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"Myrta Locckett Avary" by Faye Royster Tuck.

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2 Myrta Lockett Avary, Author, Editor, and Social Worker, was born December 7, 1857, on the Lockett Plantation, at Aaron's Creek, in Halifax County, Virginia. The Halifax County house was she said, "a gem of a log cabin." [Footnote] (3) Early childhood was passed at "Lombardy Grove", her father's plantation in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Myrta's father was Harwood Alexander Lockett. Her mother' maiden name was Augusta Wainwright Harper. Her parents were married in Halifax County, Virginia, March 28, 1836. Her education was a brief term at Miss Betty Carter's school at Boydton, Virginia, private tutors and close association with her brother, a lawyer, a cultured, gifted gentleman of brilliant war record. This was soon after the Civil War and college opportunities were not as they are today. [Footnote] (4)

Myrta began writing as a child for her county-town paper, "The Tobacco Plant," of Boydton, Virginia, which was edited by the Reverend Mr. Finch, an able preacher, assisted by his very intellectual wife. It was thought then wrong for a child to read novels, much more to write them; when her parents discovered she was writing fiction, they put a stop to it. Later, articles, stories, poems and essays by Myrta appeared in the "Petersburg Index," Richmond Dispatch" (now "Times-Dispatch"), the "Rural Messenger", "Atlanta Constitution", "Atlanta Journal", and other publications. [Footnote] (5)

Myrta was in New York for about fifteen years, serving on editorial staffs of the "Illustrated American", "Current Literature", "The Christian Herald," and on the reviewing staff of the "Outlook." (6) She wrote stories on tenement life, character sketches from settlement houses, and articles on the work of metropolitan charities. She helped Dr. Offord edit the collected sermons of Dr. DeWitt Talmage, and out of the recollections of her friend, Mrs. Joseph Van Holt Nash, and of her own faint memories of the Civil War, she built her first book, "A Virginia Girl in The Civil War." (7) D. Appleton and Company accepted the manuscript but wished the book to appear as fact, not fiction.