Birth of Texas author and women's club leader

May 7th, 1861

On this day in 1861, Anna Pennybacker, clubwoman, woman suffrage advocate, author, and lecturer, was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She graduated from the first class of Sam Houston Normal School in Huntsville, Texas, continued her education in Europe, and subsequently taught grammar and high school for fourteen years. In 1884 she married native Texan Percy V. Pennybacker. Mrs. Pennybacker wrote and published A New History of Texas in 1888, and the textbook was a staple of Texas classrooms for forty years. She founded one of the first women's clubs in Texas, the Tyler Woman's Club, in 1894. She went on to serve as president of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs from 1901 to 1903, a position in which she raised $3,500 for women's scholarships at the University of Texas and helped persuade the legislature to fund a women's dormitory there. After holding important offices in the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. Pennybacker was an associate member of the Democratic National Committee (1919-20) and through her work with the Democrats met Eleanor Roosevelt in 1924. Their fourteen-year friendship was based on mutual interests in the advancement of women, world peace, and the Democratic party. Anna Pennybacker died in Austin in 1938.

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Birth of Texas author and women's club leader

May 7th, 1861

On this day in 1861, Anna Pennybacker, clubwoman, woman suffrage advocate, author, and lecturer, was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She graduated from the first class of Sam Houston Normal School in Huntsville, Texas, continued her education in Europe, and subsequently taught grammar and high school for fourteen years. In 1884 she married native Texan Percy V. Pennybacker. Mrs. Pennybacker wrote and published A New History of Texas in 1888, and the textbook was a staple of Texas classrooms for forty years. She founded one of the first women's clubs in Texas, the Tyler Woman's Club, in 1894. She went on to serve as president of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs from 1901 to 1903, a position in which she raised $3,500 for women's scholarships at the University of Texas and helped persuade the legislature to fund a women's dormitory there. After holding important offices in the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. Pennybacker was an associate member of the Democratic National Committee (1919-20) and through her work with the Democrats met Eleanor Roosevelt in 1924. Their fourteen-year friendship was based on mutual interests in the advancement of women, world peace, and the Democratic party. Anna Pennybacker died in Austin in 1938.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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Share the Texas Day by Day

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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