Jefferson Street - William (Billy) Klair House

651 W Short Street, Lexington, KY 40508

Portions of this house date back to 1825. William Franklin Klair and his wife Mary lived here during the three decades in which he influenced local and state political decisions. He was a staunch Democrat. In 1894, women - both black and white - had been given the right to vote in local school board elections in Lexington, Covington, and Newport. It was noted that many African American women in Lexington voted Republican. They did so to prevent a black candidate who was running as a Democrat from being selected. In 1902, Klair, along with Senator J Embry Allen, successfully lobbied to have the Women's Voting Rights Act repealed. It would be another ten years before women regained their right to vote in school board elections. With reintroduction in 1912, a literacy test was added to the bill with the intention of making it more difficult for African American women to vote. Billy Klair rose from being a newsboy to becoming a political kingpin. In 1890, he was elected as a Democrat to the State House of Representatives. Klair's local influence in local and state politics extended for three decades.

In the neighborhood?

Here are a few of the best places to visit within walking distance or a quick drive