© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Tee Franklin: Abandoned by One, Embraced by Many

When an 81-year-old Chinese man, Henry Dorsey “Tee” Franklin, died in 1940, he left the bulk of his estate in stocks and property to the City of Yreka, Calif., and its American Legion Post.  Franklin made money from various pursuits during his life, including running supplies to the Army during the Modoc War of 1871-1872.

Franklin began life in 1859 as an abandoned baby in Yreka, a mining town in northern Siskiyou County.  The mother was never identified.  Benjamin and Mary Franklin took him into their home and raised him as a son.  The Franklins lived on Miner Street where Benjamin operated a livery stable. Tee never married, and paid his adoptive parents’ debts when they fell on hard times.  Upon his death, Mayor Al Herzog said all who knew Tee loved him.  Legion Commander Ames said Tee would never be forgotten, that the monuments to his memory would be everlasting.

Yet, how many know today that a Yreka park exists because Tee felt gratitude and loved by his adoptive family and community?

Franklin’s final monument is his headstone in the town’s Evergreen Cemetery, where he was buried with a picture of his mother in his casket.

Source:  N. A. Bedsworth, Siskiyou Daily News, “Late Henry Dorsey Franklin Leaves Estate to be Divided by Legion Post and City of Yreka,”, February, 1940.  pp. 1

Lisa Gioia is the director of the Siskiyou County Museum in Yreka, California. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a B.A. in anthropology (1997), a Master’s Degree in History with a minor in public history (2008) and specialized in oral histories.