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Carroll County Biographies


The Franks home was originally built and owned by Isaac Chambers in 1831, was burned down during the black Hawk war. After the Indian troubles were over, Mr. Chambers and his family returned. He then built a two-story hewed log house, a commodious house having a large kitchen, sitting room and two bedrooms, each room having a fire place and beside this a pantry. The second story was one room. It has since been restored with a brick exterior and other improvements.

Charles Franks was born in Nottinghamshire, England, October 1, 1793, and was married to Elinor Young in 1818 and at once set sail for New York. They lived in New York and New Jersey for a number of years when they moved to Toronto, Canada, where his wife died. Afterward he married Miss Mary Hart who was born in Yorkshire, England. They continued to reside in Canada until 1837 when they came to Illinois, living in Lee and Ogle counties until 1844 when he bought the Chambers claim, which remained his home until his death in 1882. Grandpappy Franks, as he was familiarly called throughout the neighborhood, was a sturdy pioneer and many a sick neighbor far and near knew the value of his medicine. He was a devout Christian and no one who entered his home left it without hearing the word of God. He often spoke in the churches urging his hearers to live according to the teachings of the Great Book and the "iverlasting truth." He was a staunch school man and was a firm advocate of all that tended to the betterment of the community. He secured a charter and laid out the village of Brookville, donating a site for a church and school house. His beautiful grove was always open for the annual Sunday school picnic and no one enjoyed these occasions more than he. In his 80th year he addressed the children on such an occasion and the president of Carthage college who was present in speaking of him and his masterly address said "A sound old oak." And thus rounded out the years of his life and he was gathered as the golden wheat into the garner of his Master.

Source: A Goodly Heritage

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