Hattie Branch DeHart

 

Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Hattie Branch DeHart, 1874-1935

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Suffragist

Hattie E. Branch was born in January 1874 in Texas, daughter of Martha Branch. In August 1898 she married Tazwell DeHart in Alameda County, California. Over the years he could be traced through Oakland censuses he worked as a railroad porter, a shipyard helper, and a watchman. The couple had one child, Reginald, born in 1901.

Hattie DeHart was very involved in the Oakland Black community. In 1912 she served as secretary of the Colored Women's Anti-Annexation League that called a meeting to mobilize opposition in the Black community to the possible annexation of East Bay communities by San Francisco. Voters, including women who had just obtained the vote in a 1911 statewide referendum, defeated a constitutional amendment that would have smoothed the way for annexation. The Oakland Tribune followed the election closely and headlined one story, "Color Line Is Not Drawn in Women's Fight."

DeHart joined the Colored Women's Republican Club and served as its secretary in 1914. That year the club supported Joseph Knowland in his unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate. The group also supported Helen K. Williams in the Republican primary voting for Lieutenant Governor, though she did not gain the nomination.

DeHart was also active in the Northern California branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving on the board of directors in 1913 and as secretary in 1918. She was an organizer of the Fanny Jackson Coppin Club and remained active in Black women's clubs as late as 1932. She was also a member of the Improved Benevolent Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW).

DeHart passed away in June 1935.

Sources:

Federal Manuscript Censuses for Oakland, 1910-1930, entries for Hattie and Tazwell DeHart. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.

Delilah L. Beasley, "Activities Among Negroes," Oakland Tribune, 23 May 1926, p. 1.

________, The Negro Trail Blazers of California (Los Angeles: n.p., 1919).

Hattie DeHart entry on the Oakland Wiki. Accessed online at https://localwiki.org/oakland/Hattie_DeHart

Untitled, Oakland Tribune, 11 July 1914, p. 5.

"Reciprocity Meeting," Oakland Tribune, 20 March 1932, p. 4.

Hattie DeHart Obituary, Oakland Tribune, 5 June 1935, p. 1.

"Mrs. Williams Supported," San Francisco Examiner, 9 August 1914, p. 2.

"Colored Women of County Organize for Knowland," Oakland Tribune, 18 July 1914.

"Women's suffrage in California," in Wikipedia, accessed online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_suffrage_in_California.

"Race Does Not Limit Loyalty of Oaklanders," Oakland Tribune, 30 Sept. 1912, p. 9.

"Color Line Is Not Drawn in Women's Fight," Oakland Tribune, 5 Oct. 1912, p. 1.

 

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