Francis Marion “Frank” Stahl


Francis Marion “Frank” Stahl

Darke County, Ohio, USA
Death 4 Mar 1937 (aged 95)
Burlingame, Osage County, Kansas, USA
Burial Auburn, Shawnee County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 13704241 View Source

Born in Darke County, Ohio, May 23, 1841, he was one of the eight children of Michael and Susan (Moore) Stahl. Michael Stahl was both a cooper and shoemaker, and as a youth Frank learned those trades from his father. In the decades of the '40s and '50s when he was growing up in Western Ohio there was no real public school system in that state. Most schools were maintained on the subscription plan, each family paying the tuition of those of its children who attended, and the time was usually only three months a year. Frank Stahl attended such a school in a log cabin.

In 1857 he decided to leave Ohio and move to Kansas. Starting from Ohio, he went by railroad as far as Jefferson City, Missouri, which was then the terminus of the old Missouri Pacific Railroad, and thence by steamboat up the Missouri to Kansas City. Leaving Kansas City, or rather Westport Landing, since Kansas City as a town did not then exist, he started west on foot. After many discouraging circumstances he landed in March, 1857, near Auburn on Six Mile Creek. He did not have a cent to his name. His first employer was Robert Simerwell, who was a missionary among the Pottawattamie Indians. He worked on Mr. Simerwell's farm, and later found employment in what was probably the first mill in Kansas, located at Auburn.

In March, 1859, his parents followed him to Kansas. They located about ten miles southwest of Topeka, where his father bought a tract of land near Auburn that was in the family hands for a considerable time.

Led on by the spirit of adventure, in June, 1860, Frank Stahl crossed the plains on foot to Denver. He had some experiences as a miner at Central City and Blackhawk, and was doing quite well there when he was induced to go on to the Sangre de Cristos in southern Colorado. That proved a fruitless quest, and he returned to be confronted with the disastrous news that his partner had decamped with everything that could be converted into money.

Early in 1862 he joined a drive to Fort Union over the Santa Fe trail. His team carried a wagon loaded with 6,500 pounds of revolvers and ammunition. Upon returning home he enlisted in the 2nd Kansas Cavalry and served in that unit during the CIvil War. We was wounded at Dardanelle, AR, and ended up in the hospital at Ft. Smith, AR. After the war he headed another drive on the Santa Fe Trail, this one from Ft. Leavenworth to Ft. Union, and made up of cattle for distribution in New Mexico.

In 1869 Mr. Stahl married Jennie T. Dickson, A brief record of the children is as follows: Alexander Michael, who lived in California; Effie May, Mrs. James Ely, of Oklahoma; Edgar Marion, of Topeka; Lloyd Lincoln and Lewis Garfield, twins, the former a farmer near Burlingame and the latter engaged in the lumber business at Wakarusa; Eva Irene, wife of Blanchard Meredith of Eskridge; Clare W., a physician at Burlingame; and Leon Frank, a farmer at Shawnee County.

Later in life he served as chief of police in Topeka and was a leader in the temperance movement in the state, holding an annual picnic near his property.

Bio partially courtesy TJ Cochran (

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