JOHN HOWARD YOUNG Correspondence I

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
John Howard Young Correspondence I
Published: 2021-01-13 hw/aae

John Howard Young Correspondence I, 1929 – 1937

Antioch Co-op Student May 1929 – May 1930
Housefather at Boy’s House and Teacher, Sept. 1937 – June 1939

TAGS: John Howard Young, Antioch College Cooperative Education, student teaching, Stapleton cabin fire, Glyn Morris, Dorothy Bolles, Episcopal Theological School, donations, Boys Industrial Building fire, housefathers, Western Union telegrams, Guidance Institute

The correspondence of John Howard Young is voluminous. It has been separated into two parts.

This is Part I, which begins with his internship as a student teacher from Antioch College Cooperative Education program during the school year 1929-1930, and letters dated 1934 through 1937 depicting his efforts to secure a PMSS position as teacher and housefather.

Letters in Part II represent his correspondence with the School following his departure in 1938 from employment at Pine Mountain, including his work at The Blue Ridge Industrial School, Bris, Virginia.

GALLERY: John Howard Young Correspondence I

CONTENTS: John Howard Young Correspondence I

[Note: Letters from PMSS staff in the PMSS Collections are carbon copies, typewritten, unsigned, and meant for the Office files. The original signed copies were sent to the correspondents. Letters from John Howard Young are handwritten. The following list of contents is in chronological order and not necessarily in the order of the image numbers.]

[001], [001a] N.D. Two pages with character traits underlined by a reference for John Howard Young. (The reference was possibly Glyn Morris. See Correspondence II, image 011.) [001] Includes Breadth of Interest, Personal Habits, Appearance, Personality, and Culture and Innate Refinement. [001a] A second page includes Health and Physical Make-up, Judgement, Self Control, Open Mindedness, Ability to Cooperate and Institutional Loyalty, and Initiative and Resourcefulness. 


[002] February 13, 1929. To Angela Melville, PMSS Associate Director, from Grace E. Willett, Supervisor of Student Teaching, Department of Personnel Administration, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH, describing Howard Young, who will come to PMSS for 10 weeks, replacing Bennett Gale: 24 years old and “more mature than most of our students. He worked for four years before coming to college…attended Speyer’s, a progressive school….in New York City for five years, and then later went to the George Washington High School, from which he was graduated. Since coming to Antioch, he has been employed most of the time by the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, though he has been looking forward to teaching. He has had numerous education courses and this semester is observing in the high school in Yellow Springs. Mrs. Everdell, whom he has been assisting this year, speaks very highly of his ability as a teacher. … is a student member of our Religious Activities Committee…his character and conduct [is] beyond reproach….[H]e has a good tenor voice.” Willett suggests that Young meets with Mr. Argetsinger; Young is qualified to coach basketball as is required of PMSS co-op teachers.

[003] February 16, 1929. To Willett from AM (Angela Melville), glad to hear he has a “good tenor voice. Now, perhaps, we can get our boys to sing!” 

[004] May 26, 1929. Handwritten letter to Glyn Morris from Geo. P. Mays(?) on letterhead for Blue Ridge Industrial School, Bris, VA, asking if Mr. Young has the qualities that he lists and if “he would make a good Assistant General Manager of a school which is somewhat similar to Pine Mt.” 


[005] through [005b] June 10, 1934. Three-page letter to Morris from J. Howard Young in Hingham, MA, who [005] met up with Evelyn K. Wells at a Folk Dance Party in Gloucester and heard PMSS updates from her. He wishes he “were back there again, especially the present time, because everything seems to be ever so much more worthwhile.” Describes the interests and experience of his brother, Wallace Floyd Young, [005a] and recommends him for a PMSS position. [005b] Asks for an interview with Morris.

[006] June 13, 1934. To Young from [unsigned, apparently Morris], who notes that, besides the difficulty of the school “to arrange living quarters for married folks,” the School has no current opening but may have one in the future. Morris tells the advantages of having “married folks” on campus and offers to meet at the Union Theological Seminary in NYC.

[007] through [007c] June 21, 1934. Three-page letter to Morris from Young. [007] Tells of his brother’s repair work at Derby Academy; [007a] states that Floyd is “intensely interested” in working at PMSS. [007b] Floyd’s wife, Frances, could be housemother at Farm House; describes their two children. [007c] Asks Morris to write to his brother.

[008] July 2, 1934. To Young from [unsigned, apparently Morris], who regrets they could not meet, but if Young is interested in a position “on the basis of what I wrote your brother several weeks ago,” he should write to Evelyn Wells in Summit, NJ, who is the School’s agent.

[009] July 11, 1934. Typewritten letter, “Attention Glyn Morris,” from W.F. Young on letterhead for Camp O-At-Ka, East Sebago, ME; has received his letter; regrets they could not meet; still interested in the position; is teaching woodworking shop at Camp O-At-Ka until September 1st. Asked about duties of the positions for him and his wife.

[010] through [010d] July 15, [no year]. Handwritten 5-page letter to Morris from Dorothy Bolles in Coliasset(?). [010] Bolles interviewed [Wallace] Young in Wells’ place; [010a] Describes Young’s interest in the job of assistant farmer; describes his experience. [010b] Slightly built, he is more interested in poultry and cows than working the land; “quiet, educated, pleasant.[010c] Bolles will meet his wife later. [010d] Closing.

[011] through [011d] July 22, [no year]. Handwritten 5-page letter to Morris from Bolles, describing her meeting with Mrs. Young. [011], [11a] Bolles observes that Howard Young is in financial difficulties and hopes to find a place for his brother’s family. [011b] Bolles tells of describing the housemother duties to Mrs. Young, which would be challenging for a mother with 2 small children. [011c] Asks Morris to send details to Mrs. Young. [011d] Describes Mrs. Young as “cheerful and courageous.” [011e] Gives advice to Morris about using part of “our legacies” for salary increases in order to attract good teachers.


[012] December 18, 1935. To Morris from J. Howard Young in Cambridge, MA, who recalls meeting Morris at an English Folk Dance party about 2 years ago; taught at PMSS as an Antioch undergraduate. He asks to meet with him to talk about PMSS, teaching, and his first year at Episcopal Theological School. Gives address for next year as Pelham, NY.

[013] December 30, 1935. To Young in Pelham, NY, from Morris, who regrets that he can’t meet with Young; is sending him his study for “a more intensive guidance program here at the school with very much emphasis on individual work. … With the growth of …schools throughout the mountains, our mission seems to be heading towards more and more selectivity, particularly in our choice of students, and our emphasis must be on the type of education which cannot be obtained from the state and county schools.” Morris invites Young to visit PMSS via bus and train.


[014] January 2, 1936. To Young in Cambridge, MA, from [unsigned], thanking him for his gift to PMSS and that it will be annual. Mentions a fire that destroyed Boys Industrial Building, “a loss of five or six hundred dollars” and Mr. [Boone] Callahan’s spirit and courage.

[015] through [015b] January 14, 1936. Three-page letter to Morris from Young, [015] who encloses a dollar towards reconstructing Boys Industrial Building. [015a] He recalls when he fought the Stapleton cabin fire at Line Fork; would like to visit PMSS during spring vacation. Discusses his plans for the future, wondering if he should teach in a Christian school instead of joining the ministry. “I love Pine Mountain Settlement School and am heartily in sympathy with the new program.” [015b] Has memories of PMSS’s Christmas celebration. “Please remember me to Jim Faulkner and Georgia Thomas – both good Antioch friends of mine.”

[016], [016a] May 12, 1936. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, who heard good things from Miss Wells about plans for the Boys Industrial Building. Asks Morris if he could teach at PMSS again: “…I believe the life and work could be a great source of happiness, worthfulness, and peace of mind.” [016a] “The development of the mind in the academic fashion has its rightful place but education that leaves out the hand and the heart is the destruction of the soul. Every phase of human development should come under the school’s guiding hand and I believe Pine Mountain Settlement is trying to accomplish that idea. Therefore, I wish I could be of some service at the School once more.”

[017] May 15, 1936. To Young from [unsigned, apparently Morris], who offers Young a year-long housefather position at Boys House for 54 boys and possibly some teaching. Morris names the “young men” who are at the school now and their colleges; tells of changes at PMSS. Asks to meet him in New York during the week of May 24th.

[018], [018a] May 19, 1936. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, who [018] agrees to meet with Morris and is interested in the job offer; will travel by boat to NYC [018a] and stay with his aunt in Brooklyn.

[020] May 24, 1936. Western Union Telegram from Morris to Young, telling Young their meeting arrangements.

[019] May 24, [no year]. Western Union Telegram: “Notice Regarding Telegram,” informing Morris that his telegram of May 23 to Howard Young was undeliverable.

[021] June 1, 1936. Western Union Telegram to Morris from Young. “Deeply regret considering withdrawing application with great reluctance….”

[022] through [022b] June 1, 1936. Three-page letter to Morris from Young in Cambridge, MA. [022] “We had such a satisfactory interview in New York that my thinking of withdrawing my application must cause you consternation.” Describes his uncertainty about whether or not he belongs in the ministry. [022a] He feels he should “stick to it [his ministry studies] now that I have begun, and especially since I am thirty-two.” Asks for Morris’s counsel. [022b] Gives address in Soo Nipi Park, NH, where he will have a summer job. Miss Colgate will contact Morris about placing her protege, Edward McCurry, at PMSS. Sends greetings from Russell Dicks.

[023], [missing 2nd page] June 5, 1936. To “John” [Young] at Soo-Nipi Park, NH, from Morris, who understands his “problem of working out the kind of program which is going to be best for you.” Morris offers his thoughts on “finding one’s place in life.” Describes the advantages of coming to Pine Mountain, referring to the work as “applied religion.” 

[024, [024a] July 25, 1936. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, who feels it is best to remain at E.T.S. (Episcopal Theological School); appreciates Morris’s advice and hopes he can possibly re-open an application in the future.

[025] July 27, 1936. To Young from Morris, who commends him for his choice and wishes him well.

[026], [026a] October 17, 1936. Two-page letter to Morris from Young in Cambridge, MA, who has returned to the seminary and is “enthusiastic about it.” He will be giving an address before the Cohasset, MA, DAR on “The History and Work of Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky.” He tells how this came about and asks for details of PMSS history and PMSS handcrafted items.

[027] October 19, 1936. To Young from [unsigned – Morris], who will be sending PMSS literature and handcraft products. Morris is leaving on a tour of cities in the midwest and east. Mentions new pipe organ in the Chapel.

[028] December 4, 1936. To Morris from Young, who sends a dollar gift; plans to speak at the Young People’s Fellowship of an Episcopal Church in Weymouth, MA, about PMSS; asks for updated literature and samples of handwork.

[029] December 9, 1936. To Young from [unsigned – Morris], who suggests using the moving pictures that PMSS has.



[031], [031a] February 12, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Young in Cambridge, MA, [031] who will use the film that Morris offers possibly when he speaks in Boston. Describes his future as “a bit cloudy once more, but my standing at school is more than satisfactory.[031a] Explains the stages before becoming a candidate for Holy Orders at his school, including physical and psychiatric exams. “The doctors seem to be in doubt about the toughness of my system for the strain of the modern ministry.” He must prove them wrong or return to the teaching profession; asks for Morris’s counsel.

[032] February 24, 1937. To Young from [unsigned – Morris] who recommends that he take the examinations; or come to PMSS for a year or two. Describes the counselor position that will open next year, now held by Everett Wilson, a former Antioch student.

[034] March 4, 1937. Western Union telegram to Morris from Young, accepting the counselor position.

[033], [033a] March 4, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, [033] who describes using the PMSS film that Morris sent and asks for other films of the School; is enthusiastic about [033a] the counselor job offer and accepts it, feeling “that it is nothing short of a ministry to individuals.”

[035] March 15, 1937. To Young from [unsigned – Morris], who regrets writing that the School will be dropping the Little School and letting go a valued worker, Miss [Esther] Weller, also an Antioch graduate. “In order to keep her here I can only offer her [the counselor] position.” Morris will inform him if anything else opens up.

[036], [036a] April 27, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, who is “sympathetic with your way of handling the situation. There was nothing else to do.” He is registered with a few agencies; will be glad to be considered by PMSS again. Provides his summer address as private counselor to children of Soo Nipi Park, NY. Inquiring about openings at Berea College.

[037] and [038] May 6, 1937. Western Union telegrams to Personnel Department, Antioch College, and Episcopal Seminary in Cambridge, MA, from Morris, asking for “confidential information regarding John Howard Young applying for position here.”

[039] May 6, 1937. To “Sir,” Principal, Derby Academy, Hingham, MA, from Morris, asking for his estimate of Young as a teacher and worker. Describes Young as “employed several years ago at the Derby Academy [and] has applied for a position here as teacher, and possibly housemaster.”

[040] May 7, 1937. Western Union telegram to PMSS from the Personnel Director of Antioch College confirming that Young graduated from Antioch in 1931; majored in Education; Scholastic record ‘excellent’ and cooperative work; has teaching experience; highly recommends him.

[041] May 7, 1937. Western Union telegram to PMSS from Dean Henry B. Washburn, Cambridge, MA. “Young is faithful, intelligent, loyal. Recommend serious consideration.”

[042] May 7, 1937. Western Union telegram to Young from Morris, asking if he would be interested in the counselor position.

[043] May 7, 1937. Western Union telegram to Morris from Young, who is still interested, “but in something less restricting.”

[044], [044a] May 15, 1937. Two-page letter to “John Howard [Young]” from [unsigned – Morris]. [044] Describes the schedule at Boys House with 30 boys; suggests Far House with 15 younger boys as an alternative. “I am interested…in trying out the experiment of having a man at the head of the house.” Offers $50 a month and maintenance. [044a] Plans a more extensive program next year in the community and with the student body cut to 95. Mentions May Day.

[045], [045a] May 20, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from G.F. Cherry, Headmaster, Derby Academy, Hingham, MA, [045] confirming that Young was at Derby during the school years 1932-1935, teaching primarily mathematics to grades 6 to 12; English, grade 6, and in charge of boys in afternoon play three times a week. Gives his evaluation of Young’s performance in each area, stating that Young would do best with teaching “more serious older boys and girls. He did well with those who were responsive….” States reasons why he recommends Young for PMSS. [045a] Young was interested in folk dancing and singing.

[046] through [046b] May 20, 1937. Three-page letter to Morris from Young, Cambridge, MA. [046], [046a] who would like to be a candidate for either Boys House or Far House housefather, preferring Far House. [046b] Recommends a friend, Edward V. Knight, who would be a good candidate for a possible second housefather. Asks about shipping belonging to PMSS.

[047] May 24, 1937. To Young from [unsigned], Acting Director, who assures him that his position is confirmed, although Morris is vacationing in South Carolina.

[048], [048a] May 26, 1937. Two-page letter to Morris from Young, who is anxious to hear Morris’s confirmation of his appointment. [048a] Asks about Jim Faulkner, who began at Antioch with Young.

[049], [049a] June 25, 1937. To “Glyn” [Morris] from Young at Soo Nipi Park, NH, who was “delighted” to hear from Morris. Tells about his summer job supervising boys which he enjoys. [049a] Asks what grades he will teach in social science; has three trunks packed for shipping to PMSS; asks about arrival date.

[050] July 19, 1937. To Young from Morris, who provides the School’s start date; describes plans for the guidance institute in August and would like Young to arrive a day before it begins.

[052] through [052b] August 1, 1937. Three-page letter to Morris from Young, [052] who agrees to arrive at PMSS for the guidance institute. [052a] Looks forward to PMSS; decided to buy a 1934 Ford touring car if it costs under $200. [052b] Interested in teaching “the highest mathematics if the need arises.”

[051] August 7, 1937. To Young from [unsigned – Morris]. Since Young suggests picking up workers on the way to PMSS, he suggests Miss Josephine Merrill (sister of Mrs. Bartlett), now in Newport, NH, and Miss Edith Cold, who is attending Hillside College in Middlebury, VT.

[053] August 9, 1837. To Young from [unsigned]. “Mr. Dodd ask[ed] me to send this on to you.”

[054], [054a] N.D. From Young on “John Howard Young, PMSS” letterhead, [054] indicating who to notify in case of illness or accident: (1) His brother, Wallace F. Young in Hingham, MA. (2) His aunt, Mrs. Walter Moore in Manhasset, Long Island, NY. [054a] December 31, 1937. “To Whom It May Concern” from Dr. J.W. Hill, Richmond, KY, confirming that Young is “free of any contagious or infectious diseases.”

[055] through [055b] December 6, 1937. To “The Headmaster of Pine Mountain Seminary (sic),” Pine Mountain, KY, from Miss Mabel Marsh, Brookline, MA, asking about Young. He had not heard from him since Young left the home of Mr. and Mrs. Porter where he also lives and all are worried about him. 

[057] December 10, 1937. To Miss Mabel Marsh, Brookline, MA, from [unsigned], who confirms that Young has been at PMSS since the end of August and “is leading a very active and useful life…is happy and interested in his work.”

[056] N.D. Unsigned handwritten draft with edits on “The Office”notepaper, confirming that Mr. John H.Y. has been employed by P.M.S.S. twice, as an Antioch cooperative student teacher and as a housefather and teacher from September 1937 until June 1939. “Mr. Young is conscientious and thorough in everything he does.”

JOHN HOWARD YOUNG Correspondence II, 1938 – 1961

See Also:
JOHN HOWARD YOUNG Staff – Biography