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Ernst Frank (1830-?)
Born in Germany, tobacco and cigar business in Bay City, Mich.

Biography, 1905. - Added January, 2012.

History of Bay County, Michigan Gansser, 1905.


Ernst Frank was 21 years of age when he came to America. He had been educated as an optician and was skilled in the manufacturing of mathematical and philosophical instruments, as well as those of his trade, all of these being almost entirely hand-made. He arrived in New York City in April, 1851, and started for Saginaw, Michigan, to visit his brothers and sisters, who lived on a farm about six miles from the city of Saginaw. This year he declared his intentions to become a citizen of the United States, as it was his intention to make this country his home. He helped on the farm until November, 1851, when he returned to New York City to work at his occupation. After reaching New York he was employed first by Benjamin Pike & Sons, opticians, with whom he continued for two years. In 1852 he went to Louisville, Kentucky, and followed his trade there for a short time, but in the fall of the year 1854 he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he established a business. He continued there until the spring of 1863, and then came to Bay City. He opened here a cigar and tobacco store and also did something in the way of fire insurance, and continued this business until 1875, when he disposed of his store in order to give him whole attention to insurance.

Several years after coming to Bay City, in 1865, he was elected village treasurer, in the year that the place took its present name of Bay City. A special election was held and he continued as treasurer for four years. An active Democrat, Mr. Frank was frequently appointed and elected of offices of responsibility. During the first administration of President Cleveland, he served as deputy postmaster of Bay City, and in 1889 he was elected city treasurer, and served four years in this office. He also was supervisor of the town and served two years as a member of the School Board.

After closing out his tobacco business, Mr. Frank became the representative for many of the leading insurance companies, and at present represents 12 of the strongest fire insurance companies, among which may be mentioned the Buffalo German; Concordia of Milwaukee; The Milwaukee Mechanics; the Prussian National, of Stettin, Germany; the Copper of Dayton, Ohio; the Spring Garden and the Mechanics of Philadelphia; and others. He also represents the well-known and substantial Germauia Life Insurance Company of New York, and occupies one of the finest offices in Bay City, having a suite of rooms in the Crapo Block.

Since 1902, Mr. Frank has had his son, Ernst Edward Frank, in partnership with him, and the business is conducted under the firm name of Ernest Frank & Son. The younger member of the firm was born in Bay City, June 11, 1875. His education was secured in the common and high schools. Previous to becoming associated with his father, he was employed in a clerical position in one of the city banks.

Our subject was married October 20, 1859, to Emma Scheurmann, who was born in Baden, Germany, February 21, 1840, and is a daughter of Ernst Scheurmann, of Nagold-Wurtemburg. Eleven children were born to this union, seven of whom reached maturity, namely: Ottili Sophie, born April 27, 1865, who married William A. DeMars on January 5, 1893; Bella Emilie, born March 19, 1869, who married Charles Neil Ghent, of Alpena, Michigan on June 9, 1892; Emma Stephanie, born January 20, 1871, who married William I. Hogan of Warren, Pennsylvania, on February 19, 1901; Marie Lina, born October 4, 1873, who married Ubald R. Loranger of Bay City on October 2, 1895; Ernst Edward, of Bay City; Bertha Christiana, born April 4, 1877; and Martha Johanna, born September 23, 1879 who married Emil Etzold of Bay City on June 9, 1904. The family belong to the German Lutheran Church. It is one of the leading German families of Bay City.

Additional Notes.

    1879 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernst Tobacco, Cigars, Wines and Liquors, Insurance and Foreign Passage Agent, and Notary, 122 N. Water, res n w cor 6th and Van Buren.

    1880 Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernest b. 1831, Germany.
  • Emma, wife b. 1840, Germany.
  • Ida, daughter b. 1863, Mich.
  • Otithe, daughter b. 1865, Mich.
  • Belle, daughter b. 1869, Mich.

    1880 Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernest b. 1830, Germany tobe & cigars.
  • Emma, wife b. 1840, Germany.
  • Otelia, daughter b. 1865, Mich.
  • Bella, daughter b. 1868, Mich.
  • Emma, daughter b. 1871, Mich.
  • Welhelmina, daughter b. 1872, Mich.
  • Ernest, son b. 1875, Mich.
  • Martha, daughter b. 1879, Mich.

    1883 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernst Tobacco and Cigars, 818 N. Water.

    1900 Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernst b. Sep.1829, Germany.
  • Emma, wife b. Feb. 1840, Germany.
  • Ernst E., son b. Jun. 1865, Mich.
  • Bertha, daughter b. Apr. 1877, Mich.
  • Martha, daughter b. Sep. 1879, Mich

    1906 Bio. Robert Wesley Erwin.

  • Ernst E. Frank, son of Ernest and Emma (Scheurmann) Frank, married January 17, 1906, to Roberta J. Erwin, daughter of Robert W. and Julia E. (Carpenter) Erwin.

    1910 Census Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Frank, Ernst age 80, b. Germany emigrated 1851.
  • Emma, wife age 70, b. Germany.
  • Bertha, daughter age 33, b. Mich.
Related Pages & Notes

Related Pages:
Erwin, Robert W.
Loranger, Ubald R.
People Referenced
Carpenter, Julia E. (in-law)
Cleveland, Pres.
DeMars, Wm. A. (son-inlaw)
Erwin, Robert W. (inlaw)
Erwin, Roberta J. (dau-inlaw)
Etzold, Emil (son-inlaw)
Frank, Bella E. (dau)
Frank, Bertha C. (dau)
Frank, Emma (dau)
Frank, Ernst (subject)
Frank, Ernst E. (son)
Frank, Ida (dau)
Frank, Marie L. (dau)
Frank, Martha J. (dau)
Frank, Otilli S. (dau)
Frank, Welhelmina (dau)
Hogan, Wm. I. (son-inlaw)
Pike, Benjamin
Loranger, Ubald R. (son-inlaw)
Scheurmann, Emma (wife)
Scehurmann, Enst (f-inlaw)
Subjects Referenced
Alpena, MI
Bay City, MI
Benjamin Pike & Sons
Crapo block
Dayton, OH
Ernst Frank & Son
Louisville, KY
MIlwaukee, WI
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Saginaw, MI
Stettin, Germany
Warren, PA
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.