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Peggy Dean St. Martin
Local Community
Grew up in Shreveport in the early 20th Century
Audio Samples

As the daughter of a hotel manager, Peggy St. Martin witnessed three decades of Shreveport social and commercial life that flowed through the lobby, restaurant, and rooms of the Youree Hotel. Born as Peggy Tullos, the youngster was soon living with her family in the 500-room hotel on Travis Street. Even while the band played on the Rooftop Garden, the small girl wove her way through dancers to reach her playground equipment. An African-American woman, Geneva Seymour, whom Peggy called "Second Mother," always accompanied her. Peggy recalls salesmen filling the lobby with their wares, such as seasonal fashions, which local merchants came to purchase for their store shelves. Oilmen jammed the hotel when the Rodessa Field was discovered. Military officials gathered here to plan each day's work on building Barksdale Field. Peggy remembers celebrities such as Perry Como performing at the hotel, and Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald warbling "When I'm Calling You" across the lobby. She married in 1945 and later watched the demolition of the hotel.