Sullivan's Mill Craftsmen
Frank Capps, Demonstrating Craftsman
A Craftsman In The Making
Frank Capps grew up on a farm near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where his family raised cotton and other crops. "We had a good life," Frank remembers. "There was always time to go fishing." He followed his sister to Indiana, where he met his wife and attended classes at Indiana State University in Evansville.
Capps has worn many hats in his lifetime; he's been a carpenter in Colorado, owned and operated mobile home parks and was DJ "Country Frank" on WBNL in Booneville, IN. Frank and his wife had been vacationing in Branson for many years before they decided to move here in the mid 1990s. He thought of continuing his radio career here, but after a stint as a staff writer for the Branson Business Journal, his journey led him to Silver Dollar City where he could tell his stories in person.
The Silver Dollar City Years
Capps says it was his love of old things that first piqued his interest in Sullivan's Mill. Wayne Adams trained him to grind wheat and corn on the old water-operated grist mill in March of 1997. In November of that year he baked his first loaf of bread, and has been baking ever since. "Baking at Silver Dollar City is one of the most fun things I've ever done," states Capps. "You make a lot of lifelong friends here. Families grow up visiting and bring generation after generation with them. It becomes a family tradition," he explains, adding, "When they walk in the bakery, the smell reminds them of Mother's or Grandmother's kitchen." Capps appreciates the family atmosphere at Silver Dollar City, "When guests enjoy the products and experience - that's its own reward."
As you stroll through Sullivan's Mill, you'll notice Frank's poetry hanging on the walls. Stop and read "Ode to Sullivan's Mill" and a children's book entitled "Chipper the Silver Dollar City Chipmunk". Both were sold at Madison's Book and Print during the run of their publication.
In addition to writing poetry and books, Frank also likes to write music. His love of storytelling and country music is a lifelong family affair. Frank's cousins had a radio show in Kennett, Missouri. Known as Starlight Wranglers, they were one of the first groups Elvis played with in his early days.
As he got older, Capps enjoyed visiting the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. After the show he used to visit with stars such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Ernest Tubb, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe and Carl Smith. "In those days the stars would greet people in the back alley or on the front steps and even sit and tell stories," Frank says, and he'll be happy to pass those stories along to you, too.