE Staff – Biography