Skip to main content

Margaret Peavy Hitt, Newspaper Woman (Still Personal)

Margaret Peavy Hitt passed away almost nine years ago. That's it. Pretty short time in the grand scheme of my personal genealogy. When I discovered Margaret was a third cousin of mine, this notion made me a little sad. Like Margaret, I have lived a large portion of my life in the state of Georgia. In fact, from about 1997 - 2000, I lived less than an hour's drive from her! I sure wish we could have met.

Margaret Peavy Hitt was one cool chic. She was a woman with a newspaper career. Even though women have had a foot in the door of that field for centuries, it was just that -- a foot in the door. The National Women's History Museum has a great online exhibit I highly recommend, Women with a Deadline. I just finished reading it and learned oh so much. Did you know:

· The Women's National Press Association was founded in 1882, but women were not allowed into the male dominated National Press Club until 1971.
· Nellie Bly pioneered investigative journalism in the late 1880's in many ways. The most staggering example was by pretending to be insane and admitting herself to an insane asylum to expose abuse of the mentally ill.
· Anna Northend Benjamin was one the first female war correspondents during the Spanish-American War. She claimed, "you think it ridiculous my being here, you are laughing at me wanting to go, that's the worst of being a woman." Not only did she go, but she endured nicely and even scooped her competitors.
· The Muckraker movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was helped along by a woman, Ida M. Tarbell.
· According the 1900 U.S. federal census, there were more than 30,000 journalists in the United States. Less than 8% of them were women.

Given these tidbits of information, I would classify any woman involved with newspapers and journalism well into the 20th century a pioneer for women in that field. That includes Margaret Peavy Hitt.

According to Margaret's obituary, she was actually following in her mother's footsteps. Katherine McGaw Peavy Poole was one of the first women reporters for the Hearst owned Georgian newspaper. When it's publication ceased, she went on to write for The Atlanta Journal.

Furthermore, newspaper reporting is also found in Margaret's paternal side. Her uncle, Arthur Peavy, was a reporter for the Miami Herald.

It was stated, "Mrs. Hitt was a former City Room general assignment reporter, columnist and feature writer for The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Consitution. During her junior and senior high school days, she worked every summer (without pay) as a copy girl for The Georgian newspaper."

During World War II, Margaret wrote a daily column about military accomplishments of Georgians in the armed forces. She even interviewed Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt when her husband's funeral train stopped in Atlanta. After the war, Margaret wrote the "Peachtree Parade" society column for The Atlanta Journal.

Margaret Peavy, 1941
Louisiana State University
Image via Ancestry's
U.S. School Yearbooks
Margaret was a 1939 graduate of Washington Seminary in Atlanta and attended Louisiana State University. She was secretary of the 1941-42 Atlanta Debutante Club and wrote the daily column, "Debs Daily Doings By One of Them" anonymously for The Atlanta Journal. At her debut party, Margaret carried a bouquet of orchids given to her by Margaret Mitchell. Yes, that Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind.

Margaret was a member of various organizations, including The National Society of Colonial Dames of America, Historic Oakland Cemetery, The High Museum of Art, and The Georgia Historical Society.

Upon her death, it was asked that contributions be made to the Historic Oakland Foundation, the cemetery in which she was laid to rest. Yes, we must be kin!

Rest in peace, cousin. Even though we never met, please know your legacy and influence live on.

Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum


[Note: due to copyright, I did not include Margaret's obituary here in its entirety. It was printed in the 31 July 2003 Atlanta Journal-Consitution (Georgia), and is available online via GenealogyBank.]

Comments

Anonymous said…
I am really satisfied with this posting that you have given us. This is really a stupendous work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts
Catherine Peek said…
Hi Stephanie, I am enjoying your posts. I am a niece of Margaret Hitt and live in Roswell,Ga. My mother ,Suzanne Peavy is her half sister.
So nice to meet you Catherine!

Popular posts from this blog

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you.

Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here."

Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. Howe…

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol. [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties. The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.]

Wikipedia states:
The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Army's Me…

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History.com: History through the eyes of those who lived it. It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it.

Here are several items I found while snooping around.

- Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944: "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others."

- Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937: "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You can really …


blog.SouthernGraves.net

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)