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MC 497

Hall, Fanny Southard Hay, 1872-1968. Papers, 1860-1967: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
June 2003

Updated October 2013

© 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 497
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: FANNY SOUTHARD HAY HALL, 1872-1968
Title: Papers, 1860-1967
Quantity: 2 file boxes, 3 oversize volumes, 2 folio+ folders, 1 supersize folder, and 11 photograph folders
Abstract: Writings, letters, scrapbooks, and photographs of prison reformer Fanny Southard (Hay) Hall documenting her childhood and family life, civic work in Cleveland, and social work in New York City during the Depression.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 2003
By: Paula Kaczor

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 91-M189, 91-M218, 2002-M145, 2013-M181
These papers were given to the library by Anne D. Moore between October and November 1991, by Dennis S. Moore in 2002, and by Anne M. Orlando in 2013.


Access. Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Fanny Southard (Hay) Hall is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the director of the Schlesinger Library before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


Fanny Southard (Hay) Hall was born September 26, 1872, to Malcolm and Virginia (Southard) Hay. She was one of nine children (six of whom survived childhood), including Virginia, Lucy, Edith, Margaret, and Southard. She attended St. Agnes School in Albany, N.Y., and Bishop Thorpe School in Bethlehem, Pa. On April 11, 1896, she married Keppele Hall, Princeton graduate and electrical engineer, in Trenton, N.J.
The Halls lived in Maine and Massachusetts before moving to Dayton, Ohio, where, during the flood emergency of 1913, FSHH took part in relief efforts undertaken by the American Red Cross. She also became involved in the suffrage movement, and was a member of the board of directors of the Woman's Suffrage Association of Montgomery County, Ohio. She was a member of the Ohio delegation marching in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. During the years before the war, the Halls moved frequently, living in Philadelphia, Bangor, Maine (where FSHH continued her Red Cross work), Springfield, Ohio, and South Lancaster, Mass. During World War I, the Halls lived in Washington, D.C., where Keppele Hall was stationed.
After the war, the Halls moved to Cleveland, where Keppele Hall served as production manager for Joseph & Feiff Company. Upon moving to Cleveland, FSHH decided she desired her "own career," and became actively involved in a number of Cleveland civic associations. Appalled by her observations of police brutality during her suffrage work, she joined the Women's City Club, and became chair of its courts committee. The courts committee called for an elected public defender, the establishment of a women's bureau within the police department, and the construction of a new courthouse and prison. She worked with numerous other organizations, many of which focused on issues relating to crime and prison reform. She served as treasurer of the Ohio Committee on Penal Conditions and as a board member for the Legal Aid Society and Consumers' League of Ohio. She also participated in the Cleveland Association for Criminal Justice and the League of Women Voters. In 1923, FSHH became the first American woman to serve as foreman of a grand jury. An active member of the Women's Council for the Promotion of Peace, she was instrumental in organizing a 1924 peace parade in Cleveland. In addition to her civic work, FSHH published the diary of her great aunt, Lucy Ann Higbee, in 1924.
The Halls moved to New York City in 1926, and Keppele Hall died suddenly of influenza shortly thereafter. FSHH remained in New York, but she lost a great deal of money in the stock market crash of 1929,and subsequently worked as a home visitor for the Emergency Work Bureau. She continued her civic work as a member of the New York Women's Club and the Consumer League. She retained her lifelong interest in the criminal justice system, and was a frequent visitor to the Reformatory for Women at Framingham, Mass. FSHH died in Brattleboro, Vt., in June 1968.


Additional material received in 2013 was added to the collection in October 2013. This material is housed in #PD.11.
These papers have been divided into three series:
Series I, Personal (#1.1-1.16), contains writings, notes, an account book of Fanny and Keppele Hall, and correspondence. Most of the personal information in these papers comes from memoir written by FSHH in 1961, which describes her Red Cross work during the 1913 Dayton Flood and her participation in the Washington, D.C., suffrage parade of the same year. It also recounts her civic work in Cleveland during the early 1920s, the death of her husband, and her work for the Emergency Work Bureau. Information about FSHH's childhood can be gained from her unpublished autobiographical story, "A Child's Eye View of Father," which describes her relationship with her father, Malcolm Hay, and his death. Some genealogical information exists in The Diary of Lucy Anne Higbee, a diary kept by FSHH's aunt. This version of the diary contains notes about FSHH's family tree as well as an inscription by FSHH to Keppele Hall. FSHH's interest in religion and spirituality is reflected in her annotated prayer book and a notebook from a series of spiritualist lectures. Information about the years following FSHH's move to New York and the death of her husband is limited. Evidence that FSHH retained her interest in the prison and justice system can be found in "The True Story of Virginia," an article FSHH published in The Witness in 1962 about a resident of the Reformatory for Women at Framingham, Mass. Researchers interested in FSHH's personal life should also view the three scrapbooks in Series II, which contain some personal information, including letters from publishers and friends regarding the Higbee diary, as well as statements of Gertrude Williams and FSHH related to their witnessing of police brutality during a 1919 protest by supporters of Russia in New York City.
The bulk of Series II, Volunteer and Professional Work (#F+D.1-2.16), relates to FSHH's civic work in Cleveland during the early 1920s. It contains a notebook, correspondence, and three scrapbooks including letters, clippings, memorabilia, photographs, and printed material. In addition, there are four notebooks from FSHH's years at the Emergency Work Bureau in New York. They offer detailed descriptions of her visits to the homes of unemployed workers. These notes appear to correspond to the questionnaire in #2.9.
Series III, Photographs (#PD.1-PD.11), contains photographs of mostly family and friends and documents FSHH's travels with her husband Keppele Hall. Also included are photographs of the 1913 Washington, D.C., suffrage parade and the delegates from Dayton, Ohio.
In some cases, original phrases and folder titles have been retained. Quotes have been used to distinguish these phrases and titles from those provided by the processor.


Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
American Red Cross
Consumers' League of Ohio
Hall, Fanny Southard Hay, 1872-
Hall, Keppele, 1872-1926
Hay, Malcolm, 1842-1885
Higbee, Lucy Ann, d. 1853
Massachusetts Reformatory for Women (Sherborn, Mass.)
New York (N.Y.) Emergency Work Bureau
Ohio Committee on Penal Conditions
Van Waters, Miriam
Women's City Club of Cleveland
Women's Council for the Promotion of Peace
Account books
Case histories
Cleveland (Ohio)--Social conditions
Criminal justice, Administration of--Ohio--Cleveland
Dayton (Ohio)--Flood, 1913
Judicial process--Ohio--Cleveland
New York (N.Y.)--Social conditions
Prison reformers--United States
Social workers
Spiritualism--United States