Biographical Sketch of Anne Julia Mims Wright

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Anne Julia Mims Wright, 1876–1935

By Bonnie Bennet, Librarian, Hinds Community College

Woman Activist

Anne Julia Mims was born on April 10, 1876, in Copiah County, Mississippi. She was the only child of Robert Burr Mims and Clara Frances McKey Mims. Robert joined the Confederate Army at age 14 and served as an Orderly Sergeant during the war. Afterwards, he worked as a Mississippi representative for the New York Life Insurance Company for 25 years until his retirement. The family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, when Anne was in her teens.

Anne attended Belhaven College, which was a female liberal arts school in Jackson, and later attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio. On November 14, 1900, she married Dr. William Richard Wright, a Jackson dentist who was the son of Patrick Henry Wright and Anna Clark. The couple moved in with Anne's parents on North State Street in Jackson. Wright had four children during their marriage—Clara Mims Wright, born June 5, 1902, Anne Robert Wright, born February 16, 1906, Willar Patricia Wright, born August 3, 1909, and Mackey Mims Wright, born July 15, 1913.

In the years following her marriage, Wright was highly active in women's groups and causes. She held leadership positions in her local chapters of the Daughters of the Confederacy and Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as state president (1902) and secretary of education (1910) for the U.S. Daughters of the War of 1812. She organized and served as the first president of the Chaminade Club, a Jackson club for women to study music, and was active in the Floral Club and the Research Club, which maintained a circulating library.

Wright also had a lifelong fascination for genealogy, an interest that she attributed to her grandmother. She traveled and corresponded extensively in pursuit of the subject, and was a member of the National Genealogical Association. Her research culminated in a book, published in 1911, called A Record of the Descendents of Isaac Ross and Jean Brown, and the Allied Families of Alexander, Conger, Harris, Hill, King, Killingworth, Mackey, Moores, Sims, Wade, etc., which traces the extended family on her mother's side. It also contains significant autobiographical material and pictures of Wright, her house, and her three daughters. It has been cited in a number of other genealogical and historical works and can be accessed freely at (https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Record_of_the_Descendants_of_Isaac_Ros.html?id=81hPAAAAMAAJ).

Her most extensive social improvement activities were with the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs (MFWC), a group organized to “bring the women of the state together for mutual helpfulness and united action.” Wright served in many capacities, including treasurer, chairman of the press committee, and vice-president, as well as president of the Federation (1911-12). During her year as president, the Federation's primary goals were the creation of a juvenile reformatory and the regulation of motion picture shows. “The whole world must be made better,” she wrote in her presidential address to the MFWC, a sentiment which was very present in her life and work. At different times during Wright's involvement with the MFWC, the organization lobbied to raise the age of consent from 12 to 18 years, establish child labor laws, reduce the spread of tuberculosis, and achieve suffrage for women. However at the 1916 state MFWC convention, when Pauline Orr, President of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association, introduced a resolution to endorse suffrage, Wright successfully opposed it and asked that the issue be postponed until the following year.

Wright continued being active in clubs until her death in Jackson, Mississippi, on July 26, 1935. Several of the clubs in which Wright was active held memorial tributes to her recognizing her service. She is buried in Jackson.

This photo of Wright is from her 1911 book.

 

SOURCES

1910 U.S. Census, Jackson Ward 1, Hinds County, Mississippi, Enumeration District 0018, p. 4B. Digital images. Ancestry.com.

1920 U.S. Census, Jackson Ward 1, Hinds County, Mississippi, Enumeration District 6, p. 7B. Digital images. Ancestry.com.

1930 U.S. Census, Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, Enumeration District 1, p. 18A. Digital images. Ancestry.com.

“Chaminade Club Holds Beautiful Memorial to Mrs. Wm. R. Wright.” Clarion-Ledger, October 3, 1935, p. 4. Available through Newspapers.com.

“Final Tribute Is Paid Mrs. Anne Mims Wright.” Clarion-Ledger, July 28, 1935, p. 10. Available through Newspapers.com.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 April 2019), memorial page for LTC Mackey Mims Wright (15 Jul 1913–20 Dec 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13593050, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA; Maintained by John Van Zandt (contributor 46935294).

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI (1900-1920). N.p.: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, p. 334. [LINK]

Hunting for Bears. Hinds County MS 1820-1900 Computer Indexed Marriage Records. Hunting for Bears, 1981.

Wright, Anne Mims. A Record of the Descendents of Isaac Ross and Jean Brown, and the Allied Families of Alexander, Conger, Harris, Hill, King, Killingworth, Mackey, Moores, Sims, Wade, etc. Press of Consumer's Stationary and Printing Company, 1911.

“Memory of Mrs. Wright Honored by D.A.R. Chapter.” Clarion-Ledger, October 6, 1935, p. 10. Available through Newspapers.com.

“M.W.F.C. Zone 6 to Be Represented On Program at Meet.” Clarion-Ledger, November 3, 1935, p. 19. Available through Newspapers.com.

Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs. Yearbook, 1906-12. The Federation. Publication date not known.

Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs. Yearbook, 1914-21. The Federation. Publication date not known.

Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs. Yearbook, 1925-26. The Federation. Publication date not known.

Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs. Yearbook, 1923-30. The Federation. Publication date not known.

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