Elizabeth Frances Nichols Gill was born in 1933 on Russell Street in South Baltimore. She graduated from Douglass High School in 1951. Frances was the last group of students to attend Coppin Normal Teachers College when it was located on Mount Street. In 1965 she began employment with AT & T and after expressing grievances to the Equal Opportunity Commission, was finally promoted beyond secretarial duties into management. After Western Electric was dismantled, she moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she excelled as a supervisor and products manager. Frances attended Baltimore City Community College, the University of Baltimore and University of Nebraska at Omaha from which she graduated. She retired from AT & T in 1992 after 26 years of service. Presently she volunteers two days a week with Experience Corps for the Baltimore City Schools helping second and third graders in reading and math. She is married to Walter Arthur Harris Gill and has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Quote from Francis Nichols Gill
“I went to work at Pratt Library. And that was my first opportunity to interact with white people working white people. I didn’t have them in my school I didn’t go to school with them so I never had a chance to work with them. But I did going to Pratt Library. In that time – this is the late ’50s it was the eating place that you couldn’t go into. You know, like we had a restaurant right across in the library and when one of the people in my department left they took her out to lunch but I wasn’t invited because I couldn’t go to the Cove restaurant, which was, you know, not integrated. And so while I stayed at Pratt Library for a while later some of us about 10 of us just got dressed one day for lunch and went and sat in the restaurant. And after a while of waiting and people dropping things we were waited on. And so that ended that. So slowly different places like the Reed Drug stores and the stores downtown slowly we were able to just go in without a big announcement.”