Rev. Benjamin Frankland
While to all thinking minds there must ever come a recognition and appreciation of the leading part religion has taken in advancing civilization and conserving the higher interests of the human race, yet not to all comes an equal understanding of the burdens borne, the trials endured, the anxious responsibility maintained, and the self abnegation practiced by those who give up their lives to their Master's cause, merging their very identity into the good work. Sacrifices there must be; ambition in a worldly sense must be forsworn, and in all the work of preparation and execution there must be a devotion of spirit to the uplifting of fellow men into the brighter refulgence of the higher light, the light perpetual, zealous in all good works, and worthy to be known as the follower of the one great Shepherd of all, the one who quells the raging storm with a word, and says, "be still." It is thus most consonant that the Rev. Mr. Frankland should be accorded an honorable position in a work whose aim is to leave a permanent memorial of those individuals who have lived and labored among the brave and hardy men who go down to the sea in ships. In the life work of the Rev. Benjamin Frankland is to be found an amount of good accomplished, equalled only by his earnest desire to do as much more. The field in which he has been working since 1860 as general superintendent of the Western Seamen's Friend Society is a broad one.
Mr. Frankland was born in Liverpool, England, March 31, 1832. His early years were spent in that city, Manchester, and at the school of the Society of Friends at Ackworth, in Yorkshire. He came to the United States in 1846, his father and the family becoming residents of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the fall of that year. As apprentice, foreman and owner he was connected with the printing business from 1847 to 1860, when, having been interested and engaged as a volunteer Christian worker with the Cincinnati Bethel, he, in the spring of 1861, retired from secular business and was appointed, by the Western Seamen's Friend Society, chaplain and superintendent of the Cincinnati Bethel. His first connection with the institution was in 1859, and continued until 1869. During that period and under his supervising care, from a small mission occupying a floating structure on the Ohio river, its work increased until it became one of the largest mission churches and schools in the country. Mr. Frankland during the later years of his work and residence in Cincinnati, being also president of the Hamilton County Sunday School Association and Secretary of the Ohio State Sunday School Union.
In the year 1868, while still chaplain-in-charge of the Cincinnati Bethel, he was chosen by the Western Seamen's Friend Society general superintendent of Western Bethel work, and in the spring of 1869 removed to Cleveland, Ohio, the official headquarters of that society, his resignation of local position in Cincinnati to enter upon his new duties taking effect in April of the latter year. His election and service was coincident with a complete reorganization of work and methods, and the adoption of the present federal system of the society's operations, and the connection of the more secular appliances of Seamen's and Boatmen's Homes and cheap eating rooms with the instructional and religious departments formerly carried on. He has, during the succeeding years, given his entire time to these interests, and has been directly connected with the organization or reorganization and the incorporation of societies, covering the entire series of institutions in the interior and the West which are a part of the international seamen's cause, the promotion and supervising care of institutions and missions of this character upon our interior waterways having been committed to the society of which he is the general superintendent.
In 1864, at Cincinnati, Ohio, Rev. Benjamin Frankland was united by marriage to Miss Margaret C. Wolff, a resident of that city. He has five children living, and the family residence is at Mr. Washington, Hamilton county, Ohio.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.