Chattanooga philanthropist Anne Taylor Jones Thomas was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. Anne Thomas met her future husband, Benjamin Franklin Thomas, while he was attending law school at the University of Cincinnati. The couple married in 1894 in Chattanooga. She was supportive of her husband’s somewhat risky proposal to undertake the bottling of Coca-Cola. In 1904 the childless couple brought Thomas’s nephew, George Thomas Hunter, into their household, where he quickly became both son and business partner.
Following the death of her husband in 1914, Thomas devoted the rest of her life to charitable work and philanthropy. She was instrumental in the construction of the children’s wing of Baroness Erlanger Hospital, the establishment and furnishing of a historical room in the Chattanooga Public Library, and the financing of the Pine Breeze Sanitarium. Numerous churches, schools, and charities in the Chattanooga area received contributions from Thomas. She inspired her nephew to create the Benwood Foundation in memory of her husband and herself. She died on April 5, 1938, and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.