Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Sarah Anne Hobson, 1874-1953
By Kelly R. Horwitz, attorney at Benedon & Serlin, LLP
President of Greensboro, AL Equal Suffrage Association, circa 1913-1914. Attendee at 1914 Alabama Equal Suffrage Association convention in Huntsville.
Sarah Anne (Annie) Hobson was born in Alabama on July 10, 1874 to Judge James M. and Sara (Sallie) C. Hobson. She never married, but instead lived out her life at Magnolia Grove, the family estate in Greensboro, with her brother, Joseph, and sister,Margaret. She died on October 21, 1953 in Hale County, Alabama and is buried in Greensboro Cemetery.
In 1903, prior to her involvement in the suffrage movement, Annie Hobson published "In Old Alabama: Being the Chronicles of Miss Mouse, the Little Black Merchant," a collection of African-American folk stories.
Hobson was an early supporter of equal suffrage during the second wave of suffrage support in Alabama in the 1910s (the first wave having occurred and dissipated in the 1890s). Support for suffrage ran in her family. Her brother, Richmond Pearson Hobson, who represented Alabama's 6th District in Congress from 1907 to 1915, also was an ardent supporter of women's suffrage.
On May 14, 1913, Mary Partridge, a suffragist from Selma, traveled to Hobson's home to give a talk on women's suffrage and to help organize a local suffrage association in Greensboro, the fifth such local association in the state. Hobson assumed the role of President of the Greensboro Equal Suffrage Association.
Hobson attended the second annual convention of the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association in Huntsville on February 4 and 5, 1914. Hobson, along with other presidents of local suffrage associations, provided a report to the convention about the activities of the Greensboro Equal Suffrage Association. At the convention, she pledged "a small amount" of money to be provided by the Greensboro chapter for the state Equal Suffrage Association.
Hobson passed the torch of the presidency of the Greensboro Equal Suffrage Association to her younger sister, Margaret, prior to the 1915 convention in Tuscaloosa.
Hobson faded from public life after her involvement in the Alabama suffrage movement. In the 1940 census, Hobson indicated that she was working as a teacher in a private kindergarten. In her later years, she and her siblings promoted the preservation of Magnolia Grove as a tribute to her brother, Richmond Pearson Hobson. The home is now owned by the Alabama Historical Commission and is open to the public.
Sarah Anne Hobson grave image, available at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72604474/sarah-anne-hobson
Anne Hobson, "In Old Alabama: Being the Chronicles of Miss Mouse, the Little Black Merchant," (Doubleday 1903) available at https://ia601407.us.archive.org/31/items/inoldalabamabei00compgoog/inoldalabamabei00compgoog.pdf
Richmond Pearson Hobson, Wikipedia entry, (reflecting support for suffrage), available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_P._Hobson
Greensboro Watchman, May 15, 1913, p. 5, "Personal" (reporting Patridge visit to Greensboro).
Montgomery Daily Times, Jan. 26, 1914, "Social Events and Feminine Topics" p. 3 (listing local Equal Suffrage Association presidents)
Huntsville Weekly Democrat, Jan. 28, 1914, "Personal Mention" p. 3 (Hobson's impending attendance at convention).
The Montgomery Times, Feb. 7, 1914, p. 3, "State Suffrage Delegates Depart For Home" (noting Hobson's pledge of funds)
Birmingham Digital Library Collection, Alabama Equal Suffrage Association Scrapbook, p. 55, (reflecting Margaret Hobson's presidency of Greensboro ESA), available at https://cdm16044.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/BPLSB02/id/6540/rec/1
Magnolia Grove Wikipedia entry, http://ahc.alabama.gov/properties/magnoliagrove/magnoliagrove.aspx