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Annie Turner Wittenmyer


Posted By: Rebecca Foster (email)
Date: 7/6/2014 at 20:31:39

Death of Mrs. Wittenmyer

Well Known in this City as the Founder of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home.

Mrs. Wittenmyer is dead. She had been given 72 years of life and in that time she has crowded much that is helpful, that will be remembered and for which she will be revered. Among these works of her life none is more conspicuous to the people of Iowa and Davenport in particular than the establishment of the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home for which she labored and planned. Mrs. Annie Turner Wittenmyer was born in Sandy Springs, O. and came from ancestry of Irish descent. One who knew her well gives this sketch of her career.

She had three sons in the civil war and her own part in the struggle was no small one. Mrs. Wittenmyer was married in 1847 and in 1850 removed with her husband to Keokuk, Ia. There were no schools then so she leased a building and hired a school teacher and soon had 200 pupils on the roll at her school. When the civil war broke out she was one of the first to assist in organizing a soldiers' aid society, and early in 1861 went to the army camps to personally see what the boys in blue needed. Aid societies all over the state sent her supplies for the soldiers and during the war she distributed $160,000 worth of needed articles. In 1862 she was appointed a sanitary agent for the state by the legislature and from then on until the end of the war she worked night and day for the soldiers. She visited the camps, battlefields, and hospitals and whenever an Iowa boy was in need of anything she did her best to get it for him. The Soldiers' Orphans' Home mainly owes its existence to Mrs. Wittenmyer, and the special diet kitchen, now an important adjunct of the army hospitals, was conceived by her. The world lost one of its noblest women when Annie Wittenmyer died.

Source: Davenport Times, Davenport, Scott, Iowa, Monday 05 February 1900.


Scott Obituaries maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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