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Minona Stearns Fitts Jones Papers, 1875-2002
8 boxes (3.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 662

Abstract:
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 The collection includes biographical information about Jones, including an unpublished biography by her great-granddaughter Jeanne S. Dunn; oral histories (audio recordings) of Jones' descendents; diaries, including transcripts; political essays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.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection created by Minona Jones. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection created by Minona Jones. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Minona Stearns Fitts Jones Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Minona Stearns Fitts Jones Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Jeanne S. Dunn in August 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, August 2010


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/

Language
English

Contents List
Biographical information and family history



Minona Stearns Fitts Jones



"Minona: A Suffragist and Her Family" by Jeanne Dunn: unpublished biography: typescript,
2002 (begun in 1982)

Box 1
Pamphlet about Jones,
circa 1912

Box 1
Trip to Scotland: travel documents,
1921

Box 1
Marriage to Frank Jones: correspondence,
1905

Box 1
Frank Jones: Senate bills,
1913

Box 1
Isaac Holden Stearns (father of MSFJ): obituary,
1898

Box 1
Extended family


Box 1
Photographs of family,
n.d.

Box 1
Oral histories of family members, taken by Jeanne Dunn: audiocassettes (5 tapes)
1883-92

Box 1
Miscellaneous documents,
1904-69, n.d.

Box 1
Writings



Diaries (includes transcripts by Jeanne Dunn)



1914, 1916, 1917-18


Box 2
1920 and 1922


Box 3
Essays, editorials, and fiction: drafts,
1905-22, n.d.

Box 3-4
Correspondence


Box 4
Isaac Holden Stearns



Incoming



Minona Stearns Fitts Jones, (daughter)
1890-98, n.d.

Box 3-4
Nellie Abell, (daughter)
n.d.

Box 4
Idanelle Thompson, (daughter)
1893-94

Box 4
Roy Field Fitts, (grandson)
1890-93

Box 4
Minona Fitts, (granddaughter)
1894-97

Box 4
Anna Maud Stearns, (granddaughter)
1897

Box 4
Other
1893-96

Box 4
Memorabilia



Autograph book
1875-82

Box 5
Loose-leaf binder containing notes by MSFJ
n.d.

Box 4
Scrapbooks: clippings by and about Minona Jones, and about suffrage, women's rights, temperance, and prohibition


Box 4
1914-16


Box 4
1911-12


Box 6
1917-18


Box 7
1905-26, and 1924


Box 8

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Dunn, Jeanne S.
  • Family -- United States -- 19th century -- History -- Sources
  • Fitts family
  • Jones, Minona Stearns Fitts, 1855-1926
  • Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Prohibition -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Stearns, Isaac Holden, 1825-1897
  • Stearns family
  • Suffragists -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Temperance -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Women's rights -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Women social reformers -- United States -- Biography -- Sources


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