Mary Margaret French Frank was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on August 8, 1912, to Harley and Mabel (Townsley) French. She was a 1930 graduate of Grand Forks Central High School. During that time she was involved in Glee Club, was the programming chair of the Student Club, Assistant Editor of the school newspaper and was also a member of the Volleyball and Soccer teams.
Mary Margaret French graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Liberal Arts. She was a member of the women's social sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, and the honors society Phi Beta Kappa. She taught in North Dakota and Iowa from 1934 to 1941. She also received a Master of Art degree in English Literature from Wellesley College in 1937. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1943 to continue teaching, before returning to Grand Forks in 1945 to teach piano. In 1955, she earned a Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois and was named the head of the Grand Forks Public Library. She was married to Richard Frank in 1957 and lived with him in Grand Forks until his death on March 1, 1995. She died on October 4, 2012, in Grand Forks.
Additional material was donated by:
Mary Margaret Frank (via the UND Alumni Association) in November 2006 (2006-2871)
Unknown donor in 2013 (2013-3227)
Transferred from the UND Alumni Association in October 2018 (2018-3391)
Dr. Richard Frank Papers, OGLMC 1382
Dr. Harley E. French Papers, OGLMC 142
The Mary Margaret Frank Papers include a number of items relating to the genealogy of the French family. Two different books, Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel French the Joiner, and The Family of David Scott French, examine the history of the French family from the 1600s through the 1900s. The Mallory and French papers establish a connection between the two families four generations before Mary Margaret French Frank was born in 1912. This folder is followed by one which contains material related to French Frank’s immediate family.
Those folders that do not deal specifically with the genealogy of the French family include a folder on Samuel S. Townsley, who was French Frank's Grandfather on her mother's side. Mary Margaret French Frank contributed one of her mother’s letters which was used in the publication Humanities on the Frontier. Blance Harding was a friend of both Mary Margaret French Frank and her mother, Mabel. John French Jr.’s connection to the other French family could not be established, while the folder on Skulda Banner, an author who wrote about a woman who left home to become a teacher in North Dakota, has no relation to the French Family. Also included is one folder of Frank's correspondence, one scrapbook, and biographical information regarding Buron Townsley French.
One oversize folder was placed in the Oversize File Cabinet. The folder contains an original deed for land owned by a “John Whitney” in the Province of Upper Canada. The deed appears to date from 1804. Whitney’s relation to the French family is unknown.