Mary Eleanor (Dix) Smith
Born, 03/13/1909   Macon GA
Married Walter Reginald Smith, 07/25/1931
Died, 11/24/1956, Charlotte NC
Buried, First Baptist Church Cemetery in Forest Park, GA

A Brief Biography of Mary Eleanor (Dix) Smith
by Lyn Simonton, Eleanor's Daughter
July 1, 2004

Mary Eleanor Dix, the youngest of the seven children born to Albert Sidney and Isadora Nicoles Dix, was born on March 13, 1909 in Macon, Georgia.  Her family was living during that time at the Georgia Industrial Home there where her father, A.S. Dix, was manager or superintendent.  As a result of the death of A.S. Dix in December, 1910, Isadora and six of the seven children (Nelle, the oldest was married and out of the home by that time) moved back to Montgomery, Alabama to be near their Dix relatives.  This would have been probably January of 1911, and Eleanor was less than two years old.  The family remained in Montgomery until all of the children were grown and out on their own.

In 1929, when Eleanor was twenty years old, she and her mother, Isadora Dix moved to Atlanta, GA where they lived for several years.  During this time, Eleanor went to work at U.S. Rubber Company where she met Walter Reginald (Reggie) Smith.  They were married on July 25, 1931, Eleanor quit work at U.S. Rubber Co., and they continued to live in Atlanta.  They were married almost ten years before giving birth to their only child, Lynnette (Lyn) Dix Smith, who was born on January 17, 1941.  Eleanor had always told Lyn that she was sick the whole summer when she was nine, and doctor's orders were that she stay in bed all summer.  To make sure she stayed in bed and had plenty to do to keep her there, her older sister, Issalee, tutored her all summer, and she skipped the fourth grade because of it!  She said it was at that time that the doctors diagnosed her heart condition.  This heart condition probably prevented her from having other children.

When Lyn was five years old, Bert and Bill Dix (Eleanor's brother, Francis (Buddy's) boys) came to live with Eleanor and her family on Christmas Eve of 1946, about a month after their father had died, and it was at that time that Frances, their sister, went to live with Etta Brundage and her family.  Lois, their mother had died the year before.  Bert was ten at this time, and Bill was seven.  Lyn was no longer an only child, and so proud to have two older brothers!

Reggie Smith was eventually made Assistant Credit Manager of U.S. Rubber Co. in Atlanta.  Eleanor worked for War Housing (in the office, as a secretary) during World War II from 1943 to 1945 when the war was over.  After the war she was no longer employed, but she did work for a while as the receptionist at a dentist's office in Atlanta.

Reggie was promoted to Credit Manager and transferred to the Charlotte, N.C. branch of U.S. Rubber in the summer of 1951.  Lyn was ten years old, Bert was fourteen, and Bill was twelve.  Eleanor and Reg had been married 25 years when she died of a heart attack on November 24, 1956, at the age of 47.  She was buried at First Baptist Church of Forest Park, GA cemetery in the plot with her brother, Buddy, his wife, Lois, and later, their son, Bert Dix.  Lyn was fifteen and a junior in high school.  Bill was seventeen and a senior.  Bert was serving his second year in the U.S. Navy and had just turned twenty.  A year later, in December, 1957, Reginald married another woman whom he'd met while working at U.S. Rubber Co. in Charlotte - Elizabeth Yandle. 

In January, 1960, Reg was transferred back to the Atlanta branch of U.S. Rubber, returning as Assistant Credit Manager due to the closing of the Credit Department at the Charlotte branch.  At this time, Lyn was attending Erskine College in Due West, S.C.  They had lived in Atlanta only two years when Reg had to retire due to his health at the age of 55.  He had worked for U.S. Rubber for 32 years.  After his retirement they moved back to Charlotte where he picked up small bookkeeping jobs for extra income.  Reg and Lib had been married 24 years when he died of leukemia on March 5, 1982 in Charlotte, at the age of 75.  He is buried at the Sharon Amity Memorial Park in Charlotte.

Eleanor and Reggie had a common background as they were both children of Baptist ministers.  Eleanor had been born in Macon and Reggie had attended Mercer University in Macon.  While Eleanor had been the youngest of seven siblings, Reggie had been the oldest of eight.  Eleanor had lost her father when he was only 47 years old.  Reggie had lost his mother when she was only 36.

Dorothy and Eleanor Dix, ages about 8 and 3 years

The Dix Sisters
Ruth, Isalee, Nelle, Dorothy, and Eleanor

Granny Dix seated with her children around her (Date on photo: June 22, 1930).
                                 Standing, from L-R: Eleanor, Ruth, Francis, Dorothy, Billy, Nelle, and Isalee

L-R:  Ralph F Whigham Jr., Ralph F. Whigham Sr., Ruth Dix Whigham (holding Little Dorothy Harris), Dix Whigham, Eleanor
             Dix [polka-dot dress], Isadora Nicoles "Granny" Dix, Jack Smith Jr., Dorothy Dix, Francis Albert Dix, Nelle Dix Smith, Aubrey Dismukes Jr., just
             to the left of Isalee),  Uncle Aubrey is behind Nelle.  On either side of Isalee, on the back row, Will Allie and Mable Dix.   Nelljie
             Smith is standing between Aunt Nelle and Aunt Issalee.   Audrey Dismukes (in front of Nelle), Jim Dismukes, Sarah Dismukes, (in
             front of Nelljie) June (Aubrey, Jr.) Dismukes, and maybe Albert Dismukes.  (I guess Nic, Pat, and Dan were not born yet.)  The
             other two children on the end may be Bill and Mable's children, Ruth and Billy.  June 22, 1930, at the Billy Dix's home in West Point GA..

Lyn Simonton, remembering her mother, wrote: " I'm so glad Alice Newman Shannon is now included in the "search party". Her mom, Nelljie, and my mother, Eleanor, grew up as best friends in Montgomery, their being only a few months difference in age, although Mother was Nelljie's aunt! I have many pictures of them as children there at the old homestead (probably 12 Marshall Street), and one is my all time favorite! I remember Mama showing it to me when I was a child and I just loved it! They were young teenagers and just adorable."

photo submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

photos submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

photo submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

photo submitted by Alice Newman Shannon

Eleanor, Lyn, & Reginald Smith

Reginald, Eleanor, Bert, Bill, Lyn & kitty



Lyn & Ginny in the middle at 1951 Piedmont Rd.,  Atlanta
The boy and girl on the ends are Lyn's next door neighbors - "Brother" (Milton?) and Jackie Yarbrough

Dix & Eleanor at Myrtle Beach S.C.

Lyn, Dix, Ginny, & Rusty at the Cyclorama in Atlanta

Issalee, Dixie, Martha, Eleanor, and Lyn
Photo submitted by Frances Dix Chapman

Photo submitted by Frances Dix Chapman