Biography of Frank Geoffroy
Frank Geoffroy, who is a successful commission and grain merchant at Abilene, is a native of Kansas, and he and his people have been identified with this state since early pioneer days.
Kansas was a territory and was known throughout the country as”bleeding Kansas” when his father and grandparents came and located as pioneers in Franklin County in 1855. His father, Ernest Geoffroy, was born near Metz, France, September 7, 1841, and was brought to America in 1849. The grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa for a few years, but in 1855 came out to Kansas and began their pioneer work in Franklin County. They were among the very first settlers there and the people of that district, as elsewhere, were divided in partisanship over the slavery question. At the age of sixteen Ernest Geoffroy left home and engaged as a driver of an ox team for a government contractor hauling supplies across the plains of Western Kansas to the United States military post in Colorado. That was in the years before the Civil war. The western country was then filled with hostile Indians, and there were also many other dangers and hazards of a life on the prairie. When the Civil war came on Ernest Geoffroy tendered his services to the Union cause, but was rejected on account of his age. For more than half a century he had been a practical farmer, fourteen years of which period were spent in Canadian County, Oklahoma. He was identified with the early establishment of white men’s civilization in old Oklahoma. He now owned and operates a farm adjoining Abilene on the east.
At Ottawa, Kansas, Ernest Geoffroy married Miss Mary Jane Farris. She was born in Lyons County, Kansas, and the Farrises were also early settlers in Kansas. To their marriage were born nine children, seven sons and two daughters, namely: Lillian, now the wife of A. B. Wilson, a fruit grower at Bentonville, Arkansas; Emele, a farmer at Bowen, Illinois; Fred E., who is now farming in Dickinson County, Kansas; Frank; Maggie A., wife of J. T. Findlay, of Abilene; LeRoy A., a farmer at Abilene; Lloyd E., born June 21, 1894, and a resident of Abilene; Albert Farris, born January 24, 1896, and assisting his father on the home farm; and Otto E., born November 5, 1899.
Mr. Frank Geoffroy was born in Franklin County, Kansas, on a farm, November 10, 1884. He was still a child when his father removed to Canadian County, Oklahoma, and he spent fourteen years of his life there. He had an intimate knowledge of early conditions in old Oklahoma, helped to farm some of the virgin acres of that state, and also gained his education in the public schools there.
At the ago of seventeen he had his first experience in the grain business by employment in an elevator at Yukon, Oklahoma. Subsequently for seven years he traveled for a grain commission house. Thus he learned the business in all its details and was well equipped by experience when in 1912 he started business of his own at Wichita. In 1914 he came to Abilene, one of the important grain receiving centers of Western Kansas, and had operated very successfully, building up a large clientage among the grain raisers of that section.
On December 26, 1905, at Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Geoffroy married Miss Lulu Irene Morgan. Mrs. Geoffroy was born at Fairfield, Illinois, October 25, 1888. She is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Geoffroy belongs to the Masonic Order. Four children have been born to them, three sons and one daughter: Glenn G., born at Marysville, Kansas, June 12, 1909; Marjorie Ione, born at Wichita May 22, 1911; Jack Morgan, born at Wichita August 22, 1912; and Robert Gordon, born at Abilene September 27, 1915.