The 1940s were largely dominated by things that happened during World War II.
Most young men went to war, although branches of the service were still segregated.
Food was rationed. Victory gardens were re-instituted. There were drives for scrap iron, paper and
But through it all, women gained on the home front, for many had to assume head of the household
Jitterbug (a dance), zoot suits, high heeled shoes, and a general new look became popular.
In spite of the fact that there were “hold-overs” from the old traditions, women began to seek ways
to obtain a suitable education or trade to improve their living conditions.
Here are some Rockdale women from that era:
Birdie Cooke - Was a well known poet, and was famous for her reciting and interpretation of
She was a great contributor to many programs in the community and surrounding areas.
Olivia McDonald-Mullins - Became the first licensed beautician. She was also a great supporter
of all school activities, and purchased the first organ for New Hope Baptist Church.
Myrtle M. Tindle and Gussie McDade - Became the next licensed beauticians. Mrs. Tindle was a
dedicated church worker and also singer. Her talent was known nationally.
Georgia Johnson Richards - Was the first chef cook at the new Richards Clinic and Hospital, and
served in this capacity for more than 25 years.
Zelma L. Dykes - Educator whose teaching career began in the Liberty Hill area.
After the school was combined with Aycock, she served as girls’ basketball Coach for many years,
and is a member of the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor.
Eula Bell Crayton-Moultry - First licensed LVN in Milam County, also completed Midwife Delivery
under the late Dr. Dickey.
She was cited by the Texas Legislature for delivering more than 200 babies.
She served as an employee of Richards Hospital for more than 17 years and was also founder of the
Busy Fingers and Fancy Doers Art Club.
Mabel Johnson Brumbley - Was one of the first known teachers in the Tanglewood area, later in the
Milano School District, completing her teaching career with the Houston Independent School
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS, SERIES 5, PART 2
Black women of the 40s and early 50s
by Susie Sansom-Piper
Rockdale Reporter - February 9, 2012