Philip and Monna married the 8th of October, 1952 in Cairo, Illinois. Phil's brother, William Randolph Frakes and his wife (also a cousin of Monna's), Betty Jean (Hammer) Frakes, stood up for them at the wedding. They were married at the Baptist Church. Bill's brother had become a Baptist and that is why they chose that church.
Phil and Monna met at their place of work. They both were employed with Illinois Bell Telephone Company in Salem, Marion County, Illinois. The day they met, Monna was trying to get into the door of the office (it used a code to get in) and she couldn't seem to get it opened. Phil came along and opened the door for her.
And by the way, her name is Monna, not Mona. It is pronounced like Donna with an M. Or you can call her Polly, which is the name her family calls her.
After their honeymoon at Kentucky Lake, they returned to their home in Salem and then Phil returned to active duty with the United States Army.
After Phil returned from the Korean War, they moved to Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois. There they both worked for Illinois Bell Telephone Company. They first rented a home, then built a little house. They built a larger house later, shortly before moving.
Phil and Monna taken at the home of Monna's mother, Grace Bassett Conant, on one of their many weekend trips home to Marion County to visit their mothers. Kinmundy, Illinois - 1960
While in Edwardsville, all three of their children were born. Tanya Rae Frakes was born the 7th of July, 1955. Stephen Philip Howard Frakes was born the 2nd of October, 1957. Terri June Frakes was born the 22nd of June, 1962. All in Highland, Madison County, Illinois.
In the winter of 1962-63, they moved to Springfield, Illinois. Philip was transferred there. There were no openings for telephone operators, so Monna began working as a sales clerk at Sears. She later became a desk clerk at the Holiday Inn East, which was the nicest and largest hotel in Springfield at the time.
A big move was made in 1972. In January, they decided to move to Marion County, Illinois so that their children could go to the schools there, rather than the city schools. They rented the Nichols Home on the Kinoka Road in Foster Township. (The Nichols home was quite old and very nice. It was built by David F. Nichols. Edith Nichols, wife of the late Ankney Nichols, was the owner of the house when they rented. Mrs. Nichols was one of the best friends of Monna's great-grandmother, Maggie (McWhirter) Bassett.) The children began attending school at the Kinmundy-Alma School in Kinmundy. Phil continued working in Springfield and would drive down to Marion County for the weekends. He eventually was tranferred to Edwardsville, which was closer, then finally to Salem and Centralia. Monna worked at the Holiday Inn in Salem and then as a waitress at the H & H Truck Stop in Kinmundy.
They had bought the Arnold Farm just down the road from the Nichols Home. It consisted of 40 acres on the southwest corner of Kinoka Road and Jones Road. They had built a dam, making a nice large pond on the property. It also had about 20 acres of woods and 20 acres of farm land. They decided to build a home on the property. They moved into the home in the winter of 1972-73. It was a beautiful modified A-frame home built into the woods near the pond. Everyone helped build the house, Phil, Stephen, Monna, Terri, and Monna's sister's family, Floyd, Stan and Roger Jones.
In 1979, Phil retired from the Illinois Bell Telephone Company after 33 years of service. He bought the Irwin Lumber Company and Hardware Store in Patoka. The name was changed to Frakes Lumber Company and Hardware Store. He ran that for three years and then closed it. The economy became so bad that all of the small town lumber companies in the area ended up closing.
They sold 35 acres of their farm to Monna's sister and husband, Floyd and Marjorie (Conant) Jones, including the house, but kept 5 acres on the southeast corner. They then moved to Salem into the historic Lemen-Frakes Home, which was the home Phil lived in as a kid. His grandparents, Julius and Anna (Maier) Merten, were the first of our family to live in the home. His parents then bought the home in 1941. Phil and Monna moved during the winter storm of January, 1982.
Phil began driving school buses for special events for a short time. He then became the manager of the Drivers License Facility in Salem, working for the Illinois Secretary of State. During this time he became more invloved in politics and eventually became the Republican County Chairman of Marion County. He was also apointed Military Aide to Governor Jim Edgar and and then re-appointed by Governor George Ryan. He remained active in politics until 2005, when he had to give up being precinct committeeman in Salem 4, because of his poor health.
Monna began working as a clerk at a gas station. She then got a very good job working for North American Lighting in Salem, which she worked at until she retired.
Monna is also involved with the Salem Republican Women's Club.
Photo on left is Phil and Monna at their grandson's (Nathan Roddy Alan Courtright's) wedding in Salem, Illinois in 1999. He was their first grandchild and first grandchild to get married.
Photo on right was taken in 2001 at the First Baptist Church of Salem, where Phil was a Sunday School teacher, which he also had to give up in 2005 as a result of his poor health.