John Jacob Frank, a well-to-do boot and shoe manufacturer of Delavan, was born in Rhinich-Bavaria, Germany, April 24, 1834, and is a son of John J. and Catherine (Unruh) Frank, both natives of Germany, where the former was born in 1767 and the latter in 1797. The paternal grandparents were John J. and Caroline (Walder) Frank, the birthplace of both being also Germany, and the maternal grandfather, Valentine Unruh, likewise had his birthplace in the Fatherland.
About the year 1850, at the age of fifteen the subject of this sketch came to the United States with his sister and located in Peru, Ill. There he attended the public schools, and finished learning the trade of a boot and shoemaker, which he had begun in Germany. After remaining in Peru two years he removed to Peoria, and was there employed at his trade for three years. From Peoria he moved to Lacon, Ill., and engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, in connection with which he conducted a retail store. He continued here until 1873, when he sold his business, and located at Delavan, opening a boot and shoe store and manufactory, and doing general repairing as well. He has prospered in his chosen avocation, and does a large and lucrative business.
Mr. Frank is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics is a stanch Democrat. He has held the office of Alderman for three terms, and was Overseer of the Poor of Marshall County, for four years. Socially he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Knights Templar, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Independent Mutual Aid.
In 1858 Mr. Frank was married to Miss Mary A. O’Brien at Lacon, and two children were born of this union: William H., and H. Adelbert. Mrs. Frank was born June 2, 1839, and departed this life October 20, 1876. Mr. Frank’s second marriage took place in 1877, when he was united to Miss Emily Arndt, who was born in Posen. Prussia, February 15, 1855. They are the parents of three children: Oscar J., Albert E., and Ella A.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1002
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