Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff
Gertrude King Carter Staff
Publication date: 2021-02-01 AAE

Big Log Housemother, August – ?,1932

TAGS: Gertrude King Carter, Mrs. Lillard Carter, housemothers,  teaching, Franklin College, Belmont College, Transylvania University, Mt. Allison College, Caney Creek Community Center, U.S. Censuses, Lillard H. Carter, Nolan H. Carter

GERTRUDE KING CARTER: Before Pine Mountain Settlement School

According to her application and references, Gertrude was first educated at Franklin College in Nashville, Tennessee, her home town, and then South Kentucky Classical and Normal College, where she also taught. One of her references mentioned that she also taught Latin and French at Sayre College in Lexington for several years. In addition, she taught English at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she apparently met her husband who was also on the faculty. They married in 1897.

After her husband died in 1923, she earned an A.B. from Transylvania University in Lexington and studied a course as a “special student” at Wellesley (MA) College. Since then, her work experience included teaching at Mt. Allison College in New Brunswick, Canada, for four years, where she had an opportunity to study French; and Latin and French at Morehead (KY) State Normal School and Teachers’ College for five years. In addition, she studied Library Science and spent several years in library work. (The chronology of these positions may not be exact, as dates were usually not provided.)

In April of 1932, when she applied to Pine Mountain Settlement School, she was working as a temporary replacement in the Caney Creek Community Center library located at Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, Kentucky, for a staff member who was on a leave of absence. 

Her references wrote positively of her experience and character, one describing her as,

“…a brilliant woman of great resourcefulness and of highest integrity, and splendid initiation. Her love of service, her mothering instincts, her culture and refinement, her deep interest in youth and in the unfolding of the mind[?]...would bring additional lustre (sic) to the administration of your great school.”

However, at the time of her application, the Pine Mountain School had no salaried openings. When Gertrude offered to do volunteer work instead, Morris suggested a volunteer position as a housemother for the coming school year for 18 girls who were boarding at Big Log. Gertrude was happy to accept, “because of the abundant opportunities it will afford me to give to young girls all that the years have given me.”

GERTRUDE KING CARTER: Staff At Pine Mountain

The most recent letters in her file, dated July and August 1932, covered arrangements for her arrival at Pine Mountain a few days before the official School opening date of August 22, 1932. Only two pieces of information referring to her time at Pine Mountain have been found so far in the PMSS Collections: The PMSS WORKERS database recording that her stay was in 1932 and was “brief” and the PINE CONE 1932 December issue of the School’s student publication, reporting in the column for “Social Activities at Pine Mountain” that a student tea was hosted by “Mrs. Carter and girls at Big Log.”


Although the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Censuses and her application show slightly different years in which Gertrude King was born, her birth year on her gravestone is 1862. She was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to Thomas and Elizabeth B. (Dabbs) King. As of the 1870 U.S. Census, she was the youngest of five siblings.

In 1897, Gertrude married Lillard H. Carter (1867 – 1923), a lawyer and politician, who served one term as Lt. Governor of Kentucky. Also, he had once been a faculty member at Belmont College in Nashville where Gertrude also taught. They had one son, Nolan H. Carter (1903 – 1969), who also became a lawyer.

Gertrude King Carter died on November 21, 1935, in Lexington, Kentucky, and was buried beside her husband in Lawrenceburg (Kentucky) Cemetery.

See also GERTRUDE KING CARTER Correspondence
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Gertrude King Carter

Alt. Title

Mrs. Lillard Carter ; Mrs. Carter ; Gertrude Carter ; Gertrude King ; Gertrude K. Carter ; 




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Gertrude King Carter; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Mrs. Lillard Carter ; housemothers ; teaching ; Glyn Morris ; Franklin College ; Sayre College ; Belmont College ; Transylvania University ; Wellesley College ; Mt. Allison College ; Morehead (KY) State Normal School and Teachers’ College ; Caney Creek Community Center ; Alice Lloyd College ; U.S. Censuses ; Lillard H. Carter ; Nolan H. Carter ; lawyers ;

Subject LCSH

Carter, Gertrude King — 1862 – 1935.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2021-02-01 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




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Staff.

Coverage Temporal

1862 – 1935

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lexington, KY ; Nashville, TN ; Wellesley, MA ; New Brunswick, Canada ; Morehead, KY ; Pippa Passes, KY ; Lawrenceburg, KY ;


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 Gertrude King Carter ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Gertrude King Carter ;




“[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



“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2021 January 30), Lillard H. Carter. Burial, Lawrenceburg, Anderson, Kentucky, United States of America, Lawrenceburg Cemetery; citing record ID 107878197, Find a Grave,

GERTRUDE KING CARTER CORRESPONDENCE, and PINE CONE 1932 December. Series 09: Biography – Staff. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 January 2021),  (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 January 2021), Lillard H Carter, United States. (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,506. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 January 2021). (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).  Internet resource.

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