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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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DR. J. W. FRANK, one of the well known and successful physicians of Phelps county, Nebr., is a native of Ohio, and was born on the twelfth day of December, 1841. The boyhood days of Dr. Frank were mainly spent in Marysville, the county seat of Union county, Ohio, where he lived with his parents and attended school until he was fifteen years of age. In 1855 he accompanied his parents to Henry county, Iowa, and the same year entered the Weslyan University at Mt. Pleasant, that state. He pursued his studies diligently in that institution for three years, preparing himself for whatever profession he might choose to enter upon.

When the war of the rebellion broke out and the very life of the nation was in peril, young Frank was among the first to offer his services in defense of the stars and stripes. He enlisted November 9, 1861, Company D, Fourth regiment Iowa cavalry. The first real opposition encountered by this regiment was at Prairie Grove, Ark., where, after a lively skirmish, the boys in blue triumphed over the rebel opponents. The Fourth Iowa cavalry also supported General Price in his famous raid in Missouri, and, in fact, participated in nearly all the principal cavalry engagements in the West.

Dr. Frank was one of the ill-fated crew aboard the steamer Maria on the Mississippi about nine miles below St. Louis at the time of the terrible explosion which occurred on that boat. His right leg was broken in three and his left in two places below the knee, and his escape from a terrible death was indeed a miraculous one. He lay in Jefferson barracks in an almost helpless condition for six months and is to this day a constant sufferer from the effects of the injuries received on that awful wreck. He was discharged on the twenty-sixth of May, 1865, after four and a half years of faithful service.

In 1866, Mr. Frank began reading medicine with Dr. S. B. Cook, of Marshall, Iowa, and four years later entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, from which he graduated in March, 1870. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Indianapolis, Mahaska county, Iowa, where he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the entire community for thirteen years.

Dr. Frank came to Phelps county, Nebr., in the fall of 1883, locating in the Platte valley in the north part of the county. Five years later he moved across the river into Elm Creek, where he continued the practice of medicine until the spring of 1890, when he returned to his farm.

Dr. Frank was united in marriage with Miss Martha F. Johnson, March 13, 1873. She is a native of Ohio and was born July 26, 1853. Her parents were also natives of the Buckeye state and were of Irish-German extraction. This union has resulted in the birth of five children, as follows — Lena, born February 13, 1874; Myrtle, born August 8, 1878; Josie, born March 16, 1881; Mina, born November 11, 1883, and Jessie, born August 21, 1887.

Dr. Frank owns eighty acres of improved land in the fertile valley of the Platte, is an honored member of the G. A. R. organization and in politics is a republican, first, last and at all times.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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