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

Francis, Lelia Iles

(born: 1903  -  died: 1999) 

Lelia I. Francis was born in Salt Lick, KY. She and her husband, Charles Francis, moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1943. In 1947, Lelia I. Francis became the first African American realtor in Ohio; she was a real estate broker for more than 50 years. She also helped establish the Unity Bank and an African American mortgage company. Lelia I. Francis was also an activist: she was one of the marchers arrested in 1967 for a protest that attempted to get more African Americans hired in downtown stores in Dayton. Lelia I. Francis was a graduate of Kentucky State University and taught in rural schools in Kentucky before moving to Ohio. For more see J. H. Smith, "Lelia Iles Francis Dies, she was the first black realtor in Ohio and fought for job opportunities and better schools," Dayton Daily News, 07/26/1999, METRO section, p. 3B.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bath County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Salt Lick, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Dayton daily news (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Francis, Lelia Iles,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-06-23 17:18:42