Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Janie Barrow Linfield, 1894–1978
By Nancy Alexander Simmons, Fairfax Station, VA
Woman Suffrage Activist
Janie Barrow Linfield was born on March 16, 1894, in Louisiana to Reverend William Lawrence Linfield and Bessie Hampton Barrow Linfield. By 1900, her family had moved to Mississippi, where her father was a well-known Methodist minister.
Linfield graduated from the Vicksburg, Mississippi, public schools in 1909. The following four years, she attended Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she was an assistant in mathematics and Latin, historian of her senior class, a member of the Phi Zeta sorority, and editor of the coed edition of the student newsletter, Purple and White. In April 1913, during her senior year at Millsaps, she was one of several young women who presented essays at the ninth annual convention of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA). She was said to have been a good and entertaining speaker when she presented her essay titled "A Co-Ed's Point of View." Also, as a member of the MWSA's Press Committee that year she supplied suffrage material to the Purple and White. Her sister, Mary Barrow Linfield, shared her support of suffrage by enrolling as a member of the MWSA.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Millsaps in 1913, Linfield accepted a position as a teacher in Magee, Mississippi, public schools; but she was immediately promoted to assistant principal based on her excellent school work. She continued her career as an educator into the 1920s in the public schools of Gulfport, Lumberton, Louisville, and Vicksburg, Mississippi; and in Bessemer, Alabama. However, she had one break in January 1918 when she was appointed to a government position in "the office of the chief of the signal corps" in Washington, DC. She was assigned duties in Cincinnati, Ohio, but resigned the position in July 1918 "on account of the work being rather laborious and no vacation being given, and she was physically unable to continue in the service."
By 1923, Linfield had moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she lived with her parents and her sister and worked as a stenographer with the law firm Terriberry, Young, Rault and Carroll. After her parents died, she continued to live with her sister and work with the law firm in New Orleans. She died there in January 11, 1978, and is buried with other family members in Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport, Mississippi.
This photograph of her is from the 1913 Millsaps College yearbook.
Janie Linfield 1913
1900 U.S. Census, Mississippi. Scott County, p. 18; Enumeration District: 0090. Digital images. Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.
Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI (1900-1920). N.p.: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, p. 331. [LINK]
Minutes of the Ninth Annual Convention Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association, Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association, University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections, Lily Thompson Collection, April 15-17, 1913. http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/suffrage/id/109/rec/12
"Miss Linfield Promoted." The Daily Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi), September 18, 1913, p. 8. Available through Newspaperarchive.com.
"Reception for Graduate." The Vicksburg American (Vicksburg, Mississippi), May 13, 1909, p. 5. Available through Newspapers.com.
"Suffrage Convention Will Complete its Labors Today." Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi), April 17, 1913, p. 5. Available through Newspapers.com.
The Daily Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi), October 2, 1923, p. 6. Available through Newspaperarchive.com.
The Newton Record (Newton, Mississippi), January 3, 1918, p. 5. Available through Newspapers.com.
The Newton Record (Newton, Mississippi), July 18, 1918, p. 5. Available through Newspapers.com.
"U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; Yearbook Title: Bobashela; Year: 1913. Ancestry.com.