Dr and Mrs WILMER S LEHMAN Correspondence

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Dr and Mrs Wilmer S Lehman Correspondence

Dr and Mrs WILMER S LEHMAN Correspondence

Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman Correspondence, Feb. 1938 – April 1960
Staff Physician, April 1938 – June 1939
Mrs. Anna M. Lehman, Teacher, April 1938 – June 1939

TAGS: Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman, physicians, doctors, missionaries, Anna M. Lehman, Glyn Morris, Cameroun, West Africa, Dr. Krooser, Frontier Nursing Service, Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church, Dr. L.E. Smith, medical licensure, Mr. and Mrs. Love, Berea Kentucky, Grace Rood, Sanford Lehman, Dr. Murphy Howard, Elizabeth J. Lehman

CONTENTS: Dr and Mrs Wilmer S Lehman Correspondence, 1938 – 1960
Images 001 – 035

[Note: All letters from PMSS staff are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned and meant for the Office files. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in order of the image numbers.]

[001] [001a] February 15, 1938. To Dr. W.S. Lehman, Cincinnati, OH, from [unsigned, likely Glyn A. Morris, Director]. [001]. Informed by “Miss Anna M. Scott, Secretary for Personnel Service, Department of Missionary Operation of the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian” that Lehman is interested in “doing medical work in the mountains,” he informs Lehman that the School is currently looking for a physician for the School and “our scattered community.” Morris encloses literature; describes the Infirmary which has seven beds, a trained nurse in charge and a small operating room. Describes the School’s location; medical service in the surrounding community; “nurse aide” program; former health association; salary of $150 including maintenance (housing, board, laundry, heat and light) and one month vacation with salary; traveling is done by car and occasionally by horseback. [001a] Lehman, if interested, should send names of references and arrange a possible visit.

[002] February 21, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Wilmer S. Lehman in Cincinnati, OH, who expressed interest in the work that Morris described; had been in Cameroun (sic, Cameroon), West Africa, since 1898, but left due to his wife’s health; is 65 years old; provided addresses of references. 

[003] March 2, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman, who plans on visiting PMSS when he gets a car; has consulted with a friend, Dr. L. E. Smith of Louisville who lived in eastern KY. “Mrs. Lehman has been a school teacher and would be glad to help with the young people.” He would like to visit Mr. Deaton at Wooton and Mr. and Mrs. Love at Berea en route to PMSS.

[004] March 3, 1938. To Lehman from Morris, who awaits Lehman’s plans to visit PMSS.

[005] March 6, 1938. Handwritten postcard to Morris from Lehman, with the dates of his planned visit. [005a] Address side.

[006] March 7, 1938. To Lehman from Morris, who gives the dates he will be away from PMSS.

[007] [007a] March 15, 1938. Two-page typewritten letter to Morris from L.E. Smith, M.D., Executive Secretary on letterhead for Kentucky Tuberculosis Association, Louisville, KY. “I am always glad to hear from you…” Writes positively about Dr. Lehman, who he hasn’t seen for the last five or six years, but has known him for a long time. “He was one of our best men on the field and did as fine a piece of work as any missionary under the Presbyterian Board could have done. … many of the problems met in the mountain field are just line the problems met in Africa. … I think whatever Dr. Lehman may have lost in a way of keeping abreast of the time[s] would be amply compensated for by his other qualifications….” Dr. Smith sees an “opportunity to open up a new phase of medical education established more along the public health line. That is through clinics, education and up-lifting programs that will throw the responsibility [007a] back on the people and make it easier on the physician. …I had rather have a man like Dr. Lehman, who loves people and loves to serve humanity than to have a more ‘up-to-date’ man with the disposition of the more modern physician.”

[008] March 15, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman after his visit to PMSS; also visited the Deatons and Dr. Krooser of the Frontier Nursing Service; will give Morris his decision in two weeks.

[009] [009a] March 21, 1938. Two-page typewritten letter to Morris from Dr. Gwilym Davies in Waukesla(?), Wisconsin, who has known Lehman for “the past four years and during that time I have come to respect him a great deal as a man and as a doctor.” They have worked together at times on patients. “Dr. Lehman was held in high esteem by the French doctors of Cameroun” and the mission doctors. [009a] Describes how Lehman combined his “ability in medicine with his evangelistic ability.”

[010] March 26, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman. Has accepted the PMSS position and will arrive in April; asks about available medical equipment and supplies; Mrs. Lehman asks about bedding and towels, etc.

[011] [011a] March 29, 1938. Two-page letter to Lehman from Morris, [011] who is happy Lehman has accepted; asks if he would agree to a 6-month trial period; the School supplies all medical equipment that he will need. Suggests re-establishing a Health Association. [011a] The School also supplies all bedding and towels. Morris asks Lehman to come as soon as possible.

[012] March 31, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman, who agrees to a 6-month trial period; asks whether a Kentucky license is required.

[013] N.D. Handwritten note to Mr. [Arthur W.] Dodd from Lehman in Wooster, OH, who “left Mrs. Lehman at Peewee Valley Sanitarium near Louisville and expect to be there again the 20th and see how it is with her. If it seems wise [I’ll] bring her back to Pine Mountain, otherwise leave her there for three weeks more. It is possible our son Sanford has been there….” He expects to be at PMSS on the 21st or 22nd and will bring a few things for the Infirmary.

[014] April 2, 1938. Western Union telegram to Morris from W.S. Lehman in Cincinnati, OH, who will arrive at PMSS on April 12th.

[015] April 4, 1938. To Lehman from [unsigned], who acknowledged receipt of Lehman’s letter and telegram; is writing to Dr. Murphy Howard in Harlan, President of the Kentucky Medical Association, to ask about a Kentucky license.

[016] April 5, 1938. To Dr. Murphy Howard, Harlan, KY, from [unsigned] asking about the procedure to have Lehman licensed in Kentucky.

[017] April 8, 1938. Typewritten letter to Morris from E.M. Howard, M.D., President of State Board of Health of Kentucky in Harlan, who advises Morris on the proper procedure for Dr. Lehman to obtain a Kentucky license.

[018] April 18, 1938. To Dr. A.T. McCormack in Louisville, Kentucky, from [unsigned], who asks if the $50 licensing fee can be waived, considering he will be serving “the underprivileged people in our community who will be unable to pay….”


[019] June 6, 1939. To “Sir” in Collector’s Office, Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, Louisville, KY from [unsigned, possibly William D. Webb?], Acting Director, who asks if there is a procedure in transferring narcotics to Dr. Howard H. Ingling from Dr. Lehman, who was replacing Lehman.

[020] [020a] June 14, [no year]. Handwritten postcard to Miss Joan Ayers, from Lehman in Washington, PA, [020] who provides his forwarding addresses in Syracuse, NY (until June 20), and Wooster, OH. [020a] Address side of the postcard.

[021] June 20, 1939. Handwritten letter to Joan [Ayers] from Lehman in Syracuse, NY, who encloses an invoice to be forwarded to Harlan Motor Co. who should pay it; gives travel plans; sends regards to all, particularly Mr. [Fred] Burkhart, Miss Weller and Mr. and Mrs. Morris.

[022] June 24, 1939. To Lehman from [unsigned, likely Ayers], who reported that the Harlan Motor Co., will pay the bill; Stella’s mother passed away and was buried in the Nolan graveyard; Grace Lewis Taylor gave birth to a boy she named “Robert” after his grandfather.

[023] June 25, 1939. To “Gentlemen” at the Harlan Motor Company from [unsigned, likely Ayers], Acting Business Manager, who encloses a bill from a Ford dealer in Syracuse, NY, and asks that payment is sent to Lehman.

[024] June 28, 1939. Typewritten letter to Miss Ayers from Lehman in Wooster, who had just spent two weeks with friends in Syracuse; received a card from Dodds in Mexico City; Mrs. Lehman is resting; will bring Elizabeth back from Cincinnati; received Steve’s diploma; asks about the Burkhart’s wedding; heard from Jewel.

[025] October 23, 1939. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman in Wooster, OH, who describes his and his wife’s feelings about their stay at PMSS and who they miss, such as Nick Pennington and his daughter, Beatrice, the Wilsons and John Boggs. Steve (his son?) is studying dentistry at Univ. of S. California and will always remember the months he was at PMSS. 

[026] [027] December 11, 1939. Handwritten two-page letter to “Friends at Pine Mt.” from Anna M. Lehman in Wooster, OH, [026] who encloses 25 cents for the calendar. “We shall never forget the beauty [027] of the Valley & the mountains ‘round about. We cherish the memory of the friendships made during those fourteen months and we wish it were possible to follow the life-story of many of the students.” 

[028] December 16, 1939. To Mrs. Lehman from [unsigned], thanking her for the December 11 letter.


[029] December 17, 1940. Typewritten letter to Morris from Lehman in Pasadena, CA, who has been in California eleven months, near where Steve is going to dental school and will do so for two more years; tells about his PMSS memories.

[030] December 30, 1940. To Mrs. Lehman in South Pasadena, CA, from [unsigned], who is glad to hear from her and Mr. Lehman; thanks her for the gift of a subscription to the Christian Herald. 

CONTENTS: 1947 & 1948

[031] [031a] February 27, 1947. Handwritten postcard to H.R.S. Benjamin, Director, from Mrs. Lehman, [031] who asks him to forward her letter to Morris and asks for present addresses of Morris and Boone Callahan. [031a] Address side of postcard.

[032] [032a] N.D., apparently February 28, 1947. Handwritten note to Benjamin from Mrs. Lehman, [032] who found her November 1946 copy of Pine Mountain “Notes” with Morris’s information; she asks him to add John Stoner of Detroit, MI, to the PMSS mailing list, who is interested in “teaching woodcraft in the mountains.” [032a] Address side of postcard.

[034] May 8, 1948. Handwritten letter to H.R.S. Benjamin from Dr. & Mrs. Lehman, who donate $10 to be “applied to the needs of the dispensary.”; mentions Dr. Lehman’s PMSS diary which “brought back many memories of the happy times….” Miss Cold visited and Miss Grace Rood wrote that she will visit.

[033] May 18, 1948. To Dr. & Mrs. W.H. Lehman in S. Pasadena, CA, from H.R.S. Benjamin, thanking them for their gift.


[035] December 10, 1954. Handwritten letter to “People at Pine Mt. School” from Anna Lehman, thanking them for the letter from the Office. She encloses a check and writes about their time at PMSS: “Glyn Morris and others helped me over some difficult spots & I am glad to recall that I helped Dr. L. in the dispensary at times and also taught a Junior class five days in the week. Had we both been able we would have been glad to stay longer — but it was a worthwhile experience after the 40 years in Africa and before our reluctant retirement from active service.”


[036] April 24, 1960. [No salutation] from Elizabeth J. Lehman in South Pasadena, CA, who reports that “Anna M. Lehman (Mrs. Wilmer S.) died on Feb. 6, 1960,” and asks that her name be removed from the PMSS mailing list. (Notation in different handwriting: “Husband was PMSS doctor.”

[037] May 13, 1960. To Miss Elizabeth J. Lehman, South Pasadena, CA, from Burton Rogers, Director, who sends his condolences, stating “We appreciate your informing us of the death of Mrs. Anna Lehman, as we also appreciate the services of Mrs. Lehman and Dr. Lehman here. They were at Pine Mountain years ago, before the time of most of us now here, but their names have been well known to us and we know of their wonderful careers abroad as well as here.”

See Also: Dr and Mrs WILMER S LEHMAN Staff – Biography

GALLERY: Dr and Mrs Wilmer S Lehman Correspondence