Frank Family

FRANK FAMILY. (I) Conrad Frank was the first ancestor in America of the Westmoreland and Somerset branches of the Frank family, and was the great-grandfather of the present John H. Frank, of Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Conrad Frank was born in Germany and came to America in his youth; arriving and first locating in Baltimore, Maryland. From there it is supposed he shortly afterwards removed to Chester county, Pennsylvania, for he was married to Sallie Bowers, of that county. He served in the Revolutionary war "as that of a private soldier on a roll of Captain Jacob Ashmead's Company in the Second Regiment of Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel W. Stewart, September 8, 1778." "See page 414, Volume Fifteen, Penna. Archives, Second Series." After the close of the Revolution and prior to 1787, he removed with his family to Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and lived in a section yet known as the "Glades," about seven miles southeast from Somerset town. He lived to be ninety-six years old, and his wife, Sallie (Bowers) Frank, lived to be eighty. They had six children: Henry, John, Conrad, Sallie, Betsy, and Kate.

(II) John Frank, second son of Conrad and Sallie (Bowers) Frank, was born in Somerset county, 1787, and was a farmer by birth and occupation. lie remained in Somerset county till 1839, when he and his family removed to Westmoreland county, locating in Ligonier township. He followed farming until 1849, when he took charge of the turnpike toll gate at Laughlinstown, Pennsylvania, and remained there until his death in 1851. He was married to Anna Hicks, of Somerset county, and by her had eleven children: Barbara, born March 2, 1813, died early in life. Catherine, born September 27, 1814, married George Conrad, and died at Tower Hill, Shelby county, Ill., April 11, 1886. Henry, born August 24. 1816, married Isabela Underwood, and died in Ligonier, October 2, 1889. Polly, born January 30, 1818, married John Belle, and died in Ligonier, December 24, 1814. Aaron, born March 18, 1820, died unmarried in Ligonier, February 25, 1891. Josiah, born November 28, 1821, married Martha J. Horrell, and died at Jenners Cross Roads, Somerset county, June 13, 1894. Jacob, born September 11, 1825, married Nancy Underwood, and died at Ligonier. March io, 19o2. George, born April 18, 1827, died unmarried in Ligonier, April 22, 1846. Julia, born April 10, 1829, died unmarried at Laughlinstown, April 7, 1855. Elizabeth, born March r, 1833, married John Douglass and died in Ligonier, November 2, 1859. One other child died when quite young.

(III) Jacob Frank, fourth son of John and Anna (Hicks) Frank, was born in Somerset county, September ii, 1825, and came to Ligonier with his parents in 1839. He followed the occupation of his father till 1849, when he opened a small grocery and bakery in Ligonier which he carried on till 1861, when he removed with his family to Shelby county, Illinois. The fever and ague drove him from the west after a few months residence there, and he returned to Ligonier, to again engage in the grocery and baking business. He and his family also kept the Glessner House, in Ligonier, from 1867, to 1872. he then built a large house which is yet standing on the southwest corner of Fairfield and Loyalhanna streets, which he immediately opened as a summer hotel, conducting it as such one hundred days each summer. He is thus entitled to the credit of first engaging in the summer resort business in Ligonier, a business which has since done more for Ligonier and vicinity than any other, and which has given the town and valley an exceptionally high standing in that line in Western Pennsylvania. He married, April 7, 1847, Nancy Underwood, of Ligonier, a daughter of James and Susan Underwood. She was born in Stoyestown, Somerset county, October 22, 1827, and is living at the present time (1906) in Ligonier. Her father, James Underwood, was an Englishman; he came to Somerset county from North Carolina, about 1820, and was a hotel keeper in Stoyestown and a teamster on the Pittsburg and Philadelphia turnpike. He died at Lockport, Pennsylvania, while engaged on contract with the Pennsylvania canal, in the early thirties, and was buried near Bolivar. Pennsylvania. Her mother, Susan (Barron) Underwood, was born in Somerset county, April 13, 1795, died March 14, 1879, at Ligonier. She was a daughter of John Barron. Jacob and Nancy (Underwood) Frank had six children. The first born died in infancy. The others are: John H., referred to hereafter; Joseph Denny, born May 18, 1836, died in March, 1858; Alice, born September 1, 1838, married Albert C. Breniser, at Ligonier, October 19, 1876; Harry E., born May 24, 1859, married Maude Griffith, May 30, 1893. They have one child, Albert B., born November 7, 1894; Wilbert W., born January 10, 1864, died in Somerset, November 19, 1901. He was married March 25, 1886, to Susan Vannear, of Ligonier, and has three children: Harry Floyd, born May 13, 1888; Charles Vannear, born November 9, 1892; and Nancy Catherine, born July 22, 1895.

(IV) John H. Frank, second child of Jacob and Nancy (Underwood) Frank, was born in Ligonier, April z, 1850. After his early school days were over he went to Michigan to become a clerk in a store, in 1865, but after several months his father bound him out to learn the trade of die-sinking and engraving, when he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked constantly until 1870, when having finished his apprenticeship he began business on Dearborn street, Chicago, Illinois. Later he returned to Cincinnati and there worked until 1874, at which time he was compelled to relinquish engraving because of eye trouble. He then returned to Ligonier and followed his father in the hotel business. He was thus engaged till 1882, when without any assistance and with very little encouragement he embarked in the banking business in his native town, and in this business he has since been continuously engaged. In the summer of 1903 the Bank of Ligonier, which had been founded and built up by Mr. Frank, was chartered as the National Bank of Ligonier. beginning business July 1. In business circles and particularly as a banker, Mr. Frank has earned a very enviable reputation for accuracy, punctuality and integrity, and as a result was elected president of the new organization. The caution and success with which the bank has always been conducted and the public confidence which it enjoys under his management, may in some degree be shown by the fact that though less than two and a half years old, with a capital stock of $50,000, it has a deposit of $230,000 surplus, and profits of $22,000, and gross assets of $330,000. In addition to the banking business, in the last quarter of a century Mr. Frank has engaged in other pursuits and generally with a remarkable degree of succcess. In 1879 with Richard B. Mellon, of Pittsburg, and Albert C. Breniser, of Ligonier, he built the first telegraph lint to operate between Ligonier and Latrobe, a distance of ten miles. It was successfully operated by him till 1883, when it was purchased by the Ligonier Valley Railroad Company. Mr. Frank has since been manager of the Western Union interests at Ligonier. He projected and built in 1890, Frank's Hotel and Cottages, which has become one of the most noted summer resorts in western Pennsylvania. It was annually opened June i and closed September 1, and remained under his management till 1899. In these and other undertakings he was ably assisted by his brother, the late Wilbert W. Frank, who when in health was a most accurate and careful business man.

Mr. Frank married, November 26, 1872, Anna Kibel, born September is, 1852, daughter of George and Frances (Rush) Kibel. Her parents were born in Hapstein, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, and came to America in 1830, landing in Baltimore, Maryland, and locating near Emmettsburg, that state. George Kibel removed later to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1840 to Ligonier, where in the palmy turnpike days he successfully carried on a stage coach and carriage manufacturing establishment. He died March 13, 1872, and his wife survived him till September 15, 1888. John H. and Anna K. Frank have three children: William K., born in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 22, 1874, now cashier of the Jeannette National Bank, of Jeannette, Pa. He was married to Alda Altman, October 12, 1897, and they have one child, Ruth Anna, born in Jeannette, October 1, 1899. Josephine Alice, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 22, 1874, educated at St. Xaviers Academy, near Latrobe, Pa. She was married to Edward G. Schneider, of Cincinnati Ohio, February 8, 1899. They have had four children: Edward F., born January 7, 1900, died February 13, 1900: Louis F., born July 6, 1902; and William F. and Clifford F., born December 16, 1904. 3. G. Clifford, born in Ligonier, May 1, 1876. After some five years spent in T. Mellon and Son's Bank, in Pittsburg, he became cashier of the Bank of Ligonier, in 1897, and retains the same position under the present national organization.  

Source: Page(s) 305-307, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed August 2008 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

Westmoreland County Genealogy Project Notice:

These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.



Return to Westmoreland County Home Page

(c) Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project