[graphic] NPS arrowhead with link to nps.gov[graphic] National Park Service
[graphic] Women's History Month[graphic] Poster of Rosie the Riveter
 [graphic] image of Mary Baker Eddy
 [graphic] image of Nan Wood Honeyman 1973:  Roe V. Wade legalizes abortion, Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in tennis match [graphic] image of Modjeska Monteith Simkins 2000: World March of Women in Washington, DC
 1909: Women garment workers strike in New York1920: 19th Amendment to Constitution is ratified, women citizens can vote  1933: Frances Perkins is first woman in a president's cabinet
 [graphic] image of Clara Barton1869: First women's suffrage law passed in U.S. territory of Wyoming
[graphic] image of Clara Barton[graphic] image of Clara Barton
2000: World March of Women in Washington, DC2000: World March of Women in Washington, DC2000: World March of Women in Washington, DC
2000: World March of Women in Washington, DC
 [graphic] image of Clara Barton

Eudora Welty House,
Jackson, Mississippi

[Photo] Exterior views of the Eudora Welty House
Photos courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Eudora Welty was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Welty lived in this house from 1925 until her death in 2001, and wrote all of her major works here, including the short stories that initially brought her critical acclaim and such award-winning novels as Delta Wedding, The Optimist's Daughter and Losing Battles. The property includes a Tudor Revival-style house constructed by her father in 1925, a garage and the surrounding grounds and garden. The garden was created by Eudora's mother, Chestina Welty, an avid amateur horticulturist who passed her love for flowers and ornamental plants onto her daughter.

[Photo] Welty House living room
Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Born in Jackson in 1909, Welty was influenced as a child by her parents' love for books and learning. After graduating from Jackson's Central High School in 1925, she spent two years at Mississippi State College for Women, in Columbus and the continued her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, from which she graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1929. Welty was encourage by her father to pursue a career in advertising, and she began graduate studies in 1930 at the Columbia University School of Business in New York City, but quickly lost interest. She returned to Jackson the following year, and worked for a radio station and wrote society stories for the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In 1936 she became a Junior Publicity Agent for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a job that stimulated her interest in writing fiction as she traveled around Mississippi, writing newspaper articles, conducting interviews and taking photographs. Inspired by her firsthand exposure to everyday life in the Depression-era South, Welty turned her energies to writing fiction. In 1936 she published her first short story, "Death of a Traveling Salesman," in the literary magazine Manuscript. The next five years marked the formative period in Welty's development as a writer. Six of her stories were accepted by the Southern Review between 1937 and 1939, and her first book, a collection of stories entitled A Curtain of Green , was published in 1941 with critical acclaim. The stories in the book demonstrated Welty's talent for earnest expressions of emotion, subtle recreations of regional speech and thought patterns, tragic portraits of blighted lives and droll descriptions of eccentric behavior. With the success enjoyed by A Curtain of Green, Welty began a decade-long period of extraordinary productivity that established her as a major figure in American literature.

[Photo] Eudora Welty's writing desk in her bedroom
Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History
In her career as a writer, which spanned five decades, Welty left an indelible mark on American literature. Welty received the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Dean Howells Gold Medal for Fiction, the National Medal of Arts and membership in the National Institute and American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was the first living author to have her works published in the prestigious Library of America series, thus joining Faulkner, Hawthorne, Melville and Twain. Two of Welty's books, The Ponder Heart and The Robber Bridegroom, were made into Broadway plays. Welty's home was and donated to the State of Mississippi when she died in 2001, at the age of 92. The garden Eudora Welty and her mother cultivated over the years has been restored and is open to the public, and plans are underway to open the house as a museum. On August 18, 2004, the Eudora Welty House was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Eudora Welty House | Ellamae Ellis League House | Woman's Athletic Club of San Francisco
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
| Women's History Home | NR HOME | NPS Links to the Past

National Park Service | U.S. Department of the Interior | USA.gov | Privacy & Disclaimer | FOIA
Comments or Questions