Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Rosa Edmonds, 1878-1930

By Janelle Zetty, Head of Cataloging, Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Rosa Vertner Warfield Edmonds was born in St. Joseph, Louisiana, November 1878, and was the daughter of Colonel Elisha Warfield and Mary Anderson Carson Warfield. Her father was a Confederate soldier and member of the Second Arkansas Regiment, Govan's Brigade, Cleburne's Division, and Army of Tennessee. After his military career, he made a living as a plantation supervisor. Colonel Warfield was the grandson of Dr. Elisha Warfield, a prominent Lexington physician, racehorse owner, and thoroughbred breeder. Rosa Edmonds's mother was Mary Anderson Carson Warfield, a native of Desha County, Arkansas, and a homemaker. Rosa Edmonds had six brothers and sisters. When she was a child, the family moved from a plantation in Concordia Parish, Louisiana to Rosedale, Mississippi. In 1897, Rosa Warfield attended the Stanton College for Young Ladies in Natchez, Mississippi. The college was affiliated with the University of Mississippi offering courses in Latin, Greek, English, and mathematics. At the college, she displayed her musical ability by performing in a commencement piano recital. She was popular, had an active social life, and taught dancing classes. Around 1902, Rosa married James Ezekiel Edmonds, business manager of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, an employee of the Baton Rouge State-Times and New Advocate, an army officer, and artist. James Edmonds was the son of Major and Mrs. J. E. Edmonds of Rosedale, Mississippi. She gave birth to their only child, James Edmonds, Jr., on December 6, 1903, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mrs. Edmonds attended many clubs and social events. In 1901, she was an Elysian Club member in Greenville, Mississippi. The Elysian Club was a favorite gathering place for the young people of Greenville where parties and formal balls were held. In 1909, when she lived in Baton Rouge, she and her husband hosted a party for The Friars, a Louisiana State University revival of the Zeta Zeta chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Centenary College formerly in Jackson, Louisiana. In 1910, Edmonds hosted a reception in her home to introduce several unmarried young women to married ladies of Baton Rouge society. She was the treasurer of the Philistoria Club, a social club that discussed current events, history, and literature, as well as performed music and plays. Also, she was an honorary vice president and member of the program committee for the Equal Suffrage League. She continued her active social life after moving to New Orleans in 1914. Ms. Edmonds and her husband resided in a home on Audubon Boulevard, close to Tulane University campus. Ms. Edmonds was a charter member of the Woman Suffrage Party of Louisiana in New Orleans. She was a member of the Five O'Clock Tea Club and the treasurer of the Colonial Dames of Louisiana, which is a branch of Colonial Dames of America, a patriotic association of women who collect memorabilia of colonial and revolutionary times and commemorate the American Revolution.

In 1920, her son, James Edmonds, Jr., left school, ran away to San Francisco and lost $700 at a gambling parlor. Since he was only sixteen years old, his mother traveled to San Francisco to support her son and file a complaint with the Assistant District Attorney.

Rosa Edmonds died at on February 21, 1930, at age 52, following an operation and was interred in Natchez city cemetery in Mississippi. Her family and many friends dearly missed her.


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“Stanton College...the Commencement Recital Last Evening Was a Splendid Success in All Particulars.” The Weekly Democrat (Natchez), June 9, 1897, p. 4. (website)

“United States Census, 1880, Rosa Warfield, 1st ward, Concordia, Louisiana, United States.” FamilySearch, 7 Sept. 2017, : 7 September 2017.

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