Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund, Series III

Accession Number: 20
Records, 1922-1987
29.2 Linear Feet
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Overview & Series Description
Series I - Minutes of the Board of Trustees
Series II - Financial Records
      Subseries 1 - Trust Agreements
      Subseries 2 - Finacncial Summaries and Audits
      Subseries 3- Income and Disbursement Statements
      Subseries 4- Citizen's Fidelity Transaction Statements
      Subseries 5- Journal / Account Sheets
Series III - Chairmen and Trustees Files
      Subseries 1 - Edward O' Rear
      Subseries 2 - Ross Sloniker
      Subseries 3 - Francis S. Hutchins
      Subseries 4 - J. Farra Van Meter
      Subseries 5 - Henry H. Loomis

Series IV - West Correspondence
Series V - Lexington Subject Files
Series VI - Projects and Grants
Series VII - Homeplace General Correspondence
   1920s 1930s1940s 1950s1960s 1970s1980s undated
Series VIII - Homeplace Subject Files
Series IX - Photographs
Series X - Homeplace Rural Health Association
     Subseries 1 - Service Reports
     Subseries 2 - Personnel Records
     Subseries 3 - Miscellany
Series XI - Perry County Rural Telephone Company
     Subseries 1 - Record Book
     Subseries 2 - Correspondence
     Subseries 3 - Financial Records
Series XII - Oversize and Miscellany


These are the board meeting minutes, financial records, correspondence, and photographs documenting the founding of the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund and its role in southeastern Kentucky agricultural, educational, health, and economic improvement efforts during the years 1922-1987.

Related Berea College Archives

Buckhorn Children's Center Records, SAA 45

Related References

Purcell, L. Edward, Good Neighbor to the Mountains: The Story of the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund 1922-1987. E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund, 1988.

Series III Chairmen and Trustees Files Boxes 10-19

These are files maintained individually by Edward O'Rear, Ross Sloniker, and Francis Hutchins, each of whom served as chair of the Mountain Fund. There is no other correspondence for O'Rear and Sloniker elsewhere in Fund records. These two administrations are thus documented most completely in Board of Trustee minutes, in administrative records maintained by Fund secretaries Martin and West, and in the correspondence of trustee Francis Hutchins (from 1948-1988).

There is no separate series for Fred Bryant, who chaired the Board from 1967-1972. Bryant seems to have relied mostly on office files of secretary, Luise West as a repository for his files and much of his incoming and outgoing correspondence is filed in the latter's records (General Correspondence and Projects and Grants series). Fuller documentation of Bryant's administration exists in Board of Trustee minutes.

Board of Trustee minutes and Homeplace correspondence maintained by Lula Hale serve as the principal source of documentation of the activities of other members of the Board. The only records of a trustee preserved outside this collection may be among the papers of Thomas Poe Cooper , trustee from 1929-1958, held by the University of Kentucky.

The following is a complete list of trustees who served during the period of these records:

  • L.G. Banning (1923-1934)
  • J.C. Codell (1947-1948)
  • Dewey Daniel (1952-1967)
  • C.A. Gerst (1952- )
  • Lyman V. Ginger (1970- )
  • W.H. Hyden (1922-1932)
  • C.N. Manning (1922-1947)
  • Loretto C. Martin (1947-1951)
  • N. Mitchell Meade (1970- )
  • F.W. Mobray (1922-1928)
  • T.W. Rainey (1937-1953)
  • Wayne Stewart (1965-1967)
  • Robert J. Turley (ca. 1966-1970)
  • Menifee Wirgman (1922-1952)
  • and T.J. Wood (1961-1965)
Subseries 1 Edward O'Reary Box 10

Edward C. O'Rear, a native of Camargo, Kentucky, studied law in nearby Morgan County, and in 1886 established a legal practice in Mt. Sterling. Noted as a specialist in title law, O'Rear was an unsuccessful congressional candidate in 1888, served as county judge in Montgomery County from 1894-1898, and was a Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1900-1911. During this period O'Rear wrote the majority decision upholding the Day Law which forced the segregation of private schools in Kentucky. After an unsuccessful run for Governor in 1911, O'Rear was hired as Chief Counsel in Kentucky for Consolidation Coal Company whom he continued to represent until his death.

O'Rear was named chair of the Fund on its establishment but did not assume control until Robinson's death in 1934. His administration may be characterized as conservative, particularly during the Depression and extending through the war years. However, his management of investments had a very positive effect on the Fund's long-term monetary value.

Generally, O'Rear's administration is most completely documented in board meeting minutes and in correspondence kept by Francis Hutchins. The O'Rear subseries consists mainly of material relating to the Fund's involvement with the Buckhorn Children's Center. Included are four folders of correspondence and a single folder of agreements between the Fund, Buckhorn Association, and Presbyterian Church organizations. They were transferred to Francis Hutchins by O'Rear following his retirement.

Trustees Ross Sloniker and Francis Hutchins first suggested the Fund donate money to the Buckhorn Association following a fire, which destroyed a girl's dormitory in Feb., 1953. Buckhorn's financial situation proved to be so desperate, however, that the Trustees were convinced to assume control of the institution, taking title to the property in Apr., 1954. The transfer process was quite lengthy because the Buckhorn Association was chartered in New York State by members of a Presbyterian congregation in Brooklyn.

Correspondence reflects O'Rear's negotiations with Buckhorn Association lawyers, Buckhorn's administrator; Elmer Gabbard, Trustees' opinions regarding the purchase, and O'Rear's keen awareness of the value of Buckhorn properties and investments. Correspondence is present only through May, 1954, and thus does not document administrative difficulties encountered after the Mountain Fund assumed ownership. These difficulties arose because of the substantial reduction in donations from Buckhorn's supporters who incorrectly assumed the Mountain Fund's resources would easily meet the institution's needs. The result was the Mountain Fund finally giving Buckhorn's title to the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky in July, 1956.

Box 10

  1. Edward O'Rear: Buckhorn Correspondence, Mar. 1953
  2. Edward O'Rear: Buckhorn Correspondence, Sept.-Dec. 1953
  3. Edward O'Rear: Buckhorn Correspondence, Jan.-Feb. 1954
  4. Edward O'Rear: Buckhorn Correspondence, Mar.-May 1954
  5. Edward O'Rear: Buckhorn Legal Agreements & Notes, 1953-1954
  6. Edward O'Rear: General Correspondence, 1951
Subseries 2 Ron Sloniker Box 10

Ross Sloniker chaired the Mountain Fund from 1954-1963, after having served as a trustee since 1932. He was associated with Mowbray and Robinson Lumber Company for most of his life, serving as manager of the Quicksand Mill during E.O. Robinson's lifetime and subsequently as president of the company. Sloniker's interests in eastern Kentucky paralleled those of Robinson and during his time at Quicksand had formed good working relationships with numerous business and community leaders. He was a noted collector of religious art works and Bibles, some of which he donated to both the Cincinnati Art Museum and to Berea College.

The Sloniker subseries consists of two correspondence files documenting his first few months as chair of the Mountain Fund Board. The correspondence relates mainly to the Buckhorn's Children's Center, but also details transfer of authority from O'Rear to Sloniker, preliminary planning of a pension plan for Homeplace employees, and various grant requests received by Sloniker, West, and other trustees.

Box 10, cont'd.

  1. Ross Sloniker: General Correspondence, n.d., Nov. 1950; Oct.-Dec. 1954
  2. Ross Sloniker: General Correspondence, Jan.- Feb. 1955; 1963
Subseries 3 Francis S. Hutchins Boxes 10-14

Francis Hutchins was appointed to the Board in 1948. He was a native of Northfield, Massachusetts, and educated at Oberlin College and Yale University. Having worked with the Yale-in-China project as a graduate student, he returned to China as an educational administrator and served there throughout the 1930's. In 1939 he was appointed president of Berea College where he succeeded his father, William J. Hutchins.

Hutchins was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Pine Mountain Settlement School (1949-1967). His work with both agencies and with community school development projects administered by Berea College reflect Hutchins' abiding concern for the increased effectiveness of education and health programs in the region. His physical proximity to Homeplace resulted in his frequent representation of the Trustees at various functions there. He was also frequently asked to evaluate agencies or institutions seeking Fund support.

Hutchins was primarily responsible for the establishment of the Fund's scholarship and loan programs during this period, as well as the development of a retirement program for Homeplace employees. He chaired the Fund from 1963 until 1967, when he retired from the Bere College presidency. Following several years abroad, he returned to Berea and more active trusteeship in 1970. During the 1970's he was a strong advocate of maintaining Homeplace as a community center. He was appointed a lifetime member of the Fund Board in 1972.

The Hutchins subseries consists of subject files documenting his trusteeship and chairmanship of the Fund (1948-1967). Topics include the Fund's Dental Health Program, medical education loans and scholarships, and correspondence between Hutchins and Fund chair Edward O'Rear. Additional Hutchins documentation, particularly for his service as Fund Chair are found in administrative records maintained by Fund secretary, Luise West.

Box 10, cont'd.

  1. Francis Hutchins: Board Communications, 1970-1973; 1983
  2. Francis Hutchins: Brochures
  3. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence, Appalachian Regional Hospital

Box 11

  1. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Aumack, Arthur 1976-1979
  2. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Aumack, Arthur 1980-1982
  3. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Aumack, Arthur 1983-1985
  4. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Aumack, Arthur 1986-1988
  5. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Cameron, Mura
  6. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence, Citizen's Fidelity Bank 1976-1979; 1986-1987
  7. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Clark, T.D.

Box 12

  1. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence, Coal Mining at Robinson Forest
  2. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence, n.d., E.O.R.M.F. General 1981-1982
  3. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Eversole, Roy G. 1969-1971; 1973
  4. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Flannery, Maureen
  5. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Fowler, Leroy
  6. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; General 1956-1988
  7. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Ginger, Lymon
  8. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Purcell, Edward
  9. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; O'Rear, Edward 1948-1952
  10. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; O'Rear, Edward 1953-1961
  11. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Spurlock, Willie
  12. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Van Meter, Farra
  13. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Watts, Delana
  14. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Watts, Vinson

Box 13

  1. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; West, Luise 1954-1976
  2. Francis Hutchins: Correspondence; Daniel, Dewey
  3. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1956-1957
  4. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1958-1959
  5. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1960-1961
  6. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1962-1963
  7. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1964-1965
  8. Francis Hutchins: Dental Health Program 1966-1967
  9. Francis Hutchins: Lula Hale
  10. Francis Hutchins: History of the Mountain Fund
  11. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace
  12. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace Community School
  13. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace Conference
  14. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace Log House and Barn

Box 14

  1. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace Personnel 1971
  2. Francis Hutchins: Homeplace Publicity 1981-1982
  3. Francis Hutchins: Finance Commitee, 1977-1982
  4. Francis Hutchins: Land Purchases - Dobson & Boleys Tracts, 1964-1967
  5. Francis Hutchins: Lanier, Ailen
  6. Francis Hutchins: Miscellaneous
  7. Francis Hutchins: "Our Common Heritage"
  8. Francis Hutchins: Recommendation; Roy Eversole
  9. Francis Hutchins: Research - History of Mowbray & Robinson
  10. Francis Hutchins: Retirement Program
  11. Francis Hutchins: Trust Agreements 1963, 1967
Subseries 4 J. Farra Van Meter Boxes 14-17

J. Farra Van Meter, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, practiced medicine there from 1929-1978. He was associated for much of that period with Good Samaritan Hospital, particularly as director of the hospital's cancer clinic. He was a past president of the Fayette County Medical Society and a member of the Kentucky Board of Health (1964). His earliest involvement with the Mountain Fund was as a member of an advisory committee appointed by Fund Chairman, O'Rear in 1950 to oversee the planning and administration of Homeplace Hospital. He was named a Fund trustee in 1953, and assumed the chairmanship of the board on the 1972 resignation of Fred Bryant.

During Van Meter's tenure as chairman, an increasingly large proportion of Fund grants went to support scholarship programs and other education and health projects external to the greater Homeplace service area of Breathitt, Knott, and Perry Counties. The period saw ongoing discussions relating to the effectiveness of Homeplace programs and possible alternative uses of Homeplace property and buildings.

Box 14, cont'd.

  1. Fera Van Meter: Appalachian Regional Hospitals 1972-1974
  2. Fera Van Meter: Clark History, Jan. 1974-Jan. 1975
  3. Fera Van Meter: Correspondence and Reports 1972-1974

Box 15

  1. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, 1966-1970
  2. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, 1971
  3. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, May - Aug. 1972
  4. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Sept.- Dec. 1972
  5. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Jan.-Oct. 1973
  6. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Nov.- Dec. 1973
  7. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Jan.-May 1974
  8. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, June-Sept. 1974
  9. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Oct.-Dec. 1974
  10. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, Jan.-May 1975
  11. Farra Van Meter: Correspondence, June-July 1975; 1978
  12. Farra Van Meter: Eversole Study, 1973

Box 16

  1. Farra Van Meter: Hale Retirement (1975) with Trust Agreement
  2. Farra Van Meter: Homeplace - Weaving Project
  3. Farra Van Meter: Lees Dedication Speech 1973
  4. Farra Van Meter: Loomis Financial Reports 1972-1974
  5. Farra Van Meter: Manchester Hospital 1955-1975
  6. Farra Van Meter: Miscellaneous
  7. Farra Van Meter: Miscellaneous Notes for Speeches 1925-1977
  8. Farra Van Meter: Quicksand Crafts
  9. Farra Van Meter: Quicksand Crafts Binder
  10. Farra Van Meter: Speeches, A-C; 1933-1972
  11. Farra Van Meter: Speeches, D-K; 1929-1971

Box 17

  1. Farra Van Meter: Speeches, L-N; 1931-1963
  2. Farra Van Meter: Speeches, O-S; 1939-1973
  3. Farra Van Meter: Speeches, T-Z; 1928-1971
Subseries 5 Harry H. Loomis Boxes 17-19

Henry H. Loomis was a retired employee of Burroughs Corporation and a resident of Lexington, Kentucky throughout his trusteeship (1970-1977). As a member of the Board's Investment Committee, he focused on the fiscal administration of Fund programs, investments of its endowment monies, the efficient operation of Homeplace Hospital and Clinic, and the review of past Fund grants. Also of importance is correspondence of trustee Francis Hutchins directed both to Loomis individually and to the trustees generally. Other frequent correspondents include J. Farra Van Meter, Luise West, and (Jay) G. Coberly, an administrator of Appalachian Regional Hospitals, Inc.

Box 17, cont'd.

  1. Henry Loomis: Board of Trustees Material 1971-1972
  2. Henry Loomis: Board of Trustees Material 1973-1976
  3. Henry Loomis: Budget and Finance of E.O.R.M.F. 1967-1970
  4. Henry Loomis: Financial 1970-1972
  5. Henry Loomis: Nim Henson, Geriatric Center - Jackson, KY; Feb. - July 1975

Box 18

  1. Henry Loomis: History 1973-1975
  2. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Accounts 1970
  3. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Clinic Transfer 1970
  4. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Clinic Transfer 1971-1972
  5. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Heating 1976-1977
  6. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Names, [addressograph machine] 1970
  7. Henry Loomis: Homeplace Transfer to Perry County Group 1973-1976
  8. Henry Loomis: Income and Expenses 1972-1973
  9. Henry Loomis: Investment Committee 1972-1974
  10. Henry Loomis: Investment Committee 1975-1977
  11. Henry Loomis: Pensions 1969-1972

Box 19

  1. Henry Loomis: Pensions 1973-1977
  2. Henry Loomis: Tax Reform Act 1971-1972

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