Submitted by Descendant: Jeannette Marie SAY
Agnes Myrtle Meares, known as Myrtle, was born 14 October 1901 in St Petersburg, Hillsborough County, Florida. She was the tenth child born to George and Ellen Meares.
Raised in St Petersburg, Myrtle graduated with the class of 1920 from St Petersburg High School. Following graduation, she married Leo Walter Say on 24 June 1921. The couple resided at their bungalow near Mirror Lake. They were members of the First Congregational Church. Together they raised one son, Leo Walter Say, Jr.
Following the economic crash of 1929, Myrtle moved with her family to a farm in Climax, GA, where they weathered the economic crisis. Stories shared by Leo, Jr., tell of the family raising hogs and farming. Among other crops they raised peanuts and watermelons. Leo Jr. spoke fondly of this time and of his mother’s cooking. Myrtle made cornbread, or corn cakes as the locals referred to it, that was the envy of the other school children. The cornbread was sweet and moist, thus the name corn cakes. Another favorite recipe was sweet potato pone which is remembered by most everyone who attended holiday meals at the Say house.
Drawn back to her roots, Myrtle and Leo moved back to St Petersburg about 1934. Upon their return to Florida, Leo opened a battery and shoe repair shop. The couple lived in an apartment above the business. Quite often you could find Myrtle and Leo fishing or enjoying the beaches.
Myrtle was very crafty with the tatting shuttle. She often tatted lace edgings on her hankies and table linens. Many of her hand tatted collars have been passed down to the granddaughters.
In 1963, almost ten years after the death of her husband, Myrtle moved to Seminole. Here she took up the art of ceramics. She lived with her sister until death took her on 20 September 1982. She is interred next to her husband in Memorial Park Cemetery, Pinellas County, Florida. Myrtle was a member of the Pinellas County Pioneers Association.
Agnes Myrtle Meares was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011