Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Ruby Ethel Hamilton (1919-2000)
Student Records and Correspondence 1935-1936

RUBY HAMILTON Student Records

Ruby Ethel Hamilton correspondence, May 2, 1935, p. 1. [hamilton_ruby_1935-36-12-scaled]

RUBY ETHEL HAMILTON Student Records and Correspondence 1935-1946

TAGS: Ruby Ethel Hamilton, Ruby Hamilton, student records, PMSS boarding students, coal miners, Esther Layne Hamilton, Hamilton family, coal camps, National Youth Administration, summer work


[Note: In the PMSS Collections, letters from Glyn Morris, Director, are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed documents were sent to the correspondents. Letters from Ruby Hamilton and Mrs. Henry Hamilton are handwritten.]

[Slightly edited for clarity.]


01 (5 pages, N.D.) MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Ruby Ethel Hamilton
Born: May 15, 1919, in Seco [Kentucky]. Address: Hot Spot.
I have been living in a camp for three years.
Father: Henry Hamilton, who died 6 weeks ago. A miner, born in Tenn.
Mother’s maiden name: Layne, born in Tenn., completed 6 grades.
02 I have 4 brothers, all are married and work as miners: A.W. (age 22), Clyde (37), Charles (29 when he died), John (27). I have two sisters: Mae and Violet (age 12, 4th grade at Hot Spot School). Description of home.
03 Books at home (4), subscriptions, musical instruments (“Victrola”), duties. My education thus far and plans for more: Schools attended were Hot Spot and Blue Diamond; “I should like to stay in school through the 12th grade and then take 4 years in “college – ‘If I could.’”
04 My interests: Read, sew; my favorite studies: hygiene, history, English; future occupation preferences: stenographer, nurse.
05 When I finish school I would like to live in the city “Because you can go to places you can’t in [the] country, see so much excitement.”

Daughter: Ruby F(?) Hamilton. Born in Seco, Ky. Address: Hot Spot, Ky.
Father: Henry Hamilton. Born in Tenn., age: 57. “Died 6 weeks ago.” Was a miner and farmer.
Mother: Maiden Name: Ester [sic, Esther] Layne. Born in Tenn., age 53; education: 6th grade. Occupations since marriage: Fancy work, canning, baking, gardening, dairying, flower raising.
07 Lived in present community for 13 years. Also lived in Seco and Victoria(?), Tenn. Brothers and sisters: [see above]. Present members of household: “Ruby, Violet, and mother.”
08 Home is heated by stove and lighted by electricity; no running water; 4 rooms.
09 General description of home: “coal-camp house.” Chief crops: beans, tomatoes, cabbage, okra. Home duties; Recreation.
10 Illnesses (tonsillitis); Education data; Prefers to play indoors, reading.
11 Outdoor play (basketball); Parents’ preference for child; Social attitude or tendencies.

12 May 2, 1935. To Glyn Morris, PMSS [director], from Ruby Hamilton, Hot Spot, Ky., asking to be admitted into PMSS. She is 15 years old and in the eighth grade. “I want to work my way through if you allow it.”
13 May 7, 1935. To Ruth (sic) Hamilton from Morris, who encloses an application.

14-15 May 11, 1935. Two-page letter to Morris from Ruby. “…[T]he reason I want to go to school over there is, my parents are poor and cannot pay for an education and I want to work my way through anyway.”

16 July 30, 1935. To Ruby from Morris, telling her he has “found someone [N.Y.A. – National Youth Administration] who will loan you your entrance fee of ten dollars.” He is sending her the school catalog.

17 August 7, 1935. To Morris from Ruby, confirming that she will be coming to Pine Mountain School and thanking him for borrowing her entrance fee.

18 December 31, 1935. To Mr. (sic) Henry Hamilton, Hot Spot, KY, from Morris. 

Beginning with last year we adopted the policy at Pine Mountain of writing a letter to the parents of our students rather than sending a report card. We believe that you will like the letter much better because it will explain more in detail just exactly what Ruby is doing at school. 

Ruby studies hard, and makes average grades. She is doing about all that she can do. Her work in weaving is fair and I believe that she needs encouragement and praise from her family.



20 May 6, 1936. To Mr. (sic) Hamilton from Morris, asking for thoughts about Ruby staying at PMSS for the summer in a special program to work “several hours a day to pay for [her] board and the rest of the time will be given over to supervised activities, such as swimming, hiking, handcrafts, etc.” Ruby has  shown a “desire to spend her last eight weeks of the summer here.”
21 [N.D.] To Morris from Mrs. Henry Hamilton. “Very sorry Ruby can’t come home but you know best for her. Will leave it to you and Ruby.”
22 May 9, 1936. Memo to Ruby from [unsigned] on PMSS letterhead, asking her to sign the memo to confirm that she is “planning to work for [her] board during the seven weeks of the summer, July 12 – August 29.”

23 June 1, 1936. PMSS receipt  from “B.F., Cashier” for Ruby’s payment of $6.00.


25 June 28, 1936. To Mrs. Henry Hamilton from Morris, reporting on Ruby’s work. 

She did better industrially than academically and we consider this very important. We think Ruby made a fine adjustment to Pine Mountain and will be glad to have her come back during the coming year.

26 July 21, 1936. To Morris from Ruby, confirming that she “shall be more than pleased to come back to Pine Mountain the following year….” She hasn’t the entrance fee now and asks if she can pay later.

30 Image of file folder, labeled “Hamilton, Ruby, 1935-36.”


[Note: Images of the full set of student records are considered private material and are not generally publicly displayed. Their access may be provided on request, pending approval of Pine Mountain Settlement School and the archivist of the PMSS Collections. Contact the main PMSS Office for information.]

27 TEACHERS’ EVALUATIONS, September 6, 1935, through May 7, 1936.
28 [N.D.] SCHOOL RECORD: Ruby Hamilton’s grades.
29 ATTENDANCE AND CHARACTER RECORD: No name or entries, except under “Obedience.”

(30 Images)

See Also:
RUBY ETHEL HAMILTON Student – Biography