Anne Williams Wheaton, 84, who was associate White House press secretary to President Eisenhower for four years, died Wednesday in Dallas.
Long active in Republican Party affairs, she had served at the White House from April, 1957, until the end of Eisenhower's second term in 1961.
Mrs. Wheaton, a close friend of Mamie Eisenhower, then retired but remained in Washington until 1973, when she moved to Dallas to live with sister, Dorothy W. Carruthers.
Born in Utica, N.Y., Mrs. Wheaton moved to Albany at the age of 14 when her father, the late John Williams, was named New York State labor commissioner.
After attending Simmons College in Boston, she returned to Albany where she became a reporter on the Albany Knickerbocker Press. She was one of the first women political correspondents to serve at the State Capitol.
Mrs. Wheaton came to Washington in 1924, and from then until 1940, directed public relations for a number of women's organizations, including the National League of Women Voters and the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform.
She then directed women's publicity for the Republican National Committee. She was public relations representative for the wives of the Republican nominees in the presidential campaigns of 1940, 1944 and 1948.
Mrs. Wheaton was personal press representative for Mrs. Eisenhower in the 1952 campaign.
After Eisenhower won the election, Mrs. Wheaton resumed her position with the Republican National Committee. She was called to the White House in 1957 to serve as associate press secretary.
Mrs. Wheaton was the assistant to Press Secretary James C. Hagerty, and the first woman to serve as a spokesman for a President.
Mrs. Wheaton found her position to be what she called "rugged." Five months after she had been in the White House, she summed up what she had learned in this statement to a New York Times correspondent:
"To weigh words carefully, at least you try to - knowing that you have the responsibility at all times for reflecting opinions and positions of the President or the administration in the best possible way. And also you want to do the finest job you can for the news corps because they are reporting it to the people."
Mrs. Wheaton came out of retirement briefly in 1964 to serve as public relations specialist in the Washington office of the National Rockefeller for President Committee. That was the year Nelson Rockefeller made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for President.
In addition to her sister, Mrs. Wheaton is survived by a brother, Theodore Williams, of California.