Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Avery Harrell Thompson, 1883-1926

By Morissa J. Robinson, student, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC

Treasurer, Mississippi Woman's Suffrage Association; Secretary, Mississippi Woman's Suffrage Association Equity League, 1915-1916

Avery Harrell Thompson was born in Mississippi in January of 1883 to Laura Wayne and Joseph Frank Harrell. She had an older sister, Nora H Hamilton, and a younger brother Robert L Harrell. Avery earned a diploma in phonography from the Industrial Institute & College of Mississippi (now known as the Mississippi University for Women) in 1902. She married Harmon Lawrence Thompson (1883-1932), a lawyer, in July 1903. She had four children Laura J (1906), Avery W (1907), Sarah Virginia (1909) and Harmon Jr (1918).

In February of 1910, along with her sister, Laura, addressed the Eleemosynary Committee of the Legislature requesting women physicians be hired as assistants in the State Insane Asylum. On April 11-12, 1911, Avery read letters of greetings during the 77th Annual Session of the Mississippi Woman's Suffrage Association. On October 29th, 1913, Avery took part in the Washington Suffrage Day Parade and worked to build the float representing Mississippi. In April 1914, Thompson marched along with other suffragists in the parade marking the “opening of the State Fair.

Avery Harrell Thompson died in 1926 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado where she is buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery.


Lily Thompson Collection, Special Collections, University of Mississippi Libraries

The Grenada sentinel. (Grenada, Miss.), 26 May 1900. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

"United States Census, 1900," Avery T Harrell in household of Joseph F Harrell, Beat 3 Okolona town, Chickasaw, Mississippi, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 17, sheet 15B, family 341, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,803.

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (, Harmon L Thompson, Jackson Ward 1, Hinds, Mississippi, United States; citing ED 5, sheet 15A, line 32, family 306, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 878; FHL microfilm 1,820,878.

Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds. History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 [LINK]


Photo by Bob Rohwedder October 18, 2010

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