from 1919 1

Hettie Blonde Tilghman (1873 – 1933) was a social activist, and co-founder of the Phyllis Wheatley Club of the East Bay. She also worked closely with Fannie Wall, raising money to fund the opening of the Fannie Wall Children's Home and Day Nursery.

In 1920s, she was on the board for the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People in Beulah Heights. In the 1920s she took charge of the Oakland branch of the NAACP. In 1922 she became president of the Alameda County League of Colored Women Voters, a position she held for 10 years. 5

Delilah Beasley wrote of her: "Mrs. Tilghman is very intense and an untiring worker in anything she undertakes." 6

Tilghman was born Hester Blonde Jones in 1873 (Wikipedia says 1871; census data suggests 1869 since was 9 months old in the 1870 census) in San Francisco to Captain John Jones and Rebecca Jones. John Jones worked as a servant of David C. Broderick, one of California's first two U.S. senators, and was present at Broderick's fatal duel. 7

The family relocated to Oakland about 1887.

In 1890, she Hettie married Charles F. Tilghman (1867 – 1924) and they moved in with his mother, Lucinda, who lived at 824 Lydia St. (now 22nd St.). Hettie and Charles had two children, Hilda Tilghman and Charles F. Tilghman. Charles' father, Robert Tilghman, arrived in California in 1850.

In 1907, daughter Hilda was pictured in the San Francisco Call. She was part of a contest the paper was holding, and she was raising money for black churches in San Francisco that had burned in the 1906 earthquake. 3

Hilda, 1907 3Hettie, 1919 4

Links and References

  1. Hettie B. Tilghman on Wikipedia
  2. Hettie Blonde Tilghman on Lives of the Dead
  3. Miss Hayward Jumps to First Place San Francisco Call January 5, 1907
  4. Portrait of Hettie Tilghman Oakland Public Library Collections MS189_0157
  5. Funeral Rites Set For Club Leader Oakland Tribune September 25, 1933
  6. The Negro Trailblazers of California by Delilah Beasley, 1919
  7. ibid p.285