The garden of the St. Augustine Historical Society’s Research Library recently received a monument dedicated to Nina Hawkins, former editor of the St. Augustine Record. This monument originally stood in front of the St. Augustine Record building. The old Record building is undergoing renovations and the new owners offered the monument to the Society. It is appropriate for our garden since the Research Library is the last place in St. Augustine to have the St. Augustine Record on microfilm.
Although trained as a teacher, Ms. Hawkins accepted a position as a reporter for the St. Augustine Record in 1910. As a reporter she bicycled through town reporting on society news. She worked in various positions at the St. Augustine Record until she was appointed editor in 1934, a position she would hold until her retirement in 1953. When she was appointed, she was the first female editor of a newspaper in Florida. During her life Ms. Hawkins was a supporter of St. Augustine’s historic past, working to preserve the city’s historic structures. She was a member of the National Restoration Commission in the 1930s and in 1937 oversaw the St. Augustine Record’s Restoration edition which highlighted the town’s restoration efforts. In 1960 the St. Augustine Historical Society gave her a citation in honor of her preservation work. Ms. Hawkins passed away April 8, 1972. In 1999 she was posthumously elected to the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Written by Bob Nawrocki
“Resignation of Miss Nina Hawkins is Announced” St. Augustine Record September 1, 1953
“Former Record Editor Nina Hawkins is Dead” St. Augustine Record April 8, 1972
“City Indebted to Hawkins” Margo C. Pope St. Augustine Record August 2, 2010
Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame https://flpress.com/hall_of_fame/nina-hawkins/ Accessed August 15, 2023