Saturday, November 19, 2011

Minnie Faegre Knox (1886-1980)

Poet, Playwright, and Clubwoman
Born April 20, 1886, Flandreau, South Dakota
Died December 12, 1980, Alameda, California

Minnie Lorena Faegre Knox was born on April 20, 1886, in Flandreau, South Dakota, daughter of a banker and granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants. She received her post-secondary education at the University of Minnesota (graduating in 1908) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In 1909 she married a man named Walter Knox Kutnewsky in Flandreau, South Dakota. The young couple settled in Aberdeen, where Kutnewsky managed a newspaper. In 1916, the Kutnewskys lived in Seattle. By 1920, Walter Kutnewsky had secured a position as a government clerk in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, the couple lived in Oakland. They may have spent the rest of their lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Somewhere along the line (between 1920 and 1930), Walter Knox Kutnewsky changed his name to Walter Kincaid Knox. Minnie adopted the name as well. Knox also joined the U.S. Army, eventually earning the rank of colonel. In 1930 he gave his occupation as insurance broker. As a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, he may have been stationed at The Presidio or another Bay-area installation. In any case, his wife, Minnie Faegre Knox, wrote poems and plays and joined clubs in the area. She was an editor of the California Writers' Club and a member of the Woman's Club of Berkeley and the Daughters of the American Revolution, among others organizations. Minnie wrote just one poem for Weird Tales, "Claire de Lune," published in May 1928.

Colonel Walter Kincaid Knox died in 1962 at age seventy-eight. Minnie L. Faigre Knox died on December 12, 1980, at age ninety-four. Both are buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.

Minnie Faegre Knox's Poem in Weird Tales
"Claire de Lune" (May 1928)

Further Reading
An Internet search of Minnie Faegre Knox or Mrs. Walter Kincaid Knox results in a few newspaper articles on her club activities. I could find little else of interest on her.

A page from The Gopher, the yearbook of the University of Minnesota, in the year that Minnie Faegre graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, 1908. Her photograph is on the topmost right. Image courtesy of the University of Minnesota Archives, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Thanks to Randal Everts.
Thanks to Randal Everts for finding Minnie Faegre Knox's middle name.
Text copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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