Rough Rider and
click picture to enlarge |
Artist: Timothy Tyler
Sponsor: Senator Patrick Anderson and the Citizens
of Enid, Oklahoma
Dedication: April 9, 2008
Size: 30” x 40”
Location: 5th floor, North
hall, Senate wing
Frank Frantz (1872-1941) was
an American Rough Rider and politician who served as the
seventh and final Governor of the Oklahoma Territory. Frantz
ran on the Republican ticket to serve as the first Governor
of Oklahoma, but was defeated by Democrat Charles Haskell.
Frantz was born in 1872 in
Illinois, where he was raised and attended college. Following
the opening of the Cherokee Strip on September 16, 1983,
Frantz and his brothers moved to Medford in Oklahoma Territory.
In 1898, the Spanish-American
War broke out and, at the age of 26, Frantz enlisted in
the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, which the American
press called the Rough Riders. Upon
joining the Rough Riders, Frantz returned to Indian Territory
to meet the regiment’s charismatic second-in-command,
Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt.
Frantz was assigned to A Company
and given the rank of First Lieutenant. He traveled to Cuba where the Rough Riders
engaged in the Battle of Las Guasimas, the first clash between
American and Spanish forces. Soon, Colonel Leonard
Wood was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, Lt. Col.
Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and was given command of
the Rough Riders. On the following day, the fiercest
battle of the Spanish-American War would occur, the Battle
of San Juan Hill.
Frantz’s skill during the battle would forever gain
him Roosevelt’s friendship and trust. While storming
Spanish fortications, the commanding officer of his company
was killed. Frantz immediately took over the command
and led the company to a successful charge. After
the battle concluded, in recognition of his service, Roosevelt
promoted Frantz to the rank of Captain and commander of A
Company of the Rough Riders.
After the Spanish-American
War, Frantz returned to Oklahoma Territory and settled
in Enid. He opened a hardware
and lumber business. While in Enid, he married Matilda
Evan and raised five children.
Three years later, Roosevelt
was elected Vice President to serve under President William
soon struck McKinley when he was shot on September 6, 1901
and died a few days later. Roosevelt succeeded McKinley
to the Presidency. Frantz’s wartime association
with President Roosevelt became a life-long friendship.
On several occasions, Frantz
traveled to the White House to spend time with the Commander-in-Chief. On
these trips to the White House, Frantz, an athlete and
boxer, engaged in several boxing matches with Roosevelt,
knocking him out on three occasions.
Roosevelt named Frantz as postmaster
of Enid before for the end of 1901. Frantz served in this post for two
years, when Roosevelt appointed him Indian Agent for the
Osage Agency at Pawhuska. Roosevelt again demonstrated
his friendship with Frantz by elevating him to the governorship
of 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.
Governor Frantz made several
beneficial contributions to Oklahoma’s future. He crafted a policy requiring
oil companies to lease mineral rights to the state when he
learned that oil companies were drilling on land reserved
for public buildings. In 1906, Congress passed the
Enabling Act and Frantz’s administration began obtaining
the remaining amount of land in No Man’s Land, which
would become the Panhandle of modern Oklahoma.
After losing the election in
1907, Frantz moved to Denver and then to Tulsa where he
became head of the Land Department of Cosden Oil Company. He
worked in the oil royalty and other businesses until his
death in 1941.
are copyright of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation
Fund, Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton
at 521-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org for
further copyright information.