Washington, Fanny Smith
- Denyce Porter Peyton
educator and home economist, was born Fanny Smith in Malden, Kanawha County, West Virginia, the daughter of Samuel Smith and Celia. Historical accounts of Fanny Smith do not disclose much detail about her family, for instance whether or not she had siblings. Fanny grew up in Malden, West Virginia, where after the Civil War she became acquainted with Booker T. Washington, whose family settled there after emancipation. Washington began his studies at Hampton Institute in Virginia in 1872 and graduated in 1875. He returned to West Virginia and was Fanny's teacher in Malden, where he taught approximately eighty to ninety students in a day program from 1875 to 1878. Fanny and a few Malden schoolmates, assisted by Washington, gained admittance to Hampton Institute some time before 1878. This small group of students was known primarily as “Booker Washington's boys” (Harlan, 76). Fanny s ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.