From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

George [Speedy], Nettie

(born: 1878  -  died: 1957) 

Nettie George was born in Winchester, KY, on November 3, 1878, the youngest child of Hubbard and Ruth Wills George. Nettie George [Speedy] is best known for her career as a journalist with the Chicago Defender, she was one of the early African American women journalists to cover sports, courts, police, and the theater. Her expert writing as a journalist allowed her to gain access to functions throughout the city. She was sometimes referred to as the "Dean of Women Journalists." In 1926, Nettie George Speedy was the only woman named among the leading newspapermen who were seated around the board at the banquet honoring the Chicago Press Club [source: "The Officers of the Marching Club of Fort Dearborn Lodge of the Elks...," Broad Axe, 02/13/1926, front page].

In 1929, Nettie George Speedy formed the "Xenias" and the club's moto was "Finer Womanhood" [source: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1930 by P. A. Schechter]. The club was to assist women's and young girls' career choices by sharing her knowledge of newspaper work, and only 12 women and girls were allowed to become members of the club. Nettie George Speedy was a feminist; in her articles she highlighted the coverage of women, and in 1925, she founded the column "Scrapbook of Doers" which focused on the achievements of women. The column was followed by a second column titled "Woman's Page." 

Nettie George Speedy was active in various ways in the Chicago community; in 1933, she was the sponsor of the Cynco Athletic Club, which was mentioned in what was Chicago's newest African American newspaper, The Spokesman [source: "Cynco Club's Program" Spokesman, 02/04/1933, p.5]. By 1938, Nettie George Speedy was a journalist with a new African American newspaper in Chicago, The Metropolitan Post, that started in 1938. Her column was titled "Women and Their Activities" [source: Metropolitan Post, 12/03/1938, p.4]. The following year, the Chicago Women's Golf Club was formed and the officers were installed by Nettie George Speedy who was the Golf Mother of the club [source: "Chicago Women's Golf Club gives gay party," Metropolitan Post, 02/18/1939, p.5].

Nettie George had come to Chicago in a roundabout way. Around 1879, her father, Hubbard P. George, moved his wife and four children from Winchester, KY, to Springfield, OH. Her mother, Ruth Wills George died in 1883, and her father remarried in May of 1886 and he died six months later. Sometime after the death of her parents, Nettie George returned to Winchester, KY. In 1895, she moved to Kansas to be with her sister Nora, and Nettie attended high school in Parsons [source: "Local and personal news," Parsons Weekly Blade, 11/09/1895, p.4]. By 1900, she had returned to Winchester, KY, where she was a school teacher [source: U.S. Census].

Nettie George would leave Kentucky and lived in Chicago where her prominent brother Frank P. George lived. In 1909, she married Walter Speedy, Sr., a tailor from Louisiana. He and Nettie were the parents of Walter Speedy, Jr. Nettie George Speedy died July 7, 1957 in Hardin County, OH, and she and her husband are buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, OH, where her parents are also buried [source: Find A Grave].

*NOTE: The following information comes from Nettie and George Speedy's great-grandson, Andre Stephens: For more information about Nettie and George Speedy's challenges and contributions to golf in Chicago, IL, see the title Game of Privilege by L. Demas. Also, Nettie Speedy was the 1st woman to become a trustee at Lane College in Tennessee.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Winchester, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“George [Speedy], Nettie,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-02-23 17:56:40