This article appeared in The "Louisville Herald" on May 19, 1918.

A short history of a noted man of the Kentucky Mountains.

Uncle William Creech of Harlan County Kentucky affectionately known as "Uncle Billy" was the principal founder of the Pine Mountain Settlement School and a remarkable character whose benificence had great results in the Kentucky Mountains.

His death occurred in a Louisville hospital May 18, 1918 and from there his body was taken to his home in Harlan County Kentucky,

Uncle William was beloved as the founder of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, one of the most important educational institutions to be established in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains. He was a picturesque character in that section of the State where many of the writers won fame with stories from real life.

"Uncle Billy Creech" as he was affectionately known to thousands of men, women, and children throughout the Country and in the mountain sections of the state, came here to Norton Memorial Infirmary at Louisville from his home section in the Pine Mountains where many came to pay him respect, love and devotion.

Several weeks ago he was brought here for treatment. He was suffering from a complication of diseases and when his condition became desperate a surgical operation was decided on as a last resort and the only hope of saving his life. He came out of the ordeal very weak and his death was not unexpected.

He was born in Kentucky in 1845 and after serving throughout the war between the States; he was one of the first pioneers to journey back over the Kentucky Mountains to the head waters of the Kentucky River. There he labored for many years to improve conditions. He inspired all of his neighbors with the art of industry.

Many years ago he began promoting his Settlement School. It was not however until five years ago that he was able to deed all of his property over to the Pine Mountain Settlement to have and to hold for school purposes as long as the Constitution of the United States Stands, according to the text of his written arrangement. The school today is prospering beyond the fondest hopes of "Uncle Billy" and those associated with him,

He had been conspicuous all through his life in his zeal for better things, Writing recently of his hopes for the children in the Pine Mountain School. I don't look after wealth for them, I look to the future of our Country. I want them taught the knowledge of good and evil and to serve the living God,

After the establishment of the Settlement School, Uncle Billy and his faithful followers indefatigably labored to raise funds for the building of a road from one of the isolated sections to the school. This highway, he said, would liberate more than 5,000 people and enable them to reach the education available at the settlement. Success crowned his project and he afterwards said that his life work was finished and he was ready to die happy.

The body of "Uncle Billy" was taken to Pine Mountain late in day after his death.

Besides his widow he is survived by the following children: Joseph G., William R., and Henry Creech and three daughters: Mrs. Polly Lewis, Mrs. Nancy Lewis and Mrs. Rhoda Wilder, all residents of Kentucky.

Ira Paulus Ison

The above article was found among some pages passed down to me from among the papers of Ira Paulus Ison, who was my double first cousin, once removed.

Ira Paulus Ison was himself a well known man of Kentucky. He wrote many articles which were published in Eastern Kentucky newspapers. He was the family historian for the Creech and Ison families and is responsible for most of what I have gathered about these families.

"Ira P", as he was known to my family, was the son of Andrew Jackson Ison and Hannah Creech. Andrew was the brother of my grandfather George Washington Ison, and Hannah was the sister of my grandmother Annie Creech. Thus he was my "double" first cousin once removed.

Through this Web Site and E-mail, I have met his grand daughter Nancy White Davis. We are double second cousins once removed.

If any one reading this knows of any other writings of Ira Paulus Ison, I would appreciate it if you would send me a copy of it. If I publish it here, you will be credited. I do have a few more of his articles which I will share with you as time goes by.

Harold SparksE-mail me

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