Anna Adams Gordon

Name: Anna Adams Gordon
Birth Date: July 21, 1853
Birth Place: Boston Massachusetts, USA
Death Date: June 15, 1931
Death Location: Castile New York, USA
Burial Place: Ashes placed at Mt Hope Cemetery, Massachusetts


Anna Adams Gordon (1853-1931) was born in Boston in 1853 and attended Mount Holyoke Seminary and LaSell Seminary, graduating from there in 1875. She met Frances Willard in Boston in 1877 and became Willard’s personal secretary, continuing in that role until Willard’s death in 1898. During these years, Gordon was an active promoter of the WCTU’s youth programs, founding the Loyal Temperance Legion and publishing books of children’s temperance songs, some of which she composed. After Willard’s death, Gordon served as vice president of the WCTU, then in 1914 was elected president. From the WCTU’s Evanston headquarters, Gordon led the campaign to pass a prohibition amendment to the Constitution and celebrated the ratification of the 18th amendment in 1919. As WCTU president, she also saw the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Father: James Monroe Gordon
Mother: Mary Elizabeth Clarkson
Education: Spanish Missionary: 1876. LaSell Seminary, Auburndale: 1875. Mount Seminary: 1871-1872. Newton, Massachusetts Public Elementary and High School.
Years in Evanston: 1877

Sources: Archives and Collections: Evanston History Centre Subject Files. Evanston Women Pre 1950: Newspaper Clippings "Evanston Equality League Scores Unique Success at It's All Star Meeting Tuesday" Evanston News, May 1, 1919 Willard Memorial Library and Archives. Other Primary Sources: Schultz, Rima Lunin, and Adele Hast, eds. Women Building Chicago, 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary. Bloomington, IN: University Press, 2001. Other Secondary Sources: Gordon. The Just in the Middle Girl, Evanston, IL: WCTU Publishing House.

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