Profile of John G. Frank (b. 1834) from historical Darke county (Ohio) book in 1900

header of John's profile Profile of John G. Frank (b. 1834) from historical Darke county (Ohio) book in 1900.


"John G. Frank," A biographical history of Darke county, Ohio. 1900 (Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL), pages 303-305, accessed on the Internet Archive at

Transcript of Profile [paragraphs, emphasis, & lists added]


On Sections 17 and 18, Harrison township, is located the fine farmstead of one hundred and twenty-six acres which is owned and cultivated by the gentleman whose name introduces this review, and we are pleased to give a resume of his career in this connection, for he stands for as one of the leading German-American citizens of Darke county and as a representative of our best yeoman that has gained to this section its reputation as one of the most attractive farming communities in the favored state, noted for its agricultural pre-eminence.

John George Frank was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, the 26th of May, 1834, and

  • when a young man of twenty, in 1854, emigrated to America for the purpose of trying his fortunes in the new world, where he felt better opportunities were offered to the energetic and industrious young men. He made the eventful voyage on a sailing vessel, and after leaving Bremen fifty-three days elapsed ere the boat dropped anchor in the port of New York.
  • A stranger in a strange land, Mr. Frank at once set about making his way, being determined to succeed, if success could be gained by honest and earnest endeavor. He stopped for a time on the Delaware river, fifteen miles north of Philadelphia, where he secured work as a farm hand at eight dollars per month.
  • He had but a small amount of cash when he left home and fatherland, and when he reached America his financial reinforcement amounted in Pennsylvania for four and one-half months he came on to the west, being employed for about the same length of time [4.5 months] in a wagon shop at Richmond, [Wayne county] Indiana,
  • after which he identified himself with the interests of Darke county, coming to Harrison township, hiring out by the month until the winter of 1857.

On the 5th of December of that year [1857] Mr. Frank showed his confidence in himself and his ability to succeed by assuming a definite responsibility, being then united in marriage to Miss Jemima Brown, who was born in this township on the 17th of December, 1833, the daughter of Edward Brown, who is still living at the venerable age of ninety-two years, being one of the wealthy and honored farmers of the county. He was born in Pennsylvania and his marriage to Miss Mary M. Blocher, who was born near York, that state, was solemnized in Harrison township, Darke county. Mrs. Brown died in Madison in 1888, at the age of seventy-eight years, having become the mother of three sons and six daughters, of whom the three sons are living and only one of the daughters, - Mrs. Frank, the estimable wife of our subject. Her brothers are farmers in this township and in contiguous sections of Indiana, and the venerable father now makes his home with his children, being cared for with the deepest filial solicitude and being now feeble and broken in health by reason of great age. 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank have become the parents of four sons and four daughters, of whom we offer the following brief record [possibly in order of birth]:

  1. Mary is the wife of Philip Rogers, a successful farmer of Washington township, this county, and they have six children:
  2. Sarah Jane is the wife of Newton Rogers and is the mother of seven children;
  3. Frederick W. resides on the old homestead, which he operates for his father; he married Alice Miller and they have four sons and two daughters:
  4. Jonas A., who is a successful fruit grower, residing north of Greenville, this county, is married and has seven children;
  5. Rebecca is the wife of Charles Albright and has one child;
  6. Charles Edward, a meat dealer in Hollansburg, is married and has one daughter;
  7. John G., is a tenant farmer in the adjoining county in Indiana [possibly Adams], and of his marriage two children were born, but both are deceased;
  8. Emma is the wife of Leonard Moore, who resides in this immediate vicinity, and they have one son;
  9. and the other child of our subject and wife was a son who died at the age of seven months.

In the year 1859 Mr. Frank purchased fifty-two acres of land, the same being a portion of his present farm, and for this original tract he paid thirty dollars per acre, now permanent improvements having been made on the place, and the young man having to assume an indebtedness for a portion of the purchase price.

  • He erected a small frame house, one story in height and 16x24 feet in dimensions, and also put up a log barn. The original house is now a part of his present attractive and commodious residence and is occupied by his son. Improvements were made as rapidly as circumstances would permit, - he erected a small frame barn eventually, and in 1879 built his large and well equipped barn, 42x52 feet in dimensions, and in 1885 the new residence of two stories was erected.
  • Mr. Frank has made three additions to the acreage of his farm since his original purchase, and he now has one hundred and twenty-six acres under a fine state of cultivations and devoted to mixed farming. He makes it a point to rotate crops every three years, thus keeping up the vitality of the land.
  • He also raises swine somewhat extensively and keeps a
  • dairy of from sixteen to twenty high grade Jersey cows, all eligible for registration. He operates is own creamery, the products of which find ready demand in the direct family trade controlled in Richmond.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank are members of the German Baptist church, in whose direct and collateral work they have an abiding interest, our subject being a deacon in the church.

In politics he gives his support to the Democratic party, but he has invariably declined to accept official preferment.

He and his wife continue to be actively concerned in the affairs of the homestead, though the operation of the farm has been consigned to their son, who is a practical and capable young agriculturist and business man. They enjoy a marked popularity in the community and the high estimation in which they are held stands in unmistakable evidence of their sterling worth of character. The farm is one of the most attractive in this section and everything about the place gives indication of the care and attention bestowed. On the place Mr. Frank has a sorghum mill, which has brought a good revenue and has yielded much valuable fertilizing material.