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

Knight, David Lawson

(born: 1865  -  died: 1922) 

In 1897, David L. Knight established the first transfer line in Louisville, KY owned by an African American, and he claimed to be the first to hire an African American woman as bookkeeper and stenographer. The transfer business involved hauling freight for export or import, as explained by W. T. Garnett, a transfer agent in Louisville. Knight was president of the Negro Business League of Louisville in 1909, the year that the National Negro Business League held its 10th Annual Convention in Louisville. Kentucky Governor A. E. Willson and Louisville Mayor James F. Grinstead [Greenstead] were on hand to welcome the association to Kentucky.

Knight, born in Kentucky, was the husband of Fannie Terance. According to the U.S. Federal Census, by 1910, David was a widower with three children: Robert (20), Josephine (18), and Leona (16). Robert (1890-1926) was a teamster with his father's transfer business. The family lived on South 18th Street in Louisville. Though he is listed in Caron's Dirctory of the City of Louisville, for 1923, p. 2315, David Lawson Knight died October 9, 1922 according to the Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #3152.

For more see p. 21 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol. 10, nos. 3-4, pp. 259-265; Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919: D. L. Knight, "Transfer Business" [frame 248], and W. T. Garnett, "Transfer Business" [frame 273] both at the 3rd Annual Convention, Richmond, Virginia, August 25-27, 1902, reel 1; and "First Day's Session," 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 148-167.

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“Knight, David Lawson,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-04-14 16:50:47