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In 1934 Glenna Williams moved here as a teenager with parents Jack and Hattie and two sisters from Scotts Run. She earned 2 degrees and spent her working life as director of Christian education for the Presbyterian Church

in coal camps in 3 local counties. She moved back to Arthurdale when she retired in 1981 and became the driving force behind forming Arthurdale Heritage and served as the director for the first five years.

O-1 Today

Plant, Sky, Natural landscape, Tree

Glenna Williams moved into to Arthurdale with her parents, Jack and Hattie Williams, and her two sisters June and Hilda, on June 30, 1934. They moved into a 13-acre farm with a cottage-style home, known as a Hodgson house, named for the company out of Cambridge, Mass., that built the first 50 prefabricated houses in Arthurdale. The Williams family was among the first homesteaders in Arthurdale. The house had three bedrooms, a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen, a bathroom and a full basement. 

The farm featured a large barn, a log cabin and a smoke house. The land was also divided by W.Va. 92 The family tended milk cows, pigs, chickens and a large garden. Glenna was immediately struck by how green everything was after coming from the then gritty and barren environs of the Scotts Run coal fields. 

The land and the family quickly flourished in this new environment and the Williams' home was filled with love, according to Harriet Mayfield, Glenna's niece. Glenna's father, Jack, held the first church service for the community in their home. 

Although the house's structure looks a little different now the old the bones of a great beginning and life are still there, according to Harriet, Glenna lived at the residence until the death of her father in 1961, when the farm was sold.

Glenna would move back to Arthurdale in the early 1980s after serving the Presbyterian church in three counties in West Virginia. The Rock Forge Presbyterian Church today also houses the Glenna Williams Community Center. She is also recognized as one of the central founders of Arthurdale Heritage Inc., the nonprofit founded in 1984 that continues to promote and preserve Arthurdale, the New Deal's first subsistence homestead community.

The sandstone blocks used to build the Community Presbyterian Church, were sourced from the back pasture of O-1. Glenna's father was a stone cutter and he also turned the first shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony when the church's construction got underway. 

Arthurdale Heritage, Preserving Arthurdale, WV – Eleanor Roosevelt's New Deal Community. Arthurdale Heritage Inc.. Accessed March 20, 2017.

Haid, Stephen Edward. "Arthurdale: An Experiment in Community Planning, 1933-1947." Master's thesis, West Virginia University, 1975.

Hoffman, Nancy. Eleanor Roosevelt and the Arthurdale Experiment. Linnet Books, 2001.

Maloney, C. J. Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDRs New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Mayfield, Harriet. Interview. Conducted by Randy Vealey, 14 July 2022.

Patterson, Stuart. “A New Pattern of Life: The Public Past and Present of Two New Deal Communities.” Doctoral Thesis, Emory University, 2006.

Penix, Amanda Griffith. Images of America: Arthurdale. Arcadia Publishing, 2007.

Ward, Bryan. A New Deal for America. Arthurdale Heritage Inc., 1995