From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fannie Bronston Postell

Organizer of Attucks High School, Hopkinsville, Kentucky


February is Black History Month, and the public library has a small exhibit about Crispus Attucks High School, the segregated school that served the "colored" community in Hopkinsville for many years. I photographed a photograph of Fannie Bronston Postell, the organizer of Attucks High.

I can't find anything about Mrs. Postell on the internet, except that she was a graduate of Berea College in 1890. It seems likely that her parents were born into slavery. They must have been very proud of their daughter.

In 1890 when Fannie graduated from college, the Victorian era was drawing to a close. Labor unions were organizing and flexing their muscle. Idaho and Wyoming became the 43rd and 44th of the United States. The massacre of over two hundred Native Americans at Wounded Knee took place. The telephone and the light bulb had already been invented, and automobiles and motion pictures were just around the corner. My great grandparents Sees were recent immigrants to America. In Hopkinsville, they were building many of the big stores and houses that are now called the "historic district."

I know quite a bit about what was happening in America at that time, but it doesn't satisfy my curiosity about Fannie Postell. The notation on her photo says that she was the organizer and principal of Attucks High School and a teacher of languages. It seems to me that she could be an inspiring role model for any girl. I wish I could find out more about her.

3 comments:

LadySophia said...

Hi There -

I came across your post and I am wondering if this is my great, great grandmother Fannie Mae Postell (Fannie M. Bronston Postell). If so I would love to know more information that you have.

If it is my great, great grandmother then her husbands name is George D. Postell and they have 3 children, that I know of, one of which is my great grandmother Mattie L. Postell.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Sophia
sophiajalexander@hotmail.com

Genevieve said...

Hi, Sophia. I wish I could answer your questions, but I included all the information I have about the photo when I wrote the post. Perhaps you could contact the Hopkinsville Public Library and inquire about the photo. That's where I saw it in 2006, and maybe they know who put up the exhibit.

Genevieve said...

I'm very pleased to hear that!

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