Rose Garden PhotographsFrances "Fannie" Lillian (Willard) Munds was born June 10, 1866, in Franklin, Sacramento County, California, the daughter of Mary Grace (Vineyard) and John (also known as Joel and George) Willard, a pioneer of California and Nevada.

To attend school, Fannie moved east and lived with her sister's family. She graduated from the Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine, in June 1885. Her parents moved to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, during this time. After graduating, she joined her parents in Prescott. She became a teacher, and her job was in the Mormon village of Pine. Other teaching jobs took Fannie to Payson and Mayer (where she was the first schoolteacher), and finally to Jerome.

On March 5, 1890, Frances married John Lee Munds at the home of her mother in Cottonwood. She wore a stylish gown of cream albatross plush and moire with orange blossoms. John and Frances lived in Cottonwood, where they were in the stock business.

Fannie and John had three children: William Harold, Sally “Sadie” (Mrs. Richard Williams) and Mary Frances (Mrs. Robert Brockmeier).  In 1893, the family moved to Prescott, where John was deputy sheriff for George Ruffner from 1894 to1897. John became sheriff from 1898 to 1903. The Munds bought and lived in the house with the Queen Anne exterior and Victorian interior at 220 N. Mount Vernon.  Buckey and Pauline O’Neill had also owned the home.

Fannie became involved in the Monday Club in Prescott. She was also active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union which led to her involvement in the Arizona Equal Suffrage Association in 1903. Fannie served as president of the latter organization from 1909 to 1912.  During her tenure, Arizona women won the vote through an initiative measure in 1912, the same year that Arizona gained statehood.  She was an excellent politician who brought together diverse groups to support women’s right to vote.

In 1913, she was appointed by Governor Hunt as representative to the International Woman's Suffrage Alliance in Budapest, Hungary. After she was elected in 1914 as the first female state senator from Yavapai County, the first in Arizona and the second woman senator in the United States, Fannie said: "Our friends, the true-blue conservatives, will be shocked to think of a grandmother sitting in the state Senate."

Fannie was president of the Monday Club, 1918 to 1919, and worthy matron of the Eastern Star. She retained her active interest in politics until her death at her home at 308 N. Mount Vernon Street on December 16, 1948. Fannie was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. In 1982, Frances was inducted into the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame.

Donor: Sally Munds Williams, daughter
Photo Located: Historic Photo Collection – PO-518pb
Updated: 12/19/2015, N. Freer