Women of Culpeper – Mary Helen Mundorf Jeffries – April 17, 1900 – June 29, 1993

March 20, 2024 Updates

Women of Culpeper – Mary Helen Mundorf Jeffries – April 17, 1900 – June 29, 1993 Image

Research contributed by Karen Quaintance, Culpeper Tourism

Mary Helen Mundorf Jeffries was born on April 17, 1900, in York, PA, to William Clayton Mundorf and Mary Catherine Norris Mundorf. She graduated from York High School, in 1918, and married John Lewis Jeffries, Jr. on January 21, 1919, in York, PA.

Mary studied law for five years in her husband’s law office, with the guidance of Culpeper lawyers George Hiden, and Edwin Gibson. In 1934, she passed the Virginia State Bar Examination and became Culpeper’s first female lawyer.

Mary became Commissioner of Accounts for the Circuit Court of Culpeper County, in 1934, and held that position until 1986. She also served as the Culpeper Town Attorney for 12 years during the period of 2 bond issues and the annexation of additional county property for water supply. Many men feared Mary Jeffries as an attorney, especially when they heard that she would be representing their wives in divorce actions. She fought hard for a fair settlement for her female clients.

Mary was President of the 9th Judicial Circuit, in 1965, and regional chairman for U.S. Savings Bonds, during WWII. She was a member of Culpeper Minute Men, NSDAR, and served as a Parliamentarian for the State for three years. Mary was also a delegate to the National Congress.

Mary had four children: Mary Helen Jeffries, John Lewis Jeffries, III, Margaret McChesney Jeffries, and Nancy Moore Jeffries. She practiced law until she was 86, and lived at 114 North West Street in Culpeper. Mary is buried in the Culpeper Masonic Cemetery.