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Challenge and Change in Appalachia

Challenge and Change in Appalachia: The Story of Hindman Settlement School

Jess Stoddart
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Challenge and Change in Appalachia
    Book Description:

    The first and most successful rural social settlement school in the United States lies at the forks of Troublesome Creek in Knott County, Kentucky. Since its founding in 1902 by May Stone and Katherine Pettit, the Hindman Settlement School has received accolades for the quality of its education, health, and community services that have measurably improved the lives of people in the region. Challenge and Change in Appalachia is the story of a groundbreaking center for education that transformed a community. The School's farms and extension work brought modern methods to the area. At the same time, the School encouraged preservation of the region's crafts and music. Today, unique programs for dyslexic children, work in adult education, and cultural heritage activities make the School a model for rural redevelopment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4954-7
    Subjects: Education, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    “Having little experience and less money, we started a school.” With these self-effacing words, Katherine Pettit and May Stone explained how in the summer of 1902 they established Hindman Settlement School in Knott County in the heart of Appalachian Kentucky. The institution they founded became a unique experiment, combining a school whose curriculum offered the best of the new educational ideas of Progressivism together with settlement work, which was central to the social reform goals of the Progressive movement.

    Hindman Settlement School was the first rural settlement school in America as well as one of the earliest rural social settlements....

  5. Chapter One “Mixin’ Larns Both Parties”: The Beginnings
    (pp. 9-47)

    Hindman Settlement School was a product of a nationwide movement for political and social reform known as Progressivism that swept across America in the 1890s and lasted through World War I. It came as a response to enormous changes taking place in America as a result of the rapid acceleration of industrial capitalism after the Civil War. Nowhere was the impact felt more strongly than in America’s cities. Many citizens grew dismayed with the problems wrought by unbridled urbanization and the newly formed ghettoes filled with the poor immigrant families who had become the labor force of the new urban...

  6. Chapter Two The Women’s Christian Temperance Union School, 1902–1915
    (pp. 48-82)

    Many of the challenges facing Katherine Pettit and May Stone were related to the need to establish an educational institution in a region so isolated that it had no substantial roads. Another challenge was to obtain private donations to support the institution. In addition, the founders added an important new curriculum to what was already taught in the public elementary schools in Kentucky. The two most important aspects of this curriculum were industrial education and kindergarten, both previously unknown in the area. The addition of kindergarten resulted from Pettit and Stone’s view that the mountain children lacked what they called...

  7. Chapter Three “Broadening Out”: Hindman Settlement School, 1915–1932
    (pp. 83-110)

    Even during what might be called the “golden age” of Hindman Settlement School—the years between its incorporation and the Depression—Settlement leaders faced serious challenges produced in part by the Settlement’s phenomenal success. It was now a large institution, with significant overhead in buildings, teaching staff, and other costs. Financial uncertainty was a constant worry in the 1920s as Stone sought the funds necessary to maintain such an important institution whose services were delivered to more and more people. By the beginning of the Depression, public agencies had taken up important elements of the Settlement’s activities, especially that of...

  8. Chapter Four “The Best School in the Mountains”
    (pp. 111-141)

    Life at the Settlement in the years between the two world wars has been captured in rich detail through interviews with students who attended the School during those decades. Their recollections provide a portrait of student life during Hindman Settlement School’s “golden age,” when it was the most influential educational institution in Knott County.

    Hindman always had two kinds of students—the day scholars and “Settlement students.” From the rebuilding of the campus after the 1910 fire until 1934, the Settlement population grew and accounted for 15 to 25 percent of the total student body. During the 1920s, boarding capacity...

  9. Chapter Five The Challenges of a Changing World, 1932–1977
    (pp. 142-173)

    One of the most important precepts of the social settlement movement was the idea that “the work of the settlement is to make itself unnecessary.” However, as settlements matured, they came to understand that they could shift their emphasis from being “a leaven in a lump” to becoming “a stimulating center [that] might well occupy a permanent position of usefulness.”¹ That is the precise challenge that Elizabeth Watts, Raymond McLain, and Lionel Duff grappled with during their years leading Hindman Settlement School. The three served as directors from the time of the Depression, World War II, and during the following...

  10. Chapter Six A Wider Sphere of Influence: Hindman Settlement School Today
    (pp. 174-205)

    During the past quarter-century, Mike Mullins has brought a clear vision for program development and skilled fund-raising to Hindman Settlement School, and has made it a “good neighbor” and an education leader again in the community. Loyal Jones, the chairman of the board of directors, credits Mullins with defining new roles for the Settlement that go beyond the programs of the “missionary era.” Joseph Graves, a former board president and its longest-serving member, describes what has occurred as a “phenomenal success in terms of really serving people in this region.”¹

    Mike Mullins was the first director to take over the...

  11. Chapter Seven “Arousing the Neighborhood”: The Community Development Initiative
    (pp. 206-224)

    On October 18, 1997, Governor Paul Patton, speaking in the Great Hall of Hindman Settlement School, announced that Knott County and the town of Hindman had been chosen as one of two eastern Kentucky communities to benefit from the state’s “New Towns” project, or Community Development Initiative. Developed through the Kentucky Appalachian Development Initiative, the project capped fifteen years of Patton’s work with Mike Mullins and other eastern Kentucky leaders in a search for new ways to deal with the region’s problems.

    The steps that led to the New Towns initiative began during the administration of Governor Brereton Jones. Jones...

  12. Appendix 1. Social Settlements and Settlement Workers: An Essay in Appalachian Historiography
    (pp. 225-232)
  13. Appendix 2. Faculty and Staff, 1925–1926
    (pp. 233-234)
  14. Appendix 3. A Chronology of Hindman Settlement School
    (pp. 235-242)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 243-268)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 269-292)
  17. Index
    (pp. 293-308)