Love and marriage: Franks to observe 60th wedding anniversaryAn ice cream sundae, a greeting card or a box of valentine candy are the simple tokens of affection shared by Jacob (Jake) and Florence Frank. Nearing their 60th wedding anniversary, the Franks spoke of their courtship with a Model A, their wedding at the Gaylord church and why their marriage has endured.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
An ice cream sundae, a greeting card or a box of valentine candy are the simple tokens of affection shared by Jacob (Jake) and Florence Frank.
Nearing their 60th wedding anniversary, the Franks spoke of their courtship with a Model A, their wedding at the Gaylord church and why their marriage has endured.
The Franks live on a farm 15 miles south of Dickinson and one mile off the highway. Jake grew up on that farmstead, while Florence lived south of Belfield near the Gaylord Church.
They met at a dance in the Gaylord Hall in 1948. The old-time music was provided by Dave Heck and Val Kubischta.
“I still can see that gal sitting over there on the other side,” said Jake. “That’s how people met each other — a lot at dances.”
Jake said dances were held monthly at Gaylord — usually on Sunday evenings.
“That was the entertainment at the time,” he added.
When the dance was over, they met again outside.
“Then I took her home with the Model A,” he said.
They saw each other every two weeks when the roads were passable. Sometimes, he’d take the family’s 1946 Chevy pickup.
“My dad purchased it new and it’s been in the family ever since,” said Jake.
Whenever possible, Jake would take short-cuts through the country roads — roads without gravel and having plenty of mud holes.
“It was a good thing I had a Model A,” he said.
“We went to shows,” added Florence.
“We would hold hands — that’s courtship,” joked Jake.
Many times, they went with friends, he added.
Without a telephone, they kept in contact with letters.
“The mailman who had their route remembers when we were corresponding,” said Jake.
They saved the letters until the children came along, he added.
After two years of courtship, Jake’s parents grew tired of his long trips and suggested he find a girl in the neighborhood.
“But this one was better,” said Jake.
Eventually, he asked Florence’s father for permission to marry her.
“He said, ‘I guess so.’ That was the start,” said Jake.
“He gave me a ring at a dance,” added Florence.
“Those days, all you had to do was go to the priest three weeks in advance for instructions,” said Jake.
They were married Oct. 23, 1950, at the Gaylord Church, with dinner and supper served in the Gaylord Hall and a dance in the South Heart Hall. Pete Lindemann provided the music.
Florence said they didn’t have a honeymoon.
“We stayed at her folk’s place a couple days and then went to the farm. It was work, work, work,” said Jake. “But our first honeymoon was when we were married 24 years. We went by train to Oregon with my sister and husband.”
The couple rented a farm west of Scheffield for several years and lived in Billings, Mont., for a year. In 1957, Jake’s mother asked them to return to the homestead, giving them first chance at buying the farm.
“We’ve been here ever since,” he said.
The four-generation farm was sold to their son Jeff. Their other children are Ann, Liz, Edward, Bill, Cindy, Gordon and Larry. They also have 10 grandchildren.
Jake shares his recipe for a successful marriage: “First of all, pray together, work together, play together and fourth, I give my wife 60 percent and you take 40 percent.”
Jake describes Florence as a good wife and a good mother.
Florence said of Jake, “He knows everybody. He likes to stand and talk.”
The family is planning a 60th wedding anniversary party in September, when all the children can come home.