Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead

JAMES A. FRINK, a well-known attorney of Springfield, Mo., is possessed of a reputation in professional as well as social life of which any man might feel proud. He is a thorough student, a man of strong and vigorous intellect, a concise and logical reasoner, and a politician of considerable prominence. Since March of the year 1889 he has been a resident of Springfield, and from that time up to the present he has taken a decided interest in the general public welfare of the county. In all matters pertaining to his profession his judgment is accurate, with intuitive conceptions of legal principles, sustained by a retentive memory. He has few equals when dealing with questions of fact, and his powers of separation and condensation of facts and their application are remarkable. His oratorical ability, however, is the mainspring of his popularity among the masses, being an earnest, energetic speaker, and one who carries conviction to his auditors. Mr. Frink was born in Madison, Wis., June 24, 1855, and is a son of Henry E. and Helen C. (Smith) Frink. The father was a native of the Empire State, born in Schoharie County, and was a son of one of the early pioneers of that State. Until about 1849 or 1850 Henry E. Frink remained in his native State and then moved to Ohio, settled in Columbus, where he was private secretary for old Gov. Reuben Woods until 1851. In that year he resigned his position to go to Wisconsin and there settled in Madison, where he passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1864. He became very prominent in that city and State, was a lawyer of more than ordinary ability, and became noted in political circles, being a stanch Republican. He was a Mason of long standing. While residing in Columbus, Ohio, he met and married Miss Helen C. Smith, a daughter of Dr. Smith, of Saratoga Springs, N. Y. The Smith family is of Scotch origin, and Dr. Smith, the maternal grandfather of our subject was the seventh son of a seventh son of a Scotch noble who, being banished by the King of England, came to America and settled in Louisiana. His descendants came to New York State and became prominent people there. Dr. Smith was an eminent physician, and was well known in the medical world in his day. To Mr. and Mrs. Frink were born two children: Frank H., who resides at Centerville, Iowa, engaged in merchandising, and our subject, James A. The mother of these children died in Ida Grove, Iowa, in 1885. She was an Episcopalian in her religious belief. The original of this notice passed his early school days in Madison, Wis., where he attended the high school, and later the college of that city. He then moved with his mother to St. Louis and she was there married to Isaac S. Lane, whom she accompanied to Centerville, Iowa, after residing in St. Louis seven years. Our subject, not caring to reside with his stepfather, became private secretary to Charles H. McComas, superintendent of construction of the Eads bridge at St. Louis. Later he went to Centerville, Iowa, attended school there, and from there returned again to Madison, where he entered the university, closing his school days by graduating in the class of 1879. After this he began the study of law, continued this for six months in the law office of Tannehill & Fee, at Centerville, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar in 1883. Immediately afterward he located in Ida Grove, Iowa, and practiced there until a number of months later, when he married. During the Presidential campaign of 1884, he edited a newspaper called the Maple Valley Era, and conducted this until the spring of 1887, when he went to Winfield, Kan. There he practiced law, but also purchased the Daily Telegram, and was interested in the real estate business during the boom in that city. He met with reverses and left that city to come to Springfield. This was in. the spring of 1889, and since then his time and attention has been given to his law practice. He is not only among the ablest attorneys of Springfield, but of southwest Missouri. He makes a specialty of Commercial law, and has a rapidly increasing practice. He is a prominent Republican, and is chairman of the Central Committee of the county. He was also a delegate to the State and Congressional conventions. For twelve years he has been a member of the Knights of Pythias order, and is the founder of Atlas Lodge, No. 213, of Springfield, and takes special interest in that order. He has been active in the Grand Lodge of the State, and in October, 1893, was elected grand vice chancellor of the State. Mr. Frink is an attorney for some of the large corporations of the city, and is public spirited and enterprising. He was married September 11, 1883, to Miss Ruth A. Ingman, daughter of L. D. Ingman, a dry goods merchant of Ida Grove, Iowa. She was born in the year 1861. Three children have been born to this union-two sons and a daughter- James L., Mary A. and Edward A. Mr. and Mrs. Frink attend the Cogregational Church.


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