Carson, Velma L.

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Carson, Velma L.

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Velma Lenore Carson was born in Kansas on April 30, 1896. The daughter of Edward Lincoln Carson and Viola Belle Petty Carson, she grew up on a farm southwest of Morganville, Kansas. During World War I, Carson attended Kansas State Agricultural College, now Kansas State University. She majored in journalism and was involved in plays, literary societies, and oratory. While at K-State, she was involved in Theta Sigma Phi Journalism Society, the Ionian Women’s Literary Society, the Young Women’s Christian Association, Prix Leadership Honorary, and XIX outstanding Women Honorary. Carson also served as the editor of the Royal Purple yearbook, staff writer for the Collegian, and as president of her class. She did not receive her degree until April of 1982 due to missing requirements. An honorary degree was awarded to her at that time.

In 1922, she married Homer Cross, an electrical engineer and former class president at KSU. They moved to Pennsylvania where Cross had a job with Westinghouse. Later, they moved to New York City where Cross worked for the electric railway. Carson was a writer, authoring everything from advertising copy to short stories and poems. Carson also worked with Margaret Sanger, a family planning advocate. Carson helped distribute unionizing information to Pullman porters during her travels, risking jail time for her involvement.

Carson’s daughter Cynthia was born in 1928. Carson claimed Cynthia was adopted, and documents always listed her name as Cynthia Carson. Her marriage with Homer Cross ended in divorce in 1931.

Carson continued her journalistic career and later remarried. Second husband, Leonard Rennie, was a painter who worked for the federal government during the Depression. The couple eventually separated.

Velma's daughter, Cynthia, attended school in Morganville, and later Kansas State Teachers College - now Emporia State University. She graduated in 1950. Cynthia taught for a year in Hoxie, Kansas before moving on to New York.

Velma Carson died in 1984.


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