Orphaned during the Civil War, John Frakes would go on to serve his country through four wars.
Born 1 Jan 1861 in St. Louis, Mo., John Frakes was the youngest child of John W. and Eleanor Frakes (both of Irish ancestry). He had the following brothers: Joseph and Tom; and the following sisters: Eleanor, Mary, and Geraldine. After his mother died in 1863, his father passed away soon after in 1864. John was adopted by a "french woman" who raised him in the Catholic faith.
At 24 years of age, Frakes enlisted (Oct. 19 1886) in the 8th U.S. Cavalry at St. Louis. He took part in the last of the Indian wars, at was present at Wounded Knee in the Dakota Territory. (Photo at left is John Frakes as a sergeant at Ft. Meade, South Dakota.) In 1898, Frakes went overseas to Cuba to take part in the Spanish American War. By 1902 he had transferred to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. In 1907, Frakes went to Asia to help put down the Philippine Insurrections. In 1910, Frakes retired from service to operate his farm located near St. Clair, Missouri. Briefly in 1912, he returned to duty at Jefferson Barracks as a training instructor. At the outbreak of World War I in Europe in 1914, the call of duty enticed him back for active service. This time he was stationed at Long Island, NY in the Aeronautical branch of the Army where he served through to the end of the war.
Following the war, Frakes returned to civilian life. He died near St. Clair, Mo on Oct. 18, 1832. His body was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo at left is Lt. Frakes taken in 1917 at St. Louis.) Information and pictures supplied by his great grandson, Tom Powell of Seymour, Tenn.