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Jefferson County rancher, cowboy rides in to western heritage hall of fame

July 5, 2016

Dan Wallach
Beaumont Enterprise

When Floyd Frank travels to Fort Worth later this month to enter the Hall of Fame of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, he might be the oldest cowpoke of color standing.

Although he doesn’t reach his 98th birthday until July 12, he will enter the museum’s hall of fame on July 23 as a representative of living history.

Frank was born in 1918 on the McFaddin Ranch in south Jefferson County, the son of a working cowboy, Cosied Frank, who more or less escaped Opelousas, Louisiana, after Cosied’s parents died from poisoned well water, apparently at the hands of jealous whites who coveted the Frank family’s rich black-land farm.

The Frank family, descended from Haitians named Francois, became owners of large tracts of land in the Cheek and Fannett area and learned the ways of cattle ranching on McFaddin land.

Floyd Frank, almost born in the saddle, learned his craft from his father and honed it in rodeos he and his friends would stage behind a rice dryer in Nome in the 1930s.

The McFaddin Ranch in the 1930s was a working ranch that supplied the residents of Beaumont’s McFaddin-Ward House with fresh meat, produce and fruit almost daily, said Floyd’s son, Preston, who, at 70, is as trim and animated as his father.

Floyd suffered through the hardships of his ranch work – four leg breaks, fingers, shoulder injuries.

Floyd also set up an upholstery business, winning contracts to reupholster furniture at the Hotel Galvez in the early 1950s after helping a Beaumont developer, Buddy Lefler, outfit the Gaylynn apartments, according to Preston Frank.

When the younger Frank learned about the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum from another inductee, Harold Cash, he knew he wanted his father to be in it.

“My daddy learned about ropin’ and ridin’ from Cosied,” Preston Frank said. “If anybody deserves to be in it, he does.”

The museum sent Floyd Frank his official notice of selection on June 27. Six others will enter its Hall of Fame with him, but two will be recognized posthumously.

Preston Frank said he wants to try to win induction for his grandfather, Cosied, next year. Cosied Frank died in 1947 at 49.

Floyd Frank has doubled that and said he was on a horse last year for his birthday. A marquee along the Franks’ 17 acres on Boyt Road reminds people that his birthday party will be July 9.

Floyd Frank plans to be on horseback at that celebration.

He has no trouble at all boarding a golf cart, revving it up and scooting over to the rodeo barn on his property, which has a working mechanical horse and accompanying mechanical calf that shoots out in front of it so neophyte rodeo riders can develop a feel of how to toss a rope around the calf’s neck.

Floyd Frank isn’t likely to try such a feat anymore, but he’s looking forward to his trip to Fort Worth.

There will be a rodeo show up there for the inductees, their families and attendees.

“They ain’t gonna let me do nothin’,” he said. “I would if I could.”

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/texas/article/Jefferson-County-rancher-cowboy-rides-in-to-8341127.php