Valena Cecelia MacArthur Jones

Valena Cecelia MacArthur Jones is another non-native New Orleans who left her mark on the city through her positive influence and helped to shape the lives of all of her pupils. Born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in 1872, MacArthur Jones moved to New Orleans to attend Straight College is 1892 [5]. Straight College and New Orleans University merged in 1930, and formed Dillard University, and was named, "...in honor of James Hardy Dillard, a distinguished academician dedicated to educating African Americans" [6].

After college, MacArthur Jones became the, "... principal of the Bay St. Louis Negro School," which she left in 1897 and moved back to New Orleans [5]. In New Orleans, she taught, "...in the 'coloured' schools of the integrated New Orleans School system from 1897 to 1901" [6]. During her time in the New Orleans School system, she was voted the, "...most popular African-American teacher in the city" [5].

Though she left the education system in 1901 to marry Reverend Robert R. Jones is 1901, she remained interested in education and religion, and began to help her husband, "...edit the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a paper put out by the African Methodist Episcopalian Church" [5].

MacArthur Jones died on the 13th of January 1917 in New Orleans, where she was buried [5]. A public school was named for her, after her death and, "...in 1923, the normal school for African American teachers was renamed the Valena C. Jones Normal School" [6]. Undoubtedly, MacArthur Jones shaped the lives of her pupils, who would have gone on to apply their skills that they learned from her to help better New Orleans and mold it into what it has become today.

Please see the bibliography (the last stop on the tour) for more information and citations.

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