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Beauty, brains and bravado, this Betty has them all
Shirley Says
betty miner 2
Betty and her husband Dinky Miner at Angie and Dickie Foss's wedding on May 20, 1989. - photo by Photo provided.
By Shirley Hiers
If it’s true there’s “a man for all seasons,” surely there’s a woman for all reasons.
Perhaps she is labeled a woman in a man’s world. She is known as an alpha female, a strong-willed independent woman making it in a man’s world!
Until the last few decades, if a woman had alpha female traits, she may have tried to hide them. Those characteristics include competitiveness, tenacity and determination…a force to be reckoned with! She is everything the alpha male is, but does it with feminine finesse. There was a time when women were shamed for behaving thus. Today, these attributes are valued, especially in the business world.
A woman with strong Type A traits is smart and ambitious. She easily charms others and accomplishes goals.
On the other hand, she can be an ice queen with the best. She is a dominant, power-wielding, hard worker.  
Alpha designates "the first." It also describes Betty Miner…
In 1972 she was the first female elected to the Richmond Hill City Council. She, Jay Johnson, Bill Hurst and Theron Darieng served on the City Council. Bud Casey was the Mayor and she was Mayor Pro-Tem.
Then, the Richmond Hill city limits went only to the viaduct on Hwy. 17 South.
Betty was instrumental in getting the city limits extended past the Holiday Inn. At the end of her term, she opposed the incumbent mayor for his seat, losing by a narrow margin.  
Having been involved in politics all her life, she is no stranger to bureaucracy.
She initiated the formation of the Bryan County Fisherman’s Co-op. This ensured local fishermen a place to market their seafood. Betty has received invitations to several presidents and a governor’s inauguration. She remains involved in local politics.
Angus McLeod, a close friend of Betty’s, enjoyed the many “Road-Kill” dinners they attended together at Judge Herman Butler’s place in Pembroke. Angus says, “Betty is refreshing, knowledgeable, and extremely politically motivated. From the Rotary Club’s beginning, she was a vital part.”   
Sitting on Betty’s deck overlooking Demeries Creek and the Midway River, I was drawn back to the time when Miner’s Service Station was on the corner where CVS is now.
Betty came to Richmond Hill from her hometown of Hinesville in 1953. She and her husband Dinky owned Miner’s, which was built in 1959.
More often than not, Betty was the one there. She recalls, “I mostly ran the store while Dinky hunted or fished.”
During the 1960s it wasn’t customary for women to go into a service station.
It isn’t a mystery how Betty became friends with the men in town…she was in a business mostly dominated by them. The more they knew about Betty, the more they admired her bravado.
Fearless women rock! The raven-haired beauty with a larger than life personality literally became "one of the boys." Her daughter, Donna, explains succinctly, “She had no problem stepping into a traditional male profession.”
To know any of the Miner’s three daughters, Angie Foss, Donna Love, and Sheila Galbreath, is to know their Mother.  
Sheila is certain her mother took roads few women dared travel. “She had a backbone when it wasn’t fashionable for women, and that hasn’t changed! She is my inspiration. Her fortitude and independence, tempered with compassion, are gifts I hope she has passed on to me.”
Donna credits her mother with teaching her life-lessons, “My mother was born before her time…I learned to make my own way and not depend on others. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”
Donna and her mother share acute business acumen. She explains, “I learned being self-employed is a lot more than an eight-hour day. It has its ups and downs.”
Angie thinks her mom is the greatest, and admires her strength and kindness. She says, “Though my parents were separated for years, she cared for my dad during his long illness until his death. Her childhood was difficult. She did everything in her power to see that we had a better life. I love to hear her stories of when times were fun for her, hanging out with Ann Casey and Irene Darieng in ‘old Richmond Hill’. She has encouraged me, been there during good times and bad, and would stand in front of a bus for her children.”
With a smirk, Betty said, “Ann, Irene and I were the renegades of Richmond Hill. We didn’t conform to other’s rules…we did what we wanted! I raised my daughters to be independent and do what they wanted to do.”
I asked Betty if she could offer today’s women sage advice. After a moment, she replied, “If you feel there’s something you need or want to do, just do it!”
I think Betty would agree with Marilyn Monroe…“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it!”

Hiers was born and raised in Richmond Hill. You can reach her at

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