In 1879, the village was known as Englebert after Englebert Franke, who consented to have his house serve as a post office. He was appointed the first official postmaster in 1886. In the next year or so, the name was changed to Frankeburg, and then again to Frankenstein. It was discovered there was already a Frankenstein in Osage Co. so the name was changed to Freiburg (which means Freeburg) in 1894. This story comes from the Osage County Memory Book.
BUT, according to Margot Ford McMillen's "From A to Z: Missouri Place Names," the name "Frankberg" was changed to Freeburg because Franke means "free" in English. However, my German dictionary shows that the word for "Free" is "Frei." I like the first explanation the best.
In the meantime, the village of Frankenstein, as we know it, was given its name in 1890. It was probably named for a distinguished early settler, Gottfried Franken, who donated land for a church there (not where the church is now situated).
Thanks for this email reply from Mary Lou Schulte, editor, OCHS Newsletter
back to maps