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A Woman of the Century, Frances Minerva Nunnery (1898-1997)

Her Story in Her Own Memorable Voice as Told to Cecil Dawkins
Edited by Cecil Dawkins



Anyone who still believes women are frail, powerless, and incapable of dealing with machinery should read the story of Frances Nunnery, a determined, ingenious entrepreneur whose career and personality defy every stereotype about women. We first meet her as a self-sufficient little girl working on a Virginia tobacco farm, a youngster who, when she got a "lickin," never cried but "stood there as a matter of pride" and took her medicine. At thirteen she went to work at the Heinz plant in Pittsburgh, and at twenty-one she was shipped off to Colorado to be married to a man she didn't know. In 1921 she escaped to New Mexico in a Model T Ford, settling in Albuquerque, where she worked as a chauffeur, bus driver, boarding house keeper, and night club singer, among other occupations. She never stopped working, living all over New Mexico, ranching, working as a deputy sheriff, and selling real estate.

Cecil Dawkins has made Frances Nunnery's taped recollections into a lively story that sounds as though Nunnery were telling tales to an old friend at her kitchen table. There is something characteristically western in Frances's ingenuity and determination, but you don't need to be interested in the West to enjoy her memoir.

Contributor Bios
Cecil Dawkins is a novelist who lives in Taos, New Mexico.
Max Evans, novelist, artist, scriptwriter, former cowboy, miner, and dealer in antiquities, resides in Albuquerque. He received the Owen Wister Award for lifelong contributions to the field of western literature from the Western Writers of America.