Frank Sears Biography


 This biography appears on page 1552 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger,


Individuals and non-profit organizations for their private use may freely copy this file. Any other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires the written approval of the file's author. An engraving and the signature of Frank Sears faces page 1552.


FRANK SEARS, a leading member of the bar of Day County, and a prominent citizen of Webster, the county seat, was born July 18, 1856, at Moscow, Livingston County, New York. He is the son of William and Margaret A. (Poorman) Sears, both natives of New York State, the former born in Livingston County in 1828 and the latter in Seneca county in 1833. The Sears are of English descent. The grandparents (paternal) were Franklin and Elizabeth (Shadders) Sears, the former born in Massachusetts and the latter in Hagerstown, Maryland. William Sears, the father, removed from Livingston county, New York, to Woodford county, Illinois, in 1857, and from there he removed to Chatworth, Livingston, Illinois, in 1866. He is a lawyer by profession and has held local public office for many years. He and wife are still living. The mother of the subject is the daughter of Jacob Poorman.


Frank Sears was reared in Chatsworth, Illinois. He graduated from the Chatsworth high school in 1875, following which he attended German school for three years, becoming a fluent writer and talker in that language. Following his schooling, he spent four years in the service of the Illinois Midland Railroad Company. In 1884 he came to Andover, Day County, South Dakota, where he took up the study of law. In November 1888, he was admitted to the bar, and in 1890 he was elected state's attorney for Day County,. He removed to Webster, where he assumed the duties of his office. He was re-elected state's attorney in 1892. In April 1805 he was elected the first mayor of Webster. In 1904 he was re-nominated for state's attorney by the Republican Party. He has been prominent in legal circles for fifteen years, and has been connected with the most important cases in this section of the state. He makes a specialty of criminal practice. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Improved Order of Red Men and Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan. He is a self-made man in every respect.


In June, 188I, Mr. Sears was married, at Pekin, Tazewell county, Illinois, to Isabell Hammond, the daughter of Daniel Hammond. The following four children were born to that union: Mayme, married to Frank J. O’Regan, of St. Paul; William Wallace, now of St. Paul; Frank, Jr., now of St. Paul; Madaline, of St. Paul. On October 27, 1901, Mr. Sears was married to Miss Alice Cavanaugh, who was born at McComb, Illinois, the daughter of John Cavanaugh. To them two children have been born Barnabus and a daughter, unnamed.