ethel’s words

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  Sixth South, 4th to 5th East Streets

“Mignon” means “little flower of Africa”

At the northwest corner of the Mignon Richmond Park is a memorial stone inscribed with a profile biography of Mignon Richmond.

By amazing coincidence, the south border of the Park that bears her name is contiguous with the backyard of the home that Mignon owned until her death.

Mignon was a graduate of a Utah college and was for many years, the voice of communication between the Black and the white communities of Salt Lake City. She was, not surprisingly, unable to get a position using her education but had to work as a domestic despite her personal loveliness and cultured demeanor.

The last time I saw her I found her wandering in the neighborhood, chilled and hungry, locked out of her house having misplaced her keys. She was then a victim of Alzheimer’s disease, and in my kitchen over a bowl of soup, she repeated cliches about meetings, papers, and her home.

I telephoned a mutual friend, Aerie Visser, who was better acquainted than I with Mignon’s family. They came and picked her up; soon she was in a nursing facility in another town, and I never saw her again until I said goodbye at a mortuary.

Lovely Mignon was one of the most important persons in this neighborhood and this city with whom I was honored to be acquainted--nay, friends--with.

Mignon’s story should be in any history of Salt Lake City.

Ethel C. Hale
August 2009
Central City Neighborhood