BHM Lunch & Learn program highlights Martha Mulinix
by Marie Nesmith
Jun 14, 2014 | 890 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Known for her historic preservation efforts with the Kingston Woman’s History Club, the late Martha Mulinix’s life will be the focus of Wednesday’s Lunch & Learn program at the Bartow History Museum.

To be delivered by her son, Victor Mulinix, the presentation at noon will discuss her autobiography, “Pursuit of a Better Life,” which she wrote in the last three years of her life.

“Her doctor gave her a prescription to write the book,” Mulinix said. “Her doctor was the son of one of her best friends and had been her doctor for 20 or 30 years. ... My father was diagnosed with lung cancer and my mother is the kind of person who had to have something to do to keep her busy, to keep her mind busy. Since 1994, she had gone blind. She was legally blind. She had macular degeneration and had had it since ’94, so she couldn’t see. She was a prolific reader [and], of course, she couldn’t read anymore. He wanted her to write her life history because she had led an interesting life.

“Some highlights of her life and some of the things we’ll be talking about is ... in 1925, because of the Depression that was in the South and bad farming conditions, her father and mother lost their property and they lost the store they were running. He went to work on the railroad. They lived in section houses along the railroad track and it depended on which section you were working on, where you lived. They moved two or three times a year sometimes, but they made ends meet, barely.”

Born in 1922, Martha Mulinix died in February 2013, and her autobiography was published by AuthorHouse later that year. Along with the Bartow History Museum, Mulinix said the book is available locally at Kingston Woman’s History Club’s Museum and the Etowah Valley Historical Society’s office at the 1903 Bartow County Courthouse.

Along with his mother’s early years, Mulinix said the book also shares details surrounding her education. She graduated from Berry High School in 1940 and was the salutatorian of Berry College’s class of 1944.

“She left home when she was 13 to go to Berry Schools,” Victor Mulinix said. “She lived at Berry Schools [during] high school and college longer than she had ever lived [at] any one house in her whole life. She graduated salutatorian [from Berry College and] the interesting point about that is ... at Berry College the girls were graded on their room conduct, in other words, how neat your room was.

“She was never a neat person. She had piles of things. She could tell you where everything was, but she didn’t have a clean room. ... She got a low grade in room grade. Between her and the valedictorian, who was a boy and they didn’t have room grades for the boys, it was less than two-tenths of a point between her grades and his. So actually, she was well ahead of him as far as academic grades went.”

With Mulinix being a member of the Kingston Woman’s History Club for more than 50 years and an educator in the Cartersville and Bartow County school systems, BHM Director Trey Gaines believes the longtime Kingston resident’s autobiography will appeal to many in the community.

“Martha Mulinix is very well known in the history circles in Bartow County, particularly in Kingston,” Gaines said. “For many years, she was a great proponent of preserving the history of Kingston ... and the museum there — one of the museum buildings is named after her to honor her contributions to the preservation of history.

“... I think a lot of people knew Martha Mulinix and her family and the things that she contributed to the county as far as preservation and the quilting she did and her ... role as [an] educator as well. I think she was very well known and this is a great way to come out and remember her and honor who she was and her contributions.”

To be held at the BHM, 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, the Lunch & Learn program will be free to museum members and covered in the price of admission for nonmembers. Starting at 11:45 a.m., attendees are invited to bring a lunch, with the lecture following at noon.

For more information, call 770-382-3818, ext. 6288, or visit www.bartowhistorymuseum.org.