Biography of Florence E. Barnes, 1858-1940

By Linda D. Wilson, Independent Historian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Maryland suffragist Florence E. Barnes was born circa 1858 in Maryland, the daughter of (father's name unknown) and Mary Ellen (Vickers) Barnes. Florence Barnes graduated from the Western Female High School of Baltimore in June 1879. As a teacher, Florence Barnes taught grammar in the Baltimore school system.

In January 1916 the Maryland Women's Suffrage Association held its annual meeting at the Young Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in Baltimore. At that meeting Florence Barnes was elected treasurer. No other extant records exist regarding additional involvement in the suffrage movement.

Apparently, Florence Barnes enjoyed traveling north, possibly to escape Baltimore's summer heat. In September 1899, she and her older sister Laura traveled to Atlantic City, New Jersey. In August the following year, she and fellow teacher Margaret B. Wheatley made an excursion to New Freedom, Pennsylvania. In August 1906 Barnes was a guest of Mrs. H. Wheatley at Fern Cottage, Mountain Lake Park.

Florence E. Barnes died in 1940 and was buried in the Christ Reformed Cemetery in Middletown, Maryland.

SOURCES: Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), June 27, 1879, December 15, 1880, February 16, 1881, September 6, 1899; August 30, 1900; January 23, 1901; August 22, 1906, and January 8, 1916. Citizen (Frederick City, MD), February 21, 1908 and June 26, 1914. Find A Grave, accessed on on March 8, 2021. Ida Husted Harper, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, 1900-1920, Vol. 6 (NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922): 254. [LINK]; News (Frederick, MD), June 24, 1914. U.S. Census, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920, Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland.

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