Frank/Frenk Family Genealogy

FAMILY ORIGINS: VALLENDAR, GERMANY

The Frank family, also spelled Frenk, Frenck, and Franck, originated in the town of Vallendar, Germany in what was then considered Prussia. Vallendar is located near Koblenz, the third largest city in The Palatinate, southeast of Cologne.

Vallendar (also spelled Wallendar) is located in the district Mayen Koblenz and the settlement area of the city spreads on the right bank of the Middle Rhine opposite the inhabited island Lower Rhine Werth (Niederwerth). The city is situated to the west of where the Westerwald (mountain range) meets the right bank of the Rhine. The city is located 5.7 km north of Koblenz and 12.3 km south of Neuwied in Neuwied Basin, a part of the Middle Rhine basin. In 1910 the population of the city was 4,462. The current population is 8,763.

The first record of Vallendar is in 830 CE. It was historically said to be owned by the archbishops of Trier, but may also be of Celtic origin, and thus much older (700 - 600 BCE). In 1232, the Count of Sayn built a castle on the north side of Vallendar. Today, the Marienburg stands where the castle was built.

The modern town hall stands where the original town hall stood, from 1294 to 1789. The ceramics industry (with porcelain factory) and the finishing of leather (and, thus, arts and crafts) were prime industries in the town. The town has had a tannery, a facility where tanning processes were applied to hides to produce leather, dating back to the 17th century.

In 1802 the city was under the principality of Nassau-Weilburg, but in 1815 it became the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1813, the Wars of Liberation began in Germany, following the destruction of Napoleon's army in Russia. After the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, Germany was liberated from French rule. The Confederation of the Rhine was dissolved. During the Wars of Liberation, Vallendar is a constant passage and quartering station for ally troops. Many inhabitants died of typhoid fever.

The Congress of Vienna assigned Koblenz to Prussia, and in 1822 it was made the seat of government for the Prussian Rhine Province. The Rhine Province (German: Rheinprovinz), also known as Rhenish Prussia (Rheinpreuben), was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1822-1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and J'Cleves-Berg. In 1946, the Rhine Province was divided into the newly-founded states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.


Vallendar, Germany.


The Catholic parish St. Marzellinus and Peter had its west tower build in 1501 and was reconstructed between 1837 and 1841. Most of the town was Catholic, however there is now a Protestant church and a synagogue in town, constructed at the turn of the 19th century.

Today the town features a beautiful university and a health resort. Its grace chapel is known throughout the world, particularly in South America.

SURNAME ORIGINS

The surname Frank is an ethnic or regional name for someone from Franconia (German Franken), a region of southwestern Germany so called from its early settlement by the Franks, a Germanic people who inhabited the lands around the river Rhine in Roman times. The surname Kluft is Old High German and is either a rift, gap, or fissure or a levee (embankment to prevent flooding). The surname Kelting is explained here. The surname Doll has two possible meanings. First, it may have been a habitational name from Brandenberg. Second, it could be a nickname from Middle High German tol or dol, meaning 'foolish' or 'mad' or 'strong' or 'handsome'.

FAMILY ORIGINS

Ludwig Franz Frank was born in 1774. He married Anna Maria Kluft on November 28, 1804 in Vallendar.

Anna Maria Kluft was born May 19, 1778. Ludwig and Anna had seven children.

The baptismal sponsors of immigrant ancestor Theodor Frank were Theodor and Barbara Noll. Other baptismal sponsors of the children of Ludwig and Anna Frank included: Johann Steinebach, Marg. Frank, M.C. (Maria Catharina) Klufft, Franz Josef Frank, Franz Ludwig Leblat, Catharina Margaretha Blum, Barbara Merz, Franz Bornoville, Jakob Itschert, and Elisabetha Engel.

TRAVEL TO THE NEW WORLD

According to my late distant cousin Ervin Frank (1914-1999), "The Frank family left Prussia (Preuben) in large numbers and went to New York, Ohio and Arkansas in the 1840s and 1850s."

Clifford Neal Smith lists the passengers of the ship Nordamerica, a vessel based in Hamburg, departing Hamburg for New York on Aug. 18, 1849. Listed together in the steerage compartment (first listed) are:

Theodor Frank (from Hamburg)
Anna Kelting (from Hamburg)

The Nordamerika (Nordamerica) was owned by the Hamburg America Line and was a three masted barque rigged vessel of 419 gross tons built in 1848. Wooden construction, cargo 200 tons and passenger accommodation for 20-1st class and 200 steerage and a crew of 17. The ship was used on the Hamburg - New York service until 1858 when it was sold to Norwegian owners. It was broken up in 1868.

(Source on immigration: Page 10 of Clifford Neal Smith's Passenger Lists from Hamburg and Bremen to Australia and the United States, 1846-1849, published by the German-American Genealogical Research Monograph, number 23, McNeal, AZ: Westland Publications, 1988, p.27. These data were extracted from vols. 1-4 (1846-1850) of the Allgemeine Auswanderungs-Zeitung, published in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, (now) German Democratic Republic and includes the name of ship, occupation, and possibly the place of origin. The source publication code is 8655.19.1. Another potential source of their emigration record is: Gale Research. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2006.)

The 1850 Census record for New York City, ward 6, lists:

Frank, Theodore 32 carpenter
Frank, Anna 30
Frank, Joseph 6 mo.

(See below for later census data.)

Theodor Frank is the second youngest son of Ludwig and Anna Frank of Vallendar. Theodor's wife was Anna, nee Kelting. Additional information on the Kelting family is available HERE. Theodor and Anna likely met on the ship during their voyage to America.

By 1855, the family had moved to Addison, Wisconsin. Joseph and his parents appear in the 1855 Wisconsin State Census.

RELIGIOUS CONFUSION, RELIGIOUS DEVOTION

Anna Kelting was Protestant and Theodor Frank was Roman Catholic. According to Klaus Struve, an expert in Schleswig-Holstein genealogy, "Catholics in Schleswig-Holstein were very rare." Struve suspects they met on their voyage to America. The Hamburg index of birth records lists all births in each church between 1816 and 1866.

Distant cousin Marie Reitzner Rudolf was in possession of two Frank family Bibles -- one German and one Lutheran. Theodore Frank's Bible listed friends such as Mr. Meisel, Mr. Fischler and Mr. Jacob Miller.

The features of Joseph Frank were particularly dark, and Joseph Frank knew how to generate revenue, so rumors in the family surfaced regarding the possibility of a Jewish background. One of Joseph Frank's children, Henry, even changed his surname to Franklin when he was living in San Francisco to avoid being thought of as Jewish. The claim about the family having Jewish origins has no merit.

Joseph Frank was said to have used his Bible to pray at the dinner table. He often spent time reading his Bible, praying alone. He died in 1913 in Addison, Wisconsin and was buried April 3, 1913. Mary (Doll) Frank was also a holy woman who prayed frequently. Photos always reveal her in black coverings, often including a head covering.

On November 6, 1919, against the wishes of her children, Mary (Doll) Frank married John Schild of Hartford. Together the Schild family resided on Fourth Street in Hartford, but later moved to High Street. After Mr. Schild beat his wife in a drunken rage, she pursued a Church separation from him.

SETTLEMENT IN WISCONSIN: CENSUS DATA

Between 1850 and 1855, Theodor and Anna (Kelting) Frank moved to Addison, Washington County, Wisconsin. The family is listed in the 1860 Census of Washington County, Wisconsin: Theodore, 44, farmer from Prussia; Anna, 41, born in Denmark; Joseph, 10, born in New York; Anna, 4, born in Wisconsin. Note the different birth locations for each of the four family members. The value of the family property was just $500; the value of the personal assets of the family was a meager $150.

Joseph Frank is listed as attending school. (A letter from Marie Rudolf, granddaughter of Joseph Frank, states, "[Grandpa] had a beautiful handwriting. All Germans of any means were state educated.") Theodore Frank, the father of Joe, was primarily a farmer, but records indicate he also may have been a wine merchant, as Marie (Reitzner) Rudolf indicated that she found wine orders mentioned in a German family Bible.

In the 1860 Census of Washington County, Wisconsin, Theodore Frank's brother Joseph (b. Oct. 1809) is listed as living in the town of Addison. The listing included Joseph Frank, 50; his wife Christina (nee Straub), 39; Jacob, 5; Annie/Anna, 4; and Mary, 3. The scribe's writing is not very legible, so some of the children's names may have been incorrectly interpreted. The value of the assets of this Frank family in 1860 was $360. The value of their home was $1600. Another daughter was born into the family, Josephine Sybilla Frank, in April 1863 in St. Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Joseph Frank (b: 1809) died October 23, 1862 in Addison, Wisconsin. He is buried at a Protestant cemetery according to the 1863 baptism of his daughter Josephine. Christina Straub Frank remarried after Joseph's death to Casper Daniels in 1865.

According to records from the St. Lawrence Church, Christina Straub was Protestant. Straub was previously married to Gottfried Schmidt and had a son, Jacob Joseph Schmidt, with Gottfried. Jacob Joseph Schmidt was later baptized Jacob Joseph Frank. Christina Straub converted to Catholicism on July 2, 1864 while suffering from stomach inflammation. After professing the Catholic faith at the time of being given last rites, she pulled through the disease. Her bapitismal sponsor was Margaretha Weninger** and the witnesses were Theodor Frenk and Laurent Koegl. Her baptismal name was Christinam Margaritam. Her baptism record is found in page 64, LDS film # 1871622, item 9, St. Lawrence, Washington County, Wisconsin Catholic Church Records -- 1864, adult baptism.

After being healed, Christina Frank's children were also baptized Catholic less than two weeks later: July 19: baptism of the Frank children: Annam Adelheidem Frank; sponsor; Adelheide Catherine Dorn; Jacobum Josephum Frenk; sponsor: Josepho Frenk; Mariam Elisabeth Frenk; sponsor: Elisabeth Winterhalter, age 8; Clementinam Catherinam Frenk; sponsor: Catherine Schwarz; Dorotheam Martham Frenk; sponsor: Theresia Koegl.

(**Note: Margaretha Kayser Wenninger [1832-1896] is the sister of my grandfather's maternal great-grandmother Gertrude Kayser Doll, from an entirely different branch of the family. The baptismal sponsor of one 3rd-great-grand-aunt was another 3rd great-grand-aunt.)

Christina Frank Daniels died on Sept. 10, 1913 in Addison, Wisconsin. Her obituary is in the Hartford Press, Sept. 19, 1913, page 4, column 3. She is buried at St. Lawrence, Washington County, Wisconsin.

Anna Frank, the sister of great-great-grandfather Joseph Frank, died in 1864 at the age of eight of unknown causes. One interesting note is from a letter I received from cousin Helen Schmid, which states, "[Great-grandpa] Joe Frank's father adopted a boy, but he died young." (This boy may be Jacob Joseph Frank, who was adopted by Theodor Frank's brother Joseph.) Joseph Frank was the only child who survived to adulthood, but oral tradition indicates that he had two or three siblings who died young.



The 1880 U.S. Census lists Theodor Frank, the father of Joseph Frank, as living in Addison, age 64, with wife Anna. Frank is listed as a farmer. Anna is listed as having been born in Holstein; Theodor is listed as having been born in Prussia. The Frank family had considerable wealth; they employed a servant, Joseph Meip, age 19.

In the 1900 U.S. Census, Anna Frank, age 80, is listed as living with her son Joseph, age 50, her daughter-in-law Maria, age 42, and her grandchildren Elizabeth B., 16, Theodore C.,12, Peter J., 11, Margaret M., 9, Lena C., 7, Herman J., 4, and Henry, 1.

FRONTIER TRAVELERS

Frank Family: Joseph and Mary in the center.


Unknown members of the Frank family. Mary Doll Frank, right side.



Great-great-grandfather Joseph Frank (1850-1913) was born in New York on January 24, 1850. Joseph married Mary Doll on July 7, 1875 at St. Lawrence Church in St. Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Between July 1877, and June 1879, Joseph and Mary headed south, and settled in Conway, Arkansas. (Before stopping in Arkansas they may have stopped in New York or Ohio to visit friends or family.) Conway, a town a few miles north of Little Rock, has a present-day population of about 26,000 people. The family stayed in Arkansas for six years, long enough to see the third to fifth Frank children born. The third child, Joseph Frank, died in Arkansas and is buried in the Conway area.

The 1880 U.S. Census lists Joseph and Mariah (Mary) Frank living in Faulkner County, Arkansas. The town name is listed as Cadron. They lived in district 51 of the county. Their daughter Maria (Mary Anne) is listed. Joseph is listed as working on a farm. Both Joseph and Mary's parents are listed having been born in Prussia. According to a letter from Marie (Reitzner) Rudolph, "Grandpa [Joe Frank] had 300 acres in Arkansas and raised cotton. He used black slaves to pick cotton." The claim about using slaves is not substantiated. The Frank's tenure in Arkansas was more than 15 years after the Civil War. While it is possible that slaves were used, it seems unlikely that a northern family would use slaves. More likely, they were laborers who were paid for their contributions.

The Hernando de Soto expedition is believed to have passed near Cadron en route to points west. Some researchers think the expedition crossed the Arkansas River (River of Cayas) near what is now Dardanelle.

A copy of the Cadron plot was apparently never filed for record. A study by Samuel D. Smith in the early 1970s called "A Survey of the Archaeological Resources of Cadron Settlement" and funded by the federal government found that Cadron had one store, one warehouse, two houses, and an unknown number of out-buildings in 1855. According to a testimony from Dr. William Menefee in 1859, which came about because of a dispute over John Murray's ferry, "The place claimed to be a town is designated 'Cadron,' situate on the Arkansas river, below the mouth of Cadron Creek; the courts for Conway county were held there from 1826 to 1828, but never afterwards; it was 'abandoned' in 1831, and continued 'abandoned' until 1845 or 6. In 1855 -- when the ferry was established -- there was one store, which did business to the amount of about $4,000 per annum; dwelling house for two families, and out-houses; the population consisted of two families, numbering in all, six persons; one warehouse, from which, in 1855, produce to the value of $200 was shipped, the trade of that year being injured in consequence of drouth and low water. In 1854 -- which was a favorable year -- the exports amounted to the value of about $1,500. To call this a town, in any sense, would be an obvious misapplication of the term (Arkansas Reports Vol. 20:564-565)."

There were at least 14 blocks at Cadron, and as many as six lots in at least one of these blocks. There was also a public square. The town may have covered about 45 acres, excluding the streets, according to the study. The existing historical documents suggest that at least 24 lots were sold at Cadron.

In an 1839 map from field notes of United States surveyors, Cadron is the first town above Little Rock on the Arkansas river. According to the Faulkner County Historical Society, "Before the end of the 1850s Cadron had perished, for when the war broke out in 1861, there was not a town, village or hamlet within the present bounds of Faulkner county, except a small store at Duncan's Gap in what afterwards became Cypress township. Faulkner people (people who lived in the area that became Faulkner County) did most of their trading at Springfield (Conway County)."

On Feb. 8, 1860, Elias Stone, who owned land in Faulker Co., laid off a few streets and lots just north of the ancient town-site and called it Cadron Burg. It probably served as a stage stand and as a place where travelers could make small purchases of such articles as they desired. It does not seem to have amounted to much as a town. It lay on both sides of the United States road surveyed in 1819. It was situated a short distance southeast of the mouth of the creek, and on the bank of the river. Some believe the site of the town of 1818-1819 is now in the Arkansas river. The old maps show that there was once a considerable body of land between the foot of the hill and the river, just above Cedar Park.

Cadron Creek flows in a westerly direction from its headwaters near Heber Springs in Cleburne County, down across the northwestern corner of Faulkner County and to the confluence of the Arkansas River in Conway County in central Arkansas. It terminates just a few miles northwest of Little Rock. U.S. Highway 65, north of Conway, passes over Cadron Creek, a stream bordered by fields, farm houses, bluffs, and canyons. Cadron Creek's water is warmer than most Arkansas streams and has largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and flathead catfish weighing more than 40 lbs. each in it. First-time visitors to the Cadron are invariably surprised at the scenery. The stream is now used for whitewater rafting and features bluffs, pinnacles, and caves.

This re-created blockhouse signifies the importance of the Arkansas River port of Cadron.
It was a stop on both the Trail of Tears and Butterfield Overland Mail Route.



As part of a "new wave" of German emigrants who were exploring the West, the family left Arkansas to travel to Kansas. The move occurred sometime between the time Elizabeth "Lizzie" Frank was born in March, 1884 and June of 1885, when Joseph Frank established residence in Kansas.

They settled with other Germans traveling west in Windthorst, Ford County, Kansas. Windthorst is a town with no current population in rural Ford County. As of the year 2000, the community consisted of a church, a school, a priest's house, and residential housing -- but little more. As of 2010, the church is listed among the Register of Historic Places, but it is no longer functioning.

Joseph and Mary, already with three children (two others had died young), settled on a farmhouse. The home was used for farming and gardening. The reason the German settlers chose Windthorst is unknown. On June 18, 1885, the Frank family established residence on the Frank family land in Windthorst. On November 8, 1887, the house was completed. The house, built on 160 acres of land, had measurements of 12'x12', with a board roof, one door and two windows, a sod hut 12'x30' inside with two windows, and one door. Joseph Frank cultivated 35 acres and had a water pump run by horsepower. Water was carried partly in troughsand and partly in a ditch. The house had running water year-round. He also dug three to four wells a few feet deep and planted 800 cottonwood trees. The total value of the house was $800 by 1890 standards. Later, 40 acres were cultivated.

Joseph Frank had cultivated 50 acres of land, for a total of five seasons as of May 22, 1894. His original plantings were 186 bushels of wheat, 80 bushels of potatoes, 10 acres of corn, and 10 total acres in garden produce. On Oct. 11, 1886, Joseph testified to the above improvements to the homestead in order to justify his homestead right. Christian Schwind and Charles Newhauser both testified to the Ford County Clerk, Dodge City, Kansas that Joseph Frank had lived continuously on the land to that date. He was described as a carpenter and a gardener.

WINDTHORST AND SPEARVILLE: KANSAS PIONEERS

The Franks were among the first settlers in the outskirts of Windthorst, which had a population of less than 150 families when they settled. (In 1880 there were only 80 families.) Windthorst is a rural parish -- far too small to be called a town -- without a railroad station or a post office. The church was the backbone of the community. The older parish records in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Windthorst, Kansas, were written in latin, using German script. Present-day Ford County is different than old times, however the old farm homes in the area of Dodge County have deteriorated, as large land plots require such a large amount of machinery. In the area there are many vacant and dilapidated homesteads. Windthorst was spelled one way on one side of of the tiny hamlet (Windthorst) and another way on the other side (Windhorst), showing the independent streak of the German settlers.

The Frank children (girls and boys alike) attended school in nearby Spearville. In school the children were taught German, religion, reading, grammar, writing, English, arithmetic, geography, and spelling. During recess, games were played with a homemade baseball. Recess was often short, however, as the baseball would typically not last long. Baptismal sponsors of the Frank children included Christopher Hornung and Madeleine Boecker (Theodore Christopher Frank), Joseph Molitor and Helen Hornung (Joseph Frank, Jr.), John and Mary Torline (Margaret Frank), and Joseph Hecke and Helen Hornung (Helen Frank).


It is not clear which Frank children are pictured in this photo.


Great-grandmother Margaret Frank.


Anna Kelting Frank in front of the farm in Windthorst..


Frank gravestone in Saint Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Frank gravestone in Saint Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Spearville has a present-day population of 660. It's 20 miles East of Dodge City. Spearville was later the town the Frank family moved to, as Joe Frank sold his original land plot and then homesteaded the SE 1/4 of section 10-26-22 in Ford County. (The first land plot was sold to Ben Schawe, who sold it to the Temaat family; the second plot was sold to J.C. Laudick, who sold it to Mrs. Gertrude Herman.) This second land plot was only four miles south of the first.

Finally, according to a letter in my possession from a Frank descendant, in 1894 Joe and Mary Frank moved to Franklin, Crawford County, Kansas. As the second plot of land of the Frank family was sold to J.C. Laudick in 1897, this claim (about the Frank family residing in Crawford County) appears unsubstantiated.

The Frank family was in Arkansas from approximately 1878 to 1885. Then from 1886 to 1897 the family was in Ford County, Kansas. In 1894, Bernard and Katharine Schawe moved onto the original Frank plot in Ford County. Joseph Frank was a man of small means and worked for his neighbors to supplement his meager income. By living off the land, he was doing all that was possible within his means. On May 13, 1887, L.E. McGerry, office of District Court, Dodge City, Kansas, wrote a letter to honorable C.F. Neniles, Garden City, testifying that Joseph Frank was unable to establish actual residence of the land described in his original application due to the serious illness of his wife. One day later, on 14 May 1887, Joseph Frank filed for homestead rights at the Land Office, Garden City, Kansas of SE4, Sec 10, Tsp 26sR22w under section 2289 of Revised Statutes of the U.S.

On Nov. 8, 1887 the house was built, and they established residence in the frame house 20'x20,' 1.5 stories high, with a barn 20'x35', and a granary 12'x20'. The wells were dug, and complete with pump and corral. The land was identified as prairie farm land, with no coal, saline, or minerals. Mr. Frank, still living with wife and seven children, had resided continuously on the land. That same year, Mr. Frank homesteaded a second farm located at the SE 1/4 of Section 10, Tp26 in Re 22. This land was more level, and easily cultivated.

On April 2, 1894, Joseph Frank made application for homestead property at SE4, Sec 10, Tsp25sR 22n, before the Register of Deeds, Dodge City. May 22, 1894 Joseph Frank filed a Homestead proof of Testimony on his claim #14670. This land was located in Spearville, not Windthorst, but was only four miles from the original Frank homestead. On this new land, Frank tended to 960 acres of land and had a house place a sod hut on the other end of the farm. He vouched he lived continuously on the land with his wife and seven children and improved it as indicated. Christian Horning and Joe Demming gave testimony that Joe Frank claimed and established residence on SE4, Sec 10, Tsp 26sR22 on prairie farm land 14 May 1887, and established residence on November 8, 1887. He lived there continuously. In total, Joe Frank cultivated 70-80 acres of land for seven seasons (the seasonal cycle is different than a standard year) and had a 20'x24' frame house, 24'x24' barn, 12'x20' granary, hen house, corral, and well and pump with a total value of $700.

DROUGHT CAUSES RELOCATION

In 1897, the family experienced some crop failures due to a drought that occured in Kansas. This failure -- combined with the ongoing severe weather from season to season -- caused them to consider moving. On June 30, 1898, this land was sold to Mr. John Conrad Laudick for $500. Mr. Laudick sold the half section near Leoti. Mr. Laudick then sold the land to the parents of Mr. Henry Hain in 1916/1917. Mrs. Gertrude Herman of Dodge City, Kansas now owns that land.

In 1897, the Frank family sold most of their posessions. At the time they had left the children alone on the farm, and the cows got into the sorgum field; one cow died. In 1897, the family headed out by covered wagon, likely stopping in Conway, Arkansas. By the beginning of 1898 the family returned to Washington County, Wisconsin again. The mode of transportation for the well-to-do Frank family was covered wagon. The family was said to stop along the travel route and sleep in the wagons. The fact that the family was able to travel with the luxury of horses and wagons proved their rising social status.

In Wisconsin, land records prove that Joseph Frank and family lived in Addison, Washington County, Wisconsin and maintained 40 acres of land. The land plot was in section 15 of the County's land, and was located at 11 degrees North and 18 degrees East in Washington County.

Addison is a tiny community in Washington County with a current population of around 3,000. It is still a farming community to this day. To the immediate east is Allenton. Further south are the larger communities of Hartford and Slinger.

LETTER TO FRIENDS

Unfortunately, the 1890 U.S. Census was lost, so the 1890 listing in Kansas does not exist. There was an 1895 State Census taken in Kansas that I still need to review.

After the Frank family moved to Wisconsin, Joseph Frank sent a letter to Mr. John Temaat in Kansas. It is dated December 18, 1897. The letter, written in the neat cursive handwriting of Joe Frank, says:

..........................Dear Sir and Friend,
..........................We are all (well) at present. Hoping you are all the same. You know, the Coon Creek was burned out a few years ago. Ben Schawe wrote me that about one half of my trees would die and wanted to know whether he could cut the dead trees down. I wrote to him if he would agree to trim the young sprouts down, leaving from one to three at a stump, he might cut the dead trees down.
..........................I wish you would let me know what Ben Schawe had done to my trees and in what shape they are in, if you please. I think lots of my trees and I think the grove is worth more than a fence. Coon Creek can't be beat for trees.
..........................What is the prospect with alfalfa? Now, there is 80 acres of land where the water is from 4 to 14 feet as good land for alfalfa as the River bottom. If I would ever come back, the first thing I would do I would sow the creek bottom, and sand hills in Alfalfa. We have good sleighing and cold weather at present.
..........................Yours Truly,
..........................Joseph Frank & Family

LEGACY OF THE FRANK FAMILY



Joseph Frank planted trees on his plot in Ford County. Years ago there was much variety, but the only trees that stayed into the mid-Twentieth Century were the cottonwood trees. Coon Creek runs through this land and several trees still remain. As Kansas is such a dry state, the trees Joseph Frank planted in the late 1800s were well-regarded for over one-hundred years. One tree in particular was regarded as among the best cottonwood trees in the state (according to the Kansas State Forest Service), and it was appropriately named "The Joe Frank Tree."

The Arkansas River crosses Ford County from west to east. Coon Creek starts near the river, east of Dodge City, and crosses the "butter and egg" road four times in one mile, but doesn't run into the river for 40 miles because of the river runs on a ridge.

Part of the Osage Indian Reservation was on the Joseph Frank property in Spearville. The Santa Fe Trail runs through the land, as well. A marking stone is still standing describing the trail, which existed from 1822-1872. Joseph Frank was said to have operated a wagon part-time on the trail, hauling supplies at $10 per load.

Undated photo of some family members. It is unclear who is pictured.


Helen Frank Peters and her husband Oscar; Peter Andrew Kolb; Grandma Mary Frank.

Joseph Frank died March 29, 1913 in Addison. He is buried at Saint Lawrence Catholic Cemetery, Saint Lawrence, Wisconsin in row 18 (old north) with his wife Mary. He was buried April 3, 1913. Mary Doll Frank Schild died in 1928. A photo of the grave stone has been scanned by Larry and Linda Kopet.

Theodor and Anna Frank were buried at St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery, row 18 (old north) in 1888 and 1901, respectively. The grave marker clearly lists Theodor but other writings on the stone are not plainly readable. Anna Kelting Frank died of heart failure, chronic bronchitis, and asthma (WI death cert. 3322 and 3434). Heart disease is genetic in the Frank family; great-great-great-grandmother Anna was not the only one effected. Great-great-grandfather Joseph Frank (1850-1913) and great-grandmother Margaret Frank (1892-1935) also died of heart complications. Mary Doll suffered from diabetes and gout's disease in her latter years.

Photos of the Frank family are available OnLine.

(Special note of thanks to John Von Haden, Henry Hain, Fr. Baker of Windthorst, Jack Fleischmann, Jeanette Leverance, ChrisAnn Leverance, Ervin Frank, Marie Reitzner Rudolf, Helen Schmid, Dan Otto, and Patricia Simon Peters for their assistance in compiling this information.)


If you see any connections in the below, please contact me.

Surnames of those in my direct ancestral line appear in BOLD.


Descendants of Ludwig Frank

1 Ludwig Franz Frank b: 1774 in Vallendar, Prussia d: Nov. 30, 1855 in Vallendar, Prussia
(note: Ludwig may have been the son of Ludwig Joseph and Maria Gertrude Steinebach Frank.)
..+ Anna Maria Klufft b: May 19, 1778 in Vallendar, Prussia m: Nov. 28, 1804 d: Aug. 22, 1819
........ 2 Johann Frank b: Dec. 26, 1805 in Vallendar d: March 10, 1871 in Vallendar
............+ Anna Maria Glass b: March 5, 1813 m: Jan. 28, 1834 d: May 25, 1871 in Vallendar
...................... 3 Maria Barbara Frank b: Nov. 26, 1834 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Johan Franz Frank b: Oct. 4, 1837 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Maria Josefa Agatha Frank b: Feb. 5, 1842 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Salome Cyriaca Frank b: Aug. 21, 1843 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Jakob Marian Frank b: April 30, 1845 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Elisabeth Philippina Frank b: May 26, 1851 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
...................... 3 Theodor Gabriel Frank b: March 24, 1855 in Vallendar, Germany d: unknown
........ 2 Maria Katharina Frank b: Sept. 6, 1807 in Vallendar d: May 25, 1817 in Vallendar
........ 2 Franz Joseph Frank b: Oct. 22, 1809 in Prussia d: Oct. 23, 1862 in Addison, WI
............+ Christina Straub Schmidt b: March 25, 1831 in Guntersblum, Hessen, Germany m: Abt. 1855
.............. d: Sept. 10, 1913 in Addison, WI
...................... 3 Jacob Schmidt (baptized Jacob Frank) b: Abt. 1854 d: Aft. 1870
...................... 3 Anna Adelheid Frank b: Abt. 1855 in WI d: 1860-1870 in WI
...................... 3 Mary Elisabeth Frank b: 1856 in St. Lawrence, WI m: May 24, 1877 d: 1880-1883 in Chicago, IL
........................ + Joseph Ziegler b: Aug. 1852 in Prussia d: Aft. 1920 in Chicago, IL (buried at St. Boniface Cemetery, Chicago)
............................ occupation: merchant
...................... 3 Katherine Clementine Frank b: Jan. 9, 1858 in St. Lawrence d: June 19, 1929 in Milwaukee, WI
........................ + John Peter Ramsteck b: April 13, 1855 in Milwaukee m: Dec. 30, 1895 d: June 1, 1921 in Milwaukee
........................... occupation: tobacconist
...................... 3 Martha Dorothy Frank b: Abt. 1861 in Saint Lawrence, WI d: 1913-1938
........................ + (unknown) Hartly/Harteg
...................... 3 Josephine Sybilla Frank b: April 6, 1863 in St. Lawrence d: Oct. 26, 1938 in Milwaukee, WI
......................... obituary: West Bend News, Nov. 3, 1938, page 5; buried at Calvary Cemetery, Milwaukee
........................ + Joseph Grauvogel b: March 26, 1859 in Milwaukee m: Sept. 22, 1885
............................ in St. Lawrence d: July 20, 1908 in Milwaukee
........................... occupation: wood carver
........ 2 Ludwig Konstantin Frank b: Dec. 3, 1811 in Vallendar d: Aug. 11, 1863 in Vallendar, Germany
............+ Anna Maria Battes b: 1822 m: Nov. 22, 1840 d: unknown
...................... 3 Josef Frank b: June 29, 1841 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Katharina Frank b: April 17, 1843 in Vallendar d: Sept. 26, 1850 in Vallendar
...................... 3 Johann Ludwig Frank b: Aug. 9, 1845 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Ludwig Frank b: March 19, 1848 in Vallendar d: Dec. 7, 1868 in Vallendar
...................... 3 Clara Frank b: March 31, 1851 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Barbara Frank b: Sept. 18, 1853 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Elisabeth Frank b: Nov. 11, 1856 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Simon Peter Frank b: Jan. 9, 1860 in Vallendar d: unknown
...................... 3 Agnes Frank b: May 19, 1861 in Vallendar d: unknown
........ 2 Barbara Frank b: April 27, 1815 in Vallendar d: unknown
........ 2 Theodor Frank b: Sept. 7/8, 1817 in Vallendar, Prussia d: May 23, 1888 in Wisconsin
............+ Anna Kelting b: March 24, 1820 in Holstein, Denmark (presently DEU)
.............. m: Bef. 1850 d: Feb. 6, 1901 in Addison, WI
...................... 3 Joseph Frank b: Jan. 24, 1850 in New York d: March 29, 1913 in Addison, WI
........................ + Maria Franziska "Mary" Doll b: July 21, 1857 in WI d: June 23, 1928 in WI
............................... 4 Theodore Julius Frank b: April 4, 1876 in St. Lawrence, WI d: Aug. 22, 1876 in WI
............................... 4 Mary Anne "Mamie" Frank b: July 9, 1877 in WI d: June 8, 1946 in Rubicon, WI
...................................+ Ludwig J. "Louis" Neu b: April 23, 1872 m: Nov. 23, 1897 d: Jan. 25, 1949
............................................. 5 Adolf Neu b: Abt. 1899 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
..................................................+ Anita Storck b: June 5, 1901 in WI d: Aug., 1976
............................................. 5 Helen Neu b: Abt. 1900 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
..................................................+ Arthur Gaede b: Jan. 1, 1902 d: March, 1984 in Brookfield, WI
.......................................................... 6 Thomas H. Gaede b: Abt. 1929 d: Abt. 1952 in Alaska
............................................. 5 Clara Neu b: Abt. 1901 in Rubicon, WI d: Aft. 1940
..................................................+ Earl Hayes b: Abt. 1900 in Wisconsin d: Aft. 1940
.......................................................... 6 Gerard Hayes b: Abt. 1929 in Milwaukee, WI d: unknown
.......................................................... 6 Jude Hayes b: Abt. 1931 in Milwaukee, WI d: unknown
.......................................................... 6 Kathleen Hayes b: Abt. 1935 in Milwaukee, WI d: unknown
............................................. 5 Lena Neu b: Abt. 1902 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
.................................................Leo Neu.
.................................................
............................................. 5 Leo Neu b: 1903 in Rubicon, WI d: 1963 in Wisconsin
..................................................+ Rose Lewandowski b: 1906 in Wisconsin d: 2005 in Wisconsin
.......................................................... 6 Robert Neu b: 1934
..............................................................+ Nancy (unknown) b: 1935
................................................................... 7 Marianne Neu
................................................................... 7 Christopher Neu
.......................................................... 6 Richard Neu b: 1948
..............................................................+ (unknown) (unknown)
................................................................... 7 Natalie Neu
.......................................................................+ (unknown) (unknown)
............................................................................. 8 Hillari (unknown) b: 1980
............................................................................. 8 Alyssa (unknown) b: 1984
............................................. 5 Leona Neu b: Abt. 1906 in Rubicon, WI d: Aft. 1940
..................................................+ Harry Licht b: Abt. 1904 in Wisconsin d: Aft. 1940
.......................................................... 6 Harry Licht, Jr. b: Abt. 1923 in Hartford, WI d: unknown
.......................................................... 6 La Verne Licht b: Abt. 1931 in Hartford, WI d: unknown
.......................................................... 6 Robert Licht b: Abt. 1936 in Hartford, WI d: unknown
............................................. 5 Margaret Neu b: Aft. 1910 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
..................................................+ Eugene Burns b: April 19, 1912 d: Nov, 1982 in Milwaukee, WI
.......................................................... 6 Coleen Burns
.......................................................... 6 James Burns
............................................. 5 Frances C. Neu b: Feb. 13, 1912 in Rubicon, WI d: Jan. 29, 2005 in Hartford, WI
..................................................+ LeRoy "Pat" Fries b: March 17, 1910 in WI m: June 24, 1933 in Hartford, WI
.................................................... d: June, 1993 in WI (gravestone)
.......................................................... 6 Barbara Fries
.......................................................... 6 Frances Fries b: Feb. 27, 1939 in Saint Lawrence, WI d: Feb. 28, 1939 in WI
.......................................................... 6 Mary Ann Fries
............................... 4 Joseph Frank b: June 9, 1879 in St. Lawrence, WI d: May 27, 1880 in Conway, AR
............................... 4 Anna Mary Frank b: July 27, 1880 in AR d: June 11, 1952 in Rubicon, WI
...................................+ Joseph L. Schmidt b: 1877 in WI m: Oct. 22, 1901 d: 1963 in WI
............................................. 5 Eileen Marie Schmidt b: March 24, 1904 in Hartford, WI d: Oct. 10, 1949 in Milwaukee
..................................................+ William Tesch b: Abt. 1901 in WI d: Oct. 10, 1949 in Milwaukee, WI
............................................. 5 Dorothy E. Schmidt b: Aug. 26, 1907 in Hartford, WI d: April 1, 1981 in Ripon, WI
..................................................+ Theodore M. "Lad" Abraham b: Abt. 1903 in Wisconsin d: Aft. 1940
.......................................................... 6 Diane Helen Abraham b: Aug. 31, 1936 in Rubicon, WI
.............................................................+ Robert H. Licht m: May 8, 1965 in Milwaukee, WI
.......................................................... 6 Janice Ann Abraham b: Dec. 6, 1940 in Milwaukee, WI
.............................................................+ Roland Brosel m: Feb. 23, 1963 in Milwaukee, WI
................................................................... 7 Bradley Jay Brosel b: private in Milwaukee, WI
................................................................... 7 Jill Ann Brosel b: private in Milwaukee, WI
............................................. 5 Joseph Schmidt b: May 10, 1910 in Rubicon, WI d: Dec. 9, 1977
..................................................+ Mary Liegl m: May 24, 1932 in Leroy, WI
.......................................................... 6 Delores Schmidt b: May 30, 1933
.............................................................+ Harold Hanni m: Oct. 4, 1952 in Woodland, WI
................................................................... 7 Daniel Hanni b: April 19, 1954 in WI d: Nov 15, 1991 in Iron Ridge, WI
................................................................... 7 Kenneth Hanni b: private
................................................................... 7 Jeffry Hanni b: private
................................................................... 7 David Hanni b: private
................................................................... 7 Mark Hanni b: private
.......................................................... 6 Shirley Schmidt
.............................................................+ Donald Albert m: Feb. 20, 1954 in Woodland, WI
................................................................... 7 Susan Albert b: private
............................................. 5 Catherine Anna Schmidt b: Abt. 1913 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
..................................................+ Edwin John Schmidt b: Dec. 21, 1912 in Hartford, WI
.................................................... m: June 2, 1934 in Rubicon, WI d: May 1, 1979 in WI
.......................................................... 6 (unknown) Schmidt b: Feb. 18, 1939 in Milwaukee, WI d: Feb. 18, 1939
.......................................................... 6 Edwin R. Schmidt b: July 21, 1940 in Milwaukee, WI
.............................................................+ Patricia Koskinin
................................................................... 7 Donald Schmidt b: private
................................................................... 7 Christine Schmidt b: private
................................................................... 7 Jacqueline Schmidt b: private
.......................................................... 6 Patricia K. Schmidt b: Nov. 6, 1941 in Milwaukee, WI
.............................................................+ John Heinlein b: July 25, 1939 m: Oct. 14, 1961
................................................................... 7 Sharon Heinlein b: private
................................................................... 7 Kirt Heinlein b: private
.......................................................... 6 Richard J. Schmidt b: Sept. 28, 1943 in Milwaukee, WI
.............................................................+ Joleen Orwal b: Nov. 8, 1945 m: Feb. 25, 1967
................................................................... 7 Lori Schmidt b: private
............................................. 5 Helen Lucille Schmidt b: Aug. 23, 1916 in Rubicon, WI d: Aug. 9, 2009 in Milwaukee, WI
..................................................+ Clarence Louis Rafenstein b: Sept. 18, 1910 in Rubicon, WI
.................................................... m: Oct. 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, WI d: Feb. 9, 1996 in Milwaukee, WI
.......................................................... 6 Kathleen Ann Rafenstein b: April 11, 1943 in Milwaukee, WI
.............................................................+ Richard Howard Otto b: Sept. 17, 1940 m: Oct. 5, 1963
................................................................... 7 Daniel Richard Otto b: private
................................................................... 7 Linda Sue Otto b: private
.......................................................... 6 Joyce Lynn Rafenstein b: March 7, 1947 in WI
.............................................................+ Fredrick Joseph Pinter m: July 13, 1968
................................................................... 7 Shelley Pinter b: private
............................................................ *2nd Husband of Joyce Rafenstein:
.............................................................+ Donald Jensen m: Aug. 20, 1976
................................................................... 7 Jaclyn Nicole Jensen b: private
................................................................... 7 Andrea Kathleen Jensen b: private
............................................. 5 Richard J. Schmidt b: Oct. 12, 1919 in Rubicon, WI d: Bef. 2006
..................................................+ Eleanor Wegener b: Nov. 1920 m: Jan. 11, 1941 in Rubicon, WI d: unknown
.......................................................... 6 David Schmidt b: July 10, 1943 in Wisconsin
..................................................*2nd wife of Richard Schmidt:
................................................. + Petrea E. Christiansen b: July 31, 1917 d: Jan. 3, 2006 in Brookfield, WI
.......................................................... 6 Eileen Mary Schmidt b: private
.............................................................+ Mark Szalacinski b: private
................................................................... 7 Mark Szalacinski b: private
................................................................... 7 Brittany Szalacinski b: private
.......................................................... 6 Petrea Schmidt b: private
.............................................................+ Steve King b: Abt. 1952 d: Oct. 9, 2005 in Milwaukee, WI
................................................................... 7 Melissa King b: private
.......................................................................+ Brian Hubert b: private
.............................................................................. 8 Jesse Hubert b: private
................................................................... 7 Laura King b: private
................................................................... 7 Gina King b: private
.......................................................... 6 Sandra Schmidt b: private
.............................................................+ Chet Manchester b: private
............................... 4 Elizabeth Berta "Lizzie" Frank b: March 8, 1884 in AR d: Nov. 20, 1962 in WI
...................................+ Robert A. Reitzner b: Aug. 1, 1880 in Germany m: Oct. 24, 1905
..................................... in St. Lawrence, WI d: June 4, 1964 in Rubicon, WI
............................................. 5 Marie E. Reitzner b: Nov. 2, 1908 in Rubicon, WI d: Feb. 13, 2001 in Watertown, WI
..................................................+ James Rudolf
............................... 4 Theodore Christopher "Ted" Frank b: June 24, 1887 in KS d: Dec. 1, 1936 in Hartford, WI
...................................+ Katherine Rosalia "Katie" Rohlinger b: Jan. 11, 1893 in Woodland, WI
..................................... m: Oct. 4, 1911 in Hartford, WI d: 1994 in Hartford, WI
............................................. 5 Frances Ida Frank b: Jan. 21, 1918 in WI d: Jan. 24, 1918 in Hartford, WI
............................................. 5 Ervin M. Frank b: Jan. 26, 1914 in Hartford, WI d: March 19, 1999 in Aurora, Illinois
..................................................+ Frances Elizabeth Klink b: May 31, 1915 in Fox Lake, WI d: Dec. 1, 1964 in Aurora, IL
.......................................................... 6 Michele Theresa Frank b: private in Nurnburg, Germany
.............................................................+ Elmer M. Schelling b: private in Aurora, IL
................................................................... 7 Christopher M. Schelling b: private
................................................................... 7 Nichole E. Schelling b: private
.......................................................... 6 Mark Ervin Frank b: private in Madison, WI
.......................................................... 6 Michael Allen Frank b: private in Hartford, WI
.............................................................+ Nancy E. Lenkowski b: private in Chicago, IL
................................................................... 7 Catherine Frank b: private
................................................................... 7 Benjamin Frank b: private
................................................. *2nd Wife of Ervin M. Frank:
..................................................+ Wilma E. Urak b: April 11, 1912 d: Jun. 5, 2001 in Aurora, IL
............................................. 5 Robert J. Frank b: Abt. 1924 in Hartford, WI d: in Manitowoc, WI
..................................................+ Rita (unknown)
............................................. 5 Jeanette A. "Jean" Frank b: June 4, 1925 in Hartford, WI d: Feb. 17, 2008 in West Bend, WI
..................................................+ Maurice Leverance b: private m: July 24, 1948
--
Notes on Jean Leverance:
.............In her younger years, Jean enjoyed being a Candystriper at Hartford Hospital during World War II, and later, spending time for 17 years in Florida during the winter, playing bingo two times a week and playing cards the other days of the week. Jean was an active member of St. Peter's Church, the Christian Mother's of the church, Legion of Mary, former choir member and the Slinger Senior Citizens Club.
--
.......................................................... 6 Michael Leverance b: private
.............................................................. + ChrisAnn (unknown) b: private
................................................................... 7 Mike Leverance b: private
................................................................... 7 Catherine Leverance b: private
.......................................................................+ Leon Steltz b: private
................................................................... 7 Matthew Leverance b: private
.......................................................... 6 Thomas Leverance b: private
.............................................................. + Connie (unknown) b: private
................................................................... 7 Joshua Leverance b: private
................................................................... 7 Kathryn Leverance b: private
............................... 4 Joseph J. Frank b: Feb. 27, 1889 in KS d: Nov. 6, 1918 in Rubicon, WI
...................................+ Susan E. Gehl b: 1891 in WI m: June 24, 1914 in WI d: 1946 in WI
............................................. 5 Marie Susan Frank b: March 20, 1915 in St. Lawrence, WI d: unknown
............................................. 5 Joseph Frank b: Jan. 13, 1919 in St. Lawrence, WI d: Dec. 9, 1963 in WI
..................................................+ Marian M. Thies b: July 14, 1920 in Wisconsin m: Nov. 26, 1938 at
.................................................... St. Mary's Church, Holy Hill, WI d: June 17, 1981 in St. Lawrence, WI
.......................................................... 6 James Frank b: Abt. 1939 in Wisconsin
.......................................................... 6 Richard A. Frank b: 1941 in Wisconsin d: 1997 in Wisconsin
.......................................................... 6 Robert Frank b: Aft. 1940 in Wisconsin
............................... 4 Margaret Miriam Frank b: Jan. 15, 1891 in Windthorst, Kansas d: April 21, 1935 in Milwaukee, WI
...................................+ Peter Andrew Kolb b: Oct. 12, 1887 in Milwaukee, WI m: June 10, 1924 in Pardeeville, WI
..................................... d: April 9, 1941 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
--
Notes on Peter and Margaret Frank Kolb:
............. Baptised on December 27, 1891 in Windthorst, Kansas. Sponsors were John and Mary Torline. Margaret was a corsetiere. At her wedding with Peter Kolb, her step-father, John Schild, gave her away (1924). She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April, 1935. Burial is at block 41 east.
--
............................................. 5 Russell Peter Kolb b: May 19, 1925 in Milwaukee, WI d: August 10, 2009 in WI
..................................................+ Vivian Louise Hirschboeck b: private in Milwaukee, WI
.................................................. [click here for additional information on this line.]
............................... 4 Helen Clara Frank b: March 26, 1893 in Windthorst, KS d: March 4, 1995 in WI
...................................+ Oscar Joseph Peters b: Dec. 10, 1889 in Woodland, WI m: Sept. 9, 1913 d: Dec. 21, 1942 in Milwaukee, WI
............................................. 5 Donald Peters b: May 23, 1917 in Wyocena, WI d: March 1, 1989 in WI
..................................................+ Ruth Christians m: Feb. 16, 1942 in Alexandria, LA
.......................................................... 6 William Joseph Peters b: July 6, 1956 d: Jan. 20, 1976
.............................................................+ Yvonne Gilbert m: Feb. 13, 1975 in Fall River, WI
............................................. 5 Robert Joseph Peters b: Nov. 25, 1933 in Portage, WI
..................................................+ Virginia McMonigal
.......................................................... 6 Mary Beth Peters b: private
.......................................................... 6 John Peters b: private
.......................................................... 6 James Peters b: private
.......................................................... 6 Lisa Peters b: private
............................... 4 Herman Joseph Frank b: Sept. 11, 1895 in Windthorst, KS d: Nov. 1965 in WI
............................... 4 Henry Franklin b: Oct. 30, 1898 in WI d: 1946 in San Francisco, CA
............................... 4 Mathias Robert Frank b: Dec. 16, 1900 in WI d: June 27, 1984 in Inglewood, CA
...................................+ Angeline Mary Stanczyk b: Oct. 2, 1906 in Stevens Point, WI
..................................... m: Abt. 1923 in Waukegan, Illinois d: Jan. 24, 1962 in Inglewood, California
............................................. 5 James "Jimmy" Frank b: July 4, 1928 in Milwaukee, WI
............................................. 5 Mary Jane Frank b: July 20, 1930 in Milwaukee, WI
..................................................+ (unknown) Tucker
............................................. 5 Roger Frank b: Dec. 21, 1935 in Milwaukee, WI
...................... 3 Anna Mary Frank b: Jan./July 24, 1856/1858 in St. Lawrence, WI d: July 9, 1864 in Wisconsin
........ 2 Jakob Frank b: Aug. 17, 1819 in Vallendar d: Aug. 24, 1819 in Vallendar, Prussia
..*2nd wife of Ludwig Franz Frank:
..+ Catharina Schaffer b: unknown m: Aug. 22, 1820 d: Feb. 9, 1850 in Vallendar


WINDTHORST HISTORY

According to page 25, vol. II of Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History ... (Standard Publishing Co., Chicago) edited by Frank W. Blackmar, "Windhorst, a hamlet in Ford county, is located about 15 miles east of Dodge City, and 12 miles south of Belfont, the nearest railroad station and the post office from which it receives mail."

In 1876, a number of German men met at Arbeiter Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, representing various trades: cobblers, tailors, carpenters, foundry workers, guilders, tanners, blacksmiths, and common laborers. None were farmers. They banded together as the Aurora Colonization Society (German Catholic Aurora Homestead Association, formed Jan. 1878) and elected Henry Macke president and John Luzons secretary. They met to better conditions in the land of opportunity, as times and wages were poor.

They raised capital in the amount of $160,000 (no small amount) and divided it into shares of $400 each. The money was to be used to purchase large tracts of land in the west. Correspondence was carried on between the General Land Agent of the Santa Fe Railroad and Father Felix Schwemberg of Newton, Kansas. Land agents in Little Rock, Arkansas were also contacted.

The Association members went to Cincinatti, Ohio first, seeking advice on where to settle. It was recommended that they settle in Ford County, Kansas. Men were sent to check out the land. These migrants first stopped in Arkansas and then went to Kansas. (It can be assumed that this is how the Frank family came into contact with these migrants.)

Father Schwenberg of Newton and D. C. Schmidt, the Topeka General Land Agent of the Santa Fe Railway Company, showed great interest in the Aurora Colonization Society. Mr. Schmidt recommended a tract of land in Ford County, ten miles south of Offerle, extending to the Osage Indian Territory. After many meetings and surveying the land, the Association members purchased 10 sections of land at ten dollars per acre. The Railroad Company, in good faith, donated 80 acres of land to the Association.

The Association members found plenty of buffalo, grass, fertile soil, and top soil (20 to 30 inches of it); there was also a plentiful amount of water and an invigorating climate. After much debate, the Association agreed on the name Windthorst in honor of Ludwig Van Windthorst, who at that time was the leader of the Catholic Center Party and a bitter opponent of the Iron Chancellor of Germany, Bismarck.

Twelve men settled immediately, among them Fred Hain and John Torline. On Feb. 21, 1878, the first families from Ohio arrived in Windthorst. Then when the church, school, and cemetery were decided upon, the rest of the 80 acres was divided into lots and sold at public auction in Cincinnati to the highest bidder, whether he were a member of the Aurora Colonization Society or not. Some men brought lumber to build homes, while others had sod houses, and dugouts. Women stayed in the first home built, with neighborly love, while the men moved on to build another. Wells were hand dug. Some lived on the 80 acres purchased from the Santa Fe and others lived on 160 acres of government land.

March 9, 1878, the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway gave a deed to the German Catholic Aurora Homestead Association. It was deeded in Ford County by John B. Means, County clerk, April 23, 1878, and recorded the same day.

The first Mass was celebrated on May 22, 1878, in the Henry Tasset home. Great sacrifices were entailed to attend Mass, with many people walking miles in all kinds of weather, with there only being a few wagons and no buggies in 1878.

Finally, the first church was built in the Spring of 1879 and was blessed by Father Ferdinand Wolf on Easter Sunday. Father Ferdinand Wolf was a Benedictine priest who came to minister to the spiritual needs of Windthorst on May 21, 1878. He also took care of mission places, St. Joseph's, eight miles North of Windthorst, Kinsley and Dodge. An old photo of the church is Online HERE. Miss Anna Tasset taught the first school held in the church. The pupils used books brought from Cincinnati and those furnished by Bishop Fink. They sat on the kneeler and used the seats for desks.

The first brick for the current church in Windthorst was laid on May 4, 1912 and the building was dedicated on June 12, 1913. The present Immaculate Heart of Mary Church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

These brave pioneers gathered sunflower and corn stalks, as well as, cow chips along the Arkansas River, to provide fuel. Anyone having twenty or more wagon loads of cow chips felt secure for the winter. Because of an Indian scare, the settlers once sought refuge in Spearville, staying at the Boedecker Hotel. They faced near starvation on their claims, but through it all they stayed with the land, even though they eventually lost the ten original sections of land bought from the railroad.

Additional history is available HERE. Additional photos can be found HERE.

[To be continued ...]


Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (Register of Historic Places), Windhorst.

A brief history of Windhorst from a plaque at the Church can be found here.


Windhorst Church.



Cemetery at Windhorst.


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