My Contribution: I was the oldest living member at Wesley Union
A.M.E. Zion Church in the 1930s, having been a member for 68 years. I was a prominent member of the Household of Ruth and made significant speaking contributions to Harrisburg’s cultural community.
My Legacy: I was an exemplar of women’s activist work and a voice in the community, whether I was speaking at Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church or serving the Household of Ruth. Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church still exists today, thanks to my investments.
About Me: “Don’t forget this evening to go to West Street A.M.E. Zion Church to hear the Sabbath school concert and to hear Ma- dame Josephine Dennee-Bibb, one of the finest elocutionists of her race. If you hear her once you will want to hear her again. She can move you to tears or to laughter. In rendering the ‘Black Regiment’ she is truly eloquent and sublime and sways her audience at will.” – Carlisle Evening Herald, March 2, 1894.
Full Name: Josephine L. Dennee; Josephine L. Bibb / Josephine D. Bibb; Josephine Davidson • Birth Date: 1849 • Death Date: March 31, 1936 • Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania • Sex: Female • Race: “Mulatto” (1880 and 1910 Federal Censuses), Black (1920 Federal Census), and “Negro” (1930 Federal Census). • Places of Residence: Hamilton, Ontario (early childhood); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (briefly during early 1900s); 514 South Avenue (1880), 113 Cowden Street (1892-1893), 503 Cowden Street (1910), and 109 Anna Street (1916-1936), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. • Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident, speaker, church, and political and social organizations. • Family Members: Father: Charles Dennee. Mother: Mary Den- nee. Husband: M1: William H. Bibb (until 1894). Husband: M2: Jeremiah David- son (1895-1936). Son: Alexander Dennee Bibb. • Education: Educated in Ontario. • Occupations: Dressmaker. Homemaker. Elocutionist. • Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church • Activism: Involved in Miriam Household of Ruth No.1, Judith Household of Ruth, Woman’s Relief Corps Convention, A.M.E. Zion Sunday School Conference, Secretary of Pennsylvania Afro-American Convention. • Connections: William Howard Day, A. Leslie Marshall (nephew), Alexander Dennee Bibb (son), John Quincy Adams, Joseph Bustill, Jacob C. Compton, George H. Imes, James Auter, John W. Simpson, J.W. Grant, David Stevens, Joseph Thomas, and Anne E. Amos.