Miss North Carolina 1933 Leola Councilman

Leola was born in North Carolina in 1913, the oldest daughter of twelve children of John and Oppie Councilman. After the Pageant, she worked for nine years as a telephone operator prior to marrying Marine officer Harold Haught in 1946. Just seven years later, at age 40 she suffered her first stroke. She died in 1991 at age 77.


1930 Councilman family census form - Bear Creek, NC
1930 census data: Bonlee town, Bear Creek township, Chatham County, NC
John Councilman, 48 (NC) salesman in a hardware store
Oppie 42 (NC), Leola 17 (NC), Odell 14 (NC), Marie S. 11 (NC), Ledford J. 9 (NC), Howard L. 8 (NC), Osborn 6 (NC) Martha J. 4 6/12 (NC), Lester D. 3 1/2 (NC). Note: on the 1920 census (p.1, p.2) Leola had four older brothers: Charlie M, Milo M, Caleb W. and Herbert N.

Leola from the panorama shot - age 20
Leola, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, was crowned at a contest at Wrightsville Beach. The state pageant apparently went on for five days, and included a parade down Main Street and photographs in the surf. The competition itself took place at the Lumina Pavilion on July 21, 1933, with an evening gown competition at 10pm and swimsuit competition at 11pm, followed by dancing to the music of Jelly Leftwich by the 4000 strong crowd (see article circa 1987 for more information). The Lumina, known as the "Fun Spot of the South" was the place to go for 50 years. She is thought to be the first-ever Miss North Carolina. (Although the Miss America Organization historian Ric Ferentz lists Leola as Miss North Carolina in 1933, the Miss North Carolina history of past winners -- http://www.missnc.org/history/index.html -- does not! Leola's relatives have written letters to try to correct the numerous articles that have overlooked her.)

There is no specific mention of Leola in the Atlantic City newspapers.

After the Pageant, Leola (also known as "Lee") returned home to North Carolina and continued to work as a telephone operator. In 1940 she was not living at home with her family; it is thought she might be listed under a married name as she had a brief marriage and divorce prior to marrying Harold Haught in 1946. The family story is that she had not told Harold, a Marine officer, that she had been in the Pageant. In fact, she never did tell him, but her sisters "spilled the beans" a year after the marriage! They were married 45 years, until Leola's death in 1991, in her sleep at a nursing home. She had suffered her first stroke at the early age of 40, but recovered to continue to play golf, even well enough to win at least one tournament. She was survived by her husband and many relatives, but had no children.

Leola's crown and several photographs were passed on to her relatives, likely younger sisters, who apparently guard the items carefully. The family story by an elderly aunt (in 2006) is that Leola was 5th, and some sort of book was written about her or the competition.

Social Security Death Index: LEOLA C HAUGHT, date of birth: 29 Jul 1913, date of death: May 1991, last residence: (not specified), last benefit: (none specified), social security number: 244-01-3165, state issued: North Carolina

North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004; Name: Leola Catherine Haught [Leola Catherine Councilman] Gender: Female Race: White Marital Status: Married Social Security Number: 244013165 Father's Last Name: Councilman Age: 77 Date of Birth: 29 Jul 1913 Birth Location: North Carolina Birth State: North Carolina Residence City: Havelock Residence County: Craven Residence State: North Carolina Date of Death: 26 May 1991 Death County: Carteret Death State: North Carolina Autopsy: No institution: General Hospital Attendant: Physician Burial Location: Burial in state Source Vendor: NC Department of Health. North Carolina Deaths, 1988-92

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HAUGHT, HAROLD E 07 Aug 1915 09 Oct 1994 79 34769 (Saint Cloud, Osceola, FL) (none specified) Virginia 224-52-3339
Genealogy. Newspaper obituary requested of the New Bern Sun Journal newspaper. 1933 Wrightsville Beach articles requested of the Star News in Wilmington, NC. It is known that there are articles written about the North Carolina contest.
-- I simply called the Councilmans in Bear Creek, NC to find the family! :)

On May 2, 2011, Lew Powell featured Leola and the 1933 pageant in his blog about History of the Tar Heel state; hopefully this may turn up some more original documents. Thanks Lew!
-- The Leola Lambert on the 1940 census in Bear Creek is not thought to be a match as this Leola has a 5-year old son Arnold Dean, and his mother is supposed to be Leola Elizabeth Kennedy (1913 Moore,NC-2010 Randolph,NC)(per RootsWeb).