She moved to Alabama with her father and married Dennis Echols of Pratt City in 1897. She was a charter member of the Cunningham Chapter No. 24 of the Order of the Eastern Star and held numerous offices, culminated with her promotion to Grand Matron of the Alabama Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1912.
She was elected to a four-year term as an Associate Commission on the Birmingham City Commission in 1921, but her office was eliminated when the commission was reduced from five members to three after two years.
Echols served as a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
In January 1929 Echols' clothing caught fire when it brushed against a gas-burning space heater in her home. She died from the burns.
- "Mrs Mary Echols" (June 1912) The Eastern Star. Vol. 25, No. 1
- "Birmingham woman dies today from burns." (January 16, 1929) Associated Press