Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff
Series 14: MEDICAL
Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman & Anna M.. Lehman
Staff 1938-1941
Wilmer S. Lehman (1873-1950)
Anna M. Lehman (1874-1960)

Dr and Mrs Wilmer Staff

Infirmary (Hill House). Distant view from campus. [II_7_infirmary_309 c]


Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman, Physician, April 1938 – June 1939, 1941
Anna M. (Mrs. Wilmer S.) Lehman, Teacher, 1938-1939

TAGS: Dr and Mrs Wilmer S Lehman, Anna M. (Mrs. Wilmer S.) Lehman, physicians, teachers, Infirmary, Glyn A. Morris, Dr. Howard H. Ingling, Cameroon West Africa, Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, teachers, The Pine Cone, Dr. Preston J. van Kolk

In 1938, Glyn A. Morris, director of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, was looking for a physician for the School’s Infirmary. When he heard from the personnel secretary at the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian that Dr. W. S. Lehman of Cincinnati, Ohio, was interested in “doing medical work in the mountains,” He immediately wrote to Dr. Lehman.

Dr. Lehman was indeed interested in the work that Morris described and provided Morris with information about his background. At 65 years old, he and his wife had recently returned from Cameroon, West Africa, where they had served as missionaries for the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church since 1898. His wife, Anna McLaughlan Lehman, who had been a school teacher, was open to helping at the School as well.

Each of Dr. Lehman’s two references wrote positively about him. The Executive Secretary for the Kentucky Tuberculosis Association in Louisville, Kentucky, stated

“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 qualification. … 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.”

Letter of reference to Glyn Morris from the Executive Secretary for the Kentucky Tuberculosis Association in Louisville, Kentucky, March 7, 1938.

Glyn Morris was both relieved and pleased when Dr. Lehman decided to accept the position. The doctor and his wife and their son, Steve, arrived at the School on April 12, 1938, ready for a year of new adventures as well as challenges of “doing medical work in the mountains.”

Dr. and Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman: AT PINE MOUNTAIN

While Dr. Lehman tended to patients in the Infirmary and in the surrounding community, Mrs. Lehman taught junior high school classes in Bible and History.

The Lehmans easily became part of the Pine Mountain School family, joining with them in a number of extra-curricular activities. Their involvements were often described in the student publication, The Pine Cone. A listing of School events on page 4 of the October 1938 issue reported that on October 7 “Dr. Lehman talked to the student body in assembly on ‘What we need in our communities.’ He said that moderation in eating, drinking, and smoking and more cleanliness were things needed for better health.'”

Soon after, according to the November 1938 Pine Cone issue, page 6, “Dr. Lehman gave an illustrated lecture in the assembly hall on Africa, showing on the screen pictures of African customs and dress” on October 21.

In 1938, a travelogue titled “Little Journeys” was written by Bertha Shepard that described an excursion by car with three others that included a stop at Pine Mountain Settlement School. She wrote of this visit,

“An afternoon spent…in calling on the doctor and his wife in their cottage on the hill are [among] memorable incidents of the stay on Pine Mt. Mrs. Lehman, a graduate of Oberlin College[?], recalled interesting experiences of her many years at the mission stations in Africa and later the doctor showed the callers Tanganyika and other African colonies. Mrs. L. feels life is a bit too difficult in the wilds of Kentucky, but the doctor still is enthusiastic and sympathetic after 40 years as a medical missionary.”

Shepard, Bertha. “Little Journeys,” 1938, image #26.

The Pine Cone also reported on some of Anna Lehman’s participation in the School’s activities, as indicated by an article in the March 1939 Pine Cone, page 8: Chinese week started on Monday. Impressive posters of both color and import, made by Mrs. Lehman, were displayed in the Industrial Building, School House, and Laurel House. Brief classroom lectures were given on the situation in China and how we could help. Also, she and Dr. Lehman accompanied Miss [Abbie Winch] Christensen, Miss [Joan] Ayers, and six students to a Folk Festival in Berea, Kentucky, according to The Pine Cone, April 1939, page 4.

The Subject File in the PMSS Archives contains a file titled “Report on Weaving – 1939” which contains a two-page report on weaving at Pine Mountain prepared by Alice J. Keith, John A. Spelman, and A.[Anna] M. Lehman.

Almost two years after the Lehmans left Pine Mountain, The April 1941 issue of The Pine Cone reported on page 1 that Dr. Lehman had returned to temporarily replace Dr. Preston J. van Kolken who left for a new position. Records in the PMSS Archives do not indicate how long Lehman stayed this second time nor whether Mrs. Lehman accompanied him.

Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman, Staff: AFTER PINE MOUNTAIN

The Lehman family left Pine Mountain in June 1939 to live in Wooster, Ohio. Dr. Lehman was replaced by Dr. Howard H. Ingling in the Infirmary (July-December 1939), who was then followed for a year by Preston J. van Kolken (1940-1941) and Dr. Emma And Dr. Francis Tucker, who arrived at PMSS in 1942 and served until 1945, then off and on until 1950.

Dr. and Mrs. Lehman continued to keep in touch with the School for many years, sending donations and fondly remembering their activities and friends at the School. Soon after leaving Pine Mountain, Mrs. Lehman wrote

“We shall never forget the beauty 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.” 

Letter to “Friends at Pine Mt.” from Anna M. Lehman in Wooster, OH, December 11, 1939.

In January 1939, Dr. and Mrs. Lehman left Wooster for Pasadena, California, to live near their son while he studied dentistry at the University of Southern California. Apparently, they continued to live in California for the rest of their lives.

Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman, Staff: BACKGROUND

Dr. Wilmer Sanford Lehman, an 1898 graduate of the University of Michigan, was born on July 1, 1873, in Yates City, Illinois. His parents were Henry Lehman from Ohio and Elizabeth Griffin Lehman from Canada.

Dr and Mrs Wilmer Staff

Photos on passport application for a return to Cameroon, West Africa, from Wooster, Ohio, October 20, 1924. (Left) Anna M. Lehman with son, Stephen Lehman. (Right) Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman.

Anna Thome McLaughlan Lehman, also a graduate (in 1897) of the University of Michigan, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 8, 1874.

Anna and Wilmer Lehman were married on November 25, 1899, on the steamship “Niger” off Batanga, a coastal village in West Africa, according to the publication, Herald and Presbyter, January 3, 1900.

They had the following children: a son, Stephen McLauchlan Lehman, born in Cameroon, West Africa, on June 8, 1916, Mary Alice Lehman, born on January 22, 1908, in Illinois, and Elizabeth J. Lehman. (Lt. (jg.) Stephen M. Lehman was killed in action at Saipan on July 4, 1944, while serving as an officer of the U.S. Naval Dental Corps in WWII).

Dr. Lehman died on September 18, 1950, in Pasadena. His wife, Anna, died on February 6, 1960.

When their daughter Elizabeth wrote PMSS director, Burton Rogers, from Pasadena concerning the death of her mother, he sent his condolences and stated

“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.”

Letter to Miss Elizabeth J. Lehman, South Pasadena, California, from Burton Rogers, PMSS Director, May 13, 1960.

See Also:
Dr. & Mrs. WILMER S. LEHMAN Correspondence

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Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman and Anna M. Lehman

Alt. Title

Dr. Wilmer S. Lehman ; Dr. Wilmer Sanford Lehman ; Anna M. Lehman ;  Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman ; Anna McLaughlan Lehman ; 




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman ; Dr. W.S. Lehman ; Anna McLauchlan Lehman ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; physicians ; teachers ; Infirmary ; Glyn A. Morris ; Dr. Howard H. Ingling ; Cameroon West Africa ; Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church ; teachers ; The Pine Cone ; Dr. Preston J. van Kolk ;

Subject LCSH

Lehman, Wilmer S., —  1873 – 1950.
Lehman, Anna M., — 1874 – 1960.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Medicine — Appalachian Region — History.


2020-10-28 aae


Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.




Collections ; text ; image ;


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


Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 14: Medical, Health & Hygiene




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel and Series 14: Medical, Health & Hygiene.

Coverage Temporal

1873 – 1960

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Wooster, OH ; Cincinnati, OH ; Cameroon, West Africa ; Louisville, KY ; Pasadena, CA ; Cleveland, OH ; Yates City, IL ; Canada ; Batanga, West Africa ;


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 Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Dr. & Mrs. Wilmer S. Lehman ;




“[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



[Note: All external internet resources were accessed on 10-30-2020.]

“California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9SB-DTGC?cc=2001287&wc=FGFK-N38%3A285174601%2C285404601 ), Los Angeles > Death certificates 1950 and 1960 >; California State Archives, Sacramento. Internet resource.

A General Survey of the United States Naval Dental Corps in World War II (Prepared in 1946). OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH WASHINGTON, D. C. Internet resource. https://archive.org/stream/USNavyDentalCorpsInWWII/

“Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q239-JBKN ), Wilmer Sanford Lehman in entry for Mary Alice Lehman, 22 Jan 1908; Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 200126, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm. Internet resource.

Married.” Herald and Presbyter, Cincinnati and St. Louis, January 3, 1900, No. 1. Publisher: Montfort & Co., 1900; original from Univ. of Texas. Internet resource.

“Lehman,” Series 09; Biography – Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99QG-BDLL?cc=2061540&wc=M6YZ-223%3A353078601 ; image 1100 of 3032; American Medical Association, Chicago. Internet resource.

“United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99D3-GF2P?cc=2185145&wc=3XCP-VZ9%3A1056306501%2C1056341401 : (M1490) Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925 > Roll 2655, 1924 Oct, certificate no 484850-485349 > image 552 of 763; (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.) Internet resource.

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