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Home of Edith Helm, Grayville
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 15.393 W 087° 59.680
16S E 412974 N 4234748
Quick Description: Eleanor Roosevelt visited her here.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/17/2010 8:48:30 AM
Waymark Code: WMA4WP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Corp Of Discovery
Views: 4

Long Description:

Marker Text:
The home of one of Grayville's best known citizens was on this corner. Edith Helm was the widow of Rear Admiral James M. Helm, a native son of Grayville, who served 45 years in the Navy and was a recipient of the Navy Cross. After his death in 1927, she moved into a two story home located here. Edith Helm served as Social Secretary to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mrs. Bess Truman. Eleanor Roosevelt spent two nights visiting here in 1936.


From Time Magazine come this historic morsel about Mrs. Helm:
One day the White House bulletin board announced that Mrs. Edith Helm, social secretary at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Miss Reathal Odum, Mrs. Truman's personal secretary, would meet the ladies of the press. The meeting was not on the second, or family, floor, where Eleanor Roosevelt used to chat with the girls, but in the semi-public Green Room.

Grey, gracious Edith Helm, who was in the White House social secretariat under the second Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, and again under Eleanor Roosevelt, walked in with Miss Odum. Mrs. Helm confessed she was "scared to death." First off, she said that Mrs. Truman would not hold peace time receptions and dinners this winter ("inappropriate at present — these are sad times for many people who have suffered war losses"). Then, running down the First Lady's social list, she announced that Mrs. Truman would attend a tea on Oct. 12 given by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1939 Mrs. Roosevelt had quit the D.A.R. because it refused to let Negro Contralto Marian Anderson sing in the Society's Constitution Hall; now the D.A.R. was embroiled in a similar controversy with publicity-seeking Negro Pianist Hazel Scott. But the girls tactfully asked no questions about Mrs. Truman's racial opinions.

County: White County

Historical Society: Grayville Historic Group

Location: E. South St. & S. Middle St., Grayville

Website: [Web Link]

Dedication Date: Not listed

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