Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Effie McCollum Jones, 1869-1952

Genna Cristoforo
Iowa State University

Faculty Sponsor: Sarah Chase Crosby
Subject Librarian: Susan A. Vega Garcia

Effie McCollum Jones was born on March 29, 1869, according to Debbie Greenfield's 2015 publication. Jones grew up in rural Kansas with her parents and attended Ryder Divinity School and Lombard College; in college she met Ben Wallace Jones and went on to marry him, all according to the article, "Notable Women." Both Jones and her husband moved to Waterloo, Iowa and were ministers at the same church, The First Universalist Church. Once Jones's husband passed away she continued to be a minister. Jones also had a love for psychology, which resulted in the opening of the McCollum School of Applied Psychology, as stated in the 2000 edition of the "Unitarian Universalist Women's Heritage Notable Women." Based on her life, it is clear that Effie McCollum Jones was an educated woman, an active minister, and an advocate for women's voting rights as a member of the woman suffrage movement.

Her primary focus seemed to be her ministry work; thus, Jones and her husband moved to Iowa, where, according to "The Iowa Alumnus," in 2013, both became ministers at the First Universalist Church in 1892. This publication then states that Jones stayed a minister there for six more years after her husband passed away in 1898, where she was highly respected among the members of the church. One can assume that being a minister in the same church for 55 years allowed Jones to gain strong relationships with people within the church and that her ability to speak in front of people may also have been useful when it came to the speeches she gave about women's rights.

Since Jones was such a respected minister at her church, she was also given many opportunities to be an advocate for women's rights. For example, Jones was given the opportunity to represent America at the 1910 International Congress of Free Christians and Other Religious Liberals in Berlin, Germany, where she gave a speech about her thoughts on women's rights as a whole, as mentioned by Greenfield. Barbara Stuhler, in her 1995 book Gentle Warriors, also talks about how Jones was an advocate for equal women's voting rights and often raised money for this cause. Jones also dedicated her time to being a chair person in the Iowa Fellowship Committee, a member of the board of trustees of the Universalist Church, and was part of an assortment of charities, according to a 1917 article from the Webster City Freeman, and the article, "Notable Women."

Jones's reputation as a strong suffrage speaker led to invitations from the National American Woman Suffrage Association to speak on many occasions. State reports in the History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) indicate that she spoke in New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Minnesota, and perhaps other states.

Effie McCollum Jones passed away on July 7th, 1952, according to Greenfield. Based on these experiences, Jones's involvement made an impact on the women's suffrage movement.


Emerson, Rev. Dorthy May, et al. "Unitarian Universalist Women's Heritage Notable Universalist and Unitarian Women: I - K." Notable Universalist and Unitarian Women. Unitarian Universalist Women's Heritage Society. 2000. Accessed October 2, 2017.

Greenfield, Debbie. "Jones, Dr. Effie McCollum (1869-1952)." March 18, 2015. Accessed September 22,2017.

"Notable Women." Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society, 2007,

Stuhler, Barbara. Gentle Warriors: Clara Ueland and the Minnesota Struggle for Woman Suffrage. City: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1995.

"The Iowa Alumnus, Volume 11." Google Books. Accessed October 25, 2017. mccollum jones birthdate&source=bl&ots=MrfUSnygps&sig=3bjY_F-yElEyeN7qw6_tZKi7pNs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwimr4OJpIzXAhXliFQKHasiAl84ChDoAQg8MAg#v=onepage&q=effie%20mccollum%20jones%20birthdate&f=false.

"Delegate to Big Washington Meet." Webster City Freeman, Oct. 22, 1917.

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