PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Annie Malone was the first African American woman to ever be named a millionaire, and with Aug. 9 being her birthday, Peoria Mayor Rita Ali declared a day in her name.

A press conference was held to celebrate the day at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Tuesday, the first time the city declared a day in her name.

Malone moved to Peoria as an orphan with her sister in 1896. After they came to Central Illinois, Malone enrolled in high school, but had to drop out due to sickness. Years later, she found a passion and created hair products for African-Americans.

“Annie Malone, she came up in the 1800s, where not only African-American rights were pretty much obsolete, but women’s rights were obsolete. Not just Black women, all women. Women were treated less than in this country. Annie Malone overcame the obstacles of being a woman and being an African-American woman,” said Artist Warith Muhammad.

Malone’s great-nephew, Agbara Bryson, was in attendance at the conference.

“If it wasn’t for Peoria, there wouldn’t be an Annie Malone,” said Bryson. “Annie Malone learned her values, the foundation, the c’s right here in Peoria, Illinois.”

Bryson said he hopes to have a parade in her honor on Aug. 9 next year.