Frank LINCOLN Wright

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DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Frank LINCOLN Wright

Post by DRN »

The issue of FLW's middle name has come up from time to time...lately in a thread on John Howe. It might be a good idea to memorialize on Chat what we have read or heard to see if we can sift through to the answer.

I first read of the Lincoln middle name in Brendon Gill's "Many Masks" biography of Wright from the early 1990's....I believe Gill also postulated that Wright's birth name was "Franklin Lincoln Wright", owing supposedly to William Wright's admiration of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. William Allin Storrer uses the Lincoln middle name in his brief bios of Wright in his recent books.

Wright signed his early drawings "Frank L. Wright".

Has there ever been a birth certificate produced for Wright? (no birther jokes please) A marriage license to Catherine Tobin? A census record? Family corroboration of the Lincoln or Franklin names?

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

Grant C. Manson is another who tells the "Lincoln" story.

Once at the Oak Park home I saw a framed passport from 1905 that used "Lloyd".

Maybe that's why he was fond of the cars.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

I just did a cursory search on Ancestry and the earliest document I found was a "Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922" that listed Wright at age 23 as being: "Frank Lloyd Wright" - married to "Catherin Lee Clark Tobin Wright" - with their son "Lloyd Wright". The next earliest document is the 1900 Census - which, again, has him as "Lloyd". Also, his death certificate has his middle name (as well as Olga's) listed as "Lloyd". And, it lists the official cause of his death as being "Acute coronary insufficiency", with antecedent causes listed as: "Arteriosclerotic heart disease" and "Acute hemorrhagic infarction of the small bowel", for which he had had an operation three days prior to his death on April 9th, 1959.


David

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Thanks David. Wright would have been 23 in 1890 (year of FLW Jr.'s birth) if 1867 was Wright's "claimed" birth year at that point; if 1869 was being used by Wright by that time, the record would have been as of 1892.

For those of us with GA or Taschen Monographs at their fingertips, at what point in Wright's drawings does "Lloyd" appear in titles?

Probably a stretch, but might the University of Wisconsin have in their records Wright's application information from 1885-1886?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Did Wright not claim to be younger, rather than older, than his correct age -- that is, born in 1869 rather than the correct year, 1867 ?

SDR

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I should have been clearer, Wright was, by most research, born in 1867. He claimed 1869 as his birth year, at what point I do not know. My awkward phrasing above was to note that I was unsure if Wright had begun using 1869 as his birth year at the time of the recording of Lloyd's birth in 1890.

Lloyd may be a silent marker in all of this about the name....Lloyd was named Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., but called Lloyd. Wright's first born was NOT named Frank(lin) Lincoln Wright Jr. As his birth year was 1890, it would indicate Wright himself went Frank Lloyd Wright by that time...a time when Wright was an employee of Adler and Sullivan, not a locally "known" practitioner or affected, socially climbing artist.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

There is more to be learned on the Lincoln/Lloyd conundrum by what does not exist, as opposed to what has been written:

1. In 1928, at age 68, FLW's older half sister, Elizabeth Wright Heller, wrote a 300-page unpublished autobiography (available from The State Historical Society of Iowa). She was lucid, to-the-point, writing in a sort of journalistic, fact-based style, and without any sort of constraint that might have kept her from mentioning her brother's name-change, if such a thing had ever happened. Not a mention.

2. In 1965, FLW's younger sister, Maginel, wrote "The Valley of the God-Almighty Joneses" (Appleton-Century) which also lacks any mention of Lincoln. And again, she was without constraint about the subject.

3. But the best source of the non-Lincoln argument is from Thomas Hines, Jr. (not to be confused with Thomas Heinz) in his essay "Frank Lloyd Wright, The Madison Years, Records vs. Recollections" (Wisconsin Magazine of History, 196?). It was Hines' purpose to finally set the birth year debate to rest, so he researched every record available, census, divorce (William v Anna), school and fraternity. No birth certificate nor family bible have ever been found. If any record of Lincoln had been found, he would naturally have jumped all over it.

What is disturbing is that the Lincoln business has been accepted as fact without any backup at all to prove it, and disproving something, as we all know, is impossible.

There is one source that might have evidence: A writer by the last name Marlin (I think his first name may have been William) was in the process of writing the ultimate 2-volume tome on FLW's life when he died, leaving his papers gone with the wind. If he had it, so be it. But that's the only loophole I am willing to allow.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

That there was a controversy over 1867 v 1869 is odd, considering the easily verifiable fact that sister Jane was born in April of 1869.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Reidy, if there is any mention of Lincoln in Manson's book, could you specify where it is? ... so we don't have to re-read the whole book.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

In the second linked reference we find Margaret Scott, deceased; she is mentioned by Randy Henning in the A D German thread, today.

In Marlin's sources (third link) we see the author getting Grant Manson as "Mason."

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Has anyone ever asked Eric Lloyd Wright?

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Well, that source seems to eliminate Mr. Marlin from the Lincoln mix.

In some book, there was published a photograph that was supposedly the home of William and Anna in Richland Center at the time of FLW's birth. I thought it was the Twombly bio, but it isn't. From what I remember of the old photo, it might have been the house at Church and 2nd, but not sure.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Birth Certificate - hehehehehe


David

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