McMinn County Biographies-- Effie Raper Lones


November 10, 1909 - January 5, 2002



Effie was the daughter of William Thomas and Nannie Miller Raper. She grew up in the Niota community and went to schools there. She graduated Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens and became a teacher at Niota Elementary School for twenty seven years. Later she ran a ceramic shop for several years.

Effie married Homer Lee Lones on November 1 1935. They had two children: William Lee Sr and Nancy. They had four grandchildren.

Effie Lones was a special lady. She was loved by her family and her community. She was Mayor and a writer. She wrote a wonderful book titled Niota, Nigh unto Heaven. This book was about Niota and events surrounging it.


On October 1, 1988 six women were elected to run the Niota city government. Effie Lones was elected as mayor, and Mabel Young, Billie Gilliam, Grace Forrester, Nellie Finley, and Boots Snyder, were elected as city commissioners. These last four ladies had ran as write-in candidates. All of these ladies were newcomers to any political office. They were on national and international television and in worldwide newspapers. The town was recognized as having the only female board in the United States at that time period.



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