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Frank Culver

Frank Ward Culver
Frank Culver.jpg
Frank Culver cropped from 1919 Michigan football team photograph
BornMay 28, 1897
Detroit, Michigan
DiedDecember 12, 1955
Detroit, Michigan
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
OccupationAttorney and chief assistant prosecutor
Known forAll-American, 1917

Frank Ward Culver (May 28, 1897 - December 12, 1955) was an American football player and attorney. He played college football for the University of Michigan in 1917 and 1919 and was selected as an All-American at the guard position in 1917.

Early years

Culver was born in Detroit in 1897 and graduated from Detroit Central High School. His father, Charles Culver, was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives starting in 1914.[1][2]

University of Michigan

Frank Culver, 1919

Culver attended the University of Michigan and played for the Michigan Wolverines under Fielding H. Yost in 1917 and 1919. As a sophomore in 1917, he started three games at left tackle, four games at left guard, and one game at right guard.[3] He was selected by Paul Purman as a first-team guard, and by Jack Veiock as a second-team guard, on the 1917 College Football All-America Team.[4][5]

In January 1918, Culver enlisted in a U.S. Navy auxiliary unit organized at the university.[6] He served on the USS Louisville.[1]

After the war, Culver returned to Michigan. In 1919, he started one game at guard and three games at center.[7]

Legal career

Culver graduated from the University of Michigan in 1920 and studied law at Detroit College of Law. In 1925, he joined the prosecutor's office in Detroit. He also taught criminal law at Detroit College of Law.[1][8] In 1928, he was named the chief assistant to Wayne County prosecutor James E. Chenot. At age 31, he was the youngest man to hold the chief assistant prosecutor's job in Wayne County.[1] He resigned from the prosecutor's office in 1931 to go into private practice.[9]

Family and later years

He was married to Christine Murkett. They had four sons, Frank Ward Jr. (born c. 1926), Christopher (born c. 1927), Philip (born 1932), and John (born c. 1935).[10]

In December 1955, Culver collapsed and died on the witness stand in a Detroit courtroom while testifying in a matter connected to the Dodge estate.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Chenot Mixed in Wayne Feud". Detroit Free Press. December 28, 1928. p. 17.
  2. ^ "'Dean of the House,' Member for Eight Terms, Wouldn't Swap Jobs". Lansing State Journals. February 7, 1931. p. 10.
  3. ^ "1917 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Paul Purman (November 29, 1917). "Two Ohio State Players Picked on All-American Team for Season of '17". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Veiock's All-American Selections". El Paso Herald. December 11, 1917. p. 10.
  6. ^ "Culver, Michigan Gridder, Enlists". Lansing State Journal. January 29, 1918. p. 10.
  7. ^ "1919 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Madej, Bruce (1997). Michigan: Champions of the West, p. 45. Sport Publishing. ISBN 1-57167-115-3.
  9. ^ "Culver Will Quit Prosecutor Staff". Detroit Free Press. March 31, 1931. p. 23.
  10. ^ "Death Notices". The Detroit Reporter. December 14, 1956. p. 6.
  11. ^ "Ward Culver Dies; Detroit Attorney". Detroit Free Press. December 13, 1955. p. 2.
  12. ^ "Ward Culver Falls Dead in Courtroom". The Polish Daily News. December 13, 1955. p. 7.