Annie Webb Blanton

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Annie Webb Blanton
Annie Webb Blanton.jpg
Born(1870-08-19)August 19, 1870
Houston, Texas
DiedOctober 2, 1945(1945-10-02) (aged 75)
Austin, Texas
Alma materUniversity of Texas
Cornell University
OccupationEducator, Suffragist
Known forFirst woman president of the Texas State Teachers Association
Alfred Stieglitz (m. 1924–1946)

Dr. Annie Webb Blanton (19 August 1870 Houston – 2 October 1945 Austin) was an American suffragist from Texas, educator, and author of a series of grammar textbooks. [1][2][3][4] [5] Blanton was elected Superintendent of Texas Public Instruction in 1918, making her the first woman in Texas elected to statewide office.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Blanton was one of seven children born to Thomas Lindsay Blanton and Eugenia Webb Blanton. She had a twin, Fannie, who died young.[7] Her brother, Thomas Lindsay Blanton, served as a Congressman from 1917 to 1936.

Blanton attended the University of Texas in Austin, earning a degree in English literature in 1899. Later in life, she pursued graduate studies at UT, earning a master's degree in 1923. She earned a PhD from Cornell University in 1927.[6]

Teaching career[edit]

By the time she finished her undergraduate degree, Blanton had already taught for several years in rural schools and schools in Austin, to pay her own tuition. She was elected president of the Texas State Teachers Association in 1916, the first woman to hold that position. Blanton was professor of English at the North Texas State Normal College in Denton from 1901 to 1918.[8] She later served on the education faculty of the University of Texas at Austin for 22 years. She was the third woman to hold full professor status at the University of Texas.[9] In 1929,[10] she founded the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honor society for key women educators.[11]

Books by Annie Webb Blanton included Review Outline and Exercises in English Grammar (1903); A Handbook of Information as to Education in Texas (1923);[12] Advanced English Grammar (1928); and The Child of the Texas One-Teacher School (1936).

Election to the Superintendency[edit]

The 1918 July Texas primary and November general election marked the first time Texas women could exercise their right to vote.[6] Blanton was elected to the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction with support from the Texas State Teachers Association, and with a campaign orchestrated by suffragist Minnie Fisher Cunningham.[13] She served two terms, declining to run for a third term in 1922. (The superintendent office was the forerunner to the Texas Education Agency.) During her first term she successfully launched a "Better Schools Campaign," which amended the state constitution to allow local property taxes to fund public schools.[14]

Blanton ran for Congress in 1922 in Denton County, Texas.[15]

Personal life and legacy[edit]

Blanton lived with her teaching colleague, Emma, for several years. When Blanton moved to Austin, Emma left her job to follow; the pair traveled together, and hosted social gatherings in their home.[16] Annie Webb Blanton died in 1945, age 75.

There are schools named after Blanton in several Texas districts,[17][18] and a dormitory at University of Texas at Austin.[8] A biography of Blanton was published in 1993.[19] In 2013, Blanton became the first woman to be the subject of a state historical marker in Denton County.[20]


  1. ^ Texas Writers of Today, by Florence Elberta Barns (1889–1957), Dallas: Tardy Publishing Co. (1935); OCLC 156500
  2. ^ A Dictionary of North American Authors Deceased Before 1950, compiled by W. Stewart Wallace (1884–1970), Toronto: Ryerson Press (1951); OCLC 285718
  3. ^ Who Was Who in America, (Vol. 2, 1943–1950), Chicago: A.N. Marquis Co. (1963); OCLC 68049975
  4. ^ Who Was Who among North American Authors, 1921-1939, (Vol. 1 of 2), Detroit: Gale Research (1976); OCLC 2685994
  5. ^ Biography Index, H.W. Wilson Co.; ISSN 0006-3053
        Vol. 1: Jan. 1946–Jul. 1949 (1949)
        Vol. 11: Sep. 1976–Aug. 1979 (1980); OCLC 31441150
        Vol. 12: Sep. 1979–Aug. 1982 (1983)
        Vol. 18: Sep. 1992–Aug. 1993 (1993); OCLC 59569808
        Vol. 19: Sep. 1993–Aug. 1994 (1994); OCLC 31703875
        Vol. 20: Sep. 1994–Aug. 1995 (1995); OCLC 33662886
  6. ^ a b c Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, "Annie Webb Blanton" Handbook of Texas Online (Texas State Historical Association 2014).
  7. ^ "Dr. Annie Webb Blanton". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b Biographical Dictionary of American Educators (3 vols.), John F. Ohles (ed.), Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press (1978); OCLC 3447005
  9. ^ Margaret C. Berry, "Annie Webb Blanton" Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (University of Nebraska 2011).
  10. ^ "Delta Kappa Gamma National Officers Will Attend Meeting Here this Week" Pampa News (October 20, 1940): 1. via Newspapers.comopen access
  11. ^ Annie Webb Blanton: Founder, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, by Clara M. Parker, Literary Licensing (1949); OCLC 18390423
  12. ^ Annie Webb Blanton, A Handbook of Information as to Education in Texas (Texas Department of Education 1923).
  13. ^ Judith N. McArthur and Harold L. Smith, Minnie Fisher Cunningham: A Suffragist's Life in Politics (Oxford University Press 2005): 64-66. ISBN 9780195304862
  14. ^ Gene B. Preuss, "Public Education Comes of Age" in John Woodrow Storey and Mary L. Kelley, eds., Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History (University of North Texas Press 2008): 364-366. ISBN 9781574412451
  15. ^ "Woman May Sit in U. S. Congress Beside Brother" Olean Evening Herald (May 9, 1922): 1. via Newspapers.comopen access
  16. ^ Jackie Blount, Fit to Teach: Same-Sex Desire, Gender, and School Work in the Twentieth Century (State University of New York Press 2006): 57. ISBN 9780791462683
  17. ^ Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School, Dallas TX.
  18. ^ Blanton Elementary School, Denton County, Texas.
  19. ^ Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, Pioneer Woman Educator: The Progressive Spirit of Annie Webb Blanton (Texas A&M Press 1993).
  20. ^ "Down the Corridor: Legacy of Annie Webb Blanton" The North Texan (June 13, 2013).

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