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Welty honed skills writing for Lamar Life

Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty’s father shaped the historic Lamar Life Building, and the building shaped the famed Mississippi writer’s early professional career.

Work has begun to reshape the 11-story gothic revival office building erected in 1925 in downtown Jackson yet again: into apartments, retail and office space.

But owner-developer Andrew Mattiace intends to acknowledge the historical use of the building in some fashion – maybe by naming the apartments for Christian Welty, a founder of the life insurance company, or for Miss Welty.

The writer who lived in Jackson’s Belhaven neighborhood for most of her 92 years honed her writing skills while working for WJDX radio with its tiny studio high in the skyscraper.

“At the station, Eudora’s duties were various. She edited the Lamar Radio News, a four-page mimeographed newsletter that included the program schedule which the station had to print because the Daily News refused to carry it,” wrote Ann Waldron in Eudora Welty: A Writer’s Life.

Welty wrote feature articles about local talent and penned a column, “The Editor’s Mike” which tended to be ironic and funny, according to the biography.

“‘We’ve still got Daylight Saving Time on our hands,’ she wrote in the issue of September 18-24, 1932. ‘Daylight Saving Time is like someone else’s baby. You don’t want to hold it forever – when you didn’t even ask for it in the first place.’”

— Jack Weatherly


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