About Ash Lee Jefferson
Martha Ash 1897-1963
Born in Old Guysborough Road, Martha was the daughter of Charlotte and Arthur Preeper. She Married William Ash in 1916 and later moved to Fall River. They had one son, Arthur. She shared the beauty of her property and flower gardens with the entire community and shared Mrs. Lee’s open door policy. She was widely recognized as the community counsellor for those needing support. Mrs. Ash donated the land upon which lies George P. Vanier School.
Ada Lee 1875-1946
The daughter of Charlotte and Robert Williams who were the first Black settlers in Fall River. She married William Lee in 1897. They had five children, May, Aleita, Beryl, Alston and Iva. She served tirelessly for years as Fall River’s midwife and nurse. She had an “open door” to anyone in need and donated the land upon which Ash Lee Jefferson was built.
Selena Jefferson 1872-1964
Sister of Ada Lee. She married Joseph Jefferson in 1905. She was the last remaining member of the first Fall River Baptist Church. She taught for nearly 65 years and was one of the first teachers in North Preston. She shared her home for the First Baptist Church gatherings in Fall River and was instrumental in the building of the first church for the Fall River community. When this church was lost to fire, Mrs. Jefferson oversaw the building of the new church. all the while maintaining vegetable gardens, chickens and a butter supply for anyone needing food. The graveyard located across from the Fall River school is available in part to Mrs. Jefferson donation of land.
With each new day, let us try to follow the example set by Mrs. Ada Lee, Mrs. Selena Jefferson and Mrs. Martha Ash. Each of these women are to be remembered as extraordinary humanitarians, moral and christian leaders in the community of Fall River, whose legacy will lead all who struggle to achieve harmonious relations within a multi-racial community.