When St. Petersburg was just a village of a few hundred persons, it had a newspaper and Mrs. Edith Lincoln Pyatt was the main support of the editorial department. She was everything from editor to galley boy and was the whole local staff. That was long ago, but she is still a newspaper woman at heart even though she is not now connected with a paper. She gave up the newspaper game a few years ago, but every now and then takes a hand again when the Independent needs help.
Mrs. Pyatt, who was the first newspaper woman in St. Petersburg, came here from Ohio 25 years ago. She came on account of her health and recovered completely in a short time. She was born in Columbus, Ohio and her parents were from Virginia. She was educated in the schools of Columbus. Her first work here was on the only newspaper and she went to the Independent after it was purchased by Major Lew B. Brown. She established the society column of the paper a few years ago, one winter when she had to do her work at her home instead of the office because she was devoting most of her time to the care of an invalid aunt.
Mrs. Pyatt helped to establish the Red Cross chapter here and it was at her home that the first meeting was held, April 19, 1919. Her home was the headquarters of the Red Cross chapter until it grew too large to meet there.
A flag with a history that was carried in foreign lands was given to the Red Cross chapter by Mrs. Pyatt, whose son, Ben Pyatt, was one of the first three volunteers in this city to enlist after the World war was entered by the United States. Capt. F. B Patrick, went to Italy for the Red Cross and wrote back to the chapter here asking that a flag be sent to him. Mrs. Pyatt supplied the flag. It had a history before that. It was used to decorate the speakers’ stand at the home of Mrs. Pyatt when the first Red Cross chapter here was organized. Mrs. Pyatt then lived at 124 First street north.
The same flag was in evidence at all subsequent meetings until July 8. At a mass meeting held June 4, 1917, in honor of the enlisted men, the flag was carried at the head of the Red Cross chapter in a big parade and it was later used in various Red Cross and Liberty loan drives. Its last duty in this country before being sent across the seas to Capt. Patrick was to guard a service flag at the home of Mrs. Pyatt’s.
In Italy, the flag that Mrs. Pyatt gave to the Red Cross to send to Capt. Patrick was displayed on many occasions and at one time was flown from the palace of the king.
Mrs. Pyatt is a life honorary member of the St. Petersburg Woman’s club, this honor being conferred on her because of her interest in the organization from the beginning. She was a member of the original club and through her work on the paper materially helped in its formation and by her efforts helped to make it a success.
Mrs. Pyatt has written and produced several plays. She has directed several amateur productions here and two of the plays she wrote has been copyrighted.
Source: Evening Independent: 12-14-23
Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers