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Frank Sinclair, Columbia businessman (1866-1915)

By today's standards, his life was very short, 49 years, 2 months,and 18 days. But this fine man, from one of Adair County's great families, born between Vester and Egypt, left a lasting impression on all who knew him and principles he lived by continue to influence this community. -CM

By Mike Watson
Adair County Historian

Notions and Groceries

[This biographical sketch was printed in the The Columbia Spectator,published in Adair County, in 1897.]

There is not a young man in Adair County who is more deserving thanthe subject of this writing. He was born a few miles from this cityOctober 16, 1866, and has been a citizen of Columbia for the past sixyears. His father and mother died when he was quite a boy, leavingseveral sisters and brothers to rear and educate. Frank being full ofenergy and having the confidence of the people, went forward to fightlife's battle. He had but little money, but his pluck soon gave him astart, and it was not long until he had accumulated means sufficientto go into business.

He is now the proprietor of the notion and grocery store located justabove W.L. Walker, and is having a fine run of trade. He keeps ageneral assortment, sells for cash, asking for short profits. Mr.Sinclair owns a comfortable home in the southern portion of town, andis universally regarded as one of Columbia's best young men. He hasthe confidence of the people, and there is not a question but hemerits their esteem.

Mr. Sinclair is a devoted member of the Methodist church and is aregular attendant upon services. While he is a zealous member of hisdenomination, strictly speaking he is not a sectarian. He attends thevarious religious services, and is at home in any church in which hesits.

Soon after he reached his 21st year, was made a Master Mason, and hasbeen a devoted member of the institution since he first knocked at thedoor.


From The Adair County News, Wednesday, 6 January 1915:
Prominent Citizen Meets Death

Mr. Frank Sinclair, Who Was Known to Everybody in the County, Dies athis Late Residence, This City

Funeral Service Methodist Church
The death of Mr. Frank Sinclair, which occurred at his late residence,in this city, last Sunday afternoon at 1:15 o'clock, was not asurprise, but it was regretted by the entire community, the deceased,with the exception of a few months, having been a prominent andsuccessful merchant of Columbia for a quarter of a century.

The deceased was born between Vester and Egypt, this county, becominga citizen of Columbia about twenty-eight years ago. When he came tothis place he had but little capital, a few hundred dollars. Hestarted what was termed a "Racket Store" in the building now occupiedby Flowers & Walker, and the business was a success, and later heopened a general dry goods store, commanding a large trade, untilabout a year before his death, at that time selling the stock of goodsto Gill & Waggener...

The deceased is survived by his wife, three children, two brothers,three sisters and one half-brother...


From The Adair County News 12 May 1915, formal obituary:

Frank Sinclair was born October 16, 1866, departed this life January3, 1915, aged 48 years, 2 months, and 18 days. He was the oldest sonof Preston and Elizabeth Sinclair, who both died when he was justentering into young manhood. He had three sisters and three brothersto be cared for...united with the Methodist church in 1892...He wasmarried to Miss Lula Conover in September 1900. To this union wereborn four children. Ray, the eldest, preceded him...November 23, 1908,Marvin, Mary Elizabeth and William Preston survive... [Long obituarysubmitted for publication by his sister, Mattie]

Frank Sinclair
Frank Sinclair, buried in Columbia City Cemetery, born 6 October 1866,died 3 January 1915. Lula Sinclair, his wife, born 17 November 1873, died 12 June 1946. Ray Sinclair, son of F. & L., born 10 December 1900, died 23 November 1908. Sinclair, William P., born 30 May 1913, died 11 June 1983, US Navy, World War II
Though it was not mentioned in his obituary, Frank Sinclair was, atthe time of his death, a member of the Board of Trustees of theColumbia Graded Schools. -Mike Watson

This story was posted on 2012-03-08 03:23:04
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