Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 13: Education & Educational Programs
Series 19: Students
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing Transcriptions II
Published 2021-06-30 aae
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing Transcriptions II
Samples 21-40, Dated 1914-1925
TAGS: Pine Mountain KY, education, community and children’s writing, transcriptions II, students, correspondence, teachers, Marguerite Butler, Thanksgiving, pageants, canning, Halloween, Ruth B. Gaines, Line Fork Settlement, Anne Ruth Medcalf
TRANSCRIPTIONS: EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing Transcriptions II
Samples 21-40, Dated 1914-1925
See EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing II for IMAGES of letters 21 through 40.
[NOTE: Transcriptions have been slightly edited, but most misspellings have been kept intact. All writings are handwritten and from Pine Mountain unless indicated otherwise. Go to EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing II for IMAGES of the writings that are transcribed on this page. The following list of transcriptions are in order of the image numbers.]
21a through 21e; 22a & 22b. Mossie Miniard (sic) to Miss [Marguerite] Butler, Nov. 27, 1917, seven pages.
[21a] Pine Mountain, Ky.
Nov. 27, 1917.
My Dear Miss Butler,
I will ans your good letter wish I received to-night and I was so glad to hear from you.
Miss Butler, we went up to Peter Rock Sunday. Miss Knollenberg and Miss Shippley went with us. We came back for supper. We played charades up their. Maudie and Becky May and Cal Dona was on one side. The rest was on the other side. We let [21b] them go first. After they got through, then we went. We had the same word they did and acted just like they did. Then they guessed and guessed and never did guess it. We told Miss [Ruth B.] Gaines about it and she laughed and laughed because they didn’t guess it.
Miss Butler, Thanksgiving is over. We had the best time every was. You ought to have been here to seen all of the plays, they were so pretty. Miss Robin’s class was the pilgrims. Miss Shippley’s class was the first settlers [21c] that came to Pine Mountain. Miss Seccor’s school was the Indians. You bet they all looked funny in Indians suits. Bonnie and Kitty and me wore them yellow dresses like the one you gave Doshia. We put red trimmings around the tail and neck and sleeves and pockets of them and we were the little girls. Miss [Edith] Canterbury’s school was the people at Pine Mt. They acted out Uncle William and Aunt Sal. Maud Baker was Aunt Sal and Edward Helton was Uncle William and Birchel was Joe Creech. [21d] After their play was over Uncle William said Maud acted just like Aunt Sal.
Miss Butler, I wish I could have been with you all last Sunday for I know you have a good time.
Miss Butler, I am not forgetting my apron or the bulbs. If I would forget them I would get a big black mark. Miss Gaines is giving us black marks now. I have just got five. I will finish your letter when I get the tank filled. Now I have got the tank filled. It took me about 16[?] minutes to fill it.
[21e] Miss Butler, Miss Gaines said all packages had come OK. She said two packages was addressed to you which she had not opened. The shopping you did for her is better than she could do herself. It is Friday and none of the children is in school. Miss Gaines is going down to Mary on Beggley’s. Miss Gaines said she would write just as soon as she could.
22a & 22b. Miss Butler,we have got a new girl. I can’t hardly wait till you get back so you can get her to sing for you. She is a good singer. All of the Callahans is her first cousin. Her name is Ninnie Callahan. She is 17 year old and she is about the size of Becky May.
Miss Butler, about two hundred people was here yesterday. All of the grown people ate in the dining room. They put to of Miss Seccor’s table together and made one table.
From your friend
23a, 23b. Doshia Miniard to Miss Butler, Nov. 31, 1917, two pages.
[23a] Pine Mountain, Ky,
Nov. 31, 1917
My dear Miss Butler,
We had a good time on Thanksgiving. Wish that you were here. They was a man that play the fiddle and I was Polly Medcaff in our play. I wish that you could seed Miss Robbins’ children play. It was so pretty and the Indians was Miss Seccor’s children and we was the Medcaff family. Most of us was. I am going home this eaving and I wish that you was going with us. Miss Robbins is going and Miss Shipley was a-going but she cant. I dont think [we?] had leven tables in the dinning [23b] room full of people and the porch full of people and then some of the people never come in to eat dinner. Ethel de Long Zande has tuck the [l]ittle girls to the new road and Mossie and me is going home and cant get to go. Miss Gaines has my sweaden [sic, sweater?] in her room and I will get a black mark for it. Emily and Lorina is out to the kiddles[?] picking turkeys. They have killed ten for dinner Sunday and I wish that you were … MISSING PAGE(s)
24a through 24d. Mossie Minniard (sic) to “Mother,” [Miss Butler, housemother?], Aug. 3, 1918, four pages.
[24a] Pine Mountain Ky.
Aug. 3, 1918.
My Dear Mother,-
I will write you a letter while I am still at the Old Log House, and I am going back tomorrow and I am glad.
Miss Butler, I wish you could have been here today at the big working. They certainly got a lot done for the Red Cross. About 20 women were here and lots of little children.
Ninnie and I have just come from Miss [Katherine] Pettit’s. We have been over there learning to play Ruffty Suffty and I have learned it a little bit.
[24b] I forgot to tell you one thing. The spiders is about to take the place today. We was eating dinner and saw where a spider had made webs all over the flowers in the center-piece. They are just taking Laurel House.
[24c] Say, Miss Butler, did you all get safe home. I hope you did. Let me guess the first thing you done after you got rested up. I guess that you took a long ride in your new automobile. I bet Mr. and Misses Butler and Miss Jeanette all went with you and didnt you all have a good time. I only wish I could have been with you.
Miss Butler, last night Miss Stone invited all of the Laurel House girls up to the Far House to a party. And we had the best time running sets on the porch. You bet we started back just as the bell rung too.
I forgot to write on both sides of the other page, so I will on this page. [24d] Miss Stone said that she wished you could have been there to. She said she would make you stay longer and play like we did once before.
I will finish your letter now. We all have just come from Miss Pettit’s tonight. Some are now washing dishes and some are writing letters to you. I guess you can guess what Clara Siler and Maudie is doing.
We are glad to have May and Kitty and Abby back. Abby is such a nice girl.
Well, Miss Butler, nothing has happened since you left so I will close hoping to hear from you someday.
From Mossie Miniard
25a & 25b. Ninnie Callahan to Miss Butler, Aug. 3, 1918, two pages.
[25a] Pine Mt Ky
Aug. 3 1918
Dear Miss Buttler(sic, Butler):-
I miss you so bad. Wish you was here.
We had a working today and had lots of work done. Aunt Juda was up and Aunt Leah Smith too.
Well, Miss Buttler, Dacia Caldonia and [I] inspected Laurel House today and we found cob webs big enough to hang me. We have been canning beans and beets. We have 21 cans of beets and I dont know how many cans of beans. Well, Miss Buttler, I hope you had a nice trip. Did you get [25b] through all right? [I] hope you did. And was your momma glad to see you? Give my love to her and Miss Jeanette.
I asked Miss Gaines if you was going to be our house mother after you come back. Miss Buttler, I am so sorry that you wont be in charge over me. Well, I hope you will have a nice time at home. I would write more but I am in a hurry. I am trying to keep my Department looking as well as it did when you were here.
Hoping to hear from you real soon.
26a through 26e. Hazel to Miss Butler, November 9 [no year] on PMSS letterhead, two pages.
[26a] November 9.
Dear Miss Butler,
I received your letter about two weeks ago and I was certainly pleased to hear from you.
What kind of time did you have on Hallowe’en night, did a ghost get after you, one got after me I was afraid of them but I tried not to be. We traveled almost all over the place that night we were told in the dinning for [26b] all the large children to meet at the Laurel House and when the bell rung we all came here, then a ghost come and told us to go to the Grape Vine Knoll. We all went there and a ghost came out and told us to go to the office. We went there then we was told to go to the Hospital. After we got there, we was told to go to the House in the Woods. As we was going up the road an old witch came out, hunting for her boy but she couldn’t find him. Miss Carey was [26c] the witch. When we got to the House in the Woods, we was sent to the Farm House from there to the barn, from the barn to the Boys House and from the Boys House to the School House. We meet Tall Jane and we went into Miss Phelps school room and if we would look in a hole in a box we could see the wildest women or the wildest man. But it was not a hole in the box, it was a mirror and when we looked in it, we saw [26d] our selves. After that we tried our fortune. I was going to be an old maid. After that we had apples and dough-nuts. And we did some other things, then come back to Laurel House as tired as we could be.
While Aunt Delia was a Wallins she went down to Pineville to see Clara and she was talking about how sweet Paul was. Why don’t you go out and see her when you come back if you have time. It is study hour and I must close. (Back of 2 pages.)
Lovelying yours, Hazel.
27a through 27d. Doshia Minyard to Miss Butler, Aug. 19, 1918, four pages.
[27a] Pine Mountain, Ky.
Aug. 19, 1918
My Dear Miss Butler
I was glad to get your nice letter. I can tell you something knew. We have had leven tables in the dining room. They tuck one table out of the sitting room. They are ten now. Chester Louis (sic, Chester Lewis) has come back on a furlo. He is going back tomorrow.
They was a nice lady come last week. Her name was Miss Harscon[?] From Doshia Minyard. [27b] She plade the gittar Friday night over to Miss Pettit. I wish that you could a ben hear last night. We had a party ut to the School House. We run sets to half past eight and when we come back to the house we got ready in ten minutes for bed.
The tooth dentist never come. The doctor and a Red Cross nurse came. They have operated on about fifteen children. Every body is well but Bonnie. She is at Far House.
I love winter school. [27c] We get to study one [h]our at night. We go in the morning to school and Mossie and all that was in her class go in the eaving.
Mrs. Fogg has the little boys that stade at Far House down at the Old Log House, her and Miss Fogg. The girls went to Far House, all but Ninnie and she is at Laurel House.
Mossie and I went home last .Frida and stade un till Sunday. We went to a party Friday night up to Rob Turnners and we plad [sic, played] to one o’clock in the night.
[27d] Mrs. Holton invited Miss Gains [sic, Gaines] and the little girls up at Open House to take supper. Mrs. Creech invited Emily and May and Lorina down to take supper with her. My sister came back with us to stay. Her name is Flora. She is staying at Miss Pettit.
Mrs. Croff has got the blankets all dun.
I wish that you could a ben with us last Sunday. You could a gotten all the apples you could eat. This is the longest letter I ever wrote to you.
28a through 28d. Hazel Howard to Miss Butler, Oct. 14, 1920, four pages on PMSS letterhead.
[28a] Oct 14, 1920
Dear Miss Butler.
I was so pleased to know that you got home safe, and how is your mother. I hope she is better.
We miss you so bad at Pine Mt and I wish you was back so bad but I miss you the most in Miss Gaines room. You was always doing something in there to help. And I know Miss [28b] Gaines misses you to, for she has not got any one to fix the collars on her clothes. And the buttons and snaps are coming off. If you don’t hurry and come back her clothes will be off her.
We had a letter from Miss Parkingson and she still has the hay fever. She is coming back the seventeenth. And Miss Andrews is coming with her.
We heard that Att Lewis was going to get married today but I don’t know whether it is true or not. But she never come to work in the laundry [28c] today so it must be true.
Did you hear about Nora, Mabel, Maud, Ollie, Sina, Becky May cutting their hair. They cut it one Sunday while Clara & I was getting dinner. Clara said she would have been right with them if she had not been getting dinner.
All the school children is going out into the mountains some day this week to hunt chestnuts and stay all day. Miss Wright has [28d] come back and we are having Scouts. It is study hour now and I must close. Write soon. All the Laurel house girls said “Hello.”
P.S. Mrs. de Long left to day for home.
29a through 29d. Ninnie Callahan to Miss Butler, Nov. 7, 1920, four pages.
[29a] Pine Mt., Ky.,
Nov. 7, 1920.
Dear Miss Butler:
I am doing very well with your Sunday school. We have gone from Abraham to Moses and the children of Israel. The children all are doing right well and they all promised to write you soon. We have learned the I Psalm and have begun [29b] the VIII Psalm.
I had twelve children today and eleven last Sunday. We have Hazel back with us.
We have learned two songs. We learned “Can a little child like me” and “Every morning mercies new.”
How is your mother now? Will she be able to let you come back for Xmas. We have [29c] been playing Xmas records to-night and it made me think of your playing them for us when you were our house mother.
I am doing very well in school. I made 100% on Algebra yesterday and I sure felt glad. A friend of Miss Carey’s sent us our algebra books.
We cleaned the living room yesterday and it [29d] looks so nice. We have some bulbs growing in it. They will be in bloom by Thanksgiving.
We have a new lady to help Miss Gaines in the kitchen. Rebecca and … MISSING PAGE(S)
30a through 30f. Delia [Creech] to Marguerite [Butler], July 6, [notation: “1924”], six pages.
[30a] July 6th, 
My Dear Marguerite,
I’ve go tired acting Ethel McCullough. I couldn’t hardly do any better. I’ve had so much work to do. You letter is one of several I ought to write this very day. I’m old & slow so I don’t guess I will get but one other written this evening.
How are you & the rest of the family getting along? I hope all are well. I guess your father has gone to camp & is having the time of his life.
The Children are all well except the twins. The hot weather hasn’t been very good for … MISSING PAGE? [30b] cute as can be. They are beginning to talk several words. Robert has a kitten [and] he almost loves it to death. Evelyn loves it but she doesn’t like to have it in her hands.
We have all just got back from Grannies. She & Columbus are getting on very well. I think Columbeus is rather cheered up as Emily is staying with Miss Gaines again. I hardly think Emily looks well as she did when she was with Miss Gaines before.
Miss Gaines & her girls went down a few moments ago drenched to the skin, shivering. I guess she has written you about he roofing of Laurel House & the rain pouring down on them with the cover torn off [30c] but it is finished now.
You asked Miss Gains to send you a picture of her & her twin sister. She & Dora Metcalf were dressed almost alike the 4th. I don’t know who called them twins & wanted their pictures. Tease her but don’t tell her who wrote you about it.
I’ve had a good time the 4th. Had good speaking. Allene Nolan gave her speech on trees & Dillard gave his Constitution speech. Speakers from Berea & L.M.U. also gave interesting speeches. The ice cream didn’t arrive until late & weren’t all sold out (8 stands). I don’t know whether it was all sold yesterday or not.
We surely do miss you. Miss Medalf & Miss Smith were over on Queen & the black horse. They have a radio & brought the news of the Convention to [30d] the speaking. I guess they aren’t as proud as your father. [?] We had a very nice crowd.
Oma liked her trip to Lexington & Berea very much. She thinks she had rather go to college at Lexington than Berea. She hated to miss seeing you & wanted to see more of Berea.
Henry & I have started saving our pennies. We are sending our letters together. It will take us a long time to get enough to make our long-wanted trip to Cincinnati. How I do wish we could go this fall.
I’m very glad Dr. Huchins (sic, Hutchins) got to make his trip while you were in charge at Berea.
How’s Mr. & Mrs. McCullough. I hope she is herself again. & how’s Ethel? Tell her I’m still [30e] waiting for that letter she [?] to write me.
Has Jeanette gone on her vacation. I wish she were coming down to Pine Mountain. Do you & Mrs. Campbell know where you will start school work?
Please remember me to Clarkie, Elizabeth, Mary Lieu[?], Jeanette & Ethel. How I wish you were all here this very evening with me for supper. It is more like the evening you & Pat & Nell Englehart had supper with us. I remember how wet Nell’s hair was. Tis a pleasure to remember our good times we had together & wish we could still continue to see each other often.
I’ve been to Open House once since you left. Everything looks natural but [30f] the people. It doesn’t seem right to go to Open House & not see you. The people are mighty nice & are lucky to get such a nice quiet place to live. May [Ritchie Deschamps] said her & Leon (Deschamps) would leave about August 1st. I don’t know where they will go after visiting awhile in Viper.
Write me when you can & all the news. I don’t know when I can have time to answer but I always think of you often.
Excuse my pencil as Henry has the only pen that will write.
With love & best regards to yourself & the family. The children ask to be remembered to you,
31a through 31d. Nora Howard to Miss Butler, Feb. 2, 1925, four pages.
[031a] Pine Mountain, Ky.,
Feb. 2, 1925.
Dear Miss Butler,
I am in school to-day and I am enjoying it fine because we had a test on everything yesterday and I did pretty well I reckon.
Miss Gaines and I are a-getting along fine with our birds, chickens, and laundary. I work in the laundary now with Bessie Shoope and Hulda. Last night I caught eighteen of Miss Gaines’ chickens and put them in a little chicken lot up at the clothes line. I had to crop their wings to keep them from flying over the top. I water them in Franklin’s bowl and they seem to like it fine. I saw Queen [horse] to-day and I fed her a handful of sugar and I guess you can imagine how she ate it.
I will have got breakfast two weeks now at one [31b] term when this week is out. I shurely got hot a-baking biscuits. I get breakfast with Ida Crager. She is a girl lives just above Mabels’. She has black curly hair and you can imagine how Miss Gaines tries to keep it up. She gave Ida two hairclasps and two coambs to-day and tucked it up for her. It is just beginning to grow out enough to fix up. I can put my hair back now and one day I put on a hairnet and you should have seen her laugh at me and everytime I see her she says, “My hair, my hair.”
I take care of the furnace fire and the hot water stove too. Hugh Irving just lets us freeze to death at mornings and some times he leaves me notes in the cellar, bawling me out over the fire.
Nora Nolan left yesterday and I was sorry to have her leave. We have sixteen girls at Laurel House now and [31c] Nora Nolan came back to-day to stay and we was all glad to see her.
Everybody at home was sick with the flue Xmas vacation and I had to stay at home two weeks. I missed one week of school. Gladys went home with Hattie and stayed three weeks Xmas.
[31d] Miss Gaines does all the laundary, kitchen and dining room and then don’t have so much to do she can’t sit and play with the birds.
Becky May hasen’t took any stubborn spells at all this year but she has been just a fine girl and she said a poem at the club the other night and did fine.
We are graded on our work now and I’ll bet I get red D because I very often forget to ring the bell on time at nine o’clock.
We are going to make our graduation dresses pretty soon in sowing class.
32. Christopher to Miss Butler, Feb. 1, 1914, one page.
Pine Mountain Ky
Febery 1, 1914
My Dear Miss Butler.
I wont you to come to school so [?] can have me in one clace. I am coming to see Char[?] day. I miss you very much. Did you [?] it. Hattie got the [?]. I had rather be sick than you. Are you in the [? ?] or not. But I hope you are not. I am having a good time in school to day. So I will havt to quit [?] this time.
33a through 33c. Mathias Williams to “Friend,” November 14, 1920, three pages.
[33a] “answer soon” [at top of page]
Pine Mountain Ky,
Nov, 14, 1920.
I will write you a few lines to let you know how well we are getting along in Sunday school.
I think Niniah a very good Sunday School teacher. I am learning psalms very fast. I have learnt five already. Miniah threads us some real nice stories I think. Pearl and I are try[ing] to beat each other. [33b] I will try to beat him and he will try to beat me.
You must be sure I would be glad to see you. Niniah tells us something about you nearly every Sunday We are glad to hear from you.
We miss the organ very much. None of us cannot play but you must be sure I wish I could play the organ.
I am going to school most every day and am learning to read and write very fast but I cannot write so very well. But I hope to teach school some [33c] day for I take more pleasure in school than public or farm work either.
I hope that some day us boys of to day will be rulers and I hope that we may rule well and wisely.
Say, how is your mother now. Do you think she will every get well or not. I hope she will. Don’t you?
Hoping to see you soon! I remain your friend,
34a, 34b. Maudie Creech to Miss Butler, November 23, 1920, two pages.
[34a] Pine Mountain, Kentucky
November 23, 1930.
Dear Miss Butler,
Hope you arrived at home all right. Hope you will have a fine thanksgiving.
I went to bed Monday after you left and never got to get to school until Monday. You bet I got bad behind in my class.
Mama was up here Sunday and brought Jeannette. I sure was glad to see her.
Doshia, Allene, Allie, me, Hazle (sic), and Grace are going to dance the [34b] Indian war dance.
Arnie Shoop is up here now going to school. I think he will soon be in eight grade.
So I will haft to stop as it [is] about study hour. Excuse this short letter but I will try to write more next time.
Your Loving friend
35a through 35d. Delia Creech to Margarite (sic) [Butler], November 27, 1920, four pages.
[35a] Saturday Nov. 27, [notation: “1920”]
Dear Margarite (sic, Marguerite)
I have been so anxious every since Miss Gains (sic, Gaines) told us your mother was worse. How I do hope she is much better. I know something of trouble & I do want you all to know I sympathize with you. Oh! If she just could be well & back home again. How happy everyone would be.
At last I have your mother’s quilt done & I am so afraid she can’t enjoy it. But [35b] perhaps some of the family can if she can’t have an opportunity to. I do wish I could have done it sooner for her.
You can show this quilt to Ethel & if she thinks her mother would like one she can send the material & [I] will do the same for her. Send 4 yards pink, the same as yours, 6 yds white, & 1/2 yd green & get the same material as your mothers all but green. There wasn’t enough white. But I had some & so that ma[?] it all[?].
[35c] I am going tomorrow to see Andy at Baxter. He is mighty sick. There is much hope of him being well again.
I think all enjoyed Thanksgiving. I did want to go & have dinner with Miss Gains but I was too busy digging potatoes to go Elsie & Oma went & had an awful good time & good dinner. Give my love to your mother & Jeanette & remember me to your father & Walter. Write us when you have the time. I know you all are [busy?] & besides troubled & don’t want [35d] to write more than absolutely necessairy.
Remember me to all my friends at Cincinnati. It is dark & I can’t hardly see the lines & will stop. Much love to your mother & all good wishes for the family, I am your friend,
36a, 36b. Doshia Minyard to “Santa Claus,” December 22, 1920, two pages.
[036a] Pine Mountain, Ky.
Dec. 22, 1920.
Dear Santa Claus,
This is the first time in a year all of us has had a chance to ask you for what we want? It is nice to have some one like you to give us any thing almost we ask for isn’t it?
If you can please bring me a narrow black belt, and a Cupid doll, a fingure nail file. Won’t you please bring me a comb because mine has [036b] just got two teeth on one end and one in the middle and about four on the other end so you might know I have a hard time combing my hair.
37a, 37b. Note attached to 37c-37f, written by “M.B.” [Marguerite Butler?], N.D.
[037a], [037b]. [Attached note] The Coopers lived on top of ridge between school at head of Straight Creek & Green Hill. I always spent the night with Sallie and [Chunk?] Cooper. Their children were in school. [??] Grandpa & Grandma Cooper [?] lived on top of ridge, also, and half mile away. M.B.
37c through 37f Sallie Cooper to Marguerite Butelor (sic, Butler), May 12, 1921, 4 pages.
[037c] Bledsoe, Ky,
May 12th, 1921.
Miss Marguerite Butelor (sic, Butler).
Your card came to-day. I certainly am pleased to know you still think of us.
My entenion has been for quite a-while to write you. But on the account of Chunk’s [or] Elvin, I should say, iIllness with the Pendesides, I couldn’t hardily write. He stayed in the Harlan Hospital about two weeks. But he is doing very [037d] well now.
Suppose you have heard about Mary getting married to Dewey Sharp. She got married the 24th of January. She lives in the next house opsite Grandma’s.
So Mallie is still with me. I think she will stay with Mama. She was wishing to-day for you to hurry and come. Hope it won’t be long until you return.
Grandma and Grandpa are getting along fine. They reed [037e] a card from you. Also she will ans. Soon.
Vida is getting along alright. Has a fine-looking girl. Her name is Janet. She tanks u many times for those little presents you sent and said you are a wise guesser. And Mallie also thanks you a thousand times for the present you sent her. Eaven tho she has waited long about telling you.
All the children are anxious to see you. Hoping it won’t [037f] be long until you are with us all again.
38a through 38d. Rhoda Melinda Lewis to Miss Butler, March 6, 1921, London, Ohio, four pages.
38a through 38d. Rhoda Melinda Lewis to Miss Butler, March 6, 1921, London, Ohio, four pages.
[38a] [Notation at top of first page: “At this time Rhoda Melina Lewis was with Celia Cathcart Holton.”]
128 … St., London Ohio.
March 6, 1921.
Dear Miss Buttler [sic, Butler],
I got a letter the other day from Miss Pettit. She said she hoped to be back at the School before the first of April, but she said she didn’t know how we could make connections. She told me to write to you to find out when you were going back. But Mrs. [Celia Cathcart] Holton said if you were not going back about the last of March would you meet me at the train at Cincinnati.
Ann Mitchell, a [38b] neighbor of Mrs. Holton’s, loaned me her roller skates to learn to skate on. When I first put them on I fell all over everything but now I can skate pretty good. Each day I get a little better.
The other day we went to [a] tragedy play in Columbus by David Warfiled. He had an old doctor come to see him. The doctor said that when people died their spirits always came back to earth again but (Petter[?] Grims was his name in the play) would not believe it but he said [38c] if when I die my spirit comes back I will come to you and ask your pardon. So in a few days he dies and his spirit comes back and he tries to get the doctor to hear him so he can ask his pardon but no-one can hear him. But after awhile he gets a little boy to hear him and he tells the doctor about it. Then the boy dies an[d] Petter Grims takes his spirit with him.
[38d] Yesterday we saw a play by Charlotte Greenwood. There was a little boy in it about six years old and he done the best of any, I thought. One time he came out dressed up like a little white rooster and danced.
I hope your mother is better. Give your sister and Mr. and Mrs. Buttler my love, and much to you.
Your Loving friend,
Rhoda Melinda Lewis
39a through 39d. Anne Ruth Medcalf to Miss Butler, Feb. 15, 1922, four pages. On letterhead for Line Fork Settlement, Gilley, Letcher Co., Kentucky.
[39a] February 15, 1922.
My dear Miss Butler:-
Yes, I was a bit disappointed about the Louisville expedition, but I am planning to go to the Mountain Workers Conference at Knoxville in April, so I’m somewhat consoled. Are you going?
I went over to Lynch last week to see Dr. Todd. Rode Dixie all the way. Enjoyed the trip very much, and it was profitable. The Todds took me in as their guest. And Dr. Todd can and will be pleased to look after several of my people. It is fine to have a place so close where there are such [39b] facilities as X-Rays, laboratories, etc., combined with a doctor eager to cooperate. He can’t do everything, but he is a pretty good sort and knows when he can’t. Will tell you more about when I see you.
About the picture for Mr. [Percy] MacKaye — I’ll try my best to get one as you describe as soon as possible. Will write him to that effect.
The covers did come. They’re peaches. I am getting all excited in my own mind about having a separate house built as an office etc where I can look after folks. I am having to dress Mr. Lewis on my own bed — which is all wrong. I could raise money enough [39c] for it, I think. The sawmill is near. I have wild plans to put before you when you return. I haven’t a cent now, but I could get enough I feel sure.
By the way, I’ve definitely decided to stay a year if you all want me, and maybe longer.
How is the trip going? Nothing very interesting happening at [?]. I’m sort o’ hanging close, waiting for Mrs. Floyd Cornet’s visit[?]. Not to the house but in our immediate vicinity. I had a call over on Leatherwood [39d] the other day. When I got over there they had all their sick children assembled for me to look over. I was quite touched. I’m mighty sleepy. A big day tomorrow.
Anne Ruth Medcalf [Notation: “Nurse at Line Fork”]
40a through 40m. Anne Ruth Medcalf to Miss Butler, March 14, 1922, thirteen pages on letterhead for “Line Fork Settlement, Gilley, Letcher Co., Kentucky.”
[040a] March 14, 1922
My dear Miss Butler:-
Thanks heaps for the Line Fork circulars. Have you been distribution them around?
My dear, I wish I had some interesting things to tell you but, while I seem to be on the go all the time, nothing extraordinarily interesting has happened, it seems for a long time. Perhaps I am getting so accustomed to things and people in these parts, I do not always remember the unusual.
Mr. Lewis comes up here [040b] to be dressed most of the time now. He is an early riser, you know, so despite all my entreaties, he must not come till after 7:30 a,m., more often than not he arrives before I am dressed. I tease him a lot, and he says I “vilify” him.
I am enclosing two notes I have recently received. Possibly you can use them. But preserve them, please. I want them. The brown paper one is from Mary Susan Ingram, who was Mary Susan Cornet of Lige[?]. She and her soldier husband have settled on the old home place with their pet parrot and squirrel after their fling at traveling. The other is from Floyd Cornet who has a new [040c] daughter — [named] Ruth Anne, after me, of course, but horror of horrors, they are calling the poor thing — Annie!! The note explains itself. The baby came unannounced. Even “Marthie,” my friend and co-worker, did not get there in due time. However, I went in the A.M. after my enclosed summons came to me, and every day thereafter for ten. And during that ten days I did many things. The poor little name-sake had precious few clothes, so I had to donate a few. Otherwise little Ruthie Anne could not have been “stript” and washed every day. And with the other children I started a fatty-pine business. I discovered [040d] one of them putting fatty pine up in the neatest bundles, so I bought some of them, and Miss [Anne] Pavey is going to take it regularly when she gets back to her cottage. Really, I think it is quite an idea. People would love to get it as gifts. Especially folks having fire places. I wish we could get boxes — attractive ones, and fix it up like the bayberry candles are fixed. And it would help these girls and boys, too. Don’t you think it would be fine? Remember these youngsters do it especially well and use only the richest pine.
Did I tell you that the people over [040e] on Leatherwood about the Delphia Post Office want a “fotched-on” teacher? Mr. [?] Hall, whose child I visited one time, came over later and asked me to see about it for him. And he was delighted with our cabin and our work. He didn’t know anything about us till someone told him to come over for me when his child was sick. It was after my visit over there that he asked me to see about a teacher. And to ask the Pine Mountain folks if they couldn’t have a settlement over his way. He said he hadn’t had any education, but he wanted his own youngsters “and all the other children, too,” he said, “to get the vision.” They were his [040f] exact words. He said he’d deed over land for a “house-seat” and do anything else within his power. Doesn’t it seem as tho they should have it where they want it so? The first time I went over there they had all the sick children assembled to see me, and I had to make several other visits besides. When you come back I wish you’d go over there with me and meet Mr. Hall — he’s a mighty interesting man for all his lack of education.
I’ve been meeting up with some of the Sugar Grove people at odd times. They’re always very cordial. One of the women from there said she’d have [040g] “all the women out” to meet me if I’d come over and talk to them. The more I see of people from other neighborhoods the more I realize that we have a proposition on our hands in this valley.
We’ve been having torrential rains. “Tide’s been high” as old Uncle Will Lewis says. Mud[?] has been bad, too, but still I have gone. One woman said she “‘lowed Miss Medcalf stood the cold pretty nigh as good as a man the way she goes about in all kinds [of] weather.” And a couple of weeks ago I went over Stony Fork way to answer a call [040h] in a blinding snow. While the people who sent for me wanted me powerfully badly. They were surprised when I finally appeared on the scene. And still more so when I prepared to go back. They couldn’t conceive of anyone going back across the trail that night. But I was bound to — I had such a big day ahead the next day. The man of the house said he thot I had “more nerve” than he did.
Miss Pavey’s “last day program” was a huge success. I helped her some with costuming, so I was quite thrilled at the effect it had upon the spectators. Really, the whole thing was lovely. Too bad [040i] you had to miss it. Mrs. [Ethel de Long] Zande, Berto, Miss [Florence] Reeves, Miss Coolige, and Miss [Katherine B.] Wright came over for it. The Scouts were invested on that day, too. It was quite a ceremony!!
Speaking of school reminds me of a story Mr. Fields told me of Ben Brown, a former Bear Branch schoolmaster. Because of it, my estimation of him has gone up considerably. Here it is: when Ben Brown was “fixing for to leave the school at Bear Branch” he told Mr. Fields of a dream he had had that night before. He dreamed he was up on top [of] the ridge back of us when he saw a black mother bear. [040j] It was snowing. And following the old mother bear were three little bears, and those little bears “didn’t walk no place but where that mother bear had walked.” Then Mr. Ben Brown “got to studying” and he “just ‘lowed that was how hit was with the folks on Line Fork.” They were doing just exactly what their own mother bears had done before them. Didn’t dare do otherwise. So B.B. “‘lowed they needed some one who knew of other ways to skeer them out o’ the old.” All of which is very true n’est pas? And a good story, too — don’t you think?
[040k] I had Mr. Lewis go over to Harlan to Dr. Nolan for an examination and a change of tube last week. He kept him at the hospital for several days and when he came back he was the most disgusted mortal. It seems that they hadn’t done him up near as securely as I have been dressing him, so it was with a sigh of relief that he landed back here to get me to do him up. He knows from whence cometh his help.
Did I tell you that we had the big sale a while back? They loved the little gingham and calico dresses, so it was most unfortunate that they [040l] were all so much of one size. They were lovely for the most part, and they enjoyed handling them. We were all rather touched at this poor simple-minded Neally Cornet — Findley’s wife — who lives up the way. She took a fancy to a dear little pink dress with bunnies and chickens embroidered on it in black, etc etc, but it was too small for any of her stepchildren and much too large for the little expected one, so we tried to dissuade her from buying it, but without avail. She said it was “the prettiest dress” she “ever seed,” so she was “just a-goin’ to take it for to look at.” At which statement we [040m] ceased to try to influence her. I for one [felt] that she should have it if it meant that much to her.
How glad you’re going to be at the conference. Yes, Miss Pavey is going to join me there and she has written for a room, but she wrote direct to the Saint James. Wasn’t that right? So I’ll see you there if not before. I am anxious to have a talk with you.
Anne Ruth Medcalf
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing II – Images & excerpts, samples 21- 40, 1914-1925
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing I – Images & excerpts, samples 01-20, 1914-1925.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing TRANSCRIPTIONS I – Full transcriptions of samples 1-20.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing IIIE – Images & excerpts, samples 41-58, 1921-1950.
EDUCATION Community and Children’s Writing TRANSCRIPTIONS III – Full transcriptions of samples 41-58.