Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jacob Frank, 1833-1909

Today is the first in a series of obituary postings I plan to make. The county libraries in Fulton and St. Louis, Missouri have indexes for local obituaries going back to the late 19th century that make it very easy to find multiple obituaries for relatives. The St. Louis library has their obituary index online here. Both libraries charge only a nominal fee to locate and mail copies of the obituaries to you. If you have any relatives who lived in these areas (regardless of where they died) then you should check with these libraries as obituaries are one of the best pieces of genealogical evidence available.

My first profile is for my G-G-Great-Grandfather Jacob Frank. The Fulton library had two obituaries and a burial notice for Jacob Frank. These obituaries provided a great deal of information and I was happy to see most of my theories in my prior post on the Frank family were correct.

Jacob Frank was born in Hammelburg, Bavaria on April 19, 1833. He emigrated to the United States at age 17 and settled in Fulton, Missouri at age 19 (about 1852). In 1857 he married Katherine Backer, the daughter of a recent Prussian immigrant.

Jacob worked as a coal miner from 1852 until 1891, when he retired and became a gardener. He had a house on Market St. in Fulton with a small plot of land in the back with a garden from which he sold produce to other residents of the city. Oddly, neither obituary mentions his service in the civil war. He served for about three years in the Missouri 9th Calvary Regiment State Militia Volunteers. Perhaps this was omitted because much of his service during the war was dedicated to combatting Confederate sympathizers in the Fulton area.

Jacob was a member of the Fulton First Presbyterian Church. His obituary from the Fulton Journal describes him as a very holy and honorable man:
He was faithful in filling as his obligations to his fellow man and to his God. His one ambition in life was to deal justly and fairly with all men and in this he was remarkably successful. He was a man of generous heart and sought to be helpful to those about him. Mr. Frank was a consistent and faithful member of the Presbyterian Church and lived a truly Christian life in both his public and private affairs. It can be truly said of Mr. Frank that he was a faithful servant to his God, his country and his home. For none truer or more faithful and useful men have come and gone in this life than our departed friend and neighbor.
Jacob Frank died at his home in Fulton on Wednesday, May 12th, 1909 at 9:30 a.m. of a heart attack. He was preceded in death by one son, Albert Jacob Frank of Fulton (I will post his obituaries later) and one daughter, Lottie Kester, wife of August, also of Fulton. He was survived by his wife, Katherine, and seven children. He left three sons: Charles, Henry and William Frank, all of Fulton, and four daughters: Matilda Langenbach, wife of Herman, of Marion, Ill., Julia Egerer, wife of Adolph, of Mexico, Mo., Bertha Lockridge, wife of James, of Fulton, and Mary Fitzhugh, wife of George, also of Fulton.

Below are Jacob's obituaries from the Fulton Telegraph and Fulton Journal, and a burial notice. You can right click on the obituaries to zoom in if you would like to read the text better.

Jacob Frank Obituaries