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Frances Hallam Hurt

The John L. Hurt, Jr. Scholarship was established by Mrs. Frances Hallam Hurt to support students of Gretna High School, with a preference given to students who attended John L. Hurt, Jr. Elementary School. Major John L. Hurt, the great-uncle of Mrs. Hurt’s husband, was the founder of the town of Hurt. His nephew, the late John L. Hurt, Jr., spent his life encouraging and supervising its growth. Because John L. Hurt, Jr. was a passionate believer in education, Mrs. Hurt felt that a college scholarship in his memory would be appropriate.

Frances Hallam Hurt, a native of Dallas, Texas, graduated from Southern Methodist University before moving to New York City, where she worked for Hearst Business Magazines and Glamour magazine. After meeting and marrying Southside native Henry Hurt, Frances Hurt settled in Chatham in 1941, continuing her writing career as a freelancer and immersing herself in civic life in addition to raising her family. A great lover of the written word, Frances Hurt drove the country roads on the Pittsylvania County bookmobile, served as a literacy tutor and helped found the Pittsylvania County Literacy Program. She was an active member of the Pittsylvania County Historical Society and founded the highly successful Christmas in Colonial Chatham and brought Pittsylvania County’s history to life with three plays – Land of the Bright Leaf, The Shirtmen and the Quaker, and All Men Shall Be Free. Her book credits include An Intimate History of the American Revolution in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and 1767-1967 Eighteenth Century Landmarks of Pittsylvania County, Virginia with Madalene Vaden Fitzgerald.