Biographical Sketch of Anne B. Woodruff

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Anne B. (Mrs. C. B.) Woodruff, 1868-1941

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SUNY Binghamton

Anne B. Woodruff (maiden name uncertain) was born in New York in 1868 and married Charles B. Woodruff in 1900. The couple moved to Sacramento, CA in April 1909 and were living there with Anne's divorced sister, Caroline Hepburn, in 1910. Charles was the manager of a paint store. The threesome moved to Portland in 1911, where Charles was the manager of a paint manufacturer and was active in the Portland Chamber of Commerce. They don't appear to have had children.

In March 1912 she was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee of the Equal Suffrage Association at a meeting held in Portland. She served on that committee with her sister. She joined enthusiastically in the woman suffrage referendum campaign that year. August found her taking part in an auto tour of Clackamas County where a group of Portland suffragists held numerous suffrage meetings to build support for the referendum. In September she was one of two speakers at a meeting of the Political Equality League and in October she gave a talk on Equal Suffrage to the Oregon Alumnae Association. But once the suffrage vote succeeded in early November we find no further suffrage activism on her part reported in local newspapers.

She took part in a variety of charitable and volunteer activities beyond suffrage. In 1910 she sold Red Cross stamps as a fundraiser. In 1913 she served on a committee planning luncheons for the Oregon Civic League. She took part in a Portland Woman's Club event in October 1915. In June 1918 she served as the assistant supervisor of the surgical dressing workroom, lending support to the nation's war effort. At the same time her husband served on Portland's War industries Board and her sister was equally active in Red Cross activities in 1918-1919. After the armistice, the Woodruffs contributed to support French war orphans.

In March 1920 friends gave Anne a going away luncheon at the Waverly Country Club. The couple remained in Portland long enough to be enumerated in the 1920 census, living with Anne's sister, Caroline Hepburn, and a Finnish cook. By 1922 Charles was listed in a San Francisco city directory; by 1928 he was recorded as the vice-president of a paint manufacturing firm. He continued to be listed in directories through 1941, with his wife Anne often noted as well. The couple and sister-in-law Caroline Hepburn continued to live together in San Francisco and each year had one live-in-servant.

Anne Woodruff passed away in January 1941 in Colma, a suburb of San Francisco; her sister died three weeks later and Charles died in southern California in 1945. The two sisters both were active in the Portland woman suffrage movement in the key campaign that gained woman suffrage in November 1912. While they remained involved in civic affairs after that campaign, they do not appear to have been active in the campaign that secured the 19th Amendment in August 1920.

Sources:

Ida Husted Harper, et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) [LINK].

Federal Manuscript censuses: Sacramento, 1910; Portland, 1920; San Francisco, 1930 and 1940. Accessed through HeritageQuest.com.

Find-a-Grave and Ancestry Library Edition provided links to death records for Charles and Anne Woodruff and Caroline Hepburn. Also city directories for Portland, 1911-1920 and San Francisco, 1922-1941 for Charles B. Woodruff.

Oregon Daily Journal searches for C.B. Woodruff and Mrs. C.B. Woodruff produced numerous articles that mentioned her suffrage and other civic activities as well as Charles B. Woodruff's business activities. Accessed via newspaper.com.

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