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Posted By: Mary E. Lanigan>Volunteer (email)
Date: 7/18/2002 at 11:41:22

Davenport, Iowa
Monday,Feb 05, 1900

Well known in this city as the Founder of the Soldier's Orphan Home.

MRS. WITTENMYER is dead. She had been given 72 years of life and in that time she was 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 conspicious to the people of Iowa, and Davenport,Iowa in particular than the establishment of the Iowa Soldier's Orphan Home, for which she labored and planned. MRS. ANNIE WITTENMYER was born in Sandy Springs, Oklahoma and came from ancestry of Irish decent. 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 a small one. MRS. WITTENMYER was married in 1847 and in 1850 removed with her husband to Keokuk, Iowa. 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 $160,000.00 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 day and night for the soldiers. She visited the camps, battlefields, and hospitals, and wherever an Iowa boy was in need of anything, she did her best to get it for him.

The Soldier's "Orphans" Home mainly ownes it's existance to MRS. WITTENMYER, and the special diet kitchen, now an important adjunt of the army hospitals, was conceived by her. The world lost one of its noblest women when ANNIE WITTENMYER died.
*The ANNIE WITTENMYER home is still standing in Davenport, Iowa. ANNIE was a nurse in the Civil War.


Wapello Obituaries maintained by Deborah Lynne Barker.
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