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Jones, Dr. Effie McCollum (1869-1952)


Posted By: Debbie Greenfield (email)
Date: 3/18/2015 at 10:38:24

Daily Freeman Journal, Monday, July 7, 1952

Dr. Effie McCollum Jones Dies in City

Nationally Known Pastor Succumbs To Long Illness

Dr. Effie McCollum Jones, 83, minister of the Universalist faith for 55 years, nationally recognized leader in the fight for women's suffrage, internationally known among liberals in religious fields and one of Webster City's most prominent and valued citizens, died last evening at the Hamilton county hospital.

Dr. Jones died at 9:15. She had been a patient at the hospital since June 19.

Funeral services for Dr. Jones will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Paul's Universalist church. Dr. Laura B. Galer of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and the Rev. James L. Neighbours, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private interment will be made at a later date in Graceland cemetery.

The body will lie in state at the Foster funeral home until 12:30 Wednesday at which time it will be taken to the church and will lie in state here until the time of service. The family has requested that no flowers be sent.

She is survived by two daughters, Dr. Benona J. Proctor of this city, and Miss Eleanor M. Jones, Webster City attorney; two brothers, Dr. E. V. MCollum of Baltimore, Md., and Dr. Burton McCollum of Houston, Texas, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Ben Wallace Jones; by her parents and by two sisters.

She had been in frail health the past several years, and hadn't been active in ministerial work since September, 1946 when she resigned her pastorate of the Universalist church in Webster City - a church she had served for 23 years.

Born on a frontier farm near Fort Scott, Kan., March 29, 1869, the daughter of Cornelius A. and Martha Kidwell McCollum, Miss McCollum grew to young womanhood in that state. At the age of 15, she started teaching school, and after four years decided to go to Ryder Divinity school, then a department of Lombard college at Galesburg, Ill., the foremost Universalist divinity school in the midwest.

She was ordained at Dubuque June 28, 1892.Immediately after her ordination, she became the wife of a theological classmate, Ben Wallace Jones. Mr. and Mrs. Jones went to Waterloo where they were co-pastors of the Universalist church. Less than two years later, they were called to a larger church at Barre, Vt. Two daughters, Eleanor and Benona, were born to them in Vermont where Mr. Jones died in January, 1898.

Mrs. Jones was asked to stay on as sole pastor at Barre and remained there until 1904 when she was called back to Waterloo. She was pastor there until 1916, being honored in 1907 by the presentation of the honorary degree of doctor of divinity by her alma mater, Lombard college. During her pastorate in Waterloo she went to Europe in 1910 to address the International Congress of Religious Liberals of Berlin. This was a convention of outstanding religious leaders from all parts of the world. She also spoke before gatherings in London and Liverpool and in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Holland. Many people turned out to see and hear "the woman preacher from the United States."

In 1916, at the invitation of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, she became a field director for the National Woman Suffrage association, traveling from state to state, giving speeches and urging that the right to vote be given to women.

In the fall of 1917, Dr. Jones was invited to take over the Universalist pastorate here as the present minister, H. F. Shook, had been called to duty as an army chaplain. Two years later, Mr. Shook returned and Dr. Jones went on a lecture tour of the United States with her sister, Harriet McCollum. In 1925 she returned to Webster City to be pastor of the Universalist church and held that position until 1946 when she was succeeded by the Rev. W. C. Abbe.

During her pastorate here she had a leading part in ministerial association work and became known as one of Iowa's greatest women leaders not only in religious fields but in civic and community affairs. She was active in the local Women's club and the Iowa Federation of Women's clubs. She held leading positions in such other organizations as the Business and Professional Women's club, the P.E.O.Sisterhood, the WCTU., and the League of Women Voters. In the religious field, she was a president of the Iowa Universalist convention and a member of the board of directors of the nationwide Universalist General convention.

She had many various hobbies which she carried on in her boundless enthusiasm which aimed at one main goal - a richer, fuller life for everyone with whom she came in contact and who inevitably received a benefit from her great store of personal sagacity and understanding.


Hamilton Obituaries maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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