FRANK J. NICHOLAS, an enterprising and skillful contractor and builder of Sullivan, is a native of Morgan county. Indiana, born March 3, 1878, a son of James F. and Rhoda (Long) Nicholas, who were born in Morgan county, Indiana. The father is a brick mason and contractor, who went to Sullivan in 1890, and has resided there ever since. He is a Republican in his political views, and was a soldier in the Civil war, being a member of the fife and drum corps. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

When Frank J. was about three years old, his parents moved to Brazil, Indiana, where he attended school. At the age of fifteen years he commenced to work for himself, learning the bricklayer's trade and working at it in Brazil for five years, during which time he studied at home. He had taken up the study of architecture and when he had reached twenty years of age, began contracting on his own account. His first building contract was the Davis, Carpenter & Hoskins building, a business block and business college structure, of which Mr. Nicholas was the contractor on the mason work. He remained there until 1900, then went to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he superintended the erection of three large veneered brick residences, he doing the architectural work on the same. In the autumn of 1900, he came to Sullivan, where he has resided ever since and been engaged in the architecture and building business, doing contract work. Among the structures planned by him may be named in this connection the Citizen's Trust & Loan Company's building, the largest building in Sullivan county. It is located on the corner of Jackson and Main streets and is seventy-five by one hundred and thirty feet on the ground and fifty-five feet high-three stories. He also built the Carnegie Library, which was erected in 1904, at a cost of $10,000. Mr. Nicholas' father had the contract for doing the mason work on the Davis Hotel and superintended the building of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sullivan. Besides the buildings named, Frank J. Nicholas had the contract for building the Jackson Street High School building, in Sullivan, and also the Leach block, on West Washington street. Among the late and beautiful residences within the town, he has had the majority of the building contracts, including the preparation of the plans and specifications. In the Giles Addition to Sullivan, he planned and contracted for all of the buildings except one, and built the Bay's block on North Court street. At this writing, he drew the plans for the new Presbyterian church, erected in 1908. He is one of the stockholders of the new opera house being erected, and made the plans for the building, which is known as the "Colonnade." Politically, Mr. Nicholas is a firm supporter of the principles laid down by the Republican party. He is identified with the Masons and Elks.

He was united in marriage, first in 1897, to Mary Underhill, who was born at Pleasantville, Sullivan county, Indiana, December 10, 1877, and who died April 22, 1906, leaving two children to mourn her death. The issue by this union was: Lois, deceased, William; Agnes; Mary Gertrude, deceased. For his second wife, Mr. Nicholas married, in November, 1907, Gertrude Underhill, a sister of his first wife, and who was born in the same locality in 1879. The first wife spent the last two years of her life in Colorado Springs. Both wives were members of the Baptist church, and members of the Rebekah lodge of the Odd Fellows order.

Beginning at the lower round of the ladder of life, Mr. Nicholas has steadily made his way upward, though at times against many difficulties. He has accumulated a handsome property, including two fine residences in Sullivan.