Dr. William Lynwood Montell


Dr. Lynwood Montell, an official honorary citizen of Pickett County, is an active and invaluable member of the Pickett County Civil War Heritage Committee. Besides information, we rely heavily upon him to supply advice on how to properly structure our research endeavors.

I am a native of Monroe County, Kentucky, and I cherish my memories of growing up in a rural setting that was filled with family and community storytelling situations on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons before the advent of radios during my early years and certainly before television became a part of everyday life. Upon graduating from Tompkinsville High School, I enrolled in a business college in Nashville, TN. Subsequently I worked as a bank teller for two years and then joined the Navy for four years. After my Navy years I attended U of K, Campbellsville College, and Western Kentucky University with a degree in history and minors in Spanish and geography. During my last semester at WKYU, I enrolled in a Folklore course. That was it, for now I knew exactly what I wanted to do in my future years. I wanted to be a folklorist and teach folklore courses.
Along with folklore, social and cultural history and cultural geography were the fields in which I obtain my master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University. I taught at Campbellsville College, Western Kentucky University, one semester at UCLA and three years at Notre Dame.
Across the years, I authored fifteen books and served as editor on four additional books. Some of them, like my five ghost books, rely on oral history interviews and folklore methodology. Without these two fields of academic endeavor, along with the support of academic colleagues and family members, I could never have achieved the fanfare and respect that have come my way.
Yes, I am fully retired from teaching, but I shall never give up my writing ventures.

Some of the many books written by Dr. Montell:

The Saga of Coe Ridge: A Study in Oral History (Knoxville UT Press, 1970)
Ghosts Along the Cumberland: Deathlore in the Kentucky Foothills (Knoxville UT Press, 1975)
Kentucky Folk Architecture (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1975-1996)
Don’t Go Up Kettle Creek: Verbal Legacy of the Upper Cumberland (Knoxville UT Press, 1983,2000)
Killings: Folk Justice in the Upper South (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1986)
Singing the Glory Down: Amateur Gospel Music in Southcentral Kentucky 1900-1990. (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1991)
Upper Cumberland Country (University Press of Missippi, 1993)
Kentucky Ghosts (Univ. Press of Kentucky,1993)
Those Were the Days: Bob Dudney’s Recollections (Jackson Co. TN Historical Society, 1996)
Ghosts Across Kentucky (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2000)
Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2001)
Always A People: Oral Histories of Contemporary Woodland Indians (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997)

In order to get copies of my books, people may order them from the presses listed, or for autographed copies they should contact me. I will sign and personalize them to the person who buys the book(s), and will mail the book(s) to them at a cost of $2.50 for the first copy ordered, then $1.00 each for any others requested.

My mailing address is: 3673 Gott-Hydro Road, Oakland, KY 42159. Telephone: (270) 563-4373.