A piece of history: Ruby Bridges and William Frantz Elementary School

3:00 PM: Forgive me? I had to “publish” so I could double-check web links. This is a message “under construction.”
4:00 PM: I am one very, very, very discouraged blogger/researcher/genealogist!!!!!! I went to a public computer so I could pull up this blog message. If you, the reader, click on some of the links (near end of this message) you will be “sucked into” the GenealogyBank holding the information “for ransom” (my words, not theirs). I’ve tried to print the newspaper articles and that, too, is blocked. Repeat: I am one very, very, very discouraged blogger/researcher/genealogist. I offer Frantz Families–Kith & Kin “free” to the whole wide world (WWW). I have the Digitized Library of Family History “free” for the whole wide world. I thought I was doing “the world” a favor by documenting William Frantz. Likewise, my web links on Ancestery.com are invalid.

My suggestion: Don’t succumb to “the ransom”!!!!

Recently, in an email message to a “cousin,” I referred to myself as “detective Shirley Homes.” Yesterday, I searched the Internet far-and-wide for a man named William Frantz. “Frantz” is my maiden name and I’ve documented MANY individuals with that surname. (Frantz Families–Kith & Kin, three volumes, 3180 pages.)

On Friday, August 11, 2017, The 700 Club (Christian Broadcasting Network) aired an interview with Ruby Bridges. I encourage you to watch the same program, same interview, by clicking this link. Naturally, I was interested in the name of the school. I did a brief Google search but found nothing about William Frantz. Here are several web links I found interesting.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Frantz_Elementary_School

School of Ruby Bridges: https://www.theclio.com/web/entry?id=31083

Biography of Ruby Bridges: https://www.biography.com/people/ruby-bridges-475426

Fifty Years Later, Students recall: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/11/fifty_years_later_students_rec.html

School closed in 2008 https://www.publicschoolreview.com/william-frantz-elementary-school-profile

On Tuesday, August 15, I resumed my search of Google. **NOTHING!!** Next, a search for William Frantz–on Ancestry.com–living in New Orleans from 1900 to 1960. I used a “guesstimate” birth date of 1880. There were many listings; I especially looked at City Directories. I saved the information on my Ancestry Lorraine Frantz family tree. I wasn’t satisfied; I wasn’t finding information that “felt right.”

Talking to myself: “Lorraine, check Google for a link to a library in New Orleans.” That was effortless. Yes, there were many replies to my query for William Frantz. Only catch: I had to subscribe to a newspaper website to read the information. Out came my credit card (I was “in it to win it”). I lost track of the number of newspaper links I opened, visually scanned, and rejected. Later I found Vice President William Frantz mentioned when “Mayor Dedicates Lakeview School” dated 4 Dec 1915.

Bids to build William Frantz school dated 17 May 1937

School to be built newspaper article dated 29 Aug 1937

Picture and newspaper article: “New Frantz School Dedicated” dated 7 Oct 1938

“William Frantz Dies at Home” newspaper article dated 29 Jun 1930

Wife/widow of William Frantz “Celebrates 90th birthday” newspaper article dated 19 Aug 1936

Wife dies” newspaper article dated 11 Jan 1937

In my humble opinion, William Frantz was (is) an “unsung hero.” I do not intend to lessen the importance of Ruby Bridges and the story of integration of the New Orleans public schools. But William Frantz was a very valuable member of the community and I’m delighted to search, and document, the role he played. Please note that he is from a vastly different “Frantz family tree”–not a “cousin.”

3 comments on “A piece of history: Ruby Bridges and William Frantz Elementary School

  1. Ten Bears says:


  2. Chrissy says:

    Thanks for posting this. My mom (who has the middle name Frantz) is descended from Frantz brothers who emigrated from Germany during the Revolutionary War. Her branch of the family settled in the northeast. The Frantz’s here in the New Orleans area are, to the best of my understanding, descended from those same brothers. One, or his family, settled here at some point. At one point my grandmother had started looking into the family tree, but she died before finishing it, and before the internet. I’m always interested in learning more about the family.

    • THANKS Chrissy for your comment on the blog message. I have volumes of “Frantz” information on my Ancestry.com “tree.” Go to Lorraine Frantz Family Tree (on Ancestry). Perhaps I can help you find your lineage.

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