Name: Margaret Parx Hays (1919-2008)

Historical Note:

Margaret Parx Hays (MPH) was born in Gainesville, TX in 1918. After attending Newsome High School in Gainesville, TX (graduated 1931), MPH attended Gainesville Jr College and finally North Texas State Teacher's College (NTSTC), where she received her Bachelor of Science in Education in 1934. After working at the Registrar's office for NTSTC for a few years, she took a hiatus to complete a Masters in Education at the University of Michigan where she matriculated in 1938. MPH returned to her employment at NTSTC until she enlisted in the State Department for her first assignment to the domestic post of New Orleans, LA in 1942. During this time, MPH also applied to the Department of State Foreign Service Office, in which she was approved upon release of her 6mo assignment in New Orleans. She moved to Washington D.C., took the oath and began training for both Foreign Service and Language (Spanish) prior to her first assignment in Dec, of 1942 to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her duty stations are as follows:

12/42 - 1/45: Foreign Service Clerk (Cryptographic Clerk) Buenos Aires, Argentina. At this post, MPH served in a position that left her uniquely aware of the WWII Argentine-US relationship, in which the US denied Lend-Lease aid to Argentina who promptly overthrew the neutral government in favor of a pro-Ally one month before the end of the war.

12/45-12/47: Vice Consul, Cheif Consular Section, Bogota, Columbia. Here, too, MPH witnessed a revolution that overthrew the government for a new one.

3/48-9/50: Vice Consul, Visa Officer/Personnel Officer, Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

1/51-5/54 Area Personnel Placement Officer (Far East), Washington D.C.

7/54-6/55 Personnel Officer, Manila, Philippines. This position ended when MPH was promoted to Consul after passing the Foreign Office Exam. Additionally, this tenure was characterized by a Red Scare investigation into a specific passport denial case, in which MPH was accused of being a communist sympathizer.

6/55-8/56: Consul Cheif Passport Unit, Manila Philippines. The Philippines celebrated their 10-year Independence Day from the United States on July 4, 1956.

12/56-12/58: Consul: Assistant Cheif Visa Dept./Cheif Passport Dept. Mexico City, Mexico. MPH was stationed closer to home than she had been before at this duty station, and so this position was characterized by closeness with family.

6/59-3/61Career Development Officer (Personnel Needs Analyst) Washington DC

3/61-3/62 Assistant Cheif, Latin American Branch, Passport Office, Washington DC

3/62-6/62 Chairman, Staff Corp Review Panel, Washington DC

8/62-7/64 Consul, Chief, Citizenship and Passport Office, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China. After some dedicated sexism from her direct supervisor, MPH retired with prejudice.

After her retirement from the FSO in 1964, MPH returned to Washington D.C. to work at the American University as the Latin American Political Education Analyst and published extensively on the wants and needs of Latin American students in the political realm of the Cold War.

MPH returned home to her ailing mother in 1966 and began a new career by establishing the Cooke County Historical Society (CCHS). Through the foundation of the CCHS, MPH opened the Morton Museum in 1967 through extensive campaigning and grant writing to fund the project. In 1971-1973, MPH worked as a counselor and the Head of the Cooke County Mental Health Hospital working directly with mentally ill patients. Upon completion of her tenure there, MPH worked diligently for the next decade on memorializing and preserving Gainesville, TX and the historical significance of Cooke County. In 1981-1983, MPH served as the first (and to date, only) female Mayor of Gainesville, TX. She continued her work with the Morton Museum, and the foundation and renovation of the Santa Fe Depot museum until her formal retirement in 2002. MPH moved to Chapel Hill, NC to be closer to her sister and nephew, until her death in 2008.

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Margaret Parx Hays

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