Miss West Virginia 1933 Mildred Fetty - Semi-Finalist

Mildred was noticed for her beauty as a college freshman, winning the Miss West Virginia crown for the University. Then after her sophomore year she competed and won the Miss West Virginia state crown. Mildred had a great "hook" in Atlantic City -- she brought her pet fox, which rode with her in the rolling chair parade! How unfortunate that on the penultimate night the stomach ache from eating ice cream and lobster (which she had never before eaten) likely damaged her chances at winning the crown of Miss America.

1930 Fetty family census form - Clarksburg, WV
1930 census data, Clarksburg, Harrison county, WV
Rozelwold L. Fetty 35 (WV) Oil rig contractor for Gas wells
Fanny L 33 (PA), Mildred A. 16 (WV), Lester E. 4 9/12 (WV), Lena Deviges 23 (WV)(servant-maid), Opal Deviges 17 (WV)(roomer)(waitress), Bertha Deviges 20 (WV)(roomer)(waitress), Laura Deviges 22 (WV)(roomer)(waitress)
Mildred was born on May 22, 1913 in West Virginia, the older child of contractor Rozelwold and Fanny Fetty.

Mildred from the panorama shot - age 20
Mildred's beauty pageant career started at the University of West Virginia in 1932: "Miss West Virginia. After a record vote by the student body of the University of West Virginia, Miss Mildred Fetty of Clarksburg, shown above, was chosen Miss West Virginia for 1932. Miss Fetty, a striking brunet, is a freshman in the college of arts and sciences and a member of Delta Gamma sorority." (Edwardsville Intelligencer - 5/6/1932, Edwardsville, IL). The following year, Mildred was chosen Miss West Virginia some time after July 14, 1933 as the Charleston paper of that date is describing the pageant, prizes, and qualifications of contest.

1933 - Mildred is third from the left
WI WV OH DE MI VA NJ (backside)
Mildred in a rolling chair with her pet fox!
Seven MidWest contestants spent seven weeks on a Whistle Stop promotional tour, traveling together and performing on their way to Atlantic City. It appears that Mildred joined this tour only for the last week, starting with their appearance in Charleston, WV on August 26. It is thought that the picture at right with the MidWest contestants in furs was taken in West Virginia as she joined the tour, billed as a "pageant beauties" tour where the women performed short acts in vaudeville-style entertainment as well as meeting the city officials and being part of beauty parades.

Mildred Fetty was pictured in the Sep 6-8 articles nationwide with a picture of six Midwest contestants who visited the Nation's capital; this is thought to be a picture from when many contestants performed at Chevy Chase Lake, a suburb of Washington, DC. The only contestant known to have visited Washington, DC was Miss Wisconsin who made a special trip after the Pageant ended and was received in the Oval Office by President Roosevelt!

In Atlantic City, Mildred 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 description of the picture at right: This is an original vintage glossy press photo dated 9/8/1933. The original description says: "Foxy Fox. Something new in pets was displayed to visitors to Atlantic City, NJ by Mildred Fetty in the shape of a pet fox. The Miss West Virginia of the beauty pageant carried her strange pet with her in roller chair ride along the boardwalk after the bathing suit contest held at the Convention Hall."

Misses Maine, Connecticut, Mississippi, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky at the judging
Atlantic City newspaper - Sep 9: "Meanwhile the seven judges narrowed the field of inter-city beauties down to 18 semi-finalists in today's judging as the 30 girls appeared before them for the last time in bathing suits. The girls walked twice before the judges and a few privileged spectators on the Auditorium stage this morning, but it remained for "Miss West Virginia" to steal the show for her pluck and sportsmanship. "Miss West Virginia," it seems, had the stomach ache. A combination of lobster and ice cream was responsible. The other 29 girls were not affected by the combination, but "Miss West Virginia" never tasted sea food before in her land-locked home state. She cried a little, then laughed a lot and finally Dr. David Allman, chairman of the Pageant Committee, got her into condition again. After touching up her tear-stained eyes, she joined the others."

After the pageant, Mildred returned to West Virginia. Her brief first marriage (1940) ended in divorce, and she subsequently was married for 56 years to William Geppert. At her death she was survived by her husband and three children.

Mildred died in 1997 at age 84.
Social Security Death Index: MILDRED F GEPPERT, date of birth: 22 May 1913, date of death: 09 Jul 1997 (V), last residence: 32951 (Melbourne Beach, Brevard, FL), last benefit: (none specified), social security number: 235-22-1922, place issued: West Virginia

GEPPERT, WILLIAM H 22 Apr 1912 16 Aug 2003 (V) 91 32951 (Melbourne Beach, Brevard, FL) (none specified) Maryland 217-18-4783
I found Mildred through an obituary for a relative that mentioned her brother's name. Once I found her married name, I was able to find her son, through the internet in 2004. He has been a very interested participant, enjoying all the memorabilia and photos that he shares with his two sisters as well as Mildred's brother.