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Alice Kinder Collection

 Collection — Box: 2017.9
Identifier: MS-1995-11

Scope and Contents

The Alice Kinder Collection is arranged in four series. The First Series, Manuscripts and Writings of Alice Kinder, contains rough drafts and manuscript copies of three of Kinder’s book length works: Mama’s Pathway to Heaven, Pikeville College Looks to the Hills, and Papa’s Neighbors. Of particular note are the three drafts of Pikeville College Looks to the Hills, which stands as the only book length project to be published about the mountain school.

The Second Series, Personal Files and Scrapbooks, contains letters, newspaper clippings, and complied scrapbooks about both Kinder and other local authors. Interested both in literature and local history, Kinder accumulated newspaper articles, letters, and other written items of note on several eastern Kentucky figures. Also included in this series are Kinder’s personal records, many of which relate to her literary career.

The Third Series, Writings and Correspondence of William McKinley Justice, is comprised of manuscripts, letters, and other materials passed down to Kinder by her father, William McKinley Justice. Over half of this series consists of letters written to Justice in reference to his five books of published poetry. In addition, the series contains the manuscript of Midnights Are Mine, an unpublished manuscript of William Justice’s life in eastern Kentucky.


  • Creation: 1900-1995


Biographical Sketch

Born on September 18, 1921, Alice Justice Kinder was the daughter of William McKinley Justice and Ibbie Elizabeth Smith Justice. Her father, William McKinley Justice, a schoolteacher and author of five books of poetry, proved to be a great influence on Alice. After her graduation from Pikeville High School in 1940, Alice attended Pikeville Junior College (later Pikeville College), and later taught in the local school until 1945, when she married Hobart Kinder, a high-school classmate. Remaining in the hills she loved, Alice Kinder would spend the majority of the next fifty years in Pike County, Kentucky raising her family and pursuing her love of writing.

Perhaps best known as an author, Alice Justice Kinder published 12 books and over 1,000 stories and poems. She also wrote columns for the Pike County News and the Appalachian News-Express, and much of her work focuses on the history and culture of the east Kentucky mountains or religion. In recognition of her writing, she received Kentucky Colonel awards in 1986 and 1988, and in 1989 was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters degree by Pikeville College. She also received the Pikeville College Alumni Literature Award in recognition of her work Pikeville College Looks to the Hills. Alice Justice Kinder died on September 22, 1995.

Like his daughter, William McKinley Justice was a product of the eastern Kentucky mountains into which he was born on November 27, 1893. Although he did not attend school until he was a teenager and did not receive his high school diploma until his mid-twenties, William Justice thirsted not only for personal knowledge, but to educate others in the mountains as well. A tireless promoter for Pikeville College, her traveled to a number of cities in the mid-west and north to raise money for the local school and help educate the youth of eastern Kentucky. Graduating from Berea College in 1929, Justice spent the next thirty years educating the youth of Pike County. From 1940-1959, Justice served as the principal at Hellier High School.

Justice loved the written word, and published five volumes of poetry. Named a Kentucky Colonel in 1968, Justice had the honor of having one of his poems read by Adlai Stevenson before the United Nations Assembly. He also penned an unpublished biography which was later finished by Alice Kinder and published in Willie-Boy and The Call of the Kentucky Mountains. William McKinley Justice died on July 22, 1968, at seventy-four years of age.

Sources: Kinder, Alice. Family Roots. Elkhorn City, Kentucky: E. and E. Publishing, 1994. Kinder, Alice.The Call of the Kentucky Mountains. Berea, Kentucky: Kentucke Imprints, 1994.


1 Linear Feet (1 carton box )

Language of Materials



Materials in the Alice Kinder Collection are arranged in three Series:

Series I. Manuscripts and Writings. Arranged alphabetically, this series contains the manuscripts of literary works written by Alice Kinder, as well as miscellaneous writings by the author.

Series II. Personal Files and Scrapbooks. The second series holds the personal files of Alice Kinder, as well as scrapbooks the author kept on a number of eastern Kentucky writers and historians.

Series III. Writings and Correspondence of William McKinley Justice. This series contains draft manuscript copies of the several of William McKinley Justice’s


Material was donated in 1995 by Alice Kinder.

Alice Kinder Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Frank M. Allara Library Repository

147 Sycamore St.
Pikeville KY 41501