Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: STUDENTS
James Herbert Hall Correspondence

JAMES HERBERT HALL Correspondence, 1942-1943

TAGS: James Herbert Hall correspondence, student records, student autobiographies, student applications, student letters to parents, student evaluations by teachers

CONTENTS: James Herbert Hall Correspondence

Application to Pine Mountain Settlement School

01 N.D. MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY- Application form with handwritten entries. 

I. Facts About Myself

Name: Herbert Hall
Address: Viper, Ky.
Born: September 13, 1927, at Viper, Ky.

II. My Family

Father: Joe Hall, age 54, born in Viper, Ky. Education: 3 grades in the elementary school. Present occupation: mason – farmer. Has also been a carpenter & miner. …

Mother: Ida Young Hall, 50 years old, born in Leatherwood, Ky. Education: 6 grades in the elementary school. …


Mother’s occupation: Home

I have 2 brothers and 6 sisters. 
Those who left school (all married): 
Ruby, age 32, reached grade 10
Delmar, 30, reached grade 8, mechanic
Sue [Susie], 28, 1 year college
Mable, 26, reached grade 10, lives in a city|
June, 24, reached grade 12
Cora Lee, 20, reached grade 10

Those now in school:
Opal, age 18, at Pine Mt., Ky., grade 11
Corbett, age 17, at Pine Mt., Ky., grade 10

III. Our Home

We own the home in which we live. We own 60 acres of land. The chief crops on our farm are corn & vegetables. We have no car, no truck, 6 head of stock…..I live a distance of 1 mile from school and reach it by walking. Our home is unpainted, heated by a fireplace and lighted by kerosene lamp. We have no running water. We get water from a spring. We have 7 rooms: living room, 


and 4 bedrooms. … We have about 100 books in our home. We take these magazines and papers: Grit, Reader’s Digest, American Farmers Journal. We have these musical instruments: Violin, guitar, banjo
Home duties: Feeding stock, kindling, water, going to store
My occasional duties are: Helping with sawmill

My Education Thus Far and Plans for More:
School: Viper, Ky, grades 1 – 8
I should like to stay in school through the 12 grade, and then take 4 years in college. My parents would like me to stay in school through the 12th grade and then take 4 years in college or trade school.

What I like: My Interests: When I have time of my own…: Fish – hunt – work in garden
I like best these kinds of reading: Travel – adventure
The studies I like best…: All
My future occupation: My father/mother would like me to be a: never says

VII. Group Contacts: I attend no Church….


Birthplace/Address: Viper, Kentucky

Father: Joe. Birthplace, Viper, Ky., Age 54, Education 3rd grade, Occupation: Farm & Mason, Previous occupations, Carpenter, Sawmill operator, coal miner
Landowner of 60 acres
54 years in present community
Activities and Interests: Storytelling – just sitting around home.

Mother: Ida; Education: 6th grade

Occupation before marriage: Home
Occupation since marriage (in addition to regular home work): Needlework, canning, baking, gardening, dairying, poultry raising, flower raising, sewing, fruit raising.
50 years in present community

Brothers and Sisters
Ruby, (age) 32, (amount of education) 10th grade – married
Delmar, 30, 8th grade – married
Sue, 28, 1 year college – married
Mable, 26, 10th grade – married
June, 24, 12th grade – married
Cora Lee, 20, 10th grade – married

Present members of household: Joe–father, Ida–mother, Opal–sister, Corbett–brother

Location: Side Road
Distance from School 1 mile; Church 3/4 mile; Town 9 miles
Nearest neighbor 100 yds; Nearest doctor 5 miles.
Family recreations: Storytelling – sitting about home
Number of trips to town weekly 1 by father, mother.
Books in home: 100


Magazines and papers: Reader’s Digest, Ladies Home Journal, Life, Farm Journal, American
Musical instruments: Violin, banjo, guitar, harmonica
Who uses them: The whole family

Construction and arrangement of home:
Frame; unpainted
Heated by: open fireplaces
Running water? No
Number of rooms: 7; Number of sleeping rooms: 4
Bath? No; Living room? Yes.
Labor saving devices in home: Sewing machine
Outside help for: farming

Farm Duties: Milking, feeding stock, plowing, hoeing – cultivating, etc.


General description of home: Bare but clean.
Yard: Flowers
Farm: Corn, vegetables, pasture
Truck, Tractor, Car? No

Home duties (Herbert): Carry water, Plow – cultivate, Feed Stock, Wash dishes
Recreation (Herbert): parties, hikes, picnics, movies
With whom? Mother
Does (Herbert) like to go visiting in the neighborhood? Yes – decidedly.


PHYSICAL DATA:  Colds, Headaches? Rarely…. No serious illness.


… Attitude toward school? He likes school, placing it first in all his activities. He wants to go to school.
What are the reasons for this attitude? Because of the influence his brother-in-law has made on him and because he sees his brother and sisters so much away at school.
… Are you planning to send him to college? Yes, if possible.
Where? Berea. …


INTERESTS: Prefers outdoors
What does he like to do indoors? Read, listen to stories of older folks, tools, bicycle
Outdoors? Fish, play – hike, hunt, bicycle

PARENT’S OCCUPATIONAL PREFERENCE FOR CHILD: …When he finishes his education? Have a trade or profession. …

Letter to Parents, December 1942

15 December 18, 1942. Handwritten letter to Mr. Joe Hall, Viper, Ky, from Herbert Hall at Pine Mountain School, Pine Mountain, KY, page 1. “Dear Parents, The time of the year has come for all the students here at Pine Mt. …to write their parents and tell them how they [are doing] in their school work and play through the year.”

Industrial work: makes bed; takes turns with other students to sweep the bedroom floor for a week. Housemother: Mrs. Rogers.
“I worked at the barn the first nine weeks and… learned to take care of the cows and keep the barn clean.” Supervisor: Lloyd Lewis. “I did my best to earn my board.”

16 Herbert’s December 1942 letter to his parents, page 2. Currently working at the woodwork shop. “I have learned many good jobs that I could do at home. I also learned how to use different kinds of tools and machines, some of them are some that I have never seen before.”

Study habits: “I waste a lot of time when I should be studying. … From studying hard I have learned that it does help in my classes…and from now [on] I will try.” He writes that he is learning to make better use of the library which he goes to about three times a week.

17 Herbert’s December 1942 letter to his parents, page 3.  “I have a very good Civics teacher…and I have learned many things about our country and other countries and people.”
In science class, he learned to survey…teacher: Miss [Alice Joy] Keith.

“My teacher seems to be the best science teacher that I have ever had. Because a person doesn’t make good grades they should not blame their teacher. I have had good reports from Miss Keith and have had some bad ones, but I am improving more every day.”

He writes about his classes in American History and Bible.

18 Herbert’s December 1942 letter to his parents, page 4. There are no classes this year in mechanics, printing or art due to lack of teachers.

Home Ec: He learned to cook and sew by hand and machine; he can mend and iron his own clothes.
Mentions dancing classes, scouting. “I am almost a second class scout now. Joining the scouts and living up to the oath and law is about the best event that I have done since I have been over here. … Your son, Herbert H.”

Letter to Parents, [No Date]

19 N.D. Handwritten letter to “Dear Parents” from Herbert Hall at Pine Mountain School, Pine Mountain, KY. page 1. Herbert begins his letter by describing his Industrial Work: He describes his woodworking class and his work as a kitchen boy. 

20 Herbert’s [N.D.] letter to his parents, page 2. He helped the dietician by getting vegetables and cleaning the rooms. In the Barn, Herbert learned to care for and herd the cows and cleaned the Barn. His supervisor was a high school senior.

“My study habits have been very poor but I have been studying pretty hard these last few weeks. I have made pretty good use of the library….” but feels he could do better. “In some classes I have made poor and I can not lay the blame on my teachers….”

21 Herbert’s [N.D.] letter to his parents, page 3. Describes his classes in civics, woodwork classes, American History and science; sports activities 

22 Herbert’s [N.D.] letter to his parents, page 4. Describes his classes in Bible and home economics. “I could make more friends by behaving in the house…being fair to everyone and not say[ing] ill words to them and also by not acting the fool around them.” He writes that he doesn’t always make good use of his free time; sometimes he earns money in his free time; “sometimes I study but not always. …I am learning to take responsibility of a job when it is handed to me….’


24 Herbert’s [N.D.] letter to his parents, page 5. “I won a prize at the book party and was next to the high man in the field day meet. Your son, Herbert Hall.”

Letter to Parents, December 1943

25 December 16, 1943. Handwritten letter to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hall, Viper, Kentucky, from Herbert Hall at Pine Mountain School, Pine Mountain, KY. page 1. He writes about his accomplishments in the previous semester: In Economics in Everyday Life by Goodman and Moore, he learned about the Grange(?) League Federation and operations of big businesses. English, taught by Miss [Minerva M.] Sparrow, includes literature and grammar. In Biology, he learned about classifying plants and animals, has taken hikes, studied plants and animals.

26 Herbert’s December 1943, letter to his parents, page 2. In Mechanics, Mr. Pinkie (sic) is teaching driving a car. Miss Smith teaches music. In Co-op, his class “organized the store by selling shares at twenty-five cents each. Each week a Co-op student goes to Harlan to shop for the store. I have gone once and I sure did learn a lot. I made a deposit at the bank and did a lot of shopping for the workers and the store. We have learned about co-ops all over the world….” He names several co-ops in other states.

27 Herbert’s December 1943, letter to his parents, page 3. He has clerked in the co-op store, did bookkeeping, “gives out 24 1/2 percent rebate back on a dollar and one cent interest on each share. We find the rebate by dividing the net profit by the sales to shareholders.” 

“My conduct in the house is not too good. I make a lot of noise and have been called down a few times.” He describes his “everyday work” on the farm and in the laundry. “I can be a more helpful and thoughtful member of the school by being more polite and use my manners more.” He writes that being a good scout and helping others is his most meaningful event on the campus.

28 Herbert’s December 1943, letter to his parents, page 4. “I have read some interesting books and usually read the news but I should study more and I will try. Yours truly, Herbert Hall.”

Student Evaluations by Teachers

29 Fall 1942-43. Subject: Science and Geography. Instructor: Alice Joy Keith.”Has a natural hunch for scientific principles. A very satisfactory record throughout the term….” Lists the contents of the course that he had mastered. May 28, 1943: “Very quiet and unassuming…Cooperation: good. Sometimes inattentive dreaming.” 

30 December 23, 1943. Subject; Auto Mech. Instructor: Roland F. Pinke.”Herbert is a good student when he gets down to business, but he thinks of constantly having a good time. He enjoys acting up in the class and getting them all to laugh at him….If you constantly keep after him he is a good student and a good worker….”

31 December 16, 1943. Subject: English. Instructor: M.M. Sparrow. “…[H]e does good work but too frequently he has other things much more pleasurable than study….I think him capable of much better work.”

32 December 20, 1943. Subject: Economics. Instructor: Gladys Hill. “He profits much by drill and special teaching.”

33 December 20, 1943. Subject: Biology. Instructor: Alice Joy Keith. “A natural observer, drawing clear-headed conclusions. Would rather play than study…does good, studious work when alone. Draws well….Excellent written work on self-tests….Probably knows more biology by now than most of the class.”

34 Sticker: “Box 43, Series II”

See Also: JAMES HERBERT HALL Student – Biography

GALLERY: James Herbert Hall Correspondence
(34 images, 01 through 034)