This lovely photograph of Mary Mirota (1913-1969), was taken when she was employed as a private secretary, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. I love her dress with the brooch, and her pretty shoes! At that time, she worked for a wealthy widow, Mrs. Carolyn Knowland Hyde (1868-1959), of Plainfield, Union County, New Jersey. Mrs. Hyde’s husband, Francis De Lacy Hyde, had been a banker and real estate investor. The Hyde family lived in a beautiful estate on the ridge of the Watchung Mountains, in Plainfield, called Hydewood Hall. After her husband’s death in 1910, Mrs. Hyde raised their three children, and became very active in many worthy causes, serving for years as a member of the national board of the Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.). Mrs. Hyde had also been the director of the Skillman Institute for Epileptics, in Skillman, NJ, and was a member of the Plainfield Garden Club – where you can read more about the Hyde family at their website. Mary Mirota had been a graduate of the Drake Business College in Plainfield, NJ, and was hired to take shorthand notes from Mrs. Hyde, attend to her confidential correspondences and files, and also at times travel with her employer. Mary Mirota was from Whitehouse, in Readington Township, Hunterdon County, NJ, and she took the train back and forth from work in Plainfield. At times she also put down Plainfield, NJ as her principal residence.
Here are two more postcards that had belonged to Mary Mirota. The first one is of the Plainfield Post Office, where Mary often had to go to post mail while working as a secretary, and the second one is of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Plainfield, where Mary worshiped while in town.
Among Mary Mirota’s photos, there are a few taken with Mrs. Hyde, and her family, that are from the World’s Fair in New York City, which was held from 1939-40. Since there are also photos of a parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City, it could be that the photos were taken one year before the grand opening of the World’s Fair. There had been a large parade with over 200 floats on 30 April 1938 called The Preview of the Fair Parade. Below are two of the photos.
Mary Mirota also traveled with Mrs. Hyde out to Arizona, from New Jersey, during this time period. Mary always remembered how beautiful the desert countryside was between Tucson and Flagstaff. Mrs. Hyde’s daughter, Mrs. Carolyne Hyde Woodin Haskell, had moved out to Tucson, Arizona, in 1930. Mrs. Hyde’s two sons also had moved to Arizona, Oliver Edward Hyde lived in Tucson and Francis de Lacey Hyde, Jr., lived in Castle Hot Springs.
By the mid 1940s, Mrs. Hyde had moved permanently to Tucson, living with her daughter. Mary Mirota ended her employment as her private secretary. Here are two more of the postcards Mary kept from the time she was employed as a private secretary to Mrs. Hyde.
I would really enjoy hearing from anyone associated with the Hyde family of Plainfield, New Jersey. I’m sure there were lots of other folks employed by the family over the years, and it would be interesting to hear their stories.
Occupations are always worth noting down when recording family research and searching through records. Workday Wednesday is a daily genealogy blogging post suggested by Denise Spurlock through Geneabloggers.