Agnes Thomas Morris

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Agnes Thomas Morris, from a 1919 publication.

Agnes L. Thomas Morris (March 8, 1865 – June 25, 1949), known professionally as Mrs. Robert Carlton Morris, was an American writer and clubwoman, the national president of the War Mothers of America in 1918. As president of the Ohio Shakespeare Association, she lectured and wrote about William Shakespeare.

Early life[edit]

Agnes L. Thomas was born in London, Ohio, the daughter of the John Morgan Thomas and Sara Phillips James Thomas. Both parents were born in Wales. Her father was a Congregationalist pastor who had served churches in Pennsylvania before accepting a position in Alliance, Ohio.[1] She was educated at Mount Union College, graduating in the class of 1887, with further training at the National School of Oratory in Philadelphia.[2] Agnes L. Thomas was partly deaf from childhood, with enough hearing loss that she was barred from teacher training programs.[3][4]


Agnes Thomas Morris served on the board of the Toledo Woman's Association, on the Committee on Literature of the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs, and [2] In 1918, she was elected president of the War Mothers of America, and of the umbrella organization the Service Star Legion,[5][6] at their national conference in Evansville, Indiana.[7] After completing her term as national president, she served as associate editor of the organization's magazine, The Service Star.[8]

Morris was president of the Ohio Shakespeare Association,[9] and a vice president of the Shakespeare Association of America. She wrote a textbook, Every Day with Shakespeare. She was a columnist and contributing editor of the Shakespeare Association Bulletin, a national publication.[10][11] She also wrote several one-act plays, including Under the Blossom (1935), Friendly Will Revisits Stratford (1935) and William Shakespeare Discovers New Worlds (1935).[12]

Personal life[edit]

Agnes L. Thomas married Robert Carlton Morris in 1891. They had two children, Vivian Anna Morris (1892-1918) and Robert Thomas Morris (1895-1972).[2] Her son Robert fought in France during World War I.[13] She was widowed when Robert Carlton Morris died in 1942, and she died in 1949, aged 84 years, in Toledo.


  1. ^ David Jones, Memorial volume of Welsh Congregationalists in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (Press of Utica Printing Company 1934): 329-331.
  2. ^ a b c John William Leonard, ed., Woman's Who's Who of America (American Commonwealth Publishing 1914): 577.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Brand, "Mrs. Robert Carlton Morris: The Most Public-Spirited Deafened Person I Know" Volta Review (1928): 190.
  4. ^ "Notes and Comment" The Shakespeare Association Bulletin (January 1948): 79-80.
  5. ^ "War Mothers to Plant Thousands of Trees" Riverside Daily Press (November 18, 1919): 4. via California Digital Newspaper Collectionopen access
  6. ^ "To Start Soon on Tour of the Country" Daily Republican (April 17, 1919): 8. via Newspapers.comFree to read
  7. ^ "'War Mothers' is Official" The Spokesman-Review (September 24, 1918): 8.
  8. ^ "Mrs. Morris Will Be a Regular Contributor to the Magazine" The Service Star (November 1920): 2.
  9. ^ "Mrs. Morris is Again Leader" Sandusky Register (July 9, 1930): 6. via Newspapers.comFree to read
  10. ^ Katherine West Scheil, She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America (Cornell University Press 2012): 16-17. ISBN 9780801464690
  11. ^ Mrs. Robert Carlton Morris, "The Club Forum" Shakespeare Association Bulletin (April 1931): 68-70. via JStor
  12. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1. [C] Group 3. Dramatic Composition and Motion Pictures (US Government Printing Office 1936): 269, 282, 284.
  13. ^ "Military Record of Relatives of National Officers" The Service Star (January 1920): 5.

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