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Nelle Womack Hines collection

Nelle Womack Hines was born June 9, 1875 in Oxford, Georgia as the daughter of Emmett Womack, a lawyer, and Eleanor Wright. At age six, her family moved to Covington, Georgia where she attended primary, high school, and partial college education at the Masonic Female College. Hines received music education from several important music tutors. She studied music under Kate Moore for one year at the Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens, Georgia. She then attended the Washington Seminary, a female seminary in Atlanta where she studied under Alfredo Barili, noted Florence-born pianist who would later start the Barili School of Music, for three years. Her father moved the family to Washington, D.C. for a government position. In D.C., Hines studied piano under John Porter Lawrence, noted pianist from the Leipsig Conservatory.

Nelle Womack met Edward Robert (E.R.) Hines when he was a student at the University of Virginia studying for a Bachelor of Law degree. They were married on November 23, 1898, and moved to Milledgeville where Edward had grown up. Edward Robert Hines began his law practice in Milledgeville and later became a judge. They had two sons: Emmett (1899-1975) and Madison (1902-1961). While in Milledgeville, Nelle Womack Hines studied music at Georgia Normal & Industrial College and graduated in 1906 with a four-year diploma in piano.

Hines expressed continued interest in writing and music. She published multiple books and songs, as well as featured stories in area newspapers including the Union Recorder, Macon Telegraph, and Atlanta Journal. Her first book contained poems and was entitled Waifs from Wild Meadows (1898). She also published another book of poetry, Home Keeping Hearts, in 1929. She published multiple editions of A Treasure Album of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, Georgia, a series of stories on the history of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. She also published multiple song sheets, most importantly “Georgia Land” (1923), that was later adopted by the Georgia Congress of Parent-Teachers as the organization state song in 1925. She also wrote radio programs, musical comedies, plays, and other programs. Her radio programs, which dramatized the lives of well-known Georgia men and women, historic homes, spots, and events, were broadcast over WMAZ, Macon, and WSB Atlanta,  according to her book Such Goings On. This included musical comedies like “The Family Name” and “Only Pebble on the Beach,” both presented by the Milledgeville Dramatic Club.

Hines taught for forty-one years at Georgia Normal & Industrial College (later Georgia State College for Women) from 1906-1946 as an Assistant Professor of Music, as well as taught summer school at Mercer University. Her duties expanded to publicity and radio chairman in 1934. She presented radio programs and plays written by her. She became chairman of research work in Georgia History for the student body in 1946. 

In the community, Hines led community singing and served as official song leader for the National and State Federation of Women’s Clubs, Georgia Congress of Parents and Teachers, the State Music Federation, and the State Press Association. She also belonged to several other organizations: Alpha Psi Omega (Dramatic Honor Society), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Science Honor Society), Macon and Atlanta Writer’s Club, and American League of Pen Woman. She helped establish the Milledgeville Garden Club, served as the President of the Baldwin County Federation of Clubs and the Tenth District Federation of Women’s Club (for twenty years), a member for life of the Georgia Congress of Parents and Teachers, and was the first woman to receive an honorary membership in the Georgia Press Association.

She retired to the Hines’ family home called “Greenacre” on Tattnall Street, Milledgeville in 1947. She continued to write until her death on November 21, 1963 at age 88. She was buried at Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, next to her husband.