Bio of Melvin Porter Frank
As found in REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF MAINE
A Collection of Biographical Sketches.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher
1893

MELVIN PORTER FRANK is a son of Alpheus and Naomi (Stimson) Frank, and grandson of James Frank, who was one of the early inhabitants of the town of Falmouth and a Revolutionary soldier. The first conflict at Concord aroused his patriotism, and when the news came of the battle at Lexington and at concord he was among the first to enlist in the Continental Army. He continued in the service, by repeated enlistments, until nearly the close of the war, doing good service for the cause of the American Revolution. On his return from the war he purchased a farm in the town of Gray and settled on it. Here he raised his family and spent the remainder of his days. His son, Aipheus, also lived here, and it was on this farm that Melvin Porter Frank was born, on December 26, 1841, and where he spent his boyhood days. The farm has remained in the possession of the family until within a few years.

Being ambitious to obtain an education, he availed himself of such limited privileges as the common schools afforded, and whenever opportunity was offered he attended such terms of high school as were accessible, traveling, oftentimes, on foot, a distance of three miles and return, daily, for this purpose. He also attended the Lewiston High School, the Maine State Seminary (now Bates College), and Lewiston Falls Academy, where he fitted for college. He entered Tufts College in 1861 and graduated in the class of 1865. In order to obtain means to defray the expenses of his education, Mr. Frank worked on the farm during summer vacations and taught school during winters, and so has had quite an extensive experience as a teacher.

Deciding upon the law as his proftssion, he actively began to prepare himself for its practice in the law offices of Hon. A. A. Strout and of Shepley & Strout, in. Portland, where he studied diligently for nearly three years. He was admitted to the Bar in Cumberland County in 1868, and at once began the practice of his profession. He was not very long in building up a good law business, which has been constantly on the increase, until to-day Mr. Frank ranks among the very first lawyers in Portland and Cumberland County, both in ability and amount of business done. It can be justly said that he is well versed in all the various branches of the law and its practice, and that he enjoys the high regard of the Bench and Bar and the confidence of the business community, from which he draws a practice which is equaled by but few law firms in our State.

Mr. Frank was well endowed by nature. He has a strong constitution, a well-balanced and active mind, which he has cultivated by study and reading, and a retentive memory, to which may be added most excellent health and spirits. Thus splendidly equipped, he stands to-day a strong man in his profession, ready to meet its greatest emergencies and to grapple with its most intricate questions. He is clear-headed, broad-minded, and has quick perceptions and a sound judgment. These qualities are widely recognized and make his opinions on disputed points of law of great value.

Mr. Frank has devoted his time to the duties of his profession, and has never sought political preferment, yet he has frequently received the nomination of his party to positions of honor and trust. In 1876 he was a member of the House of Representatives and drafted and was instrumental in securing the passage of the first law abolishing capital punishment in Maine. He was again a member of the House in 1879 and was chosen Speaker, where he displayed admirable qualities as a presiding officer. He showed himself to be entirely familiar with parliamentary law and able to cope with its most difficult problems, while he presided with that firmness, ease, and grace that mark the model speaker. Few sessions of our Maine Legislature have been favored with more dignified and courteous presiding officers, in either branch, than the House in 1879. In 1890 he was the Democratic candidate for Representative in Congress and received the united and full strength of his party, of which he is a recognized leader in his section of the State and always a trusted adviser.

Mr. Frank's exuberant spirits make him always cheerful, good-natured, and open-hearted. He is social and companionable, and always has a warm welcome for all who approach him. His fine natural abilities and his frank and genial nature have conspired to make him eminently successful and really a representative man of Maine


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