Dorothy Dix: 1821-1951
bibliography of her writings
Inga A. Filippo,
MLS. Professor of Library Administration
Austin Peay State University
Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer)
November 18, 1861 –
December 16, 1951
1821. Charles Nicholas Minor
Meriwether married Caroline Barker.
1824. Charles Edward (Ned)
Meriwether is born (Dix’ paternal uncle).
1827. Nancy Minor
Meriwether is born.
1830. Mary Walton Meriwether is born.
1837. William Douglas Meriwether is born (Dix’s father).
Nancy Minor Meriwether died.
1861, November 18. Elizabeth
Meriwether was born on the 5,000+ acre Woodstock horse farm plantation
located in both Montgomery County, Tennessee and Todd County, Kentucky.
She was the oldest of three children. Her father was William Douglas
Meriwether and her mother was Maria(h) Kimbrough Winston Meriwether. Her
sister Mary was the middle child and her brother Charles Edward was the
youngest of the three children.
Dix’s stepmother was Martha (Mattie)
Gilmer Chase Meriwether. Mattie’s grandfather and father became medical
men, general practitioners in their hometowns. Mattie was the widow of a
cousin to William Douglas (Dix’s father).
1861, December 29. Ned
was killed in the Battle of Sacramento, Kentucky.
father left Woodstock to serve in the Civil War.
graduated from the Female Academy in Clarksville, Tennessee.
1877. Elizabeth completed one semester at Hollins Institute in Botetourt
Springs, Virginia (today is Hollins University). While here she received
the school’s annual composition contest medal for her story titled Night
Brings Out the Stars, a romantic piece she composed in frustration over
having been referred to “as that little snip” by one of her teachers. In
an interview with Harnett Kane (author of the Dix biography) Dix
mentioned that her writing career began with this story (Kane, p. 34).
1878. Dix’s mother died and Elizabeth worked in her father’s
office as part-time book keeper and letter writer before she married
1880s. Elizabeth has short stories published in the
Nashville American newspaper.
1880-1881. Elizabeth travels to
Quincy, Illinois to visit her stepmother’s family, the Gilmers. While
there she meets George who later becomes her husband.
November 21. Elizabeth marries George Oglethorp Gilmer (her stepmother’s
1884. George O. begins to show signs of mental
1887, April 2. the Albert Sydney Johnston statue was
unveiled at Metairie Cemetery. The sculptured horse General Johnston
sits on is (supposedly) Firefly, a horse from the Woodstock horse farm
in Kentucky. It is documented in family letters that some of General
Johnston’s horses came from Woodstock.
1890s. George O. Gilmer
(Dix’ husband) sets up a plant in New Orleans for the distillation of
turpentine products. U.S. government publications lists him among
“pioneers of the industry.”
1893. Elizabeth is taken by her
family to Bay St. Louis on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to rest. Here she
meets Eliza Jane Poitevent Holbrook Nicholson (Pearl Rivers), the owner
of the New Orleans newspaper Daily Picayune.
worked as a columnist and reporter for the Daily Picayune.
Elizabeth has her first publication in the Daily Picayune, How Chloe
Saved the Silver, a story based on the true account of how Mr. Dick, a
Meriwether servant, buried the family silver to protect it from theft
during the Civil War. Ms. Nicholson paid Elizabeth three dollars for the
1894. Elizabeth starts work at the Daily Picayune,
writing vital statistics, obituaries and short news items for a salary
of three dollars per week. Three years later she is writing theatre
columns and editing the women’s page which included the column “Dear
Dorothy Dix.” This was the column that made her famous and rich.
1894. Major Nathaniel Burbank is the editor of the Daily Picayune.
1894. Elizabeth lives in a rented room on Camp Street, New Orleans
while working for the Daily Picayune which is located on the same
street. Her husband George stayed with her here at times.
May 5. Application to the U.S. patent office to take on the trade-mark
1895. Dix begins writing her column “Dorothy Dix
Talks of Women We Know” for the Picayune.
1895, May 26.
Elizabeth begins writing her first weekly column named “Sunday Salad”
for the New Orleans Daily Picayune per Major Nathaniel Burbank’s
1896. Elizabeth adopts the pen name Dorothy Dix for
her column. Dorothy, because she liked the name and Dix in honor of the
old family slave Dick who had saved the Meriwether family silver during
the rages of the Civil War. Within months the column was renamed to
“Dorothy Dix Talks” and became the world’s longest-running newspaper
feature. The “Dorothy Dix Talks” column became Dix’s second column
writing of her talks.
1896-1901. Sometime during these years Dix
serves as the Women’s Page Editor for the Picayune.
Picayune sends Dix to England to cover Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Dix’s father traveled with her (Kane p. 79).
1897, June 4. Dix
writes from Glasgow, Scotland. “From New York to Glasgow,” New Orleans
1897, June 8. Dix writes from Ayr, Scotland, “On
Scotland’s Fair Strand,” New Orleans Times Picayune.*
June 10. Dix writes from Stronach la Char, Scotland, “In Bonnie
Scotland,” New Orleans Times Picayune.*
1897, June 12. Dix writes
from Edinburgh, Scotland, “Scotland’s Capital City,” New Orleans Times
1897, June 22. Dix writes from London, England, ‘In
Greater London,” New Orleans Times Picayune.*
1897, July 1. Dix
writes from Paris, France, “Shopping It Is Fun and Trouble - A New
Orleans Woman Tries It Abroad,” New Orleans Times Picayune.*
1898, July 17. Column article titled “The Selfishness of Men,” Picayune,
Dix talks about two violent tragedies; the sinking of the steam-ship
Bourgogne and a fire at a charity bazaar in Paris. In both incidences
men were saved at the expense of the lives of women and children.
Of the 300 women on board the ill-fated Bourgogne, which sunk at sea
a few days ago, only one woman was saved. Of the 200 people who came out
alive, only one was a woman. Survivors tell how women, struggling to
reach the boats, were beaten down and trod upon, how those who succeeded
in getting on the rafts were pushed off and thrust under the water with
boat hooks, how the little white hands of women and children, clinging
to life lines, were hacked off with knives.*
Dix wrote short stories under her real name. Mara’s Story, Juba and the
Ghost, Her Christmas Gift and others.
1900. Dix got the first
offer to work for the Hearst Journal in New York which she turned down.
She wanted to stay with her mentor Major Burbank at the Picayune. She
granted permission for the Journal to use some of her writings, and
accepted a part time contract to report on the notorious temperance
crusader Carry Nation’s endeavors for the Journal.
brother Ed moved from Clarksville to New Orleans to take over the
management of the turpentine business Dix’s husband George was unable to
1901. Dix’s mentor and Editor Nathaniel Burbank died of a
1901-1907. Dix and her husband George lived at 440
Riverside Drive, New York City, New York. They bought their first car
during that time. Dix enjoyed riding in a car throughout her life.
1901-1917. Dix covers the New York criminal scene for the New York
Evening Journal in addition to the “Dorothy Dix Talks” column published
three times per week at first and later daily. In her “My Autobiography”
for the Ledger Syndicate she says that “it was my first writings for my
gender about relationships of men and women.”
1901. Dix’s address
in New York was: Mr. and Mrs. George Gilmer, 440 Riverside Drive, New
1901. Dix is hired by the newspaper magnate Randolph
Hearst and moves to New York City to write for the New York Evening
1901. Dix became inundated with mail from New Yorkers
and realized they also had problems.
1901. Dix moves to New York
from New Orleans and takes her cook Milly with her. Miss Milly (surname
unknown) became well known among Dix’ artsy friends as the “Southern
Cook of many well tasting dishes.” First-class tasting food was
important to Dix.
1901, April 1. Dix is hired by William Randolph
Hearst and starts work in the New York Journal office. Immediately
begins to cover murder trials.
1901. Dix continues to write her
“Dorothy Dix Talks” column three times per week for the next 16 years in
the Journal. She became inundated with mail from New Yorkers and
realized they also had problems.
1901. Dix becomes known as one
of the four original “Sob Sisters;” Ada Patterson, Nixola Greeley-Smith
and Winifred Black (Annie Laurie). Dix, and the other three Sob Sisters,
became a fixture at murder trials that involved women in the roaring
1902. Dix and her husband George took half a double
house at 1617 Jackson Avenue, next to St. Charles. At this time she
wanted the chance to establish her own home. She printed Mrs. George O.
Gilmer on her calling card, and did not want the Dix part of her intrude
her life at this time (Kane p. 124).
1902. Dix’s first book
Fables of the Elite.
1905. Dix covers the Nan Patterson murder
1905. Dix featured in a full page of The New York Herald
due to her outstanding journalistic activities. The salute included an
interview, work history, photographs and drawings.
started to write five columns per week instead of three per request from
Mr. Brisbane. Her writings were also printed in other Hearst syndicated
papers such as the Cosmopolitan.
1906. Dix wrote the story of
Josephine Terranova that changed the verdict of the case and set
Josephine free. The judge and jury agreed with the city editor of the
Journal who was given the story by Dix.
1906. Covers the Harry
Thaw-Stanford White murder trial which subsequently brought her
permanently to New York coupled with a pay increase. Dix became the
highest paid woman journalist in the United States at that time.
1907, March. “Woman’s Most Attractive Age,” by Dix. Cosmopolitan
42:569-71, March 1907.
1908. Dix’s column “Dorothy Dix Talks”
becomes a daily feature.
1909. Times-Picayune dropped Dix’s
column “Dorothy Dix Talks.” Mr. Rapier serving as the Picayune treasurer
decided to cut costs, but the New Orleans Item picked it up (Kane p.
1910-1920. Good Housekeeping magazine printed Dix’
1911, June. “Mirandy on Aids to Beauty,” by
Dix. Good Housekeeping 52; 679-81, June, 1911.
1913. Mammy Emily
1914. The “Mirandy” stories were published and in 1922 the
Mirandy Exhorts were published.
1914-1916. Dix works with the New
Orleans feminists Kate and Jean Gordon in lobbying for women’s rights
1914. Dix was the keynote speaker at the Suffrage
Jubilee meeting in Boston along with professor Seubling. Also present
were Miss Shaw, Mrs. Catt, Mrs. Belmont and Mrs. Makey.
was the U.S. delegate to the International Women’s Suffrage Convention
in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to W.W.I insecurities she decided not to
attend. However, she visited Stockholm later on one of her European
travels and said it was “the most beautiful city she had ever seen.”
1914, July. “Case for Women Judges,” by Dix. Good Housekeeping 59:
48-51, July 1914.
1915. Book Hearts a la Mode was published.
1916. New York Journal editor Arthur Brisbane did not agree to give
Dix a reduced writing load. Dix resorted to syndicated writing. She was
55 years old and had worked for the Journal for 16 years.
Dix signed a contract with the Wheeler Syndicate.
leaves the Hearst employment in New York City.
writes for the Wheeler Syndicate and concentrates her writing on the
“Dorothy Dix Talks” columns.
1917. Dix returns to New Orleans and
writes “sermonettes” three days per week and during the other three days
she publishes actual letters and the answers for Wheeler Syndicate
publications. Her secretaries are Ella Bentley Arthur and Mrs. Cyril
Ryan, the latter is referred to as “the other secretary,” who cared for
the mechanics of handling the columns.
1917, January 14. Dix and
her husband George leave for their journey to the Far East, a trip she
had longed to take for years. They visited Japan, China and Java.
1917, March 13. Patent application and declaration for the Dorothy
Dix trade-mark is renewed.
1918. Distraught Dix took a trip
around the world. Upon her return she moved back to New Orleans where
her father and brother had taken up residences.
served on the board of the Picayune. She was the first woman to serve on
1920. Last time Dix saw her husband George before he
went to Florida to stay with relatives. He was later admitted to an
asylum by his family.
1920, April 22. Dix among honored women
1922 the book of Mirandy Exhorts was published.
1922. Holland’s Magazine, October issue, printed an article about
Dix titled “The Beloved Woman,” by Wynonah Breazeale Johnson.
1922, December. The Times-Picayune selected Dix as a member of their
Board of Directors. She was their first female board member.*
1923. Dix signs with the Philadelphia based Public Ledger Syndicate
which takes over the Dorothy Dix Talks column writings. Dix’ writings
are published in 273 papers. Her estimated reading audience is about
60,000,000 in United States, England, Australia, New Zealand, South
America, China, Mexico, Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico and
1923, May 9. Dix addressed a meeting of the
New Orleans Business and Professional Women’s Club.*
September. “Joy of being Fifty,” by Dix. Good Housekeeping 77:23, 1923.
1924-1925. Dix built her new house in New Orleans on 6334 Prytania
Street and Exposition Boulevard with the Audubon Park on the west side.
1924. Publishes the book My Trip Around the World.
December 7. Dix returns from Europe.*
1924. Serves as first vice
president of the Le Petit Salon next to Grace King as president. Dix was
a member of the first officers of the club after it had been legally
chartered on December 31, 1924.
1925. Dix’s second volume of
Mirandy writings was published called Mirandy Exhorts.
addressed members of the New Orleans Advertising Club.*
October 28. Dix addressed pupils of the Sophie B. Wright High School.*
1926. Dix returns to New Jersey to cover the nationally known
Hall-Mills murder trial as a special favor to her syndicate.
1926. The book Dorothy Dix, Her Book: Every-day Help for Every-day
People (based on her column) was published.
1926, March 14. Dix
tells about this business of writing.*
1926, April 27. Dix
addresses members of the Parent Teachers Association at annual
1926, July 30. John Cook of Baltimore will name new
crimson rose after Dorothy Dix.*
1926, August 20. New crimson
rose named after Dorothy Dix at florists’ convention.*
September 13. Dix thanks Leonard K. Nicholson, president of the
Times-Picayune, for cable telling the florists had named a rose after
1926. Dix returns to New York to cover the (Frances)
1926, October 7. Dix boarded the De Grasse
French cruise lines which developed trouble while hours out from the New
1926, December 12. Dix returns to New Orleans from
New York after the Halls-Mills trial.
1927, January. Mrs. Stanley
Arthur (Ella) begins her work as Dix’s secretary.
1. Dix’s father died while visiting his daughter Mary in Chicago. Mr.
Meriwether was brought to Clarksville for burial in the Greenwood
1927, March 9. Mrs. E. M. Gilmer advises “Y” girls how
to be charming and stunts rouse interest in adventures.*
1927, April 21. Dix gives talk at the Newcomb Book Fair on “Authors I
1927, June 9. Dix was awarded honorary degree of
Doctor of Letters by Tulane University in recognition of her
contributions to the quality of life in the United States.*
July 17. Dix awards the first annual Dorothy Dix scholarship prize of
$100 for an outstanding student pursuing a degree in the Tulane
University School of Journalism.*
1927, August 21. Dix was
elected complimentary member of the Orleans Club, New Orleans.*
1927, August 28. Dix addresses Newcomb students on “The Navy.”*
1927, November 14. Dix makes appeal for the Community Chest.*
1927, November 14. Dix speaks to Y.M.B.C. on “Tired Business Man.”*
1928, January 11. Judges select winner in Dix $100 competition for
best human interest story written by a Tulane journalism student.*
1928, April. “Dorothy Dix: Matrimony and Horse Sense.” H: F.
Pringle. Outlook, 148:538-40, April, 1928.
1928, May 24. This
date was designated as the “Dorothy Dix Day” in New Orleans. The
ordinary people of New Orleans honored Dix on this day in the City Park
with speeches and flowers. Reception followed at the Delgado Museum. Dr.
Brandt V. B. Dixon, president emeritus of Newcomb College, said a reason
for Dorothy Dix’s phenomenal popularity was that “in her solutions of
problems she always appealed to the self-respect of her questioner,
reminding them that within themselves were the only judges from whose
decisions there could be no appeal.”*
1928, May 27. Dix were to
meet admirers in City Park to bid her farewell on trip abroad.”*
1928, May 31. Dix honored at the Y.M.B.C. as the World’s Best Woman.*
1928, June 3. City will pay tribute to Dix today at 5:00pm with
reception in the Delgado Museum.*
1928, June 6. The public
tribute to Dix scheduled for yesterday is delayed by rain.*
June 6. Dix is welcomed as Egypt’s guest this summer. The Egyptian
Consulate in New Orleans refuses fee for famous traveler’s pass-port
1928, June 9. Katheryn Schell chosen to present gift to
1928, June 10. Dorothy Dix journalism award is won by
Samuel Lang, Tulane University School of Journalism.
11 (Sunday). Thousands of New Orleanians from all walks of life pay
tribute to Dix in a farewell reception before she leaves for a tour of
Europe and Asia.*
1928, October 30. Dix returns to New Orleans
from travels in Europe and Asia.*
1928, November 19. Dix lists
many claims of the Community Chest to the consideration of New Orleans.*
1929. Sociologists Robert S. and Helen Merrel Lynd’s study
Middletown, 1929 noted that Dorothy Dix was well known to the people of
Middletown (Muncie, Indiana) and wrote “perhaps she is the most potent
single agency of diffusion” from outside the town. Dix clearly shaped
the habits of thought of Middletown in regard to marriage.
January. Dix’s husband George O. Gilmer died in an asylum in Florida.
1929. Dix writes about her Old World travels in a series titled In the
Footsteps of Famous Women published in The Times Picayune*
February 17. First part of the series titled “Specialist in love takes
you to home of great vamp.” In the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times
1929, February 24. Second part of the series titled
“Land of Cleopatra looks upon her sex without sympathy.” In the
Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times Picayune.*
1929, March 3.
Dix describes her travels around Palestine in the third part of the
series titled “Ruth with Naomi visioned in field of old Palestine.” In
the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times Picayune.*
10. Dix writes about Jerusalem in the fourth part of the series titled
“Most fascinating of world’s cities is old Jerusalem.” In the footsteps
of Famous Women, The Times Picayune.*
1929, March 17. Dix
continues to depict her journey throughout the Middle East in the fifth
part of her travels in the Old World. “Dainty ghosts line roads of holy
land and haunt byways.” In the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times
1929, March 24. Dix writes “Finds harem party with
shingled hair and Parisian gowns.” The sixth episode in the series about
travels in the Old World, In the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times
1929, March 31. Dix describes in the seventh episode
about her travels in the Old World. “Finds Eve did well by being driven
out of Garden of Eden.” In the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times
1929, April 7. Dix writes in her eighth part of the
series. “Persians so lovely shah issues orders that veil must go.” In
the Footsteps of Famous Women, The Times Picayune.*
14. Dix’s ninth episode which concludes the series In the Footsteps of
Famous Women, The Times Picayune. “”Memories of Helen cling about shores
along Grecian seas.”*
1929, May 3. Dix addressed members of the
Association of Commerce at a luncheon.*
1929, May 21. Dix visited
inmates of the United States Veterans Hospital and answered their
questions of love.*
1929, May 25. Dix took her first airplane
ride in a cabin monoplane to Mexico.
1929, June 9. Dix’s annual
journalism prize is awarded to the Tulane student Harnett T. Kane. He
later wrote a biography of Dix, the only one written.*
November 5. Mother of Gloria Rouzer, alias Ione Orde, is paying the
price for her daughter’s escapades, says Dix after interviewing Mrs.
Rouzer on her arrival to New Orleans.*
1929, October 20. Dix
pleas to the people of New Orleans to support their Le Petit Theatre.*
1929, October 28. Dix gives an address before the Arts and Craft
Club of her experience as “confessor” to millions.*
November 13. Dix welcomes steel men as the American Institute of Steel
Construction, Inc., open their convention at Edgewater Park,
1930. Dix’s father died at the age of 93. His body
was brought by train to the Clarksville train station from Chicago where
his daughter Mary Patch lived. Family members accompanied the deceased
on the train from Chicago to Clarksville. He was born January 1, 1837.
The funeral was held in Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville, Tennessee.
1930th. Dix’s estimated income was $80,000 a year. Average income in
the U.S. at that time was less than $1,500 a year.
receives around a thousand letters per week from readers, men and women
alike and of all social levels. The volume of mail necessitated a system
for handling the correspondence. Secretaries were hired to help her sort
and respond to mail.
1930, February 22. Dix is guest at Hollins
Institute‘s alumnae luncheon. Dix displays medal won in early days for
1930, June 8. Third annual Dorothy Dix award for the
best human interest story is won by Mrs. Helen Hill of the Tulane School
1931. Dix visits Tahiti (Kane p. 253).
1931, February 25. Dix lauds Miss Jean Gordon, civic worker whose death
yesterday is regretted.*
1931, April 23. Dix is guest of honor at
New York tea attended by Gotham writers.*
1931, April 26. Dix
will be awarded an honorary degree of doctor of letters by Oglethorpe
University early in May.*
1931. Dix will deliver address before
Newcomb college seniors and Tulane university senior co-eds at a
reception to be given by the New Orleans branch of the American
Association of University Women.*
1931, May 5. In an address
before Newcomb College seniors, Dix declares that “women make better
news-gatherers than men.”*
1931, May 21. Dix is made honorary
member of Theta Nu, Tulane Journalism fraternity.*
1931, May 24.
William A. Bell, Jr., is awarded the Dorothy Dix award at the Tulane
school of journalism.*
1931, May 25. Dix is granted an honorary
doctor of letters degree from Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia.*
1931, May 28. Dix leaves New Orleans for California on tour which is
expected to take her to the Far East and which will last until
1931, August 8. Dix was greeted by large crowd on her
arrival at Manila.*
1931, October 4. Dix returns home following a
four month trip to the Far East.*
1931, November 16. Dix tells
why she is sold on the Community Chest idea.*
1931, November 23.
Dix delivers today’s luncheon of Community Chest workers.*
Dix leaves New Orleans for the East by plane.
1932, January. “And
So You are in Love, by Dix. Ladies Home Journal 49:6+ January 1932.
1932, January 24. Dix becomes president of the Le Petit Salon
succeeding the late Miss Grace King.*
1932, March 9. Dix is among
group of prominent Louisianans and New Yorkers who sailed yesterday with
Frans Blom for a visit of Mayan ruins in Yucatan.*
16. Dix talks at the first annual Mother, Dad and Son dinner of the
Y.M.C.A., defends the youth of today.*
1932, May 13. Dix
addresses the members of the Le Petit Salon members mourning the death
of the late Miss Grace King.*
1932, May 18. Dix in an address
before members of the Orleans Club defends the right of married women to
hold positions in the business world.*
1932, May 22. John W.
Burke, student at Tulane school of journalism, wins the Dorothy Dix
award of $100 for the best human interest story written by a student
during the past year.*
1932, May 29. Dix delivers address at
banquet closing the fifth annual convention of the Louisiana Press
Association in New Orleans.*
1932, August 6. Dix leaves New
Orleans for the East by plane.*
1932, November 7. Dix says that
it should not be necessary to ask contributions to the Community Chest
1933. Dix signs on to the Bell Syndicate.
1933, January 17. Dix addresses press and publicity luncheon of the New
Orleans Women’s Club. She says that “the art of ballyhoo is a great and
1933, January 30. Dix’s paper giving hints on
marriage was read by Mrs. Arthur Nolte in the 3rd of a series of
lectures in a forum sponsored by the Y.M.C.A.*
1933, February 16.
Dix delivers address before the February program of the New Orleans
Assembly of Delphians.*
1933, March 8. Dix delivers talk before
members of the Orleans Club, New Orleans.
1933, March 9. Dix
receives numerous letters showing that America comes up smiling even in
1933, March 27. Dix delivers a talk before the
Alumni Association of the New Orleans University.*
1933, May 21.
Mr. Edmond Lebreton wins the Dorothy Dix award of the Tulane university
school of journalism.*
1933, September 20. Dix returns from a
3-month trip through South and Central America, tells of “grand-time”
she had during the trip.*
1933, November 5. Dix delivers address
as honor guest at the annual fall luncheon of the Delphians.*
1934, January 16. Dix tells how she originated plan of advice column.*
1934, May 20. Dix speaks at church benefit in Pass Christian.*
1934, June. Dix visited Clarksville for family reunion and Dunbar
1934, July. “Columnists as They See Themselves,” by Dix.
Literary Digest 118:10 July 21, 1934.
1934, August 19. Dix
journeys to Canada to explore the Acadian country.*
November 1. Dix talks to the Bluebird Society on “Charms of Mexico.”*
1935, February 21. Dix was honored by the Georgia Newspaper Group.
1936. Time Magazine tells about the 40th anniversary of the Dix
writings. “There were three big parties held for Dix by the
Times-Picayune, the Tulane University School of Journalism and her
1936, February 14. Dix addresses L.S.U. students.*
1936, February 14. “Woman Reporter Advised Not to use Man’s Style,”
by Margaret Dixon. Matrix table talk by Dix.*
1936, April 5. Dix
celebrates 40 years in newspaper work. Described on its anniversary
(feature by Frost).*
1936, April 6. Dix featured on her 40th year
in the newspaper work, by Margaret Dixon.*
1936, April. “Decades
of Dix.” Time 27: 67-8 April 20, 1936.
1936, July 27. Dix
lectures in garden of “The Shadows,” per invitation from her good friend
Pattie (Harriet) Weeks. (Harriett Weeks, born January 24, 1864, daughter
of William F. and Mary Weeks of The Shadows Plantation - Weeks Sugar
Plantation in New Iberia, Louisiana).*
1936, October 6. Dix is
portrayed in a new book about women of the press.*
1937, May 30.
Mr. Earl Culon receives the Dix journalism award at Tulane School of
1937, July 10. Dix life is topic of article titled
“Dorothy Dix Talks,” by New Orleans writer Herman Bacher Deutsch.
Saturday Evening Post 210: 16-17+ July 10, 1937.
2. “Dorothy Dix,” Woman’s Day.
1938. Editor and Publisher made an
authoritative survey showing that Dorothy’s column not only took first
place as the oldest feature in the newspaper field, but also as the
longest continuing feature. Its creator is still in service (Kane p.
1939. It is estimated that Dix received about 100,000
letters per year.
1939. Dix’s book How to Win and Hold a Husband
is a collection of essays advising the lovelorn, published by Doubleday.
1939. Time Magazine reviewed her book How to Win and Hold a Husband.
1939, June 7. Dix thanks mayor for alley paving.*
September 20. Dix’s editorial in the Times-Picayune on “woman’s place in
1940. Dix’s writings were printed in 273 newspapers and
read by approximately 60 million people in the United States, England,
Australia, New Zealand, South America, China, Mexico, Hawaii, the
Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada.
“Lovelorns’ no. 1 Advisor Lives in New Orleans.” Life 8: 104-7, April
1940, May 19. Miss Aedath Markel is awarded the Dorothy
Dix journalism award for the best human interest story of the year, from
the Tulane School of Journalism.
1941, May 18. Another Dorothy
Dix journalism prize was awarded.
1941, October 26. Picture
spread: “First Lady of the South.”*
1941, December 24. “Meet the
Confidante,” by Albert H. Morehead. Bell Syndicate (from Red Book
1942. Biography of Famous Journalists , John E.
Dreivery, ed. Random House, New York, 1942.
1942, March. “Dear
Dorothy Dix.” Newsweek 19:61 March 23, 1942.
1942, May 17.
Dorothy Dix Journalism prize awarded.
1942. Dix signs with the
1943, January 10. Dix talks on patriotism and
nurses, New Orleans.*
1943, January 24. Dix recalls builder of
paper (The Times Picayune) to grand daughter, New Orleans.*
December 4. Dix sponsored launching of SS Opie Read, 89th ship built by
Delta Shipbuilding Co. Inc.
1944. Dix’s sister Mary and Mary’s
husband, George Patch, died within a short period of time of each other
(Kane p. 303). They are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville, TN.
1944. Dix was hit by a bus while crossing a street in Asheville, NC
(Kane p. 303)
1946. Time Magazine calls Dix’s advice
“sympathetic,” but not “syrupy.”
1946, May 5. Times-Picayune
celebrates the golden anniversary of Dix’s column.*
15. Associated Press creates a biographical services sketch of Dix.*
1946, May 19. Quentin L. Ault, army veteran wins the Dorothy Dix
journalism award for his story of an A-bomb flight.*
30. Dix honored by members of the Le Petit Salon and receives gift.*
1946, June 26. Dix to be honored at dinner meeting of the QUOTA
1947, April 20. Dix is one of six women honored by the
Federation of Women’s Clubs, New Orleans.*
1948. Dix’s longtime
friend Helen Pitkin Schertz died and Dix expressed that the same thing
might happen to her before long (Kane p. 304).
1948, May 30. Mrs.
Elizabeth Gilmer elected as an honorary member of the Newcomb Alumnae
1948, November. “Heart Specialist.” Coronet 25: 28
1949, April. Dix no longer answers her readers’
letters according to her secretary Ella Bentley Arthur.*
May 14. Mrs. Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer is reelected president of Le
1949. Dix made her 21s and final trip to Ashville,
1950. Dix suffers a stroke.*
1951, December 16.
Dorothy Dix died at Turo Infirmary in New Orleans.*
December 17. Oobituary: “Dorothy Dix Dies; Wrote Advice to Lovelorn Over
Half-Century.” New York Herald Tribune.
1951, December 18.
Editorial: “Dorothy Dix.” New York Herald Tribune..
December 17. Times-Picayune editorial about Dix.*
17. “Dorothy Dix Dies; Advice to Troubled.” Knoxville [Tennessee}
1951, December 17. “Dorothy Dix Dies at 90; Sob Sister
of Lovelorn.” New York World-Telegram and Sun.
1951, December 17.
“Dorothy Did Dead: Counselor on Love.” New York Times.
December 17. “Columnist Dorothy Dix Dies; Millions Sought Her Advice.”
Memphis Commercial Appeal.
1951, December 17. “Dorothy Dix
Expires at 90; Rites Tuesday.” New Orleans Times-Picayune.
December 17. Obituary: “Dorothy Dix, Columnist, Dies in New Orleans.”
1951, December 17. “Dorothy Dix’s
Burial in New Orleans Tuesday;” “2 Generations Mourn Dorothy Dix.”
1951, December 19. “Dorothy Dix Buried After
Private Rites.” Ashville Citizen.
1951, December 24. Obituary
notice Time Magazine.
1951, December. Obituary notice. Newsweek
1951, December. “Dorothy Dix Dies, Leaving Memory of
Her Own Tragedy in Real Life.” Greenville [South Carolina] Piedmont.
1951. Dix was buried in the Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans
1951, December 28. Dix memorial rites held at Le Petit Salon with George
Healy as speaker.*
1952. Muriel Nissen, Dix’s advisor and
assistant answered Dix’s final mail.
1952, January 4. Dix will
1952, February 5. Dix estate valued at $2,316,398.*
1952, February. Obituary. Wilson Library Bulletin 26:428
1991, September 27. Dorothy Dix Symposium was
held at Woodstock Plantation, Trenton Kentucky in memory of Elizabeth
Meriwether Gilmer. The Symposium was supported by the Austin Peat State
University and the Felix G. Woodward Library. Ms. Elnor McMahan Corgan
and children, owner of Woodstock, hosted the symposium.
*denotes article available in the Times-Picayune
Reporter and columnist, New Orleans Picayune
New York Journal (1901-1916)
Ledger Syndicate (1923-1942)
Fables of the Elite, Dorothy Dix (New
York: Fenno, 1902)
Mirandy, Dorothy Dix
(New York: Hearst’s International Library, 1914; London: Low, 1914)
Hearts a La Mode,
Dorothy Dix (New York: Hearst’s International Library, 1915)
My Joy-Ride Round the World, Dorothy
Dix (London: Mills & Boon, 1922); republished as My Trip Round the World
(Philadelphia: Penn, 1924)
Exhorts, Dorothy Dix (Philadelphia: Penn, 1925)
Dorothy Dix-Her Book: Every-Day Help for
Every-Day People, Dorothy Dix (New York & London: Funk &
Dix (Gulfport, Miss: C. Rand, 1934)
to Win and Hold a Husband, Dorothy Dix (New York: Doubleday,
to Millions,” Dorothy Dix. Times-Picayune New Orleans States Magazine, 5
May 1946, pp. 6-7
William Douglas organized Turnley, Ely, & Co. Tobacco, and General
Commission Merchants Tobacco and Plows, Clarksville, Tennessee.
1873 William Douglas bought a house for $6,000 for the family on 400
block of Commerce Street, Clarksville, Tennessee.
Douglas built a large brick home on Madison Street on a lot adjoining
the currently located Baptist Church, Clarksville, Tennessee.
1923 American Tobacco Company bought the Meriwether Tobacco Company for
$3,000,000, Clarksville, Tennessee.
Dix’s “Finer Points”
“Love means caring for somebody more than yourself. It is
putting somebody else’s pleasure and happiness and well-being above your
own. It is sacrificing yourself for another and enjoying doing it. It is
the world being all right when someone is with you and all wrong when he
or she is absent. It is knowing someone’s every fault and blemish and
not caring. No one can define it; it just is,” Dorothy Dix.
“Dorothy Dix Talks columns were my first writings for the gender about
the relationships of men and women,” Dix says in her “My Autobiography,”
written for the Ledger Syndicate.
Due to Dix’s investigation in
the Ruth Wheeler murder incident Albert Walter was tried, convicted and
executed for the murder (not Ruth).
“Holy Thursday(s) were club
meeting days at the Le Petit Salon,” Dorothy Dix.
Dix wrote a
group of columns entitled “Jollies That We Know.” They dealt with the
power of flattery.
New Orleans Item was the name of the Picayune
rival paper. While writing for the paper, Dix developed a friendship
with journalist Stanley Clisby Arthur whose wife Ella became Dix’s chief
secretary upon Dix’s return to New Orleans from New York.
S. Cobb, journalist for the World newspaper, and Dix became close
friends over the years while covering many of the same trials. According
to Harnett T. Kane, Cobb said “I’d hate to have that little demon of a
reporter poking her eyes over me.”
Nell Brinkley, the famous
creator of the “Fluffy-Ruffles Girls,” was introduced to the press
sections of courts by Dix. Nell’s first visit was at the Thaw trial
which Dix covered. The artist’s floating sketches of the defender Evelyn
Nesbit depicted her more beautiful than the one in real life. The
“feathery and demure type with long lashes, rosebud mouths, silken hair,
and with dimpled cupids floating in the sky above them.” Arthur
Brisbane, the Journal editor, assigned Brinkley only to cases involving
women of such looks (Harnett T. Kane).
FAMILY RELATIONS, FRIENDS
“Morality is an affair of geography and of point of
view,” Dorothy Dix.
Elizabeth Meriwether was born at Woodstock
plantation located on the state line between Tennessee and Kentucky. She
also lived in Olmstead, Kentucky, where the family had property, before
her father built a house in Clarksville where Elizabeth spent her later
adolescent years before moving to the Gulf Coast.
family was kin to Meriwether Lewis, the famous American explorer, with
roots in England, Scotland and Wales. In 1680 three Meriwether sons
moved from Wales to the “freer air of the Old Dominion across the sea.
Their father had an extensive land-grant in Albemarle and New Kent
counties in Virginia.” Some of the family members continued farther out
west (Kane, p. 17).
George Oglethorpe Gilmer, Dix’s husband, was
Dix’s stepmother’s brother and her father’s cousin. The Gilmer family
lived in Quincy, Illinois.
George Oglethorp Gilmer set up a small
plant at 820 Perdido Street in the industrial district of New Orleans
for his distillation of turpentine products (Kane p. 75).
her husband were not divorced.
While living in New York City the
Gilmers (Dix and her husband George) had contact with Warren Gilmer,
George’s nephew, who remembers Dix taking him to “memorable Broadway
first nights,” of which Dix wrote critical reviews for the Journal (Dear
Dorothy Dix: The Story of a Compassionate Woman by Harnett T. Kane with
Ella Bentley Arthur. Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York).
New York City address for Mr. and Mrs. George Gilmer was: 440
Riverside Drive, New York City, New York.
Meriwether left Woodstock, due to financial problems, and moved his
family to Olmstead, Kentucky where he had relatives. He later moved to
Clarksville, Tennessee. While in Clarksville Elizabeth (Dix) attended
and graduated from the Female Academy of Clarksville.
Douglas Meriwether owned a plow manufacturing business, among other
businesses, while in Clarksville, Tennessee
Dix’s father, William
Douglas Meriwether, lived at 1225 General Pershing Street, New Orleans,
Louisiana after he left Clarksville, Tennessee.
Meriwether, Dix’s father, spent the months of June, July and August of
his later years at the Diamond Springs resort in the cool hills of
Kentucky. Here his daughters Dorothy and Mary and many of his relatives
joined him regularly (Kane p.228).
William Douglas Meriwether,
Dix’s father, also entertained family and friends at the Clarksville,
Tennessee, Dunbar Cave resort during his later years. This was the
Meriwether-Barker-Ferguson Family Reunion which he worked on for months
with his son Ed. Several thousand invitations were sent to clan members
and friends including pipe smoking black Mammies of Civil War days (Kane
Dix’s sister Mary was married to George Patch. His
brother’s grandchildren are Alvin Patch and Margaret Patch Kimbrough of
Mrs. Elizabeth J. Nicholson (Pearl Rivers) was
the owner and publisher of the New Orleans Picayune. She was the first
woman publisher of a major American newspaper. She bought the Picayune
after the death of her husband-publisher.
Pearl Rivers; see above
Dix’s first official secretary was Beulah Gold, a
cousin of Dix’s sister-in-law, Daisy Meriwether who married Dix’s
brother Edward. Edward and his family lived on the first level of the
two story house Dix built on 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans. By 1928
Miss Gold married and moved to California.
Clare, who became Mrs.
Cyril Ryan, served as Dix’s “other” secretary. She was Beulah Gold’s
Mrs. Stanley Arthur (Ella) became a close friend of Dix.
She served as Dix’s secretary from January 1927 until Dix died in 1951.
Mr. Stanley Clisby Arthur, Ella’s husband, was one of Dix’s friends
while a reporter on the New Orleans Item. He later landed a job on the
New York Evening Journal due to Dix’s influence. Dix and the Arthur
family, which included their two children, became very good friends.
Stanley later wrote a weekly feature named
“Young-Man-Afraid-of-His-Wife” which dealt with domestic difficulties of
newly married couples. Dix wrote a few articles about how to bring up
baby boys based on her interaction with the Arthur babies who
accompanied their parents to many of Dix’s parties where they slept on
Sonny Boy’s Day at the Zoo, by Ella Bentley and
Stanley Clisby Arthur. The Century Co., 1913. Preface by Dorothy Dix. A
book of verse tells the story about a young boy’s visit to the zoo and
how he learns about the animals there. The book is illustrated with
Arthur’s black and white photographs taken at the Theological Park (64
pages, 8”x10”; copy in the APSU Dix Collection).
Muriel Nissen continued to answer letters for a year or two after Dix
Milly (surname unknown) was the name of the cook
who Dix brought with her to New York in 1901. Milly’s son became a well
known physician in New York (Kane p. 183).
Nellie was the
nickname of Mrs. Arthur Nolte. She was a very dear friend to Dix who
often was invited to travel with Dix on her exotic trips to far away
George Gilmer’s (Dix’s husband) turpentine distillation
company was located on Perdido Street, New Orleans.
Meriwether VanDenburgh’s and Bill Meriwether Jr.’s grandfather, Ed
(Edward) Meriwether, was Dix’s brother.
Ms. Johnny Givens, Head
Librarian of the Austin Peay State College Library, initiated a search
for literary materials unique to the area in the early 1960s. Via this
search the Dorothy Dix papers landed at the college library and later
became the Dorothy Dix Collection.
Mrs. P. (Paul) A. Meriwether
of Clarksville suggested to Dean Felix G. Woodward and Head Librarian
Ms. Johnny Givens, Austin Peay State University, that A. Huntington
Patch, nephew of Dorothy Dix, Ashville, North Carolina, may have Dix
material for the creation of a specialized Dorothy Dix Collection for
the University Library (1969).
A. Huntington Patch’s wife’s name
was Mary Ruth, referred to as Bee.
Mrs. Joanne Waggoner, niece of
A. Huntington Patch.
Warren Gilmer lived in New Orleans and was a
nephew of George Gilmer, Dix’s husband (Kane, p. 157).
family came from Quincy, Illinois. Dix’s stepmother was Martha Gilmer
Chase Meriwether (widowed). She was a cousin to Dix’s father (who
*denotes article available in Times-Picayune
Dorothy Dix home page