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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. S. O. Thomas

No woman in Iowa is better known in the missionary work of the Presbyterian church than Mrs. S. O. Thomas, of Burlington.  For twenty-seven years she has been secretary of the Foreign Missionary Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, and for fifteen consecutive years she has been an officer in the Iowa Presbyterial Society.  She has attended innumerable sessions of the presbyterial and synodical societies and meetings of the Board of the Northwest.  Jessie Donnell Thomas was born at Greensburg, Ind., in 1850.  She is the daughter of Thomas Donnell and Ruth Jane Braden, who came to Des Moines county from Indiana in 1852.  She was graduated from the Iowa Wesleyan University in 1869, B. A., 1872 M. A.  She was a charter member of the I. C. society organized at I. W. U. in 1868.  It later became the Greek letter sorority, Pi Beta Phi.  Mrs. Thomas owns one of the first pins, a gold arrow with I. C. on it in black enamel.  She was married in 1871 at New London to S. O. Thomas.  They have three children:  Frank D. Thomas, of Portland, Ore.;  Bert Thomas, of The Dalles, Oregon, and Jessie Marie Thomas.  Mrs. Thomas has for twenty years been president of the Y. M. C. A. Auxiliary, an organization having one hundred fifty members.  She was instrumental in organizing the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club in Burlington.  She is a member of the Fortnightly Club, a study and travel club, organized in 1895.  The Missionary work is perhaps nearest her heart since it has formed a part of her life for so many years.



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