Frank Andrew Dawley was born September l6, 1872, in Page County,Iowa. The son of Monroe and Carolyn (Cole) Dawley, Frank moved with his parents to Valley Township in Osborne County, Kansas, at an early age. He was educated in the nearby Dawley School and worked on the family farm until 1891, when he entered the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. There he helped organize the university’s first football team, on which he played center. The team’s opponents were from Abilene, Fort Riley, and Saint Mary’s College. The first game was an intersquad contest played in the Manhattan City Park that ended in a 4-4 tie.
After college Frank returned to Osborne County. He taught one year at Spring Brook rural school and another at Duffy School, earning thirty dollars a month. OnMay 22, 1898, he married Nellie Lenora Herrick, and the couple settled in Valley Township on the Elm Grove Stock Ranch. They raised six children, Frances, Lail, Carolyn, Hope, Helen, and Kenneth. 1898 also saw Frank elected Osborne County Clerk, an office he held for two terms. After a period of farming he once again entered the political arena, being elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1913.
By 1917 the Dawleys decided that their children needed to be closer to higher education, so they sold the farm and moved to Manhattan. Frank Dawley died there June 4, 1953, and was buried in Manhattan’s Sunset Cemetery.