Biographical Sketch of Jennie M.A. Jones

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Jennie M.A. Jones, 1860-1928

By Brendan Simpson, graduate of the University of Missouri - Bachelor of Arts in History (brendan94@sbcglobal.net)

Jennie M.A. Jones: school teacher; member, St. Louis Equal Suffrage League; councilwoman, League of Women Voters

Jones was born on August 16, 1860, to John and Charlotte Jones. It is unknown where she was born, where and when her parents came to St. Louis, or much about her life growing up. What is known about Jones is that she was a school teacher in the St. Louis School District, and was very involved with the amateur drama scene within the city. The first public record mentioning her was an 1874 article marking the graduation of that year's St. Louis Normal school class, of which she was a part. However, according to a later St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Jones began teaching at seventeen, as a third teacher's assistant at the Peabody school.

Jones can be best described as an integral part of the organizational side of the suffrage movement in St. Louis. She was a member of the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League, and a charter member of its City Central Committee, created in April, 1916. Later that year, she directed the creation of a tableau to be presented on the steps of the St. Louis Art Museum. During the tableau, nationwide state-level enfranchisement was represented by women wearing a representative color: white for full enfranchisement, gray for partial enfranchisement, and black for disenfranchisement. A few years later, the committee decided to reorganize into the League of Women Voters, taking away the executive board structure and instead replacing it with councilwomen representing each ward of the city. Although it is not clear which ward she represented, Jones was a councilwoman and assisted in the recruitment of new members to the League.

After fifty years of teaching, Jones was forced into retirement due to a persisting pancreatic ailment, and a few months later, on January 19, 1928, succumbed to her illness. Having devoted her life to education and the suffrage movement, Jones never married or had children and was the last direct member of her direct family. Jones is buried among some of St. Louis' most famous people in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, a fitting final resting place for a woman that gave so much to the city as an educator and as a fighter for a woman's right to vote.

Sources:

Missouri State Board of Health. 1928. "Certificate of Death". St. Louis: Bureau of Vital Statistics.; St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1874.

"Graduating exercises at the Normal School today." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 24, 1874. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/137647822

"Miss M. Jennie Jones, Veteran Teacher, Dies." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 20, 1928. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/140422419

"Suffrage League Now Has City Committee." St. Louis Star and Times, Apr. 13, 1916. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/205363549

"Mrs. David O'Neil to Be 'Liberty' in Women's Tableau." St. Louis Post-Disptach, June 10, 1916. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/139047698

"Activities of St. Louis women." St. Louis Star and Times, Sept. 26, 1919. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/204536317

"Jennie Jones (1860-1928) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.Com. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/170378780/Jennie-Jones

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