The Fraker Family with Art Troup

Benjamin Franklin Fraker family front.jpg

The man and woman seated in the above photograph are Benjamin Franklin Fraker (1870-1955) and his wife, Sarah Rebecca Mowery (1870-1934). They lived in the vicinity of Carlisle, PA and had two children. Both Benjamin and Sarah are buried in Letort Cemetery, formerly Kutz’s Church Cemetery, located at the site of the Letort United Methodist Church in Carlisle [See memorials 38796055 and 38796064.]

Benjamin, also known as B. Frank and B. F., was the son of Andrew Fraker and Martha Warren. (I had no luck finding out more about them.) His obituary states, “A retired farmer, he lived for many years in the Middlesex township and was also a former employee of the Carlisle Frog, Switch and Manufacturing company.” Benjamin probably had a brother named William Arthur Fraker (1870-1944), but the record is unclear and genealogists differ.

An attentive reader of these pages will recognize Sarah’s headgear and identify her as a Dunker or Dunkard. Her obituary identified her as “a member of the Carlisle Church of the Brethren, president of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Letort Evangelical Church, and a teacher in the Sunday School.” Her parents were Benjamin Mowery (1838-1901) and Mary Magdalene Plough (1839-1913) and they are buried with the Plough family in the Huntsdale Church of the Brethren Cemetery.

Their daughter Mary Ellen Fraker (1899-1969) is standing behind her father. Her first husband, Arthur Raymond Troup (1896-1946), is to her left (and conspicuously in the center of the photograph). Mary Ellen and Art were married on 6 June 1918 in New Kingston, PA. They had four sons, the youngest of which was Reverend Kenneth L. Troup, a prominent United Methodist Church pastor whose obituary you can read here. Art died early of complications associated with a duodenal ulcer. Mary later married a man named West but I could find nothing more about that union that I could confirm.

Seated on the arm of his mother’s chair is Andy, Andrew William Fraker (1903-1980). He is frequently identified as William Andrew Fraker, or W. Andrew Fraker, adding to the confusion of the Fraker family genealogy. The inscription on the back of the photograph was written by one of Andy’s children. Andy married Mary Ellen Clouser (1909-1992) in 1925 and they had six sons and five daughters.

Benjamin Franklin Fraker family back.jpg

Here is another photograph of Art Troup:

Arthur Raymond Troup 1 front.jpg

Arthur Raymond Troup 1 back.jpg

The Fraker Family with Art Troup

Towney Townsend

John B

The gentleman pictured above is John Barnes Townsend (1867-1947) who, according to his godson’s inscription on the back of the photograph, was also known as “Towney”.

John B

Towney actually graduated from Yale College 1891. He was manager of the crew and a member of Skull and Bones. There were 94 men in his class. I don’t know which of the 93 other men was the godson’s father.

Towney’s parents were Hosea Townsend (1840-1909) and Anna A. Barnes (1844-1915) who married in 1865. Hosea was born in Ohio, served in the Civil War, and began his law practice in Memphis, TN where Towney and his sister, Ann Belle Townsend (1869-1934), were born. Hosea represented Colorado in the U.S. Congress for two terms (1889-1893) and President William McKinley appointed him to the U.S. Court for the Indian Territory, Southern District, in 1897, where he remained until Oklahoma became a state in 1907. You can learn more about Hosea here and here. Ann Belle Barnes is credited with opening the first library in Indian Territory in 1906.

Towney held a number of management positions with The Philadelphia Press and retired as a partner at Drexel & Company in 1926. At the time of his death he was a member of the Rittenhouse Club, the Philadelphia Club, the University Club of New York, the Acorn Club, and the Art Alliance. He left his entire estate of $200,000 to his widow, Margaret Morton Riley (1873-1959), whom he married in 1912. Margaret was the daughter of Lewis Adams Riley (1847-1925), a millionaire in the coal industry in Pennsylvania, and Margaret Morton Drinker (1848-1929). In 1914 Margaret’s parents gifted her Montrose, a mansion in on County Line Road in Radnor, PA which is now part of The Inn at Villanova University, the conference center of Villanova University. Margaret’s obituary informed that she was a patron of the Philadelphia orchestra and a member of a number of clubs including the Acorn Club (a different one). Towney and Margaret resided at Montrose and Palm Springs until they died. They had no children.

Incidentally, Towney’s autograph is for sale on for $199.95. He is purported to be a member of the 1889 Yale College football team.


Towney Townsend