Franklin A. Sanders was born 11 May 1840 in Lorain County, Ohio, near the town of Birmingham. His parents were Juda and Sarah Parsons Sanders. They sometimes used the nicknames Joseph and Sally. He was their second son. They lived in Lorain County at least until 1847. They moved to Wisconsin sometime after that. They moved to Independence township, Jasper County, Iowa, in 1855. Both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses missed the family. Possibly they were moving those years. Descendants of Juda's brothers and sister still live in central Iowa.
Frank enlisted in the 10th Iowa Volunteer Infantry 22 May 1861 at Newton, Jasper County, Iowa. He was a Private in Company I, 10th Iowa, during the entire Civil War. He was not wounded in over four years of fighting. Frank was discharged 15 August 1865 at Little Rock, Arkansas. When filling out military pension questionnaires in later years Frank was asked if he had any permanent marks or scars on his person. He replied, "My full name on my left arm." Perhaps as identification if he fell during the war. Frank always signed his name as Frank A. Sanders.
He returned to Iowa and used his war pay stamp to purchase a farm in Eden township, Marshall county, where he lived until 1871. His parents and two youngest siblings lived with him on that farm at the time of the 1870 federal census.
Frank and his parents and his youngest sister and brother moved to Kansas in 1871. They had a homestead in Glen Elder township, Mitchell County. Frank stated in his pension records that he lived in Kansas until 1878 and then moved to Wyoming. However, he still lived in Kansas with his parents when the 1880 federal census was taken. Some time after that his parents returned to Iowa and he went to Wyoming.
Frank married Dora D. Covey Brandt 15 December 1885 at Dale Creek, Albany County, Wyoming. The marriage record lists both as residents of Dale Creek. He was 45 years old. She was a divorcÃ©e with five children from her previous marriage. The family moved to Casper in Natrona County. Frank and Dora had four children together. Ada May born in 1888, Arvilla Ione born in 1891, Perry Milo born in 1894, and Frank Dewey born 27 June 1898 and died 18 Nov 1898. The baby was buried in the Freeland cemetery. The Sanders family lived in Freeland for many years. They are listed in Freeland in the 1900 & 1910 federal censuses.
Frank died at home Rural Route 1, Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, Idaho, 10 September 1914. The cause of death listed was "general debility & old age." There was no doctor in attendance. He was buried the next day in the Rose Hill cemetery. The following day, the 12th, the death certificate was filled out. The informant was Dora Sanders of Idaho Falls. It was also signed by the undertaker who wrote an additional notation that he had been buried in the "old lots." The cemetery kept their records at that time on small loose papers that were later inscribed into books. Record of the location of Frank's grave has been lost and there is no gravestone.