One hundred and sixteen years ago, two Daughters of the American Revolution saw it in their hearts to come to Hindman. An old man by the name of Solomon Everidge or as his family called him “Uncle Sol” inspired them. Uncle Sol, a man of integrity, but of little formal education, feared that if his “grands and greats” went without education they would only get “wuss and wusser”. This is what drove Sol to take the long hike to where he conferred with Katherine Pettit and May Stone.
The two Kentucky DAR members saw it in their hearts to come to Hindman to save Uncle Sol’s “grands and greats” from getting worse. The two women packed up what they could carry and headed to the wealds of South East Kentucky. What they found was a place steeped as much in opportunity as splendor. They saw through the rugged mountain terrain to realize beauty lay just below the surface. Katherine Pettit and May Stone then went to work educating the under resourced people of Appalachia.
Stone and Pettit gave Hindman a chance because they saw the sheer tenacity that can only come from the valleys of Troublesome Creek. More than a century later the Lexington DAR Chapter and the Fincastle DAR Chapter has not forgotten their little school in the mountains. This year they commissioned portraits of both Katherine Pettit and May Stone, founders of Hindman Settlement School. Both chapters were elated to help with the process and left us with a reminder of the importance of the work we do.
The Fincastle Chapter was quoted, “[We] recognize the pioneering spirit in education, as well as the continued success and relevance of Hindman Settlement School.” We were proud to be considered a part of the progressive education introduced by Katherine Pettit.
In conjunction, the Lexington DAR Chapter said that the visit to the Settlement school vehemently cemented their respect for May Stone’s work for the school. They said, “The more we learned about Miss Pettit’s work, the more we cherished her memory.”
A special mention should go to the creator of these historical renditions of our founders. The life artist Debby Bird brought into the canvas is a fair reflection of the light brought in by Pettit and Stone.
We are more than boastful to have received one painting, but to have received support from both of our founders’ chapters is a persistent reservoir of pride for our school and our community. The paintings are not only a symbol of past devotion to our school, but a promise to uphold and surpass the legacies before us.