Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Students
Series 19: STUDENTS
Watson “BUSTER” McIntyre Student, 1936-1942
Watson McIntyre (1924-?)


282 “Buster McIntyre, Emily Hill, Jack Cornett [child], Mary Hill.” [creech_columbus_2_282]

TAGS: Watson “Buster” McIntyre, PMSS day students, Audrey McIntire, Peggy McIntire, Emily Hill Creech, Mary Hill McIntyre, Kentucky State Reformatory, Arthur W. Dodd, World War II, student self-appraisal letters, English Country Dancing,  U.S. Navy, Veterans Institute, Creech family, Billie Lofley McIntyre, Creech School

WATSON “BUSTER” McINTYRE Student, 1936-1942

When Watson “Buster” McIntyre began as a day student at Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1936, he had difficulties dealing with his new surroundings. That he experienced eventual improvement can be attributed to the School’s positive influence but also suggests a young man’s coming of age.

WATSON “BUSTER” McINTYRE: His Aunt and Two Sisters

Buster’s sisters, Audrey McIntire and Peggy McIntire, had already been PMSS students since 1933. (The last names of the family members vary in the Creech Family collection of letters, documents, and photographs as “McIntire” or “McIntyre.” Buster appears to have preferred the latter spelling.) 

Emily Hill (Creech), Buster’s maternal aunt and a former PMSS worker and student, was the force behind Buster, Audrey, and Peggy’s acceptance by Pine Mountain School. According to letters in Emily’s correspondence file, Emily wrote to then-Director Glyn Morris in November 1932, asking if he would be able to accept her two nieces into the Pine Mountain School. She stated that “I know of no other school that I would rather have them than Pine Mt. Of course, I feel it is the best place in the world and shall always feel so…I would do all I could to pay their way…”

Morris had to decline at the time, as Audrey, 13 years old and Peggy, 12 years old, were too young to qualify. Emily tried again the following spring, explaining that she was taking care of the family. The nieces’ father had been sent to Kentucky State Reformatory in Franklin, KY, for 21 years, leaving three small children with a mother in poor health. Emily wrote, “I have done all I could for them and have kept them together….” Emily then offered to do summer work at the School to pay for the girls’ schooling. This time Emily’s application for her nieces was a success. As of the 1940 U.S. Census, Peggy and Buster McIntyre were living with Emily Hill Creech and her husband, Columbus Creech.


At first, Buster confounded the teachers with his constant disruption of the classroom and his dismissal of any responsibility for his education. At the end of the 1936 school year, Glyn Morris wrote to Buster’s mother that “Buster has ability which he is not using, and we should be gratified if you would speak to him about trying harder for the coming year.”

However, by the end of 1941, Principal Arthur W. Dodd wrote to Mrs. McIntyre that several teachers were reporting improvements. Dodd also felt that Buster “has made more gains this term than at any other period of attendance at Pine Mountain. … He is becoming a man now, as you can see, and we are hoping that he will become a useful one.”

Dodd then described how good students were essential to the country during World War II, writing,

“In this grave period of our national life it is the serious duty of every boy and girl to become better students in order to become better and more useful citizens. In this American ideal we are certain of your continued sympathy and support.” 

In Buster’s December 1941 self-appraisal letter to his mother, he wrote, “In the beginning of the fall my attitude was not so good as it should have been, but I think it has improved very much….” He developed an interest in auto mechanics in particular and appreciated the School’s co-operative program. He enjoyed extra-curricular activities as well. He had a role in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, a play presented by the English class. Also, at the 1940 May Day event, he was among the dancers in Set II of the English Country Dance, “The Maid in the Moon.” 

Buster left Pine Mountain Settlement School in November 1942, during his junior year, for service in the United States Navy.

WATSON “BUSTER” McINTYRE: After Pine Mountain

In December 1945, Pine Mountain staff received a letter from the Veterans Education Director at the Veterans Institute. The letter contained a request for a transcript of Buster’s credits, as he was “now enrolled in the Veterans Institute, part of the Public School system of Hillsborough County, Florida.” [ More about Buster McIntyre’s post-PMSS years will be added to this page if further information is found.]


Watson “Buster” McIntyre was born in Jeff (Perry County), Kentucky, on November 18, 1924. His parents were Mary Hill McIntyre (later, Mary Hill McIntyre Jones), born in 1900, and Harrison “Buster” McIntyre (1897-1963). They had three children. Buster was born second, after Peggy (born in 1921) and before Audrey (1920).

Buster had attended Creech School in Harlan County before coming to PMSS. In his Autobiography, which is a required part of the application to attend PMSS, he described his home life: “We own our home and land. The chief farm crop is corn. We have 1 car, 1 truck, 4 head of stock. Our home is a 7-room painted frame house, heated by fire and lit by lamps. We get water from a well.”

At the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, the parents and their three children, Audrey, age 10, Peggy, 9, and Buster, 5, were living in Franklin, Kentucky. By the 1940 Census, Peggy and Buster were living with Emily and Columbus Creech in Pine Mountain, Kentucky, and Audrey was employed as a domestic worker in a private home in Bronxville, New York.

Buster married Billie Lofley McIntyre in approximately 1945. After 67 years of marriage, Billie died on October 14, 2012, in Florida. They had two children, Linda (Bob) Smith and Gordon (Sylvia) McIntyre and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



[For links to additional pages of photographs of the McIntire, Hill, and Creech families and other relatives, go to JAMES COLUMBUS CREECH Family Collections Guide.]


Watson “Buster” McIntyre

Alt. Title

Watson McIntyre ; Buster McIntyre ; Watson “Buster” McIntire ; Watson “Mac” McIntyre ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Watson Buster McIntyre ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; biography ; PMSS day students ; Audrey McIntire ; Peggy McIntire ; Emily Hill Creech ; Mary Hill McIntyre ; Kentucky State Reformatory ; U.S. Census ; Arthur W. Dodd ; World War II ; student self-appraisal letters ; English Country Dancing ; plays ; U.S. Navy ; Veterans Institute ; Creech family ; Billie McIntyre ; Harrison “Buster” McIntyre ; Creech School ;

Subject LCSH

McIntyre, Watson Buster, — 1924 – (?).
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.


2021-08-11 aae (draft) ;  2021-10-03 aae (published) ;


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 – Students ; Series 19: Students.




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Students and Series 19: Students.

Coverage Temporal

1897 – 1945

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Cherokee, NC ; Franklin, KY ; Jeff, KY ; Perry County, KY ; Bronxville, NY ; 


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 Watson Buster McIntyre ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Watson Buster McIntyre ;




“[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

2024-03-03 aae ;



“Billie Lofley McIntyre” Obituary, Tampa Bay Times, October 19, 2012. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/tampabaytimes/name/billie-mcintyre-obituary?pid=160518997 (accessed 2021-08-14). Internet resource.

FamilySearch Family Tree. (Accessed 2021-08-09). Internet resource. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LBSV-1FN 

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R46-LMC?cc=1810731&wc=QZF9-PTD%3A648805301%2C649102001%2C648955101%2C1589282391 : accessed 2021-08-09), Kentucky > Franklin > Frankfort > ED 6 > image 9 of 48. (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002). Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9M1-SJ7D?cc=2000219&wc=QZXY-8T5%3A790105801%2C793627401%2C790126601%2C795177801 : accessed 13 August 2021), Kentucky > Harlan > Magisterial District 4 > 48-33 Magisterial District 4, Pine Mountain, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Putney, Rosspoint (part) Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012. Internet resource.

“WATSON ‘BUSTER’ McINTYRE Student Records [RESTRICTED]” and “JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Family Correspondence.” Series 09: Biography – Students and Series 19: Students. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

Return To:
JAMES COLUMBUS CREECH Family Collections Guide

See Also:
AUDREY McINTIRE Student – Biography
EMILY HILL Student Staff – Biography
PEGGY McINTIRE Student– Biography