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Oklahoma State Senate

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For Immediate Release: April 9, 2008

Frank Frantz painting dedication

Sen. Patrick Anderson, Artist Timothy Tyler and Senate Art Fund President Charles Ford along with descendents of Frank Frantz pose with the painting following its unveiling at the State Capitol Wednesday.
On Left: Tulsa residents Timmie Hanna (granddaughter to Frank Frantz), Mark Cortner (Great Grandson), Suzy Davis (granddaughter) and Sen. Patrick Anderson. On Right: Doug Frantz, Enid, and Douglas Frantz Collins, artist Timothy Tyler and Senate Art Fund President Charles Ford.

Senate Dedicates Painting of American Rough Rider and Territorial Governor Frank Frantz

Another historic painting will soon grace the walls of the State Capitol following a dedication in the Senate Chamber Wednesday. The piece of art, by Timothy Tyler, depicts American Rough Rider and Territorial Governor Frank Frantz fighting in the bloodiest and most famous battle of the Spanish-American War, the Battle of San Juan Hill.

"This painting portrays one of Oklahoma's greatest pioneers," said Sen. Anderson, R-Enid, who sponsored the painting on behalf of the citizens of Enid. "He was not only a leader on the battlefield, but also one of Oklahoma's greatest political leaders making several beneficial contributions to the state's future. His life is an important part of our state's as well as our country's history and the people of Enid are pleased to honor him here today.”

Born and raised in Illinois, Frantz and his brothers moved to Medford in Oklahoma Territory following the opening of the Cherokee Strip in September 1893. When the Spanish-American War began in 1898 Frantz enlisted in the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, which the American press referred to as the Rough Riders. He was assigned to A Company and given the rank of First Lieutenant before traveling to Cuba to fight in the first battle between the American and Spanish forces, the Battle of Las Guasimas.
During this time, Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Rough Riders and the Battle of San Juan Hill took place the next day.

Frantz's skill during the battle would forever gain him Roosevelt's friendship and trust. During one battle, the commanding officer of his company was killed and Frantz immediately took over and led the company to a successful charge. In recognition for his service, Roosevelt promoted Frantz to the rank of Captain and commander of A Company of the Rough Riders.

Frantz settled in Enid after the war where he opened a hardware and lumber business, married Matilda Evan and raised five children. Roosevelt was soon elected Vice President under President William McKinley, but quickly succeeded to the Presidency following McKinley's death in 1901.

The President wasted no time helping his dear friend Frantz and at the end of that same year, Roosevelt named him as postmaster of Enid where he served for two years. Roosevelt then appointed him Indian Agent for the Osage Agency at Pawhuska and later elevated him to the governorship of the Oklahoma Territory. Frantz assumed office on January 5 and was inaugurated on January 16, 1906, being the seventh and youngest governor to serve in the territory's history.

"Frank Franz not only played a role in early American history, but helped shape Oklahoma's early history through his many beneficial contributions while serving as the last Governor of the Oklahoma Territory," said Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund. “Mr. Tyler did a magnificent job in capturing this special moment in history. You can almost hear the flag whipping in the wind and the calls of battle from the men. It’s a beautiful piece that will make a great addition to the Capitol’s collection of historic artwork.”

Among his many contributions to state government, Frantz’s administration began obtaining the remaining amount of land in No Man’s Land, now the Oklahoma panhandle, after Congress passed the Enabling Act in 1906.

After losing the election in 1907, Frantz spent the remainder of his life working in the oil royalty and other businesses before passing away in 1941.

Tyler, a native Oklahoman, said he was thrilled for the opportunity to paint such a historical scene.

“It was an honor to be asked to participate in the Senate’s art program,” said Tyler. “Frantz played a special role in the state’s history and I was proud to portray him in this special event in our country’s history.”

For more information contact:
Pam Hodges:  (405) 521-5675

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