Monday, June 30, 2014

52 Ancestors: #26 ~ Frank Summers Webster, Brother of "The Traveling Dentist"

This is part of the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" Challenge begun by Amy Johnson Crow, author of the blog No Story Too Small.

Frank Summers Webster
Frank Summers Webster

Today I'd like to introduce you to my maternal great-granduncle, Frank Summers Webster. He was one of the brothers of my great-grandfather, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist" here on my blog.

Isn't this a great picture of Frank? Look at his tie and that high starched collar. My grandfather,
Debs Warren Webster, wrote on the back of this picture. He stated that this photo of Frank was taken by D. P. Thomson, 610 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

Unfortunately, there's no date on the picture. But, after doing a little research online, and thanks to my grandfather's description on the back of this photo, I think I can safely say that this photo of Frank was taken between 1881 and 1891.

According to the book, Kansas City, Missouri; Its History and Its People 1808-1908,1 Mr. D. P. Thomson, who took this photograph of Frank, had his photography studio located at 610 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri from 1881 until 1891. He then moved his studio to 1002 Walnut Street in 1891. And in 1907 he moved his studio to 1118 Walnut Street. These locations were all in Kansas City, Missouri.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Frank Summers Webster.

Frank was born on April 19, 1866 in Blairstown, Benton, Iowa to his parents,
Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster and Cynthia Maria Waterman.

By the time Frank was fourteen years old in 1880, Frank, his parents, and siblings were living at Otoe Reservation, Marshall County, Kansas.2 By March 1, 1885, the family was living in Marysville, Marshall, Kansas.3

On July 24, 1895, Frank married Mildred Melton in Clinton, Henry, Missouri. Mildred was the daughter of Richard H. Melton and Almira Parks. Mildred was born in Missouri and that's where Frank and Mildred ultimately settled, living in Jasper County, Missouri for at least the last 30 years of their lives.

Frank and Mildred were the parents of one child, a daughter named Christine, who was born on April 15, 1898 in Wymore, Gage, Nebraska.

Frank passed away on February 25, 1939 at Carthage, Jasper, Missouri. He was 72 years old at the time of his death.

Both Frank and Mildred were buried in
Englewood Cemetery in Clinton, Henry, Missouri.

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Kansas City, Missouri : its history and its people, 1808-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Whitney, Carrie Westlake.. Kansas City, Missouri : its history and its people, 1808-1908. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1908. Page 479.
2 ]"United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jun 2014), Frank S Webster in household of E P Webster, Otoe Reservation, Marshall, Kansas, United States; citing sheet 161C, NARA microfilm publication T9.
3 Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009. 1885 Kansas State Census. Microfilm reels K-1 – K-146. Kansas State Historical Society. Line 11


  1. That's a handsome photo and one humdinger of a tie. I wonder what color (or colors) it was.

    I'm curious about Otoe Reservation in Kansas. I have some very distant ancestors who lived for a time in "Indian Territory," Kansas and in other such named places that sound like a reservation. Obviously my understanding of reservations must be way off. Did white people live on reservations?

    1. Isn't that tie awesome Wendy? It would be interesting to know what color (or colors) it was.

      Regarding the Otoe Reservation in Kansas, I did a little research online and found that the Otoe Tribe relinquished land to the government by around 1834. And in 1883, 50,000 acres of the land was open for settlement.

  2. That's interesting - but helpful! - that the photographer information was handwritten on the back of the photograph. If it wasn't stamped or printed, maybe the family wanted to be sure to remember the name and location of the photograph should they decide to order more prints, or if was written years later perhaps it was copied from the back of another print. What a great picture - looks like a colorful tie!

    1. This picture is actually not the original, but a copy. So, my grandfather must have copied the information about his uncle from either the original picture or another source. I'm really grateful my grandfather did write the information on the back of this photo. It's such helpful information.

  3. What a lovely photograph!

    Are you aware of the Gallery of 1,000 images at This is a great site for those looking to date photographs using clothing, hairstyles and other details.

    1. Thank you Michelle! No. I wasn't aware of I'll have to check it out. Thanks!




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