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Anna H. Jones

Anna H. Jones was born in Chatham, Ontario, the daughter of Emily Francis Jones and James Monroe Jones. Her father was one of the first black graduates of Oberlin College, finishing in 1849. Her father was a gunsmith and engraver who, with his brother Elias Toussaint Jones, was involved with John Brown's Canadian abolition activities. Anna H. Jones attended university in Michigan, and graduated from Oberlin College in 1875. Her extended family reflected the values of their parents of high level accomplishment, intellect and the importance of higher education. 

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Her sister Sophia Bethena Jones (1857–1932) became a medical doctor, and "the first black faculty member at Spellman College" and founder of the school's nursing program. Her sister Fredericka Florence Jones (1860-–) also became a teacher. Anna’s commitment to higher education began when she taught school in Canada, in Indiana and St. Louis, in Jefferson, Missouri, at Wilberforce University in Ohio, and from 1892 to 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the principal of Douglas Elementary School – the first Black female hired in that city. Miss Jones was a charter member of the Federation of Colored Women, worked in the YWCA, helped establish the Book Lovers Club, was a member of the University Extension Society of Kansas City, and a representative to England in 1900. Miss Jones was a refined and cultured social activist. Her prominence and position did not shelter her from racial prejudice. She bought a home in Kansas City. Her white neighbors were determined that she not live there. They intimidated her with written threats and bombs. Anna’s amazing courage caused her to fight for her civil rights and continue to live there until she was ready to relocate. She moved to California and settled in Monrovia where she continued pursuing her passion of promoting education and advocating for social change and justice. She founded the Anna H. Jones Club around 1920. Miss Jones died March 7, 1932 at age 77 in Monrovia. She and her sister are buried at Live Oak Memorial Park. Some of the Monrovia properties owned by Anna H. Jones and her immediate family are still owned and lived in by her descendants. Some of them attended the 75th Anniversary Benefit Banquet on September 28,1966 held at Second Baptist Church. The Anna H. Jones Club focuses on promoting education and providing financial assistance to students who strive to attain high academic achievements in vocational fields and at secondary, graduate and post graduate levels. Although a small local organization, the Anna H. Jones Club has maintained a prestigious reputation for decades. Among its network of prominent, distinguished persons are personal contacts of Anna Jones and distinguished Negroes who came to her Monrovia home, including Ralph Bunche, Ambassador to the United Nations, and renowned journalist, educator and civil rights activist W.E.B. DeBois. The Monrovia Club has had several hard working change maker presidents. Miss Jennie Lockett was active with the Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc. at the state and national levels. Most prominent is probably Monrovian Eldora “Dodie” Polk who assumed the presidency from Mattie Bouler in 1959. In 1966, the club reactivated its scholarship fund which grants college scholarships to young Black women. Traditionally, a breakfast to generate revenue was held on the third Sunday of May each year, usually in the cafeteria of Huntington Elementary or Santa Fe Middle schools. Over time, Eldora hosted backyard dinners and formal teas at her home on South California Avenue. The diverse guest list included persons of all races - judges, elected officials, religious leaders, average citizens and supporters from throughout Monrovia and surrounding areas. Scholarships were awarded from as early as 1953 up to the present day. A relative of Anna H. Jones, Edwin Thompson, a MonroviaArcadia-Duarte [MAD] High School graduate, was a scholarship recipient as was I. A long list of recipients have benefited from these scholarships. On February 1, 1966 at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Monrovia, the Anna H. Jones Club published a partial list of recipients. Many have been very successful in their professions and careers. In 1911, Anna H. Jones wrote to W.E.B. Du Bois describing the discrimination faced by African Americans who had moved into her neighborhood. The letter can be read in full: Click Here. Anna H. Jones’ descendants attended the club’s 75th Anniversary Benefit Banquet on September 28, 1996 held at Second Baptist Church. Miss Jones died March 7, 1932 at age 77 in Monrovia. She and her sister are buried at Live Oak Memorial Park.

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