Civil War Nurse and Upper Merion Resident Anna Morris Holstein Honored with First-ever Historical Marker in King of Prussia

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Anna Holstein house
Image via King of Prussia Historical Society.

Anna Morris Holstein (1825-1900) is credited with saving, acquiring, and preserving General Washington’s Valley Forge Headquarters, at times referred to as “The Shrine.”

Anna Morris Holstein is only the second Montgomery County woman with a Marker in her name in the 75-year history of the PHMC. Lucretia Mott was the other woman honoree.

This will be King of Prussia’s first Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission marker sign.

Anna Holstein featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1965.
Anna Holstein featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1965.

Everyone is invited on Thursday, October 7, at 5 PM at the Valley Forge Diner and Bar at 128 Town Center Road in King of Prussia for the marker event.

The Marker will be placed at her still-standing home on Henderson Road in King of Prussia.

As founder and First Regent of the Centennial and Memorial Association, she also led efforts to obtain additional surrounding acreage, restore the home, discover and acquire original artifacts, and lead the entire nationwide effort until passed off to the Commonwealth of PA as the first-ever PA State Park.

Today, it is known as Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is celebrated around the globe and visited by tens of millions.   

Saving shrines, founding, and leading incredibly impactful organizations was not enough for Mrs. Holstein, she also found time to serve as Nurse/Matron-In-Chief during the Civil War, at times being responsible for over 2,500 wounded soldiers.

When not in field hospitals Mrs. Holstein was raising funds, medical supplies, food and personally delivering to battlefields from Gettysburg to Virginia. 

She was a member of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association which saved and preserved President Washington’s Mount Vernon Home. Mrs. Holstein authored three books, including Three Years In Field Hospitals Of The Army Of The Potomac, and was Regent for The Pennsylvania House at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. 

Additional information is available by contacting Dave Montalvo at The King of Prussia Historical Society, physicsman@gmail.com, or Joe Brophy at 610-805-7610.

In this video below, HSMC curator, Karen Ploch, highlights Anna Morris Holstein’s work as a Civil War nurse and her efforts to preserve Valley Forge. Funding for this video was made possible by PHMC, NEH, and the CARES Act of 2020.

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