Frank Rosebrook Millspaugh, D. D., Bishop of Kansas, of the Episcopal Church, is one of the most eminent Episcopal divines in the West. He is a descendant of sturdy Dutch and Huguenot ancestry and his lineage can be traced back to the Seventeenth century, when some of his Huguenot ancestors were forced to leave France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and afterward came to America. The Dutch ancestors located in New Amsterdam and Orange county, New York. The change in the spelling of the name from von Miltzbach, the original form, to Millspaugh, occurred when the English took possession of New Amsterdam, and in recording the names of the Dutch colonists the name was written Millspaugh instead of using the Dutch spelling. Later, when the Dutch colonists who bore the name saw the new form printed, they were rather pleased with the perverted spelling and adopted it, and since that time the name has been written Millspaugh.
Frank R. Millspaugh was born at Nichols, Tioga county, New York, April 12, 1848, a son of Cornelius Madden and Elvira (Rosebrook) Millspaugh. The father, a business man, died many years ago, but the mother, who reached the age of ninety-three years, has but recently gone to her rest. The parents of Bishop Millspaugh removed from New York to Faribault, Minn., in 1857, and there he attended the parish schools and was under the care and guidance of Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, D. D., that pioneer missionary and instructor. He became a student and choir boy in the first church building of the Bishop Seabury University, under Dr. Breck, Bishop Whipple, Professor Thomas (afterward Bishop of Kansas), and Dr. Dobbin. He completed the course at Shattuck School, Faribault, Minn., now one of the largest military schools in the West, in 1869, being its first graduate, and three years later graduated in the Seabury Divinity School, which conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, in 1895. He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Whippie in the Cathedral at Faribault, in June, 1873, and the following year was advanced to the priesthood by Bishop Whipple, the ceremony taking place in the cathedral where his father served as a vestryman thirteen years. He had been a thoughtful, earnest student during the years spent under those consecrated missionaries and imbibed from them their nobility of purpose. He began sharing their arduous work when he accepted his first charge, that of the territory which now comprises a large part of the Diocese of Duluth, with headquarters at Brainerd. After three years' service in charge of that field he became Dean of the Cathedral at Omaha, where he remained ten years and accomplished, in conjunction with Bishop Clarkson, the building of the magnificent cathedral there, which cost $100,000, and which is a splendid monument, perpetuating his zeal and perseverance in its construction. He was president of the Standing Committee of the Diocese and represented the Diocese at the General Convention during the whole of his Deanship. He was installed as rector of St. Paul's church, in Minneapolis, in 1886, and of his work there Bishop Whipple said: "He has done more for St. Paul's Church of Minneapolis than has been accomplished by all the rectors who have had charge there. The church was greatly in debt when he came to it, and by his untiring and never flagging efforts he has saved it to the people and the diocese." He was a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, served on two Diocesan committees, and as secretary of the Board of Missions during his service in Minneapolis.
In October, 1882, was solemnized the marriage of Bishop Millspaugh and Mary McPherson Hambleton, daughter of Bishop Clarkson, of Omaha. Three children have been born to Bishop and Mrs. Millspaugh: Elvira is the wife of Chauncy Dewey, of Chicago; Nellie C. is the wife of Harold Copeland, of Kansas City, Mo.; and Robert Clarkson Millspaugh is a student at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.
Rector Millspaugh resigned his charge at Minneapolis in 1894 and came to Kansas, as Dean of Grace Cathedral, at Topeka. On the death of his old instructor, Bishop Thomas, the following year, he was elected as the successor to Bishop Thomas and was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas by Bishops Whipple, Tuttle, Spalding, Atwill, and Brooke, in the Topeka Cathedral, Sept. 19, 1895. He has devoted himself to his great work with zeal and fidelity, and his labors in behalf of the church in Kansas have resulted in great accomplishment. His influence has been a potent element for good in Kansas, resulting in the substantial growth of the church schools, both as to the number of their pupils and to the schools' qualification in Christian educational methods; in the strengthening of weak parishes; and in increasing the revenues of the church. He has built thirty-six churches and twenty-one rectories; a debt of $40,000 has been removed from the College of the Sisters of Bethany; the grounds of Christ Hospital have been increased eight acres, and two wings have been added which together cost about $32,000; and during his episcopate the sum of $60,000 has been added to the endowments of the diocese. In 1909 the citizens of Wellington, Kan., proposed to Bishop Millspaugh that they would raise a fund of $12,000 and donate six acres of ground for its site, if he would assume the responsibility of erecting a hospital there costing not less than $16,000. He accepted their proposition and there is now in course of erection St. Luke's Hospital, which will cost $20,000. In 1909 was begun the erection of the new Grace Cathedral, which, when completed, will be one of the finest buildings in the state used for religious purposes. This grand structure will not only be an attractive addition to the many fine houses of worship in Topeka, as well as of the state, but will stand for generations to come as a monument to the untiring zeal of Bishop Millspaugh, its Dean, and those who made its erection possible through their beneficent gifts; The late Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Giles, of Topeka, left a legacy of $46,000 to the church, to which was added a legacy from the late Mrs. Silas E. Sheldon, for $5,500, to equip the new cathedral with windows and bells; and to these gifts will be added a sum by interested members and public-spirited citizens, which will make the total $150,000, the approximate cost of the cathedral. The ground for the new structure was broken June 30, 1909; the superstructure was begun April 11, 1910, and the corner stone was laid May 31, 1910. The building will be 170x90 feet, with nave, aisles, and capacity to seat 1,200 people. There will be a chapel, ambulatory, clergy and choir rooms, surrounding a chancel 36x40 feet, and the interior will be finished with the same stone as the exterior, which is a native Kansas product, quarried at Silverdale.
In 1910 Bishop Millspaugh was elected by the Department of the Southwest, including eleven dioceses, as their representative on the General Missionary Board of the Episcopal Church of the United States.Pages 363-365 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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