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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.

"The first comprehensive history of Hindman Settlement School."—Appalachian Heritage

"Stoddart is a meticulous researcher and historian, and her talents show in this work, which not only traces the history of the Hindman Settlement School, but also places it in the context of the Progressivism movement."—Appalachian Journal

"Stoddart’s historical account of one of the most successful rural settlement schools in the US brings to light the rich panoply of curricular offerings and community services provided by the Hindman School in eastern Kentucky."—Choice

"Marks an important contribution by introducing new research and providing a new interpretive framework for understanding the contributions made by Hindman Settlement School. I learned something new on every page and feel certain that this volume will be valuable for scholars and engaging for the broader public interested in a good story about good people."—Gordon McKinney

"Has much to offer students of early twentieth-century American history, the history of the Progressive Era, and the history of the South."—Indiana Magazine of History

"Stoddart’s careful research into Hindman School’s formative years is especially important. . . .In addition, her documentations of women’s central role in reform efforts at Hindman enhances recent studies of female leadership in Appalachia."—Journal of Southern History

"Besides showcasing the remarkable importance of emerging and reform-minded women leaders, Stoddart effectively shares a multitude of quotations and anecdotes regarding the growth and evolution of the school into the 21st century."—Kentucky Monthly

"For others interested in a more historical perspective, this volume seems destined to become another ‘must have’ for their regional library collections."—Modern Mountain Magazine

"A useful history of a very unusual educational institution."—Richard B. Drake

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Hindman Settlement School, Rural education, Kentucky, Appalachian Region


Appalachian Studies | Education

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