Francis John Melvin
Home Up Moores Pettit King Pratt McWhirter Melvin

Francis John Melvin 30

June 1895 - 15 March 1964

by Gisela Melvin. 1994

Your grandfather, Frank J. Melvin , was a very kind and wonderful gentleman. In years to come, for your children it might be interesting to know a little bit more about him and what kind of a person he was.

Frank J. Melvin had a great ability and natural talent for building and designing things. Soon after he married your grandmother, Florence Edna Pratt (1898-1980), Frank J. Melvin and Charles George Pratt, his father-in-law, built the garage behind the large house at 220 Clinton Street in Hempstead, New York. There were two cars in this garage at one time (one being a Model T) and they were parked front to back. After that they purchased a 1932 Buick.

When the children were born, your grandfather built the back porch with a cement platform so that the baby carriage could stand there. This allowed the children to get a good nap in the fresh air. As the children grew older he moved on to build bigger and better things.

For his oldest son (Francis Bernard, 1929- ) he built a train station for the Lionel trainset (0 gauge). For his daughter (Florence Patricia, (1930- ) he built a dollhouse which was designed by an architect, Mr. Nostran, who lived next door. The plan that was drawn up included dimensions of approximately 36" wide * 36 high * 24" deep and included chimneys in the house. The house included wallpaper, electric lights and even shingles on the roof. The finishing touches on the dollhouse included furniture that was also hand made.

Later on, he and his son Francis Bernard built a 17ft boat from a set of plans. It had a cabin on it and was powered with a 25hp outboard.

His hobbies included calligraphy, painting, electronics, radio, and building kites. He built kites for his children and all the children in the neighborhood. He built French war kites, which are not often seen. Two of his grandsons had the joy of flying some too. Not only did he share his talent with his family and the neighbors, but he also devoted time to his church. He constructed a large cross which hung in the back of the altar of St. Raphael's Church in St. Petersburg, Florida.

He lived his faith in a practical way -- always helping everyone. He was very, very kind.

Painting by FrancisJohn Melvin 1917.


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Copyright   2008 Rich Pettit