Franklin History Book - Other Major Improvements
<Back MAIN Next>

In January 1951, a Volunteer Fire Department was organized with Clarence D. Kenny as president, Gus Kilver as secretary, and Allen Smith as treasurer. These men signed personal notes for $13,000 for the purchase of equipment. Howard Boyer was the first fire chief. The first fire truck was delivered that same month, and two more have been added--one in 1954 and the other in 1956. A new fire house was built on Main Street in 1976 next to City Hall. Ted Stewart has been fire chief since 1957. Others who have served on the Fire District Board are Robert Darley, Lowell Woods, Herman Rawlings, Russell Austif, Lloyd Lovell, and Leo Bergschneider. The present members are L. N. Caldwell, A. M. Dodsworth, and Donald Flinn.

In 1942, a contract was made by Franklin officials with Waverly authorities for a water supply to be piped from the Waverly Lake. With the assistance of the W.P.A. program, lines were soon laid to most homes in the village. By 1980, the need for a new source of water supply became apparent, and a contract was signed with the city of Jacksonville. A new line connecting with Jacksonville and the Illinois River was completed in 1981.

In 1958, natural gas was brought to Franklin. Supplied by the Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company's transmission mains located south of the village, a complete distribution system was installed, and most citizens now have natural gas for cooking and heating.


Franklin was incorporated on June 15, 1887. This account is recorded in the Illinois State Archives: "The village board met at called session with J. B. Mansfield, President; W. C. Manley, Clerk; and Eli Austen, D. A. Topliff, and W. D. Cross present.

Under the heading of new business, the board canvasses the returns of the election held June 13, 1887 for the purpose of voting for or against organizing as a village under the general law and declared the organization carried, the vote standing as follows--For--50 votes Against--27 votes"


Joe Whalen is the present mayor of Franklin, and the village board consists of Joe Whalen, who is the board president, Joe Tepen, L.N. Caldwell, James Newell, Mike Gibson, Robert Tannahill, and William Rees, Jr. The village clerk is Harvey Smith. The utility superintendent is Ted Stewart, and the street superintendent is Mike Newell.