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Frank A. Flower

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Frank Abial Flower (1854–1910) was an editor at various newspapers, an author and government official. He wrote many history books, several related to Wisconsin and leading Republicans of his era.

Early life[edit]

Frank A. Flowers was born May 11, 1854 in Cottage in Cattaraugus County, New York.[1][2]


Flower's journalism career included being a traveling correspondent for Fredonia, New York Advertiser.[2] He was the joint editor of the Milwaukee Evening Chronicle from September to December of 1880 and the editor of the Superior Leader from 1891 to 1895.[3]

Flower was the city statistician for Superior, Wisconsin.[4] He worked for the State of Wisconsin as the State Labor Statistician and later became the Chief Statistician.[2] From 1883 to 1887, he was the first Wisconsin Labor Commissioner.[5] In 1899, he was appointed Chief of the Agricultural Division of the Census.[6]

In 1895, Flower was the Executive Secretary for the International Deep Waterways Association, championing the improvement of cargo ship traffic from the Great Lakes with New York City. Flower said, "New-York may not want us to come down to tidewater with our unbroken cargoes of grain and merchandise, but New-York does not always know what is best for herself."[7][8]


Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute wrote to Flower in 1890 about how much it would cost to establish a school modeled after Tuskegee Institute in Liberia noting that several students from Liberia were at the existing school in Alabama.[9] Flower was the civilian attaché with the U.S. Commission to Liberia in 1909, appointed by Secretary of State P. C. Knox because he would "be able to supply considerable information and perhaps a few suggestions, based upon his special study of African affairs".[10] It was intended that Washington also be one of the commissioners.[11] During a follow-up trip in 1910 to Liberia for the U.S. to research border issues, Flower died in October. It took over a month for news to even reach Liberia's capital of Monrovia.[12][13][14][15]


His book on the history of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was published in 1881. His book on the history of the Republican Party, which started in Wisconsin, was published in 1884.[16] His book Life of Matthew Hale Carpenter about Matthew Hale Carpenter was published by D. Atwood and Company in 1884. His book Old Abe, the Eighth Wisconsin war eagle : a full account of his capture and enlistment, exploits in war and honorable as well as useful career in peace was published by Curran and Bowen in 1885). He also published a book of reminisces related to General Herman Haupt. In 1895 his report on the proceedings of the first meeting of the International Deep Waterways Association was published. His book on Edwin McMasters Stanton was published in 1905.[17][18]

Additional reading[edit]

  • Koepke, Evelyn O. (1967). The Self-styled Greeley of Wisconsin: Frank Abial Flower. University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png (masters thesis)[19]
  • Lossing, Benson John; Wilson, Woodrow (1915). Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States History from 458 A.D. to 1912. Harper & brothers. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  • Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson (1910). Who's who in America. Marquis Who's Who. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  • Macfarland, Henry Brown Floyd (1908). District of Columbia: concise biographies of its prominent and representative contemporary citizens, and valuable statistical data ... The Potomac Press. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png


  1. The History of Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin. Western historical Company. 1880. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "A Wife Suing for Divorce". The New York Times. 1889-05-15. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  3. Oehlerts, Donald E.; State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1958). Guide to Wisconsin newspapers, 1833-1957. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Madison : State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Search/Home?lookfor="Flower,%20Frank%20Abial,%201854-1911."&type=author&inst=
  5. "Department of Workforce Development Timeline History". dwd.wisconsin.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  6. Science, American Association for the Advancement of (1899-06-02). "Scientific Notes and News". Science. 9 (231): 788–791. doi:10.1126/science.9.231.788-a. ISSN 0036-8075.
  7. "FOR DEEP WATERWAYS; The Convention to Open in Cleveland To-morrow. LIST OF TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION History of the International Deep Waterways Association -- Resolved to Have a Ship Canal from Lakes to Sea". Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  8. "AN EXISTING OUTLET TO THE SEA; Improved Eric Canal as a Substitute for a Ship Canal. DEEP WATERWAYS NEEDED". Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  9. page 190
  10. Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1915. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. Bacon, Leonard; Thompson, Joseph Parrish; Storrs, Richard Salter; Beecher, Henry Ward; Leavitt, Joshua; Tilton, Theodore; Bowen, Henry Chandler; Ward, William Hayes; Holt, Hamilton (1909). The Independent. S. W. Benecdict. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  12. State of Wisconsin Blue Book. Legislative Reference Bureau. 1913. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  13. "The Pioneer from Bemidji, Minnesota on November 30, 1910 · Page 3". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  14. Engineering and Mining Journal. Western & Company. 1910. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. "Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on February 6, 1911 · Page 16". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  16. Flower, Frank Abial (1884). History of the Republican Party: Embracing Its Origin, Growth and Mission, Together with Appendices of Statistics ... Union Publishing Company. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  17. http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Flower%2C%20Frank%20Abial%2C%201854-1911
  18. "Secretary Stanton.; EDWIN Coasters STANTON. The Autocrat of Recellton, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. By Frank Abial Flower. Svo. Pp. 425. Illustrated Akron, Ohio: The Saalfield Publishing Company". The New York Times. 1905-05-27. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  19. Nesbit, Robert C. (2013-03-28). Urbanization & Industrialization 1873-1893: History of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society. ISBN 9780870206306. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]

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