LIFE LONG RESIDENT OF LEWES
Abstract from Volume VII Lewes Journal , Historic Society, by Judy Adkins Roberts in 2004.
A request, of sorts, from Vickie Dawes on Facebook
Marjorie Virden was a life long resident of Lewes and a newspaper column writer for several local newspapers. She was well known and into about almost everything that ever went on in around Lewes, Rehoboth and the Cape Henlopen area. She knew everything about everyone , their families, whatever. She did not miss a thing. My opinion from reading old newspapers. I did not personally know the lady.
Judy said that Marjorie was her family's neighbor up the street at 344 Pilottown Road and Judy thought she was a 'witch”, red hair and all. Marjorie was born 20 July 1899 to Thomas James Virden and Eva Kneale in Philadelphia where she lived until 1910. Thomas Virden was a Delaware River Pilot and from a prominent Lewes family, his wife, Marjorie's mother was Eva Kneale. . Her father died 17 November 1955. Her mother died 24 January 1961. Her grandfather, John Penrose Virden, was also a Delaware River Pilot, his wife was Louise Maull, both being from prominent Lewes families.
From 1920's until her retirement in 1968 she was a reporter for local weekly newspapers,
and wrote her columns “ Tidbits & Tidings” and “Rambling Around Rehoboth”.
She had a liking for cats and her home was a haven for 'strays'. She was instrumental
in the founding of the local SPCA.
Her column's always began with a description of nature that had impressed her, like the
changes in the weather. Then she wrote about the social happenings of Lewes and Rehoboth.
Marjorie was one of several Lewes citizens that were founders of the Lewes Historical Society\
in 1961. She knew the family relationships of nearly every one in Lewes. Her own family, through her mother, Eve Kneale, was said to be descended from a sister of one of the Dukes of Wellington.
Her grandmother Kneale's maiden name was Wellsley, as was the Iron Dukes family name.
Marjorie attended the University of Delaware but did not graduate there which did not hinder her from becoming an Associated Press reporter. She is remembered in the 1977 book “Delaware
Miss Virden was active in most all local organizations, the secretary of Lewes Yacht Club
for many years.
Marjorie Virden died June 1978 in a Wilmington Nursing home, under the care of her cousin, Elizabeth Marshall Hill . She is buried in Saint Peters Episcopal Church Cemetery.
Her bright red hair indicated what a bright star she was in Lewes and her like will never come