Once a Miss Gastonia ... Always a Miss Gastonia
The Miss Gastonia
Scholarship Pageant is one of the longest-running annual traditions in Gaston County. For more than 60 years, hundreds of young women have participated in the pageant
with only a select few capturing the crown of Miss Gastonia. Here's a list of our Miss Gastonia winners:
1944 - Virginia Huffstetler
1945 - Catherine Morrow
1946 - Martha Dean Childress
1947 - Alice Lineberger
1948 - Billie Purcell
1958 - Theresa Ward
- Gwen Pearson
1960-61 - Leila Eden
1963 - Kathryn Eileen Wesson
1964 - Martha Frances Oates
1965 - Georgia Kay 'Peach'
1966 - Pam Howell *
1966 - Sandria Whitworth
1967 - Carolyn Jeannette Huggins
1968 - Deborah Ann Froneberger *
1968 - Candace Lizabeth Shermer
1969 - Bennie Jo Rowland
1970 - Toni Cloninger
1971 - Carol Hawkins
1972 - Donna Susan Colvin
1973 - Aundrea Belle Mull
1974 - Teresa Elledge
1975 - Elizabeth Anne Colvin
1976 - Lisa Wright
1977 - Donna Lynn Hawkins
1978 - Sharon Kay Allred
1979 - Sharon Jarvis
- Laura Kathryn Alexander
1981 - Janet Louise Wright
1982 - Taffy Jo McLean
1983 - Margaret Elizabeth Smith
1984 - Kristal Huffstetler
1985 - Robin Kiser
1986 - Christy Parker
1987 - Angela Lyon
- Michelle Featherstone
1989 - Stephanie Summey
1990 - Michelle Ann Mauney
1991 - Angie Todd
1992 - Lynn Jenkins
1993 - Tracey Lanai Patrick
1994 - Katherine Elizabeth Smoak
1995 - Charlotte Louise Hunt
1996 - Megan Jean Downing
1997 - Charlotte Louise Hunt
1998 - Anna Elizabeth
1999 - Emily Rebecca McCotter
2000 - Connie Elizabeth Chastain *
2000 - Heather Lee Elkin
- Stacey Marie Heffner
2002 - Lesley Dawn Royster
2003 - Holly Elizabeth Baucom
2004 - Dayna Leigh Chapman
2005 - Jessica Elease Floyd
2006 - Elizabeth
2007 - Grace Wepner (Gastonia)
2007 - Nicole Southgate (Gaston County)
2008 - Aryn Ward (Gastonia)
2008 - Sarah
Portela (Gaston County)
2009 - Laura Page (Gastonia)
2009 - Jessica Lackey (Gaston County)
2010 - Mikhaila Leinbach (Gastonia)
2010 - Shaina Anderson (Gaston County)
2011 - Maddisson Sheppard (Gastonia)
2011 - Brianna
Eason (Gaston County)
2012 - Beth Smith (Gastonia)
2012 - Alexandria Freeman (Gaston County)
2013 - Tiffany
2013 - Hannah Webb (Gaston County)
2014 - Lyndsey Stephens (Gastonia)
2014 - Rachel Abernathy
2015 - Christina Benedict (Gastonia)
2015 - Mackenzie Church (Gaston County)
of Miss Gastonia winners is taken from newspaper articles and program books. Winners have been confirmed as far
back as 1944, but the pageant may have taken place in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
One newspaper story indicates
that Gastonia was the host city for the Miss
North Carolina Pageant in 1944 and 1945.
The pageant was held at the Gastonia Armory with Miss Gastonia crowned on Friday night, and she then competed on Saturday
night for Miss North Carolina. The 1944 state pageant was to be held
in Wilson, but last-minute changes moved it to Gastonia.
Winners from 1949 to 1957 are unknown, and it is believed that the pageant was not held. During the 1950s,
several young women were appointed Miss Gastonia Beautification Queens to reign over the city's annual clean-up
campaign, but there isn't any indication that these women represented Gastonia in the Miss North Carolina Pageant.
One newspaper article states that Miss
Gastonia 1958 Theresa Ward was the
first Miss Gastonia to be crowned in 10 years and advance to the Miss North Carolina
Pageant. Miss Gastonia 1960-61 Leila Eden served as Miss Gastonia for about 14 months since the local pageant was
post-dated and moved from June
to August. This gave Miss Gastonia more time to prepare for the Miss North
Carolina Pageant, which was held in July.
While there has never been a Miss Gastonia to become Miss North
there have been a number of top 10 finalists, runners-up and competition-related award winners.
Miss Gastonia 1965 Georgia Kay 'Peach'
Pearce was first runner-up to Miss North Carolina.
It is believed that Miss Gastonia 1971 Carol Hawkins, Miss Gastonia 1972 Donna Susan Colvin, and Miss Gastonia 1973 Aundrea
Belle Mull were named to the top 10 at Miss North Carolina and Miss Gastonia 1974 Teresa Elledge was second runner-up.
More recently, Miss Gastonia 1996 Megan Downing was named fourth runner-up and Miss Gastonia 2002 Lesley Royster was a top
The Gastonia Jaycees directed the pageant for many years before deciding to
sponsorship in 1982. Larry and Delores Cox established a pageant association independent of the Jaycees and held
their first pageant in 1983. Delores assumed
the duties of executive director in 1986 upon her husband's death and still serves in that position today.
Miss Gastonia Pageant made history on August 7, 2004 with the crowning of Jessica Floyd as Miss Gastonia 2005. Jessica
is the first African-American to win the coveted Miss Gastonia title. In 2007, the pageant made history again with the crowning
of two winners - Miss Gastonia and Miss Gaston County. Nicole Southgate was crowned the first Miss Gaston County and was named a top 10 finalist at Miss North Carolina.
Miss Gaston County 2008 Sarah Portela was also named to the top 10.
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Pageant began its eighth decade of pageantry on August 1, 2009 with the crowning
of Miss Gastonia and Miss Gaston County 2010. During the pageant, Gwen Pearson Falls was honored for her 50th anniversary
of being crowned Miss Gastonia. Click here to read more about Gwen's recognition.
Anyone with information about the history
of the Miss Gastonia program should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (704) 827-7277.
Outstanding Teen Pageant
Miss America Organization launched the Outstanding Teen program
in 2005 for girls ages 13-17. Here's a list of our Outstanding Teen winners: