Dr. Jessie Julia Mize
Jessie Julia Mize was born in Commerce, Ga. on September 14, 1910, the daughter of Charles Allen Mize and Leila Alberta Ritchie. Charles Mize was born in Banks County on August 24, 1873. Leila Ritchie was born in Banks County on January 15, 1879 and was a teacher in Banks County, teaching at Grove Level School as well as at Maysville, Hickory Level, Sim's Bridge, Bushville, Mount Bethel and Arp. Jessie Julia Mize was their only child.
Dr. Mize graduated from Commerce High School in 1926 and attended the Georgia State Teacher's College in Athens for two years. She then studied at the University of Georgia where she obtained degrees as follows: Bachelor of Science (Physics) 1930; Master of Science (Mathematics) 1931, and Bachelor of Science (Home Economics) in 1932. Graduate study was at Columbia University, New York, Iowa State University and Cornell University. Dr. Mize received her degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University in 1952.
Dr. Mize held various positions in Georgia and was a dedicated educator. She taught in Berrien County from 1932-1934. From 1934-1945, Dr. Mize served in county and district postions with the Farmers Home Administration in Georgia as well as executive secretary on the Georgia Nutrition Committee under the War Food Administration in World War II. During the years 1945-1949, Dr. Mize held various assignments with the Georgia Agricultural Extension Service. From 1952 until her retirement from the University of Georgia in 1974, Dr. Mize was the Head of Housing and Home Management Department of the College of Home Economics.
Dr. Mize was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi and Pi Lambda Theta and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution for over fifty years. She also served as president of the Daughters of Colonial Wars in Georgia.
Dr. Mize was an avid genealogist and was the author of several books, including "The History of Banks County Georgia 1858-1976", "The History of the First Presbyterian Church of Athens Georgia" and was a co-author of such outstanding works as "Historical Sketches of Presbyterian Churches and Early Settlers of Northeast Georgia".
Her chronicle of the history of Banks County is prized by all who appreciate the work and attention to detail Dr. Mize presents. Dr. Mize always felt strongly about her Banks County roots and undertook the quest for her own family history. She would closet herself in the locked courthouse on weekends and hand write the records, sharing the records with all who were looking for their families.
Dr. Mize passed away on July 15, 2001, at the age of 90. She is buried in Grey Hill Cemetery, Commerce, Ga.
Copy and Copyright 2003 by Jacqueline King
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