Knobloch, Fanny A. (1859-1949). Fanny Almine Knobloch was born in Bautzen, Saxony, Germany on 22 December 1859. Her parents emigrated to the United States when she was a child; eventually they settled in Washington, D.C. She had two sisters: Pauline Knobloch Hannen (1874-1939) and Alma S. Knobloch (1863-1943). The entire family was devout Free Evangelical Lutheran. Pauline was the first to hear of the Bahá’í Faith, in November 1902, and soon taught it to her sisters and her mother, Amalie. At the time Fanny had a business of her own. The entire family became very active Bahá’ís.
In 1913 Fanny left Washington for Stuttgart, Germany, where her sister had been a central figure in establishing a Bahá’í community. In July-August 1920 Knobloch traveled from Washington to Capetown, South Africa (q. v.) where she stayed for a year to help establish the Bahá’í Faith in that country. She visited Johannesburg and made a side trip to Mozambique. She returned to South Africa in 1923, visiting Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Rhodesia. She went back to the United States in 1926, but returned to Capetown in 1928 for two more years. The last nineteen years of her life were spent in Wilmette, Ill., and Washington, D.C. In the 1930s she made several teaching trips in the southern and central United States. She is buried with the rest of her family in Washington.
Bibliography. The only published biographical sketch of Fanny Knobloch is by Viola Ioas Tuttle and is published in The Bahá’í World: A Biennial International Record, 1946-1950, vol. 11, 473-76. Some letters to her and by her may be found in the Knobloch-Hannen Family Papers in the Washington, D.C. Bahá’í Archives and in the National Bahá’í Archives, Wilmette, Illinois. Biographies of her sisters are published in volumes 8 and 9 of The Bahá’í World. Information on her is also available on her Historical Record Card, National Bahá’í Archives, Wilmette, Ill. Knobloch’s trips to South Africa are chronicled in Fanny Knobloch, "South African Mission"; part one was published in World Order, Nov. 1946, 247-52, and part two was published in World Order, Dec. 1946, 281-86. The Bahá’í National Archives in Wilmette, Ill., contain eleven tablets and one cable from `Abdu’l-Bahá to Fanny Knobloch.