Jane Edna Harris Hunter

Black and white photograph of Jane Edna Harris Hunter.

Jane Edna Hunter, 1941. Image from CSU-Michael Schwartz Library. National Park Service.

(1882-1971) Jane was the daughter of Edward and Harriet Harris and born near Pendleton, South Carolina. When her father died, she ironed, sewed, cooked and washed for a variety of families she entered the Ferguson Academy in Abbeville for the first time at the age of 15. The school provided her with four years of training and she graduated with an eighth grade education. Later she studied nursing at Hampton Institute Training School for Nurses in Virginia. She moved to Cleveland, Ohio because the city purportedly offered good employment opportunities for blacks.  Observing the lack of decent employment and housing for Black women in Cleveland, she planned the Phillis Wheatley Association, an organization to provide a home, Hunhousing, employment, and social development for African-American women. She wanted to afford Black women an opportunity for fuller development; to promote growth in Christian character and services through physical, social, mental and spiritual training. She believed that you must have skills to accommodate the needs of the modern world.  

She died and is buried in Cleveland, Ohio.