Friday, September 17, 2010

Dixie Darling Regina Rambo Benson

Thursday we went to the Marietta History Museum for a mighty fine lecture presented by Christa.

The lecture was about Regina Rambo Benson. I knew Regina was known for being the first female automobile owner/driver in Marietta and that she was in some sort cross-country drive in the early 1900s and was the only lady participant and she organized a party on the street car that ran between Marietta and Atlanta on its last run. But with such sparks I knew there had to be more.

Christa named her lecture REGINA RAMBO BENSON, QUEEN OF ALL DIXIE. Christa said if Regina was there, she would probably object to the title, because, according to one of her quotes, “Nothing should come before Dixie”. She was not a Dixie native. She loved her adopted state-of-mind.

I learned some things I didn’t know about the lady pace setter and reaffirmed some things I did know. For instance, Regina was not born in Cobb County as I thought, but in Rio de Janeiro. Another bit of news to me is that she just about led the parade to the Confederate Cemetery every year on Confederate Memorial Day. Once she was chosen as some kind of Harvest Queen of the Year and when she accepted her award ten thousand people gave her an ovation.

She knew her car inside and out and had to stop alongside the road and make repairs from time to time as the picture above shows. Christa said only time, as far as she knows, did Virginia ask help from a man. She was stuck in mud and asked for a push.

Another time she ran for congress. She needed $1200 for a Democrat registration fee, so instead of paying it she ran as an Independent Democrat. She lost. However, she got over 900 votes. It was prohibition time in the United States. Her platform was to appeal the prohibition laws, or at least let the people vote on it. Her reason for running wasn’t that she was a drinker but that she loved to visit saloons to sing and dance. No drinking means no singing or dancing. She did not win but she did have the high registration fee reduced to just over a hundred dollars so it was more available for the common man (or woman) to run.

Probably 6 or 8 descendants of Regina were there. They have scattered. One lives in Woodstock; one in the northeast area, near Cleveland and Helen, and another one raises horses near Rome. Her grandma also liked to ride horses I learned.

I could check my wife’s notes and tell more, but then you get the benefit of the lecture without going. More people need to go to the Marietta History Museum to give them support.



Blogger kenju said...

Since I can't go there, I appreciate the history lesson.

5:09 AM  
Blogger AlanH said...

I am happily married to Regina Rambo Benson's granddaughter, so I can proudly tell you that my wife is now QUEEN OF ALL DIXIE!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Alan, If se is anything like her grandmother, I say Amen!

Strangely on Facebook today I was talking about another Regina. Regina Hicks, co-owner of Hicks Grocery that was at the corner of Atlanta Street and East Dixie Avenue, which in their hearts the two Reginas were as opposite as two people can be and not burst into flames.

1:45 PM  

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