JONES, MYRTA L. (15 Nov. 1860 - 11 June 1954), eldest daughter of Judge James M. and Ermina (Barrows) Jones, was a native Cleveland social reformer dedicated to improving working conditions for women and a long-time member of the CONSUMERS LEAGUE OF OHIO. Jones moved to New York City after attending college and worked the College Settlement Social Settlement (also called College Settlement House), originally located on Rivington St. She returned to Cleveland by Jan. 1894 and was a founding member of the FORTNIGHTLY MUSIC CLUB. In the late 1890s she received national literary attention because of her translations into English of The Marriage of Chiffon by the French authoress, Gyp (1895); Episcopo & Company by Italian poet, Gabriele D'Annunzio (1896); and Pierre Loti's The Last Days of Pekin (1902). In 1901, Jones began a lifelong membership on the executive committee of the Consumers League of Ohio, serving as president from 1908-15 and 1918-20. Under her leadership, the league launched campaigns to improve working conditions for women, including shorter hours for women working in department stores during the Christmas shopping season. She also led the league from a group supporting legislation proposed by others to a more aggressive organization proposing legislation itself. Jones was also vice-president of the Natl. Consumers League in the 1910s and 1920s.

During WORLD WAR I, Jones chaired 2 committees on women in industry, working to recruit women to take men's places in wartime factories while seeking to protect the health and safety of these women. In 1919 and 1920, the year after her mother's death, Myrta L. Jones gave a significant collection of Spanish lace to the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. 1921, Jones came out of semiretirement to direct the Consumers League's unsuccessful campaign for a minimum-wage law in Ohio. Jones also helped organize ALTA HOUSE, was a member of the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, and was active in the women's suffrage movement. A decade later, in 1930, Jones moved to New York and married Henry White Cannon (1850-1934). It was the first marriage for Jones, age 70, and the second marriage for Cannon, whose first wife was prominent suffragist Jennie Olive Curtis (1851-1920). Jones' sister Florence Wade Jones (1862-1972) was married to George Nelson Sherwin (1871-1952). Jones had no children, and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Holly Witchey

Consumers League of Ohio Papers, WRHS.

Harrison, Dennis Irven. " The Consumers League of Ohio Women and Reform, 1909-1937'' (Ph.D. diss., CWRU, 1975).

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