Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Frances A. Wylie Agnew, 1848-1939
By Tally D. Fugate
Frances "Fannie" A. Wylie Agnew was born on May 1, 1848 in Missouri to Andrew Mansfield and Jane H. Wylie. She married John Irwin Agnew on February 13, 1866 in Macon, Missouri, and they had two children, May A. and James W. The family lived in Missouri until her husband's death in 1907. Frances Agnew drew a widow's pension for her husband's service in the army during the Civil War. She moved to Altus, Oklahoma in 1909. Agnew was a stockholder and served on the board of directors as vice president of her son's Altus Ice and Fuel Company. Later she served as president of the Agnew-Moore Company, Inc., that sold furniture and parts and that was also owned by her son.
Frances Agnew held a membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, Anna Lee Chapter, one of the largest in Oklahoma at that time. She was also a member of the Women's Missionary Society of the Methodist Church in Altus, participating in various programs. An active organizer, in 1913 she served as vice president at-large of the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association, a NAWSA chapter. Additionally, she was reelected numerous times as the association's recording secretary. She participated in local meetings and state conventions, gave addresses to clubs, and hosted gatherings in her home.
At the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Woman's Suffrage Association in 1917, Agnew was among those who signed a resolution condemning the action of the militant members of the Congressional Union for harassing President Woodrow Wilson by picketing in front of the White House. Such methods were characterized as "unpatriotic" and "impolitic." In October 1918 Marjorie Shuler visited Oklahoma from New York, under the auspices of the Woman Suffrage Campaign Committee, to speak before a group outside the Altus courthouse and to present a round table talk. At the dinner held in Shuler's honor, Agnew offered the invocation. So active was Agnew even at the age of seventy-two, that The Woman Citizen highlighted her as "giv[ing] valiant service." She died in Altus, Oklahoma on March 4, 1939 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Macon, Missouri.
Macon Chronicle-Herald (Macon, Missouri) 7 March 1939.
The Checotah Times (Checotah, Okla.) 12 October 1917.
Alice Stone Blackwell. The Woman Citizen, Volume 3 (Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission: 1918), p. 1132.
The Altus Times (Altus, Okla.) 9 October 1913, 25 November 1909.
The Times Democrat (Altus, Okla.) 10 October 1918, 31 July 1919.
1880 U. S. Federal Census, Lewis County, Missouri.
"United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934", FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KDBN-L2J : 13 March 2018), Frances A Agnew in entry for John I Agnew, 1907.
"Missouri Marriages, 1750-1920," FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2DP-CRH : 11 February 2018), John Agnew and Fanny Wiley, 13 Feb 1866,citing Macon, Missouri.