The Frank House, built by George Washington Frank, was constructed in 1889. The three-story house is made of red Colorado sand-stone, with English golden oak interior paneling and lumber, and handcarved woodwork and has six fireplaces (10 originally). The mansion was wired for electricity during construction, ten years after Edison invented the light bulb. The landing on the staircase features a 5' x 10' Tiffany window.

Other modern conveniences in the house included two bathrooms, steam heating, built-in closets, and servants quarters.

George William Frank, Jr. designed the house for his parents based on the H.H. Richardson Romanesque Shingle style.

George Washington Frank
George W. Frank was born in New York state in 1830. Prior to his arrival to Kearney in 1885, he had been a partner in a bank in Corning, Iowa. After his arrival in Kearney, Mr. Frank began a major role in the development of the city. As president of the Frank Improvement Company, his projects included completion of the Kearney Canal, an electric power plant, and an electric railway system. The house was constructed to entertain Eastern capitalists for these industrial interests.

The Frank House had Several Occupants
After the Frank's bankruptcy in the early 1890's, the house was owned by Dr. and Mrs. O. Grothan, and served as a clinic known as Kearney Sanitarium until sold to the State of Nebraska. From 1911 to 1972, the house was the staff residence for the State Tuberculosis Hospital. Kearney State College acquired the house in 1972, when the State sold the property to the College. In 1973, the Frank House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Extensive research continues regarding the mansion, the George W. Frank and Phoebe McNair families as well as those individuals involved during its tenure as a hospital staff residence. This home was the third mansion built by the Franks. The first was built in Warsay, New York and had been restored as a private residence. The second was the Country Club in Corning, Iowa for many years.

The Frank House, A State Attraction
Although the house now exhibits furnishings of the Victorian period, including original Frank pieces, it is more than a historic museum. The house is the scene for many University functions such as dinners, luncheons, teas, and receptions.

Regular public tours were instigated in 1976 and are conducted from June through September Tuesdays through Sundays afternoons. Off-season tours by appointment for 12 or more may be requested.

Restoration Projects of the Frank House
A restoration donation of $3.00 per person is requested to support an on-going program. Major projects completed since 1974 include repair of the Tiffany window building five stone chimneys, a new tile roof and forced-air heating system. Other projects include opening of the porte cochere and veranda, electrical rewiring, and plumbing. The original kitchen is presently being restored.

An Invitation
You are invited to be a Friend of the Frank House.
For information call Virgy L. Lund at (308) 865-8284.

The Frank House Tours
Summer tours are conducted from June, July, August and September, Tuesdays through Sundays, 1-5 in the afternoon.

Off-season tours (a minimum of 12 people) maybe arranged by appointment. For guided tours information, donations or contributions, call (308) 865-8284 or write: Virginia L. Lund, Director/Curator, The Frank House 2010 W. 24th Street, Kearney, NE 68845 or send e-mail at

Tax deductible contributions are made to: University of Nebraska Foundation/Frank House Fund, University Foundation Kearney Office, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849.


"Unfolding History" Quilts from the Frank House Collection are displayed throughout the House.

The quilts were donated during Marian Johnson's tenure as curator and last exhibited ten years ago during Virgy Lund's tenure, 10 years ago.

The County Crossroads Quiilt Guild provided the funding to present this showing and Cathy Richardson donated her time and talent preparing the quilts and arranging the show. Thanks!

The Parlor Performance Series
September 9 - December, 2008
Sundays at 1:30pm

" Celebrating history through the fine arts"

Be graced by the fine arts as you enjoy a short musical or dramatic performance followed by a tour of the exquisite historical mansion and refreshment.

Frank Talks
Join us at the Frank House on Saturday afternoons for Frank Talks - fun and informational talks on various subjects relating to area history. Each talk begins at 1 p.m. followed by a tour of the house and refreshment.

September 8th - Louis Comfort Tiffany and the stained glass window
September 15th - The Lives of George W. Frank and his family
September 22nd - The Early Years of the Kearney Canal
September 29th - H.H. Richardson: Architectural Inspiration for the Frank House