MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
by E. L. Anderson
Frankburg is located twelve miles east of High River on section
21-Tp-18 Rg-27-W, 4th. In the electoral division of McLeod
Until 1937 it was predominately a Mormon settlement made up of
pioneers who emigrated from a small town south of Salt Lake City
named Santaquin, Utah.
The town of Cardston had been settled by the Mormon people
some years previous. C.H. Frank having friends in Cardston
found out that there were homesteads available in Alberta.
In the spring of 1902 Christopher H.Frank with his wife and sons,
Christopher E. Heber, David and John and his daughter Tilly, and
his daughter Ella, and her husband John C.Robbins came from
Santaquin, Utah by covered wagon. They had quite a number of
horses and travelling equipment which was most important in the
They first settled in the LatterDay Saints settlement of Frankburg
town of Nanton and there built a livery stable. From there they
looked over the country east of High River, and east of the
Frankburg Lake. This lake with its thousands of ducks and fish
that was in the lake that had come up from the little Bow River
was like coming to a new Santaquin, for they had left just such
a place behind them.
For each of the new settlers to have 160 acres of their own
in this vast wide open country with tall grass and black soil,
it looked mighty good to someone who had worked very hard
in the mines and lumber camps and other industries for a
Before returning to Utah that fall they had picked out their
homesteads and made the necessary arrangements required
to hold them until they could return in the spring of 1903 and
prove up on their homesteads.
In the spring of 1903 with their wives and families, covered
wagons, horses, cattle, machinery, provisions and all that they
possessed started for Alberta, Canada leaving friends,
neighbours, brothers, sisters, and in some cases fathers and
mothers, and memories of the place they had lived from their
With the company in 1903 came Otto, John, and Nels Anderson.
Victor Johnson, Thomas Vanausdale wife and daughter, C.B.
Larson wife and one child, Wallace York, and son Wally, and
a bachelor Geo. Pickett.
The drive from Santaquin was slow and hard, the first day
only covered six miles, and took them more than two months
to reach their destination, Frankburg.
In the fall of 1903 Otto, John, and Nels Anderson with Victor
Johnson returned to Utah, and in the spring of 1904 arrived
in High River on the 1st day of April 1904 (by train).
They were met at High River by friends and relatives;
crossed the Frank Lake on the ice, with snow on the ground
on a bright sunny day. By this time C.E.Frank had built a
two-roomed house, and with their covered wagons and other
shacks were able to get along until by fall all were able to
have a place of their own.
Within the next few years more people arrived from Utah, Idaho,
and other places. There was Horace Layton, Marvin Thornley,
Walt & Lee Roberts, Millard Preston, a Mr. Jewel, (Charles &
Elias Stout), David Preston, John Burgess, Alex Cambell,
Jim Cambell (Stephen, Sanford, and Odd Dudley) Joseph Doney,
Charles O'Bray, Geo. Miles, Horace Burgess, Eugene Bushman,
(Alvin, John, and Joseph Robbins) and Albert McPhee.
At that time there was no Blackie or Brant as the rail road was
not through. There was a small place a couple of miles northeast
of the present town of Brant that was called Old Brant.
In the spring of 1904 everyone seemed happy with their new
country. There was no one rich and most were poor, but the
people who came to Frankburg were real pioneers. They were
used to hardships, hard work and willing to take whatever life
had to offer.
At that time people had to go around the north end of the lake
to get to High River as the lake was full of water running into
the Little Bow. Water from the uncultivated land to the north
with other small streams that ran into it especially in the spring
kept it full. But the lake did not remain full in later years, by
1945 it had dried up and became a flat area of alkali dust: the
stocks of two guns were recovered that were lost by two men
from High River who were drowned while trying to recover them
through the ice some twenty years earlier, planes also used the
lake for a landing field.
In 1948 with a heavy snow-fall and a wet spring it filled up
again, and again the pike fish came up from the Little Bow River
and the lake was filled again to its original banks, and in some
cases farmers were marooned on an island where their buildings
When the people from Utah first came to Frankburg they all lived
in the village as it was the custom in Santaquin Utah. But as time
went on they moved out to their homesteads, except those who
did not own land.
A store was built by some people by the name of VanCamps
but even before Blackie became a town, the idea of the store
was abandoned. The Frankland school district was established
Feb.2, 1905, permission to borrow $1,500.00 for the purpose of
erecting and equipping the school building was given Mar. 27th
1905 Senior trustee was C.E.Frank, and Walt Roberts treasurer.
The school house was about 30x60 with belfrey and a good size
bell, and it was used for all the social functions, school and church.
In later years the school was moved away and used for a barn, and
a new two story building was built with a very nice gym; It burned
down soon after it was built, then a large two-roomed bungalow
school was erected, and due to the lack of a number of pupils and
the government doing away with country schools, it was moved to
Cayley, Alberta. After using the first school for several years the
church built a large hall approximately 50x70 feet, and it was used
for all community functions besides the church, when not in use
for dancing and recreation, the floor was covered with a wall to
wall tarp. Electric lights were installed coming from a Delco light
plant that C.E.Frank had in his house a block away.
From early fall until late spring people came from near and
far to the dances that were held at the Frankburg hall. Due
to the depression and poor crops and prices, most of the Mormon
people had moved away and the hall that had been used for so
many pleasures as dancing, basketball, tennis etc. was taken
down and the hardwood floor was taken to Calgary and is now used
in the recreation hall there. Gordon Seney bought the land joining
the Frankburg town site and it is now being used for pasture.
Teachers who taught in the Frankland School were - Mr. McDonald,
Jane Roberts, George Carson, Hilda Peterson, Mr. Tonks, Mr. Martin,
Dora Simpson, Millicie Kennedy, Mr. Condon, Vernon Coombs, John
Payne, Undine McCune, Lorenzo Hatch, Ida Stewart, Edith Knights,
Miss Proctor, Helen Burnsdale, Margaret Maguire, Helen Nicol, Ross
Gibb, Leona Petersen, Ascel Butler, Cecil McIlvride, Archie Wilcox
Margaret Zang, Dorothy Teuksberry, Mary Ann Christofferson and
Eunice Green being the last in 1944.