Annie Wittenmyer papers
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Scope and Contents
This collection includes correspondence and newspaper clippings relating to the Iowa State Sanitary Commission. Included is correspondence to and from Annie Wittenmyer, as well as correspondence to Iowa Governor Samuel Kirkwood. Also included is an 1864 photograph of Wittenmyer.
- Creation: 1861-1864
- Wittenmyer, Annie, 1827-1900 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The papers are open for research.
Biographical / Historical
Annie Turner Wittenmyer was born in Ohio in 1827, but lived and worked for many years in Iowa. Wittenmyer inherited a large sum of money following the death of her husband, and she used her fortune to fund the education of hundreds of children in Keokuk, Iowa. Wittenmyer helped organize the Keokuk Soldiers’ Aid society and served as secretary before being appointed as a sanitary agent for the state of Iowa in 1862.
Wittenmyer campaigned for the creation of a soldiers’ orphans home in Keokuk, but the site could not long accommodate the hundreds of children seeking a place there. Another aspect of Wittenmyer’s involvement in the war effort was her institution of the Special Diet Kitchen system, which sought to provide wounded soldiers with healthy meals and stem the misallocation of supplies. Wittenmyer died in Pottstown, Pennsylvania at the age of 72.
[The information for this biographical note comes from Wittenmyer’s obituary, which appeared in the Davenport Democrat. The Richard Sloane Special Collections Center, Davenport Public Library, holds a copy.]
1.00 linear inch
Language of Materials
Correspondence of the Iowa Sanitary Commission, including Annie Wittenmyer, during the Civil War.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers (donor no. 168) were purchased by the University of Iowa Special Collections Department in 2015.
- Laurel Rhame, 2016
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note