Matilda Jones

Matilda Jones
Matilda (Mrs. Vincent F.) Jones (Republican) represented [the 46th] district of King County in the House of Representatives for three terms, between 1948 and 1956.

Born 1889, in St. Helens, California, Jones' parents brought her to Washington by wagon when she was six months old. Her parents, emigres from Denmark, encouraged their children to participate in the society of the "most wonderful country in the world." Jones graduated from Washington Central College of Education, raised four children in Seattle, two who were foster children, and began taking on leadership positions in the community. She was the president of the P.T.A. and the Women's Association of her church. A campaigner for school levies, Jones became well known in her community.

"When I was first approached about running for office I said I could not possibly run. I said I could only be considered as a last resort-scraping the bottom of the barrel." She was convinced to run, and faced up to ten Republican opponents in the primary. The only woman in the race, Jones remembers: "I worked hard. If I was going to run I wanted to win. I worked the district from one end to the other."

Representative Jones worked especially hard for what she realized were neglected social concerns. She recalls that her very first bill, designed to give public school aid to mentally handicapped children, was signed into law shortly after her sponsorship.

--Political Pioneers, The Women Lawmakers