Biographical Sketch of Melvina Jones

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Melvina (Mrs. William H.) Jones, 1871-1953

By Kaia Michaelis, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Brigham City Museum of Art & History.

Treasurer, the Woman's Club.

Melvina Fletcher was born on February 10, 1871, to Edwin Francis Fletcher and Eliza Duncombe. She married William Henry Jones on August 7, 1888. They had four children, although the youngest boy, Harold Henry Jones, died at the age of 11 from tetanus subsequent to getting a splinter. Mrs. William H. Jones was listed as one of the women who acted as "delegates and alternates since 1900," but little else about her political life is known. In early 1904, Melvina attended the Woman's Club, and read a paper titled "Women in Politics." Later that year, she was elected to be Treasurer of the Woman's Club in Salt Lake City.

Notices in the society pages of Salt Lake City newspapers frequently mentioned Mrs. William H. Jones (always as Mrs. William H. Jones, never as Melvina) hosting various social events including dinners and parties. One notice announces a card party for the Woman's Republican Club, which was established in Salt Lake City in 1899, but does not specify her relation to the group. Another notice mentions a reception for the McKean Relief Corps, possibly meaning the Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. As both McKean and the GAR were opposed to polygamy, in the 1870s they also exhibited an antagonistic relationship to Mormons. Over time, the GAR admitted Mormons.

The dates of her participation in Utah politics are not known, but the Utah state report in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, notes that she was either a delegate or alternate to a national party convention sometime between 1900 and 1920.

Sometime in the 1920s, Melvina and William moved to California. Melvina died there in 1953. Her obituary gives precious few details of her life, with no mention of her political activities.

SOURCES:

Alford, Kenneth L. "Mormons and the Grand Army of the Republic." Civil War Saints, edited by Kenneth L. Alford, 317-39. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2012.

"In the Polite World." Salt Lake Telegram. March 20, 1903. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=18443530

"In the Social Whirl." Salt Lake Tribune. March 17, 1904, Volume XLVI, No. 336.

"Obituary Melvina F. Jones," 1953. https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/48251125?p=16763939&returnLabel=Melvina%20Fletcher%20(KWVP-CJT)&returnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.familysearch.org%2Ftree%2Fperson%2Fdetails%2FKWVP-CJT

"Splinter Causes Death, Page 2." Ogden Daily Standard. August 18, 1906, Volume 36, No. 197.

"Woman's Club Elects." Salt Lake Telegram. May 24, 1905, sec. page 5. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=18274869

"Work of the Women's Clubs." Salt Lake Tribune, January 24, 1904, XLVI No. 283, sec. Page 5.

back to top