Fannie & Sidney DePriest

FANNIE & SIDNEY DEPRIEST, both freed slaves, fled Alabama in the 1870s in order to avoid trouble with the Ku Klux Klan. Under cover of darkness, the couple and most of their fifteen children, several of whom had children of their own, headed for Kansas, “the land of milk and Honey.” Sidney DePriest was part French and his wife Narcissa “Fannie” was the bi-racial daughter of and Alabama governor. The large DePriest family came to Salina in 1879, well educated and ambitious. Several of the sons ran a painting and wallpapering business, while many of the daughters became teachers. Daughter Narcissa and her friend Lulu Hine were the first black students to graduate from Salina High in 1883. Grandson Oscar DePriest, educated in Salina schools, distinguished himself as the first black councilman in Chicago in 1915, and later as an Illinois representative, he became the first black congressman from a northern state. When Fannie Depriest died at the age of 108, she had outlived all but three of her children.

Original art work by David L. Hardman (click here for information about the artist)

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