Biography of Hon. O. H. Frink

Hon. O. H. Frink is one of Page county’s representative citizens who has never allowed personal interest or ambition to dwarf his public spirit. His feelings have ever found expression in prompt action rather than in theory and as mayor of Shenandoah lie is now doing effective work in promoting needed restrictive, regulative and constructive measures. He also stands as one who has been prominent in business circles, his previous activity and well directed energy bringing him the competence that makes possible his present retirement.

A native of Indiana, Mr. Frink was born in the city of Elkhart, May 26, 1848, a son of Hannibal and Eliza (Armstrong) Frink, natives of Herkimer county, New York, and of Detroit, Michigan, respectively. They were married, however, in Ohio, to which state they had previously removed. After their marriage they began their domestic life there and continued residence in that state until their removal to Elkhart, Indiana, where the father died in 1848. He was a shipbuilder and carpenter by trade. His widow survived him for only five years and departed this life in Lafayette, Illinois, in 1853.

O. H. Frink, left an orphan when but five years of age, was reared by a guardian in Elkhart, Indiana, and remained with him until the marriage of his elder sister, with whom lie then took up his abode in Kewanee, Illinois. It was there he largely acquired his education in the common schools but when only fourteen years of age lie started out in the business world on his own account, being first employed at farm labor. He was but sixteen years of age when, in 1864, he responded to the country’s call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company A, One hundred and Twentyfourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served through the last year of the war and was transferred from the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth to the Thirty-third Regiment in July, 1865, continuing with that command until he received his honorable discharge in November following. He was but a boy in years but his military service made hint a plan in experience for he had not only suffered the hardships and privations that fall to the lot of the soldier but had also faced danger and death on the battlefields of the south.

When the country no longer needed his aid Mr. .Frink returned to Kewanee, Illinois, where he secured a clerkship in a mercantile establishment, with which he was identified for six years. He then came to Page county, Iowa. He has since been numbered among its residents and as the years have passed his activities and interests have constituted an important feature in the general growth and improvement of this part of the state. He first located on a tract of unbroken prairie land near Shenandoah, purchasing eighty acres, to the improvement of which he gave his energies through many years, converting the place into fertile fields, from which he annually gathered abundant harvests. He became recognized as one of the practical, progressive and representative farmers of the locality and resided upon his land until 1890, when he was elected to the office of county treasurer and removed his family to Clarinda. He filled the position for three terms in most acceptable and creditable manner and throughout that period maintained his residence at the county seat. In November 1895, higher political honors were conferred upon him in his election to the state legislature but prior to taking his seat in the general assembly he removed his family back to the farm. For two terns he was a member of the house of representatives, serving in the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh general assemblies and also in an extra session to revise the code. His work as a legislator covered the years of 1896, 1897 and 1898, during which period he served on a number of important committees and was connected with a number of leading regulative and constructive measures which found their way to the statute books of the state.

Following his retirement from office Mr. Frink returned to the farm, where he resided until the spring of 1903, when he sold that property and removed to Shenandoah, there associating himself with C. A. Hamilton under the firm name of Frink & Hamilton for the purpose of conducting a heating and plumbing business. This partnership existed for about four years, at the end of which time Mr. Frink purchased his partner’s interest and for about eighteen months conducted the enterprise independently. In July 1908, however, he disposed of his business and since that time has not been actively connected with commercial interests. In the previous years of his identification with agricultural and mercantile affairs he had so managed his business as to win a substantial measure of success and with a comfortable competence he retired to private life.

On the 12th of April 1870, in Kewanee, Illinois, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Frink and Miss Barbara Ellen Minnick. As the years passed ten children were added to the household, of whom seven are yet living, namely: Nettie, the wife of Dr. George O. Cogley, a practicing dentist of Shenandoah ; Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. W. F. Stotler, of Shenandoah; Bertha, the wife of F. M. Stotler, who is superintendent of the public schools of Lebanon, Oregon; Grace, the wife of W. R. Worden, of Fairbury, Nebraska ; O. Harvey, living in Lebanon, Oregon ; Irene, a teacher in the district schools of Page county; and Warren M., who is attending school.

The family attends the Baptist church, in which Mr. Frink holds membership. He is now acting as one of the board of trustees of this church and was president of the building committee at the time of the erection of the new house of worship. In community affairs he takes a most active and helpful part, cooperating in all measures for the general good. He is today as true and loyal to his duties of citizenship as when he followed the old flag on southern battlefields and he maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in Burnside Post, No. 56, G. A. R., of Shenandoah. He stands at all times for progress and improvement and while he holds to high ideals of citizenship, utilizes practical methods for their attainment. His substantial qualities being widely recognized by his fellow townsmen, he was urged by many of Shenandoah’s leading citizens to become the republican candidate for mayor in March 1909, and at the ensuing election he was chosen as the chief executive of the city, in which position he is now serving. He has been identified with the republican party almost from its organization, has been an influential factor in its local councils and has done effective work for its advancement. He has served in various township offices in Page county and now as mayor of the city he is giving to Shenandoah a public-spirited and business like administration, manifesting the same quality of energy, per severance and determination which characterized the conduct of his private business affairs. His record, taken all in all, is one of signal usefulness and honor and has brought him merited and high regard from his fellow townsmen.



Kershaw, W. L. History of Page County, Iowa: also biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1909.

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