Donation to American Trotter Trail Honoring Lucille Franck

June 22, 2016 (Independence, IA) – The Mustang Foundation, Inc. and the Independence Community School District (ICSD) would like to extend their appreciation to recent American Trotter Trail donor, the Lucille Franck family and friends. The Franck family made a donation of a bench in the memory of their Mother, Lucille Frances Eagan Franck, honoring her with a plaque on a bench that reads, “Lucille F. Franck, 1938 Graduate.”

Daughters, Linda, Vicki Jo, Carol and Mary Kay with their mother’s bench.

Daughters, Linda, Vicki Jo, Carol and Mary Kay with their mother’s bench.

Lucille Franck, originally from the Iowa City area, moved to a farm north of Independence when she was eight years old. Her and her four siblings looked forward to coming to town to get groceries and a treat with their parents each Saturday night. However, during the Great Depression, her family sold the farm and moved into town, where Lucille had to adjust to the change from country school to the big town life.

Lucille graduated from ICSD in 1938. She obtained her first office job in the high school principal’s office, then worked at Leytze Maytag and later took a secretary position to the S.T.A.C. office.  In 1960, Lucille started working in the admissions office at the Mental Health Institute, where she worked until retirement in 1986.

Lucille met her husband, Walter Franck, Jr., at a local dance at the 4-H building. They married in September 1940. Her family recalls Lucille reminiscing, “When we started out, Walter worked at an Oil company for $36 a month, while I continued work for STAC for $1 a day. We saved $2 a week for groceries, lived in a two room apartment and were beyond happy!” Walter and Lucille raised their 5 children; Linda, Carol, Gary Walter, Vicki Jo, and Mary Kay, in their northeast Independence home.

Lucille F. Franck

Lucille F. Franck

After losing her husband in 1975, Lucille credited her family’s close ties, concern for one another, and faith for helping them look toward the future.

In retirement, Lucille enjoyed traveling. She and a friend traveled via camper all over the United States. Later, Lucille traveled to Jorpeland, Norway to visit her pen pal of over 30 years. She was blessed with nine grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and cherished spending time with family and friends.

Lucille belonged to Immanuel Lutheran Church, was a Hospice Volunteer, mentored at East Elementary, and was a member of Faith Circle, People’s Memorial Auxiliary, Red Cross Blood Bank, Independence Garden Club and Merry Mixers Square Dance Club. She also received the “Behind the Scenes Award” from the Independence Chamber of Commerce in 1992, the Hospice Volunteer representative award at the annual Iowa Hospice Organization Conference in 1995 and was the Honorary Chairperson of the Buchanan County Hospice Fund Raising Drive in 1999.

Making a donation to the American Trotter Trail is a distinctive way to remember an achievement, publicize a business name, recognize a graduating class or honor a loved one; such as the Franck family and friends did.

Community members have access to this paved trail and various benches on part of the Independence Community School District’s 92 acres. The American Trotter Trail name is in honor of the late C.W. Williams who owned a horse racing publication in the 1890’s called, The American Trotter, and also had a nationally recognized kite-shaped horse racing track, located primarily on the school’s 92 acres. The American Trotter Trail connects all three school buildings, creating a unified campus.

To make a donation or to gather more information on the American Trotter Trail, visit the Independence Mustang Foundation website at