She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and physics in 1902.
Francis had a variety of teaching positions, one namely a position teaching chemistry from 1904 to 1906 at Ferry Hall School
She recieved a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1910
She became head of the New York Consumers League and advocated for better working hours and conditions. After seeing the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire she left her position and became executive secretary for the Committee on Safety of the City of New York
She married Paul Caldwell Wilson, and had a daughter named Susanna.
She began studying again but in a different field for some years in economics and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School