Annie Wittenmyer


Born: Au­gust 26, 1827, San­dy Springs, Ohio.

Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 2, 1900, Sar­a­to­ga, Penn­syl­vania.

Buried: Edge­wood Ce­me­te­ry, Potts­town, Penn­sylv­an­ia.



Annie was the daught­er of John G. Turn­er and Eliz­a­beth Smith, and wife of Will­iam Wit­ten­my­er (mar­ried 1847, San­dy Springs, Ohio).

She wrote her first po­em at age 12. In 1850, she and Wil­liam moved to Ke­o­kuk, Io­wa, where she found­ed a free school in 1853.

Her hus­band died in 1860, and the next year, she joined the La­dies’ Sol­diers’ Aid Soc­i­e­ty. She re­ceived spe­cial per­mis­sion from Sec­re­ta­ry of War Ed­win Stan­ton, al­low­ing her to move free­ly among mil­i­tary un­its, dis­pens­ing aid to sol­diers.

In 1863, she helped found a home for sol­diers’ or­phans in Ke­o­kuk. In 1868, she or­gan­ized the La­dies and Pas­tors Chris­tian Un­ion.

In 1874, Annie be­came the first pre­si­dent of the Wo­men’s Chris­tian Tem­per­ance Un­ion (WCTU). She al­so became na­tion­al pre­si­dent of the Wo­men’s Re­lief Corps of the Grand Ar­my of the Re­pub­lic (GAR) that same year.