Josephine Anderson Pearson
June 30, 1868 – November 3, 1944
Marital Status: Never Married
Place of Birth: Gallatin, Tennessee
Parents: Reverend Philip Anderson Pearson of Goldsboro, North Carolina (1831-1918) and Amanda Coraline Roscue Pearson of Sumner County, Tennessee (1840-1950)
Cousins: Mrs. B.J. Wells, Mrs. Floy Howard, Mrs. Robert Morehead and Mrs. Alfred Davis, all of Nashville, TN and Mrs. John McKoin of Gallatin, TN.
Resided in the Old Woman’s Home at 2811 West End Avenue
Admitted to The Old Woman’s Home April 21, 1933
Burial Site: Monteagle Cemetery, Monteagle, Tennessee
Miss Pearson was educated at Gallatin Female College and in 1890 graduated with a B.A. degree from Irving College in McMinnville, Tennessee. In 1896, Miss Pearson attained her M.A. degree from Cumberland Presbyterian College in Lebanon, Tennessee. She also studied at Vanderbilt University and the University of Missouri.
Before her retirement in 1930, Miss Pearson served in various educational institutions throughout the country. Her positions included:
1890-1894 Principal, McMinnville High School, McMinnville, TN
1895-1897 Principal, Nashville College for Young Ladies, Nashville, TN
1897-1899 Chair of English, Winthrop State Normal College for Women, Little Hill, SC
1902-1908 Chair of History and English, Higbee School, Memphis, TN
1909-1914 Dean and Chair of Philosophy, Christian College, affiliated with the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
1917-1922 Dean and Chair of Philosophy and History, Southern Seminary, Buena Vista, VA
1923 Organized the course of study for the novices of the Anglican Convent, Fon du Lac, WI
1931-1932 Taught English and Philosophy, St. Agnes College for Women and the Memphis Conservatory of Music, Memphis, TN
She was the author of many articles on education and for many years was included in “Who’s Who in America” and also the British “Who’s Who”.
Miss Pearson was appointed Commissioner from Warren County to the Women’s Board of the Tennessee Centennial in 1896 and from 1901-1908 she held an executive position in the Women’s Congress at the Monteagle Assembly. In the early twentieth century, Miss Pearson honored a promise made to her dying father to continue to work to support the building of the Dixie Highway by participating in the organization of the Dixie Highway Council of the Cumberland Divide. As president of its women’s auxiliary, she lobbied for federal funds to be used for the building of the highway.
After making a promise to her dying mother, Miss Pearson wrote essays on feminism, suffrage and related topics and became a leader in the anti-women’s suffrage movement in Missouri from 1909-1914. Miss Pearson was President of the Tennessee State Association Opposed to Women’s Suffrage from 1917-1920. In 1920, she was elected president of the Southern Women’s League for Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Although she was living in Monteagle at this time with her father, she traveled throughout Tennessee for three years working for the association. Miss Pearson never cast a vote in her lifetime, but spent the remainder of her life writing, teaching and protesting women’s suffrage.
An extensive traveler, Miss Pearson visited Alaska, Mexico, Europe, Northern Africa and Eastern Asia. While in Europe she had a private audience with Pope Pius XI and had tea with the king and queen of England.
During her years at The Old Woman’s Home, Miss Pearson devoted most of her time to the activities of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and became more immersed in her ancestry. She frequently gave talks to the UDC chapters in Middle Tennessee and wrote articles and letters to the editors of the Nashville Tennessean and Nashville Banner newspapers.