Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN STEPHEN FRANS came to his
present homestead, four and a half miles northwest of Egypt, in the year
1880, being among the first settlers in this vicinity, while his family
was the first one to permanently locate here. They have one hundred
and sixty acres, all of which is suitable for cultivation, well improved
and abundantly stocked with all necessary domestic animals with which to
successfully carry on the business of farming.
John S. Frans was born in St. Charles county,
Missouri, May 9, 1844. He was the son of James M. and Frances (Farmer)
Frans, natives of Virginia. The mother is dead, and the father, who
is eighty-nine years of age, is living in Throckmorton county, Texas.
Mr. Frans is the eldest of a family of six children, the other members
of which are: Mrs. Elizabeth Thorp, in Throckmorton county, Texas; Mrs.
Susan V. Anderson, of Oklahoma; William, in Oklahoma; Mrs. Nancy Barber,
of Texas; and James B. The last named was a soldier in the Philippine
At an early age our subject accompanied his
parents to Grayson county, Texas, subsequently lived in different parts
of the Lone Star State, and finally settled in Throckmorton county.
He was brought up on a farm, and in the fall of 1861 joined the Texas Rangers,
with which company he spent the period during the Civil War on the frontier
fighting Indians. During this time he was in many hand to hand battles
and innumerable skirmishes, and at one time while at home on a brief furlough
withstood single-handed a band of thirteen of the warlike savages which
had attacked his home with the intent to massacre the family.
In 1874 he went to the country tributary to
the river Brazos, where he hunted buffalo, bear, deer and other wild animals.
Five years later he started with his family to drive to Walla Walla, and
finally arrived after much difficulty, principally caused by the Indians.
The journey consumed six months, and it was in the early autumn when the
family arrived at its destination. They spent the winter of 1879
near Waitsburg, and came to their present home the following summer.
Mr. Frans was married February 11, 1866, to
Mary Sutherlin, a native of Clay county, Illinois, and daughter of William
and Mary (Young) Sutherlin, born in North Carolina and Indiana, respectively.
The former was a millwright, and died in Texas. The mother came to
this country with her son, with whom this sketch has to deal, and died
in 1886, in her seventy-fourth year. She and her husband were parents
of a family of eleven.
Mrs. Frans has one brother and two sisters,
James D. Sutherlin, Mrs. Minerva Duncan, and Mrs. M. M. Sofland.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Frans are; William, married to Laura Von Schriltz,
in Egypt; Stephen A., a railroader with the Oregon Railroad and Navigation
Company, and married to Winnie Foster; Cordelia J., wife of William Sillman,
of Spokane; James D. and Webster, deceased; Frances A., wife of W. T. Duncan,
at Milan, Washington; Carroll Howden, who is living at home; Cora L., wife
of Henry Mints at Larene, Washington; and Oscar, deceased.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Frans are devoted members
of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the family is one of the most highly
respected in the community.