Emma Jones Chandler


Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Emma Jones Chandler, 1858-1926

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Emma Chandler was born in 1858 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter John and Rebecca Jones. The family moved to San Francisco where they were recorded in the 1880 census. Her father was a hotel steward. One of her sisters, Hettie Jones Tilghman, became a leading woman suffrage supporter in the Bay Area. In 1878 Emma married Robert F. Chandler and lived in San Francisco in 1880 and Oakland in 1900 and 1910. They had two children and her husband was a cook on a steamship. Her husband died in 1916, leaving Emma a widow. She became a hairdresser and in 1920 lived in Oakland with two grandchildren and three lodgers.

Emma was active in the Oakland Black community. She was a member of the Fannie J. Coppin club, an affiliate of the California Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (CFCWC) and of the Mothers' Charity Club. In 1919 she and her sister, Hettie Tilghman, served on the board of directors of the Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People in Beulah. In 1924 she hosted a "Mothers' and Children's Hour" at the statewide convention of the CFCWC.

In 1911 Emma Chandler joined in the suffrage referendum campaign that gained women's voting rights in the state. Subsequently, she joined the Colored Women's Republican Club and in July 1914 was serving as the chairman of the club's membership committee.

Emma Chandler died in 1926 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland.


Federal Manuscript Censuses for San Francisco and Oakland, 1880-1920, for Rebecca Jones, Emma Chandler, and Robert F. Chandler. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.

Find-a-Grave death record for Emma F. Jones Chandler, 1858-1926. Also noting birth and death dates for Robert F. Chandler and her children, Robert and Gladys.

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

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

"Beulah Home Donation Day," Oakland Tribune, 9 Nov. 1919, p. 21.

"State Sessions Colored Women Clubs Are Held," Oakland Tribune, 3 Aug. 1924, p. 39.


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