Located in Franklin, St. Mary's Parish in Louisiana, the Frank Young House was built in c.1900. It is a Queen Anne cottage that sits a few blocks from Franklin’s picturesque Main Street and was built at a time when the town was growing rapidly from commerce on Bayou Teche and nearby sugar cane production.
It was once owned by Frank Young, the grandfather of civil rights leader Andrew Young. Frank Young was born shortly after the Civil War and was a life-long resident of Franklin until his death in the 1940s. He was a leader in the Black community and advocate for improvements in education, health care and sustainable food production.
In 1922, he acquired land for the construction of St. Mary Parish Training School with a staff of five teachers, constructed with a challenge grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. An addition in 1924 increased the teachers to seven. Total cost of the facility was $9,900 with contributions from African Americans, $2,700, the school board, $5,790, and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, $1,500. Rosenwald also funded an elementary library, high school library and electric radio for the campus.
Frank’s grandson, Andrew Young Jr., was an American politician, diplomat and civil rights advocate who grew up in New Orleans but spent many summers with his grandfather in Franklin. In the mid-1960s, Young served as a negotiator during the civil rights campaigns in Birmingham, St. Augustine, Selma and Atlanta.
He served two terms as mayor of Atlanta, and one term as a U.S. representative from Georgia. He also served as United States ambassador to the United Nations for two years during the Carter administration. He was friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was his side at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis when King was assassinated in 1968.
Ambassador Young donated the property to the local Boys and Girls Club of the Bayou Teche Region in 1998 in honor of his grandfather, to be renovated as community and activity space for the organization.
Several nearby properties have been identified for blight demolition and concern is growing that this property could be also be targeted.
The city of Franklin will provide information, if anyone is interested in getting involved with the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation on this property.