Miss Washington 1933 Gladine Sweetser - Semi-Finalist

Like Miss Iowa, Gladine invested everything she owned for a chance at winning the grand prizes promised to the winner of the Miss America contest. It was the middle of the Great Depression, and the prizes promised were enticing indeed -- wealth (a cash award, jewelry, an automobile, trips, property) and a screen test, as well as honors, fun, glamour and fame. It is unknown if Gladine felt that the contest was rigged against her; it is unknown if she stayed on the East Coast and joined the Zeigfield Follies because she couldn't afford to go home.


1930 Sweetser family census form - Forsyth, Montana
1930 census data, Forsyth, MO
Mollie M. Sweetser 55 (Widowed) (TX)
Gladene (18) (MO) (Gladine's twin Gladys is at the Farland Sanatorium and City Isolation Hospital in Greenwood, WA. One of their brothers lives there too, as well as sister Hazel who is a film inspector. On the 1920 census Gladine, Gladys and sister Helen are living with their brother Charles in Forsyth, MO.)
Gladine was a twin, born on June 2, 1911 in Montana, the youngest of eight children of sheep rancher Jay Sweetser, who died when she was young. She grew up in Montana, moving to Washington by 1933 to join several siblings who lived there.

Gladine from the panorama shot - age 22
Gladine was chosen as Miss Washington in July, as there was an article on August 1 in the Chicago Daily Tribune, as well as one released by Associated Press with a photo in Salamanca, NY on Aug 3 "Gladine Sweetser of Seattle will be "Miss Washington" in the Atlantic City, NJ bathing beauty pageant. She will compete with beauties from all over the nation for the title of "Miss America." and the same article and picture on Aug 4 in Lincoln NE, followed by a slighty more creative copy on Aug 9 in Oskosh, WI and Mansfield, OH and on Aug 10 in Stevens Point, WI -- "Yes, it's another bathing beauty contest winner. Miss Gladine Sweetser, of Seattle, chosen to represent Washington state in the Atlantic City beauty pageant. What could be Sweetser?"

Gladine is the only contestant known to travel from the West Coast to the East Coast by boat! (Philadelphia Inquirer Sep 5 article)

In Atlantic City, Gladine was one of the early favorites:
Atlantic City newspapers:
Sep 6: "City Chooses Favorites. And already Atlantic City is choosing favorites from among the beauties. Although the public will not be the judges the public, judging from its comments at every appearance of the beautiful young women have chosen favorites and the first day witnessed eight beauties win popular acclaim: Miss Ohio, Miss New York City, Miss New York State, Miss California, Miss Wisconsin, Miss West Virginia, Miss Washington State and Miss Missouri seemed to take with the crowds."

The only other mention in the Atlantic City newspaper is that Gladine was a semi-finalist. Seventy years later, Miss Wisconsin remembered hearing at the coronation that Gladine had sold everything she could to be able to make it to the pageant, as she had no backing.

1936 Zeigfeld Follies
After the Pageant, Gladine went to NY and performed in the Ziegfield Follies from January-June 1934, 182 performances. She was part of the opening night cast, playing a bridge player in a star-studded cast that included Eve Arden, Fanny Brice, and Buddy Ebsen, among other famous performers. Gladine sang in "Water Under the Bridge" in Act 1 (music by Vernon Duke).

It is unknown if she was involved in other shows. In 1940 Gladine was still living in New York working as a demonstrator of cosmetics. She eventually moved back west, married a successful contractor Art Goerig in Washington, and retired in Idaho; they had no children. She died in Seattle in 1987 at age 76.

Social Security Death Index: GLADINE GOERIG, date of birth: 02 Jun 1911, date of death: 31 Dec 1987 (V), last residence: 98116 (Seattle, King, WA), last benefit: (none specified), social security number: 534-07-7422, place issued: Washington

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GOERIG, A 28 Jan 1901 Feb 1968 67 83401 (Idaho Falls, Bonneville, ID) (none specified) Washington 532-18-5250
-- Called Goerig relatives in Seattle in 2004. Nephew was glad to hear from me, interested in genealogy, but had no information on the Pageant. Gladine and her husband Art retired to Idaho, then she moved back to Seattle to be with friends. He said they had no children, although I had found a listing for an infant death in 1940 that may have been theirs or another Goerig relative's.