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

Williams, Frank Lunsford

(born: 1864  -  died: 1953) 

Frank L. Williams was born in Louisville, KY, he graduated from Berea College in 1889 and taught in the mountains of Kentucky during the summers. He was an Institute Instructor for both whites and African Americans and also Chair of Mathematics at Louisville High School. Frank L. Williams went on to earn a masters degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1908. In August of 1900 he became the principal of William Grant High School in Covington, KY [sources: A Utopia Experiment in Kentucky, R. D. Sears, p.93; and The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, edited by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool, p.552]. Williams replaced Principal Samuel L. Singer. Frank L. Williams was also a founding member of the Covington Progressive Building and Loan Association. After leaving Covington in 1908, the following year Williams became principal at Summer High School in St. Louis, MO, and remained there until he was replaced by George D. Bramley in 1930 [sources: The Crisis, August 1930, v.37, no.8, p.277; and p.2188 in Gould's St. Louis Directory, 1909]. By 1939, Williams was principal of Vashon High School in St. Louis, MO, he was principal from 1932-1940 [sources: The Crisis, September 1939, v.46, no.9, p.286; and "A History of Vashon High School," a St. Louis Public High School website]. He was also appointed a member of the St. Louis Housing Authority; he was chairman of the Board of Managers of the Pine Street YWCA; he was on the Board of Curators of Lincoln University of Missouri; and president of New Age Building and Loan Association. The building and loan business was founded in 1915 and was run by Frank L. Williams until his death in 1953 [sources: African-American Business Leaders by J. N. Ingham and L. B. Feldman, p.272; and "St. Louis teacher-banker leaves $134,169," Jet, v.4, no.2, May 21, 1953, p.10]. Frank Williams was also on the St. Louis Bond Commission and led in the fund drive for the building of the Homer Phillips Hospital. He was active in the YMCA; invested in real estate and owned several buildings and an apartment house; and he wrote a weekly column for the St. Louis Argus. His contributions to the City of St. Louis were many, and named in his honor was the Frank L. Williams School at 3955 St. Ferdinand, the school opened in 1964 [source: Discovering African American St. Louis by J. A. Wright]. Frank L. Williams was the husband of Fannie B. Miller who was born in Danville, KY, they were married in February of 1891.  They were the parents of four children: Susie, Maurice, Lunsford, and Frances. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; and Frank L. Williams in The Educational World, August 1946, pp.36-38. *The Educational World is available in Berea College Special Collections, Frank L. Williams file.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Williams, Frank Lunsford,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:19