Frank, Lawrence

honorificEsquire
Birth: October 1749
Death: April 13, 1813 in Busti, Chautauqua County, NY
Nationality:

German-American

Occupation:

Tavern-keeper

Marital status:

Married Mary Myers on November 20, 1769 in Frankfort, NY. They had eleven children. One son, John, headed the local Committee of Safety during the Revolution and commanded a party that on 18 July 1778 pursued the Mohawk chief Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) after the attack on Andrustown, six miles east of German Flats.

Biography:

Lawrence Frank, also identified in histories of Frankfort as "Lewis," was one of the earliest settlers of the town of Frankfort (originally Frank's Ford), located east of present-day Utica, which was named in his honor. He was the son of Henry Frank (c 1725-1790) and Maria Catharine. Henry immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany, probably Bavaria, with his brother Christopher in 1740 and was a trader between the Mohawk and Lehigh Valleys in the 1740s and 50s. He settled in German Flatts, an area originally belonging to the Mohawk Nation but populated with German immigrants who bought up the fertile river lands. Lawrence married Mary Myers in 1769 and they helped found the new town of Frankfort on land originally bought from the Mohawks by Dutch settlers. The land was set off as a separate town from German Flatts by an act of the NY Legislature on February 5, 1796. Lawrence Frank owned a large tract of land, and town history reflects that he actively promoted the industrial and agricultural progress of Frankfort, which was severely damaged in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. In fact, Frank and a group of other patriots were taken as prisoners of war during the Revolution and housed in Quebec from August 31 1778 until May 15 1781, when he was released and made his way back home. His popularity is reflected in the fact that the village of Howard's Bush was renamed Frankfort Center and McGowansville was renamed East Frankfort. Later in life, Frank moved with some of his family to a new settlement called Busti in Chautauqua County, NY, which is where he died. On his first journey to the Oneidas in 1761, Occom records paying for lodging at Mr. Franks, a tavern keeper in German Flatts. Although there is no historical record of such a place, Occom returned to this tavern many times on his preaching tours of the area between 1786 and 1790. Frank's Tavern must have been a major establishment because in early July of 1761, Occom notes that William Johnson met him and David Fowler there, and that the next day Johnson met with chiefs of the Oneidas to work out an agreement about an Oneida who killed a Dutchman. In June 1789, Occom records preaching in Esquire Frank's barn to "a vast number of people."

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Sources:

"Early Frankfort History." http://herkimer.nygenweb.net/frankfort/earlyfrank.html; "Early History of the Town of Frankfort." http://www.townoffrankfort.com/our_town.php; http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/f/r/a/Robert-H-Frank/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0058.htmlGeneology.com; "History of Chautauqua County, NY." http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/History_of_Chautauqua_County_New_York_and_Its_People_v1_1000581434/117; Stone, William L. The Starin Family in America. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1892; http://memory.loc.gov/master/gdc/scdser01/200401/books_on_film_project/loc06/20060524004st.pdf.