Jacob Franks is one of the solid men of Solomon township. He was born December 18, 1841, within a few miles of Portland, which is the county seat of Jay county, Indiana. His parents were Aaron and Sarah (First) Franks, who were of Pennsylvania birth and reared in Fayette county. Aaron Franks was one of eleven children. His paternal grandfather was Jacob Franks, who came from Germany to Pennsylvania in a very early day and established the first church in that section of the country near the head waters of Jacob's creek, from which it takes it name, the Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran church; the creek was also named for him. He bought a farm and gave it to the society and they built a church which was called the "Dutch meeting house," as the majority of the people were Germans. About fifty years ago this church was replaced with a brick edifice which is still in good condition.
Mr. Frank's maternal grandparents were of Dutch origin. His grandfather ran away at the age of thirteen years without any money, and crossed the water. When he landed on American soil the ship's captain bound him as an apprentiice to a cooper for three years that he might pay for his passage across the water. He served his apprenticeship and continued with his employer four years longer. Having attained his majority he went to Pennsylvania where he took a tomahawk right to a piece of land where he lived until his death. He was the father of thirteen children, one of whom was Sarah First, our subject's mother. Jacob was a family name with both the Franks and the Firsts.
Aaron Franks and Sarah First were married and moved westward to Ohio, settling in Licking county, where three of their family of children were born. Being desirous of securing more and cheaper land they moved to Indiana where he bought a quarter of timbered government land which cost $1.25 per acre. Being a new country it was very unhealthy and the two eldest children died. Aaron Franks was drowned in 1842. Mrs. Franks, the widow and mother, took her three remaining children and retuned to Pennsylvania where she became housekeeper for a bachelor brother who proved a benefactor. Mrs. Franks took care of him during his last illness and was well repaid for her services. Mr. Franks' mother died in Pennsylvania in 1875 at the age of seventy-five years.
In 1863, Mr. Franks married Sarah Caldron of Fayette county, where they both had grown to manhood and womanhood in the same circle of acquaintance. In the autumn of 1880, twenty-three years ago, they came to Cloud county and purchased of Reed P. Bracken the quarter section of land where they now live, four miles northwest of Glasco. Mrs. Franks is of German origin. Her paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to Fayette county, in the early settlement of the state of Pennsylvania, and lived there until the death of himself and wife. Her father was Ellis Caldron, a farmer, who died in 1872. Her mother died in 1892. To Mr. and Mrs. Franks seven children have been born, five of whom are living. Miles, deceased at the age of thirty-one years, leaving a wife, Celia (Benson) Franks, and little daughter Edna. He was a farmer of Solomon township. He died in 1896. Andrew J., a farmer of Solomon township, whose wife was Fannie Weaver, a daughter of Nicolas Weaver of Solomon township. They have one child, Audrey Beryl. William, a resident and miner of Goldfield, Colorado. His wife is Lydia Ulery of Pennsylvania. They have one child, Thelma. Dora, deceased when an infant. Charles (see sketch), Lester and Bessie are at home.
Mr. Franks' only sister is Mrs. Peter Miller of Dunkirk, Indiana. Mr. Franks has improved his farm, built a large stone residence, and in 1899 built a basement barn 32 by 42 by 12 feet in height, and shortly afterward added one hundred and sixty acres adjoining his land on the south. Most of his farm is wheat land. Wheat raising is his chief industry and several years has had a yield of from twenty to thirty bushels per acre. Mr. Franks is a Populist, has served as township treasurer several times and has been a member of the school board. The family are members of the Baptist church, Asherville congregation.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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