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Fannie Cobb Carter

Time Capsule-Historic Images and Recollections ()


Fannie Cobb Carter was born in a house around this location in 1872. Carter, affectionately known as "Miss Fannie" was an accomplished African American educator who served as superintendent of the first Industrial Home for Colored Girls in Huntington, WV for ten years. She then became the director of adult education for Negroes in Kanawha County schools. In 1945, she became the dean of women at the National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls in Washington D.C., and at the age of 89 became its president. Carter stayed active in the right for Civil Rights until her death at age 100 in 1973. For her contributions to African American education and heritage, Charleston Mayor John G. Hutchinson proclaimed June 11th, 1977 as "Fannie Cobb Carter Day".

Proclamation from Mayor John G. Hutchinson declaring June 11, 1977 as "Fannie Cobb Carter Day"
Fannie Cobb Carter (center) on her 100th birthday celebration
Fannie Cobb Carter (courtesy of WV State Archives)
The Industrial Home for Girls, where Fannie Cobb Carter served as the first superintendent


Fannie Cobb Carter was born in Charleston, WV in 1872 on a house on Dickinson Street, between Quarrier and Lee streets. This was the year before the first train came through Charleston.2 She is known for her contributions to education, for her work to preserve African American history, and her humanitarian efforts. She attended Storer College at Harpers Ferry, and graduated in 1891. She completed postgraduated work at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Ohio State University, and Oberlin College.5

Carter organized the teacher-training department at West Virginia State University, formerly the West Virginia Colored Institute, and worked at the school for 12 years.
In 1926, she was named superintendent of the first Industrial Home for Colored Girls in Huntington, WV. The home was established as a place for "wayward" African-American girls.6 "Carter, however, refused to accept the position until the bars were removed from the windows of the home.1 She became the directer of adult Negro education in Kanawha County in 1935, and in 1945, Carter moved to Washington D.C. to serve as the dean of women at the National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls. When she was 89, she became the school's president. In 1962, she returned to Charleston, and worked to improve the African American community up until her death at age 100 in 1973.1 

Fannie Cobb Carter was an advocate for the importance of integration during the Civil Rights Movement. However, she believed that one of the many problems the African American communities faced was the loss of their unique history and culture. "Disbanding our schools in West Virginia is leaving my people no connection with the history of education in West Virginia," regarding issues such as the hiding of sports trophies won by black athletes at Garnet High School in a cabinet when the school integrated.5  "Our people need a voice, not to create trouble, but to call attention to things like this. Integration is no good unless it is done in good will," as stated by Carter.5 Mayor John G. Hutchinson posthumously declared June 11th, 1977 as "Fannie Cobb Carter Day," for her contributions to African American heritage and education. She was honored with a plaque in the Science and Culture Center by The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, Inc.3  


1."Fannie Cobb Carter," accessed July 31, 2017

2. "Mrs. Fannie Carter, Educator, Dies at 100," accessed July 31, 2017,

3. "Executive Department State of West Virginia City of Charleston Proclamation By the Mayor," accessed July 31, 2017,

4. "On This Day in West Virginia History..." accessed July 31, 2017,

5. "Remembering Miss Fannie," accessed July 31, 2017,

6. "The Life and Career of Fannie Cobb Carter (1872-1973)," accessed July 31, 2017,

  • African American History
  • History of Public and Higher Education
  • Women’s History
This location was created on 2017-07-31 by Natalie Dotsenko .   It was last updated on 2017-08-02 by Natalie Dotsenko .

This entry has been viewed 250 times within the past year


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