This biographical sketch first appeared on the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States and appears here by courtesy of the publisher, Alexander Street.
By Rebecca F Weinstock, undergraduate, University of Maryland, College Park
Suffragist & Baltimore real estate owner
Margaret Anne Maddox was born around 1853 in Maryland to Susanna Benton Moore and John T. Maddox, both of whom were also from Maryland. The Maddoxes, a prominent family of suffragists within the state, included not only Margaret, but her sisters Etta H. Maddox and Emma Maddox Funck. The family lived in Maryland for many generations and was part of Baltimore’s upper class.
All three Maddox sisters attended Eastern High School, a white, all-girls public school, before moving on to roles in the suffrage movement. Etta made her mark as the first woman in Maryland to pass the bar exam and to become a lawyer. Emma went on to become the president of the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association. Both Emma and Etta also had brief careers in music while attending the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.
Margaret Maddox remained very close with her sisters throughout her life. In 1910, she lived with Emma at 1631 Eutaw Place, Baltimore and was frequently seen at social events with Etta. The two sisters regularly visited Atlantic City, New Jersey, sometimes inviting Emma to come along.
Given her family’s prominence, it was not surprising that Margaret Maddox frequently appeared in the pages of the Baltimore Sun. She attended many events promoting women’s equality, including the passing of the state bill to allow women to be lawyers. She was also in the program for the 1906 convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Baltimore. Despite attendance at these milestones, Margaret Maddox rarely attended the weekly meetings of the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association. Despite her sisters’ prominence in the Maryland suffrage movement, Margaret Maddox operated largely in the background. In 1916, she briefly held a position as the organization’s press secretary; however, she died soon after being appointed.
The Maddox family was wealthy, which allowed Margaret Maddox to live comfortably with neither a job nor a husband. Nevertheless, she earned income through real estate investments. Between 1899 and her death in 1916, she acquired and sold eight properties in Baltimore. Some of these acquisitions were donations from her family; however, it appears Maddox bought and sold many of them herself.
Margaret Maddox never married and had no children before she died on February 5, 1916, at her home in Baltimore. She was buried in Green Mount Cemetery, and the inscription on her stone reads: “Her intellectual gifts and devotion to high ideals commanded admiration. Her rare beautiful character inspired universal love. She lives in the fragrance of undying memories.”
“Baltimore Woman Suffrage Association of Maryland Meeting Minutes, Second Book, 1904-1910.” Digital reproduction. Digital Maryland. Woman Suffrage in Maryland Collection, Special Collections Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, MD. Accessed June 10, 2019. https://collections.digitalmaryland.org/digital/collection/scws/id/271/rec/8.
“Delightful Deer Park.” Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). August 20, 1892, p.6. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
“Emma J. Maddox Funck.” In Notable Maryland Women, pp.141-45. Edited by Winifred G. Holmes. Cambridge, MD: Tidewater Publishing, 1977.
Find a Grave. Margaret A. Maddox. Accessed June 9, 2019. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7736028/margaret-a-maddox.
Harper, Ida Husted, ed. “Maryland,” chapter XIX in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, pp. 258-76. [LINK]
“Local Matters: Eastern Female High School Commencement.” Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). July 10, 1869, p.1. Newspapers.com.
Obituary. Miss Margaret A. Maddox. Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). February 6, 1916, p.4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
Real estate transactions. Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). 1899-1916. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
“Registered at the Lyric.” Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). February 11, 1906, p.7. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
United States Census 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, s.v. “Margaret Maddox, Baltimore, MD.” HeritageQuest.
“Women As Lawyers.” Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD). April 1, 1902, p.1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.