Minona Stearns Fitts Jones papers
Scope and Contents
The collection includes biographical information about Jones, including an unpublished biography by her great-granddaughter Jeanne S. Dunn; oral histories (audio recordings) of Jones' descendents; diaries, including transcripts; political essays by Jones, including anti-prohibition pieces; family photographs; and numerous scrapbooks containing clippings by and about Minona Jones, and about suffrage, women's rights, temperance, and prohibition. There is also a small amount of correspondence of her father Isaac Holden Stearns.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1875-2002
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection created by Minona Jones; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Minona Jones, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
Sarah Minona Stearns was born in Abington, Massachusetts, the daughter of Catherine Miller Guild and Isaac Holden Stearns (1825-1897), physician and surgeon with 22nd Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. She attended New England public schools and Oak Grove Seminary in Vassalboro, Maine, and completed her education at Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Female College. She studied medicine, and assisted her father in the Milwaukee National Soldiers' Home, where he was a surgeon. She married Robert Clarence Fitts of Leverett, Massachusetts in 1879. The couple had two children: Roy Field Fitts (1881-1961) and Minona Louise Fitts (Thompson) (1887-1976). Beginning in 1892, Fitts opened the Mitchell Heights Millinery Store. It was also around this time that she began to take an active interest in suffrage, women's rights, prison reform, and labor rights, and began attending political gatherings and giving voice to her own political opinions via lecturing and writing. In the mid-1890s, she organized the Milwaukee Equal Suffrage Association and the Waukegan Association, and served as president of both; was elected secretary to the Federal Suffrage Association; and in 1896 was appointed delegate to the 29th Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She also served as National President of the Race Betterment League, founded the No Vote No Tax League, authored the Woman's Declaration of Independence, and founded the Woman's Good Roads Movement in Illinois. In 1897, she left what had become an unhappy marriage and devoted all her attention to her political interests (the children were raised by relatives). The same year, upon the death of her father, she successfully took over advocacy for Civil War veterans through his pension claims business. It was also around this time that she met Frank Warren Jones, whom she married in 1905. Jones remained politically active throughout her life. In 1923, she moved to Spokane, Washington in order to be closer to her son and his family. Jones died in Spokane in 1926.
5.708 linear feet (8 containers)
Suffragist; Writer; Political activist. The collection includes biographical information about Jones, including an unpublished biography by her great-granddaughter Jeanne S. Dunn; oral histories (audio recordings) of Jones' descendents; diaries, including transcripts; political essays by Jones, including anti-prohibition pieces; family photographs; and numerous scrapbooks containing clippings by and about Minona Jones, and about suffrage, women's rights, temperance, and prohibition. There is also a small amount of correspondence of her father Isaac Holden Stearns.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Minona Stearns Fitts Jones Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Jeanne S. Dunn in August 2010.
Processed by Burd Schlessinger, August 2010
Genre / Form
- Minona Stearns Fitts Jones papers
- Finding Aid
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063