Martin joins sister, grandmother as titleholder
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:00 AM
When Macy Martin was crowned Miss Neshoba County 2014 last week, she not only won a coveted title, she made family history as well.
From left are 2007 Miss Neshoba County Meagan Martin, 2014 Miss Neshoba County Macy Martin and 1957 Miss Neshoba County Shirley Cox, their grandmother.
Martin, 19, is the third member of the Tom and Shirley Cox family to wear the Miss Neshoba County crown.
The daughter of Ike and Carla Martin, she also won Most Photogenic and the interview award. She is currently a sophomore biological science major at Mississippi State University.
Martin's grandmother, Shirley Cox, was Miss Neshoba County 1957 and her sister Meagan won the coveted title in 2007.
The family's history with the pageant began the night Cox was crowned while standing on stage under the Founders Square pavilion.
"That was before the Grandstand was built," she said.
"I had tried once before but I was new at it so I tried again," Cox said. "There's always one standout that no one questions will win. I was just an ole country girl."
After winning, Cox tried to encourage as many girls as she could to try their hand at winning the title.
"It was a dream come true and I still get recognized," she said.
Cox said, unfortunately, her daughters were more into sports and didn't make an attempt at the Miss Neshoba County crown.
Despite her love for the pageant it wasn't until 50 year later and she was a grandmother that another member of her family won the title.
"When Meagan won it was a dream come true to have that bond and then seven years later Macy won," Cox said.
Meagan said her grandmother really encouraged them to try out.
"Macy was a pageant girl but I was petrified," she said of her experience in 2007. "I wasn't that into it but I won on my first time and Macy on her second. We got into the spirit of it."
Macy added that attending college helped mature her a bit and prepared her both socially and for the interview at this year's pageant.
Cox gave her granddaughters some advice which helped her all those years ago.
"I also told them to 'smile, smile, smile!'" she said with a laugh.
"I'm so proud of them. It's been a blessing and an answer to my prayers."
One thing all the women mentioned was how great it was that Macy won on such a historic year, making it even more of a great bonding moment.
The day of the pageant, all three spent the day together getting prepared.
"We got our hair done together," Meagan said. "It was a Queen's Day."
Later that night the girls got to enjoy the stage and being in the spotlight together.
"It was a great bonding moment going back on stage," Meagan said.
She added that it was "cool" to see, by the decades, whom had won.
Many of their friends' mothers are former Miss Neshoba County titleholders.
Over 50 years after winning her crown, Cox is still a big supporter of the pageant.
"I'd like my other granddaughters to win but they live away from here," she said with a laugh. "I see some parallels with the same kind of preparation but its bigger now."
Macy Martin is still excited over winning the 2014 crown.
"It still kind of feels like a dream," she said. "It's been a different Fair for me now that I've won."
Martin said she was very emotional when she was crowned, especially after winning the interview award.
"That's what really brought the tears for me," she said. "The judges were so awesome and so sweet that I was like 'How can anybody have a bad interview?'"
The interviews were never her strong point so she worked hard at getting better this summer.
"It apparently worked!" she said.
After winning, Martin said her time at the Fair changed with official appearances throughout the week.
She attended the horse and harness races and presented blankets to the winners. She also appeared at different events at Founders Square, like Meridian Day and the youth talent contest.
"I see a different side of the Fair now," she said. "Like sunlight and what happens before lunch."
Despite the increase in responsibilities, Martin said she isn't worried, adding that despite living in Starkville she has plenty of time to come back home to make an appearance.
As part of the Fair's 125th anniversary, almost 50 former Miss Neshoba County titleholders appeared on stage, including Shirley and Meagan.
"It was really cool," Martin said. "We didn't put together that it had been about 50 years [since Shirley won] until later when Macy won on the year we were all on stage. It played out perfectly."
Over a week later, Martin still feels a bit overwhelmed.
"I don't know if I've completely wrapped my head around it yet but it's really exciting to see how the rest of the year plays out," she said. "I'm still getting used to people calling me Miss Neshoba County."
Other winners included first alternate Casey Cherry, second alternate Anna Leigh Whitney, third alternate Maribeth Stuart and fourth alternate Taylor Ward, who also won the Stagewear portion of the competition. Kaylyn Abbigayle White was voted Miss Congeniality.