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

Kelly, Elbert Muncie, Sr.

(born: September 8, 1917  -  died: August 6, 1972) Rev. E. M. Kelly was the first African American to serve on the County Planning Commission in Pikeville, KY. Rev. Kelly was a graduate of Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University). He was a teacher and a high school principal in Jenkins, KY, and he served as president of the KNEA Eastern District Education Association from 1945-1947. He would leave Kentucky, and in 1954, Rev. Kelly was the new pastor at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Milwaukee, WI. He died in Millinwauppe, WI in 1972.

It has been mistakenly written that Rev. Kelly was born in Kentucky. He was actually born in Huron, TN, the son of Minnie Lee and Rev. Franklin P. Kelly. The family came to Dawson Springs, KY from Tennessee. Rev. Elbert Muncie Kelly, Sr. was the husband of Margaret Saunders from Frankfort, KY. He is buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI.

SOURCES: "Presidents of K.N.E.A. District Education Associations, The Kentucky Negro Educational Association (K.N.E.A.) Journal, October-November 1945, p.2 through November-December 1947, p.2. See "Rev. E. M. Kelly assumes duties," The Dawson Springs Progress, 02/19/1954, front page; "Rev. Kelly," The Messenger, 08/08/1972, p.12; "Last rites for the Rev. Kelly," Dawson Springs Progress, 08/10/1972, p.12; and Elbert Muncie Kelly's birth year is given as 1916 on his WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hopkins County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Letcher County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pike County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Dawson Springs, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jenkins, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pikeville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Letcher County, KY
NKAA Entry: Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro educational association journal (periodical)
NKAA Source: Dawson Springs progress (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Messenger (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Kelly, Elbert Muncie, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 18, 2021,

Last modified: 2021-08-07 01:27:54