Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
FRANK L. FINNEY. The dignity of labor is a theme much discussed. In the old world it has always meant a different thing to the construction put upon the phrase in America, for in lands where caste prevails between classes, the aristocracy is inclined to look down on the laboring classes, but of this, happily, we know practically nothing in the United States, in fact, here if one does not labor or at least is employed at something one is not likely to he as highly regarded by one's associates as if he were energetic and not afraid of honest work. Frank L. Finney, now deceased, was a believer in the dignity of labor and he was possessed with much energy and industry and succeeded in earning an honest and comfortable living and winning and retaining the respect and admiration of those with whom he was associated.
Mr. Finney was born, November 22, 1851, in Fairfield, Iowa. He was a son of Samuel G. and Eunice (Neil) Finney, one of the early families of Jefferson county, Iowa, noted for their industry and qualities as good neighbors. Their family consisted of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, namely: Lewis H. is deceased; Albert lives in Nevada; George S. lives in Maryville, Missouri; Frank L., subject of this memoir; Edwin lives in Seattle, Washington; Mrs. Annie C. Denny lives in Lincoln, Nebraska; Mrs. Emma L. LaFollette resides in Seattle; Samuel is deceased; Mrs. Ella S. Webb lives in Colorado, and Earnest P. lives in Oklahoma City.
Samuel G. Finney, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and there grew to manhood and received a good education. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and was very successful in the practice of his profession. He took an active part in public matters, became influential in politics and was for some time a member of the Legislature, while living in Maryland. Finally abandoning the practice of law he engaged in merchandising with success and later in life turned his attention to general farming. He removed from Maryland to Jefferson county, Iowa, in the early history of the latter country and located at the town of Fairfield, where he became well established and well known. His wife, Eunice Neil, was born in Maine, and was of Scotch-Irish descent.
Frank L. Finney grew to manhood at Fairfield, Iowa, assisting his father about the homestead when a boy, and he received his education in the public schools there. When a, young man he went west and followed mining in different states for a number of years with satisfactory results. He located in Springfield, Missouri, in 1905, and here lived in retirement the rest of his life. He had spent thirteen years engaged in farming and stock raising in Iowa very successfully.
Mr. Finney was married on August 4, 1885, to Mary Graham, who was born in Maryville, Missouri, and is a daughter of Arch D. and Sarah (Wiseman) Graham. Mr. Graham was a native of Kentucky and his wife a native of West Virginia; after their marriage they lived in Ohio for a short time, then came to Missouri, where Mrs. Finney died July 3, 1914, at the age of forty-seven.
Mrs. Finney received a good common school education, and lived on South Jefferson street, Springfield, where she had a comfortable home. She bore her husband eight children, seven of whom survive, namely: Dora, Lola, Marjorie, Harold Neil, Samuel Graham, Fern, Winifred, and Earnest Dean is deceased. These children have been given good educational advantages in Iowa and in Springfield, Missouri.
Politically, Frank L. Finney was a Democrat but was never an aspirant for political honors.
The death of Mr. Finney occurred at his late home in Springfield on June 9, 1906, when fifty-five years of age.
Springfield-Greene County Library