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The First Lady of Calhoun County

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

Nadine Viola Hill was born March 29, 1924 and was the eldest of five children of MJ Hill and Viola Tucker Hill. She was the granddaughter of Joseph Tucker and Priscilla Daniels Tucker. Joseph Tucker was an early pioneer to Calhoun County settling here in the 1880s. Joseph was also one of the first Calhoun County commissioners.

Nadine was brought up with a strong work ethic and helped her parents with their General Store in Kinard. MJ would drive all over the county picking up people to take to the grocery store and then return them home with their groceries. Nadine would ride along and she learn to read by pointing to the signs alongside the roadways and asking what they said. She earned her father’s approval through her efforts and he has always told the other children that Nadine was the smartest one!

Since she grew up during the depression she also learned to be thrifty and could stretch a dollar a long way. Nadine was very proud of the Kinard school where she excelled academically and in the arts. She met BH Kit Stone, her future husband, at Kinard School. She loved to sing and they would often sing duets together, however Kit was very shy about singing so he would stand behind the curtain and Nadine would stand in front and together they would perform.

Nadine graduated high school in 1941 and left immediately for business training school near Camp Blanding Florida. After she completed the school she headed off to Memphis, TN and Washington, DC where she worked for the government during the war. Kit was in the army from 1943 to 1945 and he and Nadine corresponded regularly. Nadine left Washington DC and came back home where she got a job as a bookkeeper in the Wewahitchka State Bank. She was working there when Kit came home from the war and they were married on September 20, 1945.

Kit worked several jobs but finally decided in education was more important, so he joined the Air Force and got on the G.I. Bill to obtain his education from Chipola Junior College, Troy State College, and Florida State College. During this time, Nadine and Kit had three children Ben, Sherry and Susie. Nadine stayed at home with the kids where she cooked, cleaned and helped Kit with his homework. After he graduated he went on to become Principal at Frink school. Two more children were born while they lived in Kinard, Luanne and Joey.

Meanwhile, Nadine and Kit had purchased the store in Kinard from her father MJ Hill. Nadine ran the store, opening the doors to the Pulpwooders at 3:30 AM and closing at night around 8 PM while Kit worked each day in the school system. Nadine was also appointed postmistress for the Kinard post office. She worked hard but always had time to visit and help anyone that came into the store. The store sold everything from feed and seed, gas, groceries, ice, shoes, clothes etc. It was a one stop shopping experience. There was no heating or cooling system in the old store, but that didn’t stop the old-timers who would gather on the front porch in the summertime and tell tall tales to anyone that will listen (like us children). We would drink RC cola and eat moon pies. In the winter months there was always a fire burning inside the store and the old-timers would sit around and drink coffee and continue with the tall tales. The store was the hub of the Kinard Community.

Kit served in the school system as principal, teacher, coach, and supervisor. In 1955 he was elected as County Commissioner. Upon his death in 1961, Governor Farris Bryant appointed Nadine to complete the term and she was later elected to serve three additional terms. During their 20 years as County Commissioners Kit and Nadine with their respective board members were able to contribute toward the growth and progress of Calhoun County. The hospital, health clinic, library and new courthouse were built during their tenure. Nadine was the first female County Commissioner in Calhoun County.

After Kit‘s death, Nadine continued to work in the store and post office while also taking care of five children and completing her duties as county commissioner. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Nadine was deputized and was entrusted with directing the public safely from that area in the event of an evacuation.

In the late 60s, Nadine left the grocery business and rented out the store. She then went to work for Georgia Timberlands. She was the bookkeeper, housekeeper, and cook. She would cook a large lunch and anyone that stopped by was always welcome. The truckers named her "Boss Lady". She worked there for almost 40 years. She then retired to her farm and continued to raise pine trees and stay active in the production of pines and enjoy her family until her death in 2006.

Nadine was active in politics and current events all of her life. She was appointed to the Northwest Florida Development Council as the first Vice President in 1974 and she served with a council for many years. Nadine was a strong activist for women’s rights in the workplace. She told her children that they could accomplish anything if they only tried. She taught by example. She died October 4, 2006 at the age of 82.

Thank You Mrs. Nadine Stone for being our March 2021 Calhoun County Local Legend.

This story was submitted by her daughters Luanne Stone and Susie Stevens and was originally published in the Heritage of Calhoun County, Florida.

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