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

Travis, Oneth Morview, Sr.

(born: Oct. 27, 1894  -  died: Aug. 18, 1991) 

Oneth M. Travis, Sr. was born in Albany, KY, the son of Jacob and Nanny Overstreet Travis. A graduate of Lincoln Institute, he was an educator and community leader in Monticello, KY, where he also owned a family dry goods store. He also developed a recreation center in Wayne County, KY. 

Travis purchased a bus from Wayne Taxi Company to establish the first school transportation system in Wayne County. He also purchased land and established the Travis Elementary and High Schools in Monticello. In 1955, Oneth Travis and Ira Bell helped facilitate the integration of the Monticello and Wayne County schools.

In 1965, Travis was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education by Governor Simeon S. Willis, becoming the first African American to be named to the post.Ira Bell was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2001.

Travis was a World War I veteran and a Kentucky delegate to Republican national conventions. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and a Mason. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1986, where he passed away in 1991; he is buried in the Monticello Cemetery in Kentucky. He was the uncle of Thomas J. Craft, Sr. and the father of Oneth M. Travis, Jr.

For more see "Oneth M. Travis," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 8/20/1991, OBIT section, p. B4; and Oneth M. Travis, Sr. at the FindaGrave website. See also African American Schools in Wayne County, KY; and Mr. Oneth Morview Travis in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

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“Travis, Oneth Morview, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-07-27 17:24:53