Fannie Franklin Wall (c.1860 – April 14, 1944) was a prominent Black civic and social leader in Oakland, California.
Fannie was born about 1860. Fannie married Archy H. Wall (c.1858 – May 11, 1931) of Tennessee in 1883, and they had two daughters, Lillian Wall (1889 – ?) and Florence Wall (1891 – ?) who were born in New Mexico. They also had a son Clifton McKaye Wall (c.1883 – ?), born in Kentucky. Clifton is listed as a son in some records and a stepson in others.
Archy was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and served in the Spanish-American War. He retired from military duty in 1900, and the census shows them living in San Francisco. The family moved to Oakland on 60th Street after the 1906 earthquake and fire.
Fannie Wall was an active member of Oakland's First African Methodist Church, She worked primarily with the California Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, where she was President several times as well as Treasurer on many occasions where she oversaw the clubs investments.
Wall was also a member in the National Association of Colored Women, the King's Daughters Circle, the Art and Industrial Club of Oakland, the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, the Urban League, and the NAACP. She also organized, developed and chaired the Spanish-American War Auxiliary.
Fannie Wall sought financial contributions from the white elite for the various civic and community organizations in which she was involved. She also worked to improve the quality of life for African Americans in Oakland and the East Bay, as well as improve relations between blacks and white through political and social action. 1
On many occasions Fannie Wall staked out Oakland Mayor John L. Davies' office, refusing to leave until he addressed her concerns about a particular community issue and secured his promised to take positive, corrective action. 1
The Fannie Wall Children's Home was named in her honor, as she was the "motivating spirit behind the establishment of a home for black children in Oakland." 1
Archie Franklin Williams was Frannie Franklin Wall's grandson (by daughter Lillian). He is famous as the winner of the 400 meter dash at the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, and was one of 14 African American pilots commissioned as a Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. 2
Death and Burial
Fannie Wall died at the age of 84 in her home at 6114 Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland. She was buried next to her husband Archy Wall in the San Francisco Presidio Cemetery, Section B, Plot 1179. Grandson Archie and his wife Vesta are also buried there.
Links and References
Notable Black American Women: Book 2 Edited by Jessie Carney Smith
The Joy of Flying: Olympic Gold, Air Force Colonel, and Teacher Bancroft Library
Under Siege: Construction and Care at the Fannie Wall Children's Home and Day Nursery by Marta Gutman, R.A., Ph.D.