From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Willis, Lucas B.

(born: 1874  -  died: 1930) 

Lucas B. Willis was born in Frankfort, KY in November 1874, the son of Sam and Appaline Reynolds Willis. He was the organizer and vice-president of the Kentucky State Funeral Director's Association, organizer and executive secretary of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association, and organizer and executive secretary of the Sisters of Charity of the State Burial Fund of Indiana.

Willis was the husband of Cora L. Christy Willis, also a Kentucky native. Lucas Willis moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1900 where he and Cora married in 1903. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910 the couple lived on Camp Street in Indianapolis. Lucas owned an undertaker's establishment and Cora was a public school teacher. He established a funeral home with James N. Shelton on Indiana Ave. in 1904. He partnered with Shelton until 1914, when he established The Lucas B Willis Funeral Home at 413 W. Michigan Street. See more on Willis's career in Indianapolis and photographs near the bottom of the 413 W. Michigan exhibit page at the the IUPUI Library website.

For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and "Lucas B. Willis" in the articles "Vital statistics - Deaths" and "Notice of Appointment," both on p. 7 of the Indianapolis Recorder, 4/5/1930; and Paul Mullins, "African-American Undertakers in the Circle City," 4/17/2017, in the Invisible Indianapolis website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Willis, Lucas B.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-08-25 18:04:55