Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Anne Marion Wagner (Williams), 1881-1981
By Lisa Hendrickson: Independent Historian
Editor of The New Voter, Board Member Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore
Anne Marion Wagner, born January 17, 1881, was the fourth child of Mary Moxley Fisher Wagner (1840-1906) and Basil Wagner (1806-1891). The family resided in Baltimore where Basil Wagner was employed in the family trading firm Fisher Brothers. Anne graduated from Miss Carey's School and later became an interior decorator in Baltimore and New York City. When her mother died, she left her children a sizable fortune and stated in her will that she wanted her daughters to be, "instructed in the management of their financial affairs that they may become thoroughly competent to dispose of their revenues in a manner consistent with their birth, intelligence and education."
At age 32, Anne married bachelor George Weems Williams (1874-1937) in an intimate ceremony in February 1923. Williams graduated from Princeton and earned a law degree from the University of Maryland. He was a partner in the law firm of Marbury, Gosnell & Williams and served as president of both the Maryland State and Baltimore City Bar associations. Later in life he was a board member of the First National Bank and of Johns Hopkins Hospital. His father Henry Williams was a lawyer and later president of the Weems Steamboat Company owned by his wife Georgeanna Weems Williams.
Wagner served as a board member of the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore (ESLB) from 1910-1912. The group began with 50 members growing to over 800 by April 1910 via parlor meetings and lectures. In 1910 Wagner became the editor of The New Voter, founded by the ESLB, which was "the first attempt in Baltimore to start a Suffrage sheet," according to the Evening Sun. The paper was published from November 1910-1911 with the mission of keeping subscribers informed of local, national, and international suffrage work. "The New Voter will not be a funny. Its one purpose will be to keep in close touch with all suffrage organizations, and to present the facts relating to the work here and elsewhere. Reports of work in all parts of the country will appear from time to time." A competing suffrage organization, the Just Government League, created their own suffrage paper in early 1912 to be the official place to express suffrage news and help their campaign when they entered politics. In addition to her suffrage activities with The New Voter, Wagner helped organized many social suffrage activities including parlor talks and the first of several suffrage dances. She moved to New York City and became an interior decorator. In 1918 she served overseas with the Red Cross as a canteen worker helping to feed American troops in England, France, and Germany. General George Pershing decorated her for her yearlong service.
Husband George Weems Williams died at age 63 in 1937 and Anne Wagner Williams died at age 100 on September 12, 1981. She is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore.
"Mrs. Mary M. Wagner's Will," The Baltimore Sun, February 27, 1906, pg. 9.
"Suffragists Plan Work, " The Baltimore Sun, April 22, 1910, pg. 7.
"We Must Have Money!," The Baltimore Sun, October 24, 1910, pg. 5.
"Suffrage Paper to be Launched," The Evening Sun (Baltimore), October 24, 1910, pg. 5.
"Booming The New Voter," The Evening Sun (Baltimore), October 28, 1910, pg. 3.
"Planning a Paper," The Evening Sun (Baltimore), March 2, 1912, pg. 12.
"She Will Tell of Women Who Vote," The Evening Sun (Baltimore), May 16, 1913, pg. 2.
"Miss Anne M. Wagner to Parade with First," [Baltimore] Evening Sun, Sept. 8, 1919, p. 3.
"Miss Anne M. Wagner and Mr. George Weems Williams Are Married at Memorial Episcopal Church," The Baltimore Sun, February 16, 1923, pg. 5.
"G. W. Williams, Once Bar Head, Dies at Home," The Baltimore Sun, June 24, 1937, p. 24.
"Anne W. Williams," The Baltimore Sun, September 14, 1981, pg. 31.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, The History of Woman Suffrage in Six Volumes, Volume VI, 1900-1920, (New York: J. Little & Ives Company, 1922), pgs. 264.
Find a Grave: Basil Wagner, Anne M. Wagner Williams, Mary Moxley Fisher Wagner, George Weems Williams