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Thomas J. "Tom" Franks
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Birth: Dec. 13, 1868
Iowa, USA
Death: Jan. 19, 1944
Jasper County
Missouri, USA

Veteran: Spanish American War.

h/o May Cunningham

Birth: 2nd of seven known children in Nevada, Story county, Iowa, (confusion, sister Nettie's death certificate has her born 2 November 1868, 1900 Federal census has Nov 1861, but most likely should be 1871).

With family, he removed to Carthage, Jasper county, Missouri after 1880 Federal census, (one source has when 5 y/o, ie: 1874) where Thomas and his siblings obtained their education in its public school system and where spring 1883 father became a Jasper county School Commissioner.

When Thomas was fifteen (1884) he became a telegrapher at neighboring Joplin, Jasper county, Missouri for Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway, better known as the "Frisco". He was associated with and worked under Carl Raymond Gray who was but one year older starting one year earlier (1883) at Rogers, Benton county, Arkansas, being the divison freight agent in Joplin, with many years along side of E C Hoag, Carl's cousin, born 1870 in Carthage.

Source: Mornin' Mail, 1897, to wit:

"T. J. Franks, a well known former Carthage boy, was in Carthage last evening and while here received a circular letter from General Freight Agent Russell, of the Frisco, notifying him that the office of district freight agent held by C. R. Gray will be abolished.

"Gray has already been promoted and Mr. Franks will succeed him and although under the name of general agent, he will have supervision of the same territory the division freight agent had charge."

Thomas became traveling agent for the Frisco then succeeded Carl as division freight agent in Wichita, Sedgwick county, Kansas, Thomas was then transferred back to Joplin and later to headquarters in Saint Louis, (Independent City), Missouri, where his last job was general agent for the operating department, leaving Frisco after 28 years (listed as "mining" on 1910 Census), the year following his first boss, Carl R Gray who became Frisco's senior vice-president, resigning in 1911 also following 28 year service, reportedly in 1914 returning to head Frisco during receivership.

Mr. Franks is a justly popular young man in Carthage, having lived here for years until he was transferred to Wichita. He began railroading ten years ago as a brakeman and was soon sent to Carthage as a depot employee. Over two years ago he was promoted to traveling freight agent as C. R. Gray's right bower, and he is thoroughly competent to assume the duties of the new position.
Thomas also served in what was originally created in 1876 as, Carthage Light Guard, now headed by his friend, captain Carl R Gray who took charge 10 AUG 1894 serving till March 1896, following it becoming Company A, 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry with its former commander Col W K Caffee promoted as its regimental commander.

Following Source: Mornin' Mail, whose dates are NOT always correct.

Matrimonial's Pleasant Meeting.

"The Matrimonial club and one invited guest, Mr. Tom Franks, of Wichta (sic), spent a most enjoyable evening with Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Greenwood last night.

"After a splendid dinner at 7 o'clock, of which quail was a feature, bid euchre was indulged in for a couple of hours, the ribbons being won by A. A. Ramsay and Mrs. John McMillan.

"Partners for dinner were selected by each lady writing on a card the thing for which she was most thankful. These were shuffled and passed to the gentlemen, who each took one, and so aptly was the characteristic thankfulness expressed by each that the gentlemen had no trouble in picking the partners they had thus drawn.

"After cards a lively half hour was spent with music and dancing. The club will be entertained next week by Capt. & Mrs John McMillan."

Census: 1910, age 41 Saint Louis (Independent City), Missouri with wife & two kids at 5620 Cates avenue, occupation mining. (Carl R Gray & family living at 5885 Cates avenue in 1904, as 2nd vp Frisco)

Census: 1920, age 61 Joplin, Jasper county, Missouri with wife, her half-brother & three kids at 722 north Byers avenue, occupation mine operator.

Census: 1930, age 61 Joplin, Jasper county, Missori with wife, her half-brother & two kids at 101 Sargent avenue.

Thomas Franks after leaving Frisco reportedly became a mining engineer and operator in the Waco and Carterville fields of Jasper county, Missouri, associated with Frank H Danglade of Webb City, operating the Saint Louis-Joplin Lead and Zinc company's property near Joplin.

He was a long, active leader in Chamber of Commerce affairs at Joplin, once member of Joplin special road district commission and Joplin's park board.

He also, was a member of the Elks Lodge, a Repbulican, with his wife a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Evening of Thursday, June 7 1934 at Carthage, Missouri's Drake hotel, Tom & wife May were on the fifty-one member reception committee to welcome their friends of over forty years, Colonel Carl Raymond and wife Harriette (Flora) Gray to Carthage Homecoming and the following day, Friday, receive them in Joplin for a visit.

Thomas raised three daughters, Helen Elizabeth, Margaret Louise and Emily May, plus his wife's half-brother, Allen Cunninghan, after death of his father, L P Cunningham, in 1911.

Death: in Joplin following a couple years of illness, burial with wife May, daughter Helen Elizabeth and foster son Allen Cunningham in wife's mother's Lucy (Hood) Cunningham's plot, B 23, Lot 24, Park cemetery, Carthage, Missouri, and with others.

Father: Jackson H Franks b: about 1848 in Illinois
Mother: Anna Ginter b: 2 SEP 1850 in Monongahela, Washington county, Pennsylvania, formerly Virginia.

Marriage: May Cunningham b: 29 May 1879 Carthage, Jasper county, Missouri
Married: 22 APR 1896 in her mother's home Carthage, Jasper county, Missouri

Some of Thomas Franks' biography from C B Hood, III's 1994 book, "The Thomas Hood Family", Chapter XXIII, on file at both, Carthage & Joplin libraries and Carthage's archive center.
Family links: 
  Jackson or Jeremiah H Franks (1848 - ____)
  Anna R. Ginter Franks (1850 - 1928)
  May Cunningham Franks (1870 - 1949)
  Helen Elizabeth Franks (1898 - 1980)*
  Margaret F Franks Christman (1909 - 1961)*
  Mary Franks (1864 - ____)*
  Thomas J. Franks (1868 - 1944)
  Nellie E Franks (1871 - 1951)*
  Charles Lewis Franks (1876 - 1929)*
  Humes Cummings Franks (1878 - 1944)*
  Bess A Franks (1883 - 1937)*
  Faye Franks Yaryan (1890 - 1951)*
*Calculated relationship
Park Cemetery
Jasper County
Missouri, USA
Maintained by: Bill
Originally Created by: I Remember When
Record added: Nov 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44375273
Thomas J. Tom Franks
Added by: Bill
Thomas J. Tom Franks
Added by: I Remember When
Thomas J. Tom Franks
Added by: Bill
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- Bill
 Added: Jul. 31, 2011

 Added: May. 7, 2011
A small town is usually divided by a railroad, a main street, two churches, and a lot of opinions.
- I Remember When
 Added: Apr. 27, 2011
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