Montreat Minute 03/17/23

Town Develops New Facebook Page

As mentioned last week, thanks to the work of Town Clerk Angie Murphy and AV Specialist Josh Greene, the Town has a new Facebook Page. You can access it from your own Facebook account or by CLICKING HERE. Please go out and “Like” us. We will be keeping it updated on a regular basis in addition to the Town website. We encourage you to go out and “Like” us on the page.

Town Council Hires New Town Manager

At last week’s Town Council meeting, the Council unanimously agreed to hire Jason Burrell as the new Town Manager. Jason comes to Montreat with extensive municipal government experience. Most recently, he was both Assistant Town Manager and then Town Manager of Canton. We will benefit from his experience and knowledge of town government and affairs.

Jason will begin his duties on March 27th. There will be a brief overlap with Interim Town Manager, Ben Blackburn, to ensure a smooth transition. More information to come when Jason begins his new duties.

Did You Know?

Dr. R.C. Anderson and Hallie Winsborough

Note: Last month’s Did You Know? column featured the history of the Winsborough building on the hill above Assembly Circle. This month, in observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history, we feature the story of Hallie Winsborough, central in the founding of the Presbyterian Woman’s Auxiliary.

Hallie Paxson was born on March 7, 1865, one month before the end of the American Civil War. Both her father and grandfather were Presbyterian ministers. She graduated from Synodical College in Fulton, Missouri, in 1884 and four years later married William C. Winsborough, an attorney practicing in St. Louis. A social activist within the Christian tradition, she was actively involved in investigating the living and working conditions of immigrants in St. Louis. She was also active in the women’s work of Central Presbyterian Church and in 1910 was embarrassed when she learned that the PCUS was the only major denomination without an overarching organization for local church women’s groups. Another member of her church, Jennie Hanna, had successfully led a number of women to organize themselves into “presbyterials” and “synodicals.”  Winsborough joined forces with them and in 1910 wrote a paper entitled “Some Reasons Why a Woman Secretary is Needed,” in which she advocated for a denomination-wide organization.

In 1912, amidst considerable publicity, the General Assembly approved this overture. In August 1912 the four executive secretaries of the PCUS met with women from across the denomination in Montreat and the Woman’s Auxiliary was born with Hallie Winsborough as its first superintendent. A strong proponent of social justice, she led the Auxiliary to work toward greater inclusion of Black Presbyterians into the denomination and to support Black education. The Auxiliary organized the ”Colored Woman’s Conference,” held annually beginning in 1916 at Stillman Institute.  Five years later smaller such conferences were held in many synods of the UPUS. The Auxiliary also began a school for girls at Stillman that grew into a high school. In addition, it funded the Emily Estes Snedecor Nurses’ Training School, also on the campus of Stillman, that operated from 1930-1946. 

Outside of the UPUS, Winsborough served on the Commission on Church and Race Relations and the Interracial Commission of Atlanta; she was also a charter member of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.  Although she retired from her role with the Woman’s Auxiliary in 1929, she remained active in social justice issues until her death in 1940.

Want to learn more? The Presbyterian Heritage Center is featuring an exhibit on Hallie Paxson Winsborough and the formation of the Woman’s Auxiliary. Stop by and take a look.

Thanks to the Presbyterian Heritage Center, especially Nancy Midgette, for this glimpse from the past. Stop by the PHC for additional Montreat history and so much more. Have an idea for a future Did You Know? Let Nancy know at [email protected].

Updates and Reminders

  • The Tree Board will meet on Tuesday, March 28, at 9:30am, in the Town Hall Community Room. The meeting will be live streamed and all are invited to attend. For streaming instructions, CLICK HERE.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have Town-related questions or comments to offer? If so, please send them to Angie Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!