Frankford Preservation Foundation

Frankford Preservation Foundation Frankford Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization that maintains the historic Frankford Church and its four-acre adjacent native prairie.
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Frankford Preservation Foundation was created in 2014 as a sister organization to Frankford Cemetery Association. The primary purpose of the Frankford Preservation Foundation is to maintain the Frankford site as an historic nature preserve in the midst of the city of Dallas.

Frankford Preservation Foundation was created in 2014 as a sister organization to Frankford Cemetery Association. The primary purpose of the Frankford Preservation Foundation is to maintain the Frankford site as an historic nature preserve in the midst of the city of Dallas.

Operating as usual

WANT THE INSIDE SCOOP ON THE NEW LEGACY BUILDING?In this video Kathy Power shares the skinny on our long-awaited Legacy ...
01/22/2021
The Inside Scoop on the New Legacy Building Layout

WANT THE INSIDE SCOOP ON THE NEW LEGACY BUILDING?

In this video Kathy Power shares the skinny on our long-awaited Legacy building, which will resemble a Texas farmhouse of the late 1800's. We invite you to check it out!

Filmed and edited by Dave Westbrook

In this video, Frankford president Kathy Power, announces that construction will soon begin on the long-awaited Legacy building. She walks us through the str...

WANT TO SEE WHERE THE NEW LEGACY BUILDING WILL BE?Here's a video with our president, Kathy Power, introducing the locati...
01/15/2021
Frankford Legacy Building Location Revealed!

WANT TO SEE WHERE THE NEW LEGACY BUILDING WILL BE?

Here's a video with our president, Kathy Power, introducing the location of the new Legacy Building. We invite you to take a look!

Filmed and edited by Dave Westbrook.

In this video, Kathy Wells Power, President of Frankford Preservation Foundation, introduces the location of the new Legacy Building.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF BUILDING FOR A NEW CENTURYIn this video our president, Kathy Power, shares some fun facts about th...
01/09/2021
Frankford Legacy Project Video #2

THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF BUILDING FOR A NEW CENTURY

In this video our president, Kathy Power, shares some fun facts about the last Frankford capital campaign - 124 years ago. We invite you to take a look!

Filmed and edited by Dave Westbrook

12/12/2020

Frankford Preservation’s Annual CHRISTMAS ON THE PRAIRIE is Tomorrow - Sunday, December 13!

We realize many of you haven’t been getting our emails, and we apologize for this last minute notification. We’ll get that fixed next week, but for now, we want to make sure you can join us online tomorrow!
The service will start at 4:30, on-line. We hope you can join us live, but if you can’t, the service will remain on-line.
Here is the link to access to service:
https://frankfordpreservationfoundation.org/christmas-on-the-prairie-2020

A VIRTUAL Christmas On The Prairie Since we cannot gather in person, please join us virtually at 4:30pm Sunday, Decembe...
12/03/2020

A VIRTUAL Christmas On The Prairie

Since we cannot gather in person, please join us virtually at 4:30pm Sunday, December 13 for our annual Candlelight Service from the historic Frankford Church - featuring a string trio prelude and service with lessons and carols led by our guest musicians.

To register, visit our website at: www.frankfordpreservationfoundation.org. We will send you a link ahead of time so you can enjoy this beloved tradition from the comfort of your home!

After the service the link will be available on our website for viewing at any time.

~ Photo by Robert Chura

11/25/2020

A TOAST TO THE PRAIRIE - CELEBRATING 10 YEARS!

This year we’re celebrating 10 years since we “discovered” the Frankford prairie. To honor this milestone this past September, we drank a “Toast to the Prairie” with our friends from the North Texas Chapter of Master Naturalists.
These dedicated volunteers come to our site each month to remove non-native plants so that our prairie grasses can continue to grow and flourish.

Long live Frankford Prairie!

Support Frankford Preservation Foundation on North Texas Giving Day! Our mission is to preserve the history and natural ...
09/17/2020

Support Frankford Preservation Foundation on North Texas Giving Day!

Our mission is to preserve the history and natural beauty of our unique site and educate and enrich the lives of those who come to Frankford. The Foundation conducts charitable, educational, and cultural events including seasonal tours of its native prairie meadows to foster an awareness of the significance of the Blackland Prairie and early North Texas history.

In these uncertain times we ask that you give as you are able to help us watch over our little historic jewel in Far North Dallas until we can resume our events and tours.

Give to Frankford Preservation Foundation today, September 17, 6 a.m. to Midnight.

https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/frankford-preservation-foundation

Thank you!

We miss you and greatly appreciate your support.

On September 17, 2020, Frankford Preservation Foundation will participate in North Texas Giving Day.  Our mission is to ...
09/06/2020

On September 17, 2020, Frankford Preservation Foundation will participate in North Texas Giving Day.

Our mission is to preserve the history and natural beauty of our unique site and educate and enrich the lives of those who come to Frankford. The Foundation conducts charitable, educational, and cultural events including seasonal tours of its native prairie meadows to foster an awareness of the significance of the Blackland Prairie and early North Texas history.

In these uncertain times we ask that you give as you are able to help us watch over our little historic jewel in Far North Dallas until we can resume our events and tours. Early giving is open now.

https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/frankford-preservation-foundation

Thank you!

We miss you and greatly appreciate your support.

Kathy Wells Power, President
Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.John Taylor Coit 1829 -1872Copyright, 1985 Friends of the P...
08/30/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

John Taylor Coit 1829 -1872
Copyright, 1985 Friends of the Plano Public Library

John Taylor Coit was descended from John Coit, a Welshman, who immigrated to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1635 and was a member of a family of shipbuilders. Another ancestor was William Brewster, who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower. John was born in Cheraw, South Carolina on July 6, 1829. John’s family had long valued higher education and he himself graduated from Princeton in 1850. He returned to his hometown where he practiced law and civil engineering and inherited about $12,000 from his grandparents. He married Catherine Mallow Bunting on January 2, 1856, and in the spring of 1859 went prospecting for land in Texas. There he learned the land prospectors’ trick of carrying a wagon rod and when the ground was wet, pushing it deep into the soil to test the depth. He found what he wanted 5 miles west of Plano on the Collin and Dallas County line and bought 320 acres from J. W. Coleman for $2 an acre and later 43 acres of timberland in Farmers Branch for $3 an acre. He contracted with Jonas M. Huffman to build a house on the highest point.

In 1867 Cattie had to have a leg amputated above the knee because of a diseased bone. By 1870, the couple had put tenants on the farm and rented a house near the present Texas Book Depository in Dallas. The house was owned by Maxine Guillott, one of the settlers of La Reunion. Here John practiced law and Cattie taught school which she was well prepared to do because of her training in Greek, Latin, French, math, and the sciences. John helped reorganize the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas in 1868 and again in 1871.

John Coit died in 1872 and was buried in a little cemetery on the bluff above the Trinity River. Later his body was brought to Frankford where his children attended school and where his family was buried. His is the earliest marked grave although not the earliest recorded burial in Frankford Cemetery.

Kathy Wells Power
President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy!In 2009 Oleta Wylie House was the first person we interview...
08/23/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy!

In 2009 Oleta Wylie House was the first person we interviewed for our Frankford oral history project.

Her great-great grandfather, Henry Cook led a wagon train from Illinois to Collin County in 1845 at the age of 75 (not his first wagon train). Several generations of Cooks farmed and raised their families in an area now west of the Toll Road, between Legacy and Frankford.

Oleta House took her role as family historian very seriously, sharing with us binders she had carefully filled with family stories and pictures along with some of her drawings. In midlife Mrs. House took art lessons and the walls of her Farmersville home were covered with her paintings, including a very special one (pictured here) of the Jacob Cook homestead where she had spent much of her childhood.

Oleta House reached her goal of living to be 100 years old, dying on October 12, 2017. After she slipped away, her grandson, Thomas Cook, called me saying how his grandmother had enjoyed our visits. He went on to say that as strange as it might seem, Oleta had been talking to him saying the Jacob Cook homestead painting needed to go to Frankford Preservation Foundation. I was surprised and grateful for this generous gift and remain grateful to Oleta House for opening a window for us into the early history of Frankford.

Kathy Wells Power
President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.In 2009 Frankford Cemetery Association decided to embark on...
08/16/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

In 2009 Frankford Cemetery Association decided to embark on an oral history project to learn more about and reclaim the history of the little town of Frankford, the cemetery and church and members of the community.

In May of that year at the annual Decoration Day program in Frankford Church, I announced that we wanted to interview people with memories and information about the old community of Frankford. As I exited the church after the program a gentleman named Eddie Grimes flagged me down and said, “Honey, you need to talk to my cousin, Oleta.” That is how Oleta Wylie House became the first person we interviewed for the Frankford oral history project.

Oleta was a treasure. Blessed with an almost photographic memory, she kept us spellbound with stories of early rural life in Collin County and memories of Decoration Days at Frankford. Each time we visited her, she apologized profusely for not having cooked us a chicken dinner! She was simply delightful, with a sunny disposition and happy outlook on life. Oleta served as a bridge to the early days of Frankford and helped set us on the path of reclaiming Frankford’s history. I love this picture of her in a dress she had made herself (including the smocking).

Kathy Wells Power
President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Marianne Wells and Dealey Campbell of the Dallas Historical Society were my co-workers on this project.

To be continued in next installment.

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.A Community of SpiritResourced from the Frankford Cemetery ...
08/09/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

A Community of Spirit
Resourced from the Frankford Cemetery Association newsletter archives – May, 2015

Soon the Frankford community gathers again to celebrate Decoration Day. This annual event has been going on for at least one hundred years since Frankford families arrived each spring to clear off graves of loved ones, enjoy dinner on the grounds and sing the old hymns at a service in Frankford Church.

In the early 1960s Dallas Presbyterian minister Dr. Floyd Poe wrote in his Dallas Morning News column, This, That and the Other, of his recent experience at Frankford on Decoration Day. Dr. Poe was the guest speaker for the annual program in Frankford Church that year. In his column Dr. Poe marveled at the bonds felt by those with loved ones laid to rest in the cemetery. It was, he wrote, as if long after the town of Frankford had disappeared, its descendants still formed a “community of spirit.”

Dr. Poe captured the essence of Frankford, I believe. Still today, those of us with family and friends laid to rest in the Cemetery, whether newcomers or those with long ties to Frankford, form a community of spirit.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.Lavona Massey Cudd (1865-1934) lived on a farm near Hebron ...
08/02/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Lavona Massey Cudd (1865-1934) lived on a farm near Hebron and was the area midwife. According to family records Lavona delivered 942 babies. Her grandchildren remembered her making fresh straw mattresses each year once the wheat was thrashed. She also saved duck and geese pluckings for feather pillows. In this picture Lavona is planting corn.

Resourced Addison, Texas: a pictorial history
Copyright 2001
Andrew T. Eads

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.Lionel Simpson moved to the colony as a single man and sett...
07/26/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Lionel Simpson moved to the colony as a single man and settled on a company survey before July 1, 1848. He was issued a certificate by Ward and patented 320 acres in Dallas County (Nacogdoches Third Class No. 2051). He is listed on the 1850 census (Dallas County, family No. 93) as a 25 year old farmer, born in England.

From The Peters Colony of Texas. P. 392
Seymour V. Connor
1959
______________________________________________

Folklore has it that when Lionel Simpson attended meetings in the original Frankford Church he would sit in a chair with his boots on the railing. There is a worn spot on the railing (now in the second church) that supposedly is a spot made by the spurs of his boots scratching the wood. When the church was restored in 2010 we were careful to leave the railing as is. It is part of our story.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Photo of the railing courtesy of photographer Christopher Fitch.

Photos of the headstone courtesy of photographer Can Turkyilmaz.

07/19/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Frankford Stories - Lorene Roberson Gilliland - 1919-2017
(from oral history interview)

Lorene Roberson Gilliland was born at home on a farm near Frisco in 1919. She remembers her father taking her and her siblings to Frankford Cemetery when she was a teenager to show them the burial sites of their grandfather and great-grandfather. Mrs. Gilliland believes her great-grandfather, Nathan D. Roberson, (1815-1890) was one of the circuit riders who preached at the original Frankford Church before it was destroyed by a tornado in the 1880s.

Lorene Gilliland has vivid memories of sitting with her siblings on the back of a horse drawn wagon, dangling her legs as the wagon moved down the road. Her aunt and uncle ran a small store during the depression and she remembers her mother taking a bushel basket of cabbage to sell to the store. It was very fine cabbage.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.Frankford Stories - Bluegrass /Appalachian MusicIn the 1700...
07/12/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Frankford Stories - Bluegrass /Appalachian Music

In the 1700s people from the borderlands of Ireland, Scotland and England migrated to the Appalachian Mountain region of America. Many of these immigrants lived in remote areas of places like North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. They brought with them a very distinctive style of folk music that had evolved over many years in the British Isles. This music relied largely on the fiddle and banjo and the lyrics spoke about the everyday rural life of their experience.

In the early 1870s two brothers, Bill and Jim Wells, came to North Texas and settled in Plano and the small town of Renner, near Frankford. The brothers came from Bedford, Virginia, a beautiful, mountainous area of Central Virginia. Bill played the banjo and Jim, the fiddle. On the long journey from Virginia to Missouri and finally to Texas, the brothers entertained their fellow travelers with their music and continued to play for their new Texas neighbors. Bill and Jim Wells and other early settlers in this area played in a style now known as bluegrass. Bill and Jim are laid to rest at Frankford Cemetery. Other genres of folk music were brought to North Texas in the 1800s. All of these musical traditions helped create the unique culture of North Texas.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

07/05/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Frankford Stories - The name Frankford

Some early Frankford residents speculated that the name was chosen because it was descriptive of local conditions. A “ford” is a portion of a stream where the water is shallow enough and the banks low enough to made wading possible for man or animals. “Frank” can mean free with respect to conditions or absence of restrictions. Thus “Frankford” might mean a ford available for public use.

Caroline Drake Nix wrote in her 1900 autobiography that Julia and Warren Cotton’s three year old son Frank was the person for whom Frankford community was named. The Cottons came to Texas in 1857 around the time of the development of Frankford community.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Resource: Frances Bates Wells

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.Frankford Stories - Indian Springs at FrankfordIn the 1840s...
06/28/2020

Here's a little nugget of Frankford history for you to enjoy.

Frankford Stories - Indian Springs at Frankford

In the 1840s and 1850s travelers moved in covered wagons south along the Shawnee Trail also known as the Texas Road and Preston Road. Travelers camped where there was source of pure water, firewood and native grasses for their animals. The site we now know as Frankford had all of these elements. The springs on the west side of the creek on the property had been used by Native Americans and others for centuries. The area west of the creek was perfect for camping with its soft prairie grasses, and the creek beds were abundant with trees for firewood.

Later the tiny town of Frankford grew up around Indian Springs. In the 1880s the town began to diminish after the Cotton Belt Railroad built a station at Addison, south of Frankford. By 1910 all that remained of the town of Frankford were Frankford Church and Cemetery. A few farm families remained but Indian Springs was not as vital as it once was.

In the 1930s during a drought, someone covered Indian Springs with a concrete “cap.” It is surmised that this was done to provide more pressure for Keller Springs to the south, which was more accessible to the road making it easy for people to drive by to fill containers with water. Today, Indian Springs at Frankford flows again. Master naturalists known as the Stream Team regularly test the water of all the everlasting springs in the Dallas area, including Indian Springs at Frankford. These dedicated people report that the water of Indian Springs is amazingly pure and drinkable even today.

Kathy Wells Power, President, Frankford Preservation Foundation

Resource: Frances Bates Wells, J. C. Foster

Address

17400 Muirfield Dr
Dallas, TX
75287

General information

The Foundation conducts tours of the Church and grounds throughout the year. North Texas Master Naturalists and native plant and prairie experts work to catalog the native plants of the prairie remnant.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(214) 729-5203

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Astraios Chamber Music will present music for flute and guitar Sunday afternoon in the Historic Frankford Church. Classical guitarist Bob Gruca and flutist Linda White have been called "extraordinary" with their creative programming that combines classical, jazz, world music, and more. "Impressing audiences and critics alike, the highlight of the evening was the set performed by flutist Linda White and guitarist Robert Gruca. Their performance of Chick Corea's landmark composition 'Spain' absolutely sparkled." (Clevelandclassical.com, 2016). Our thanks to the Frankford Preservation Foundation for use of the beautiful church for this concert! Join us Sunday, October 27 at 3pm, and mention the code "FRANKFORD" at the door to get $10 tickets.