From the Richmond Times, 5/27/1888, p. 1, c. 3
Mr. Franklin Stearns.
Mr. Franklin Stearns, whose critical illness was reported yesterday morning, died at his residence in Henrico county, a few miles below the city on the Williamsburg road.
Mr. Stearns came to Richmond about fifty years ago to take a contract on the James river and Kanawha canal. He failed in that enterprise, but afterwards entered into copartnership with Mr. Joseph Brummel, and established the firm of Stearns & Brummel, which successfully carried on the business of rectifying Western whisky for a number of years. In this he accumulated a fortune, and his investments in Richmond real estate have been profitable and fortunate.
During the war Mr. Stearns was an avowed Union man, and since the war he has, so far as he has taken any part in politics at all, affiliated with the Republicans. He has, however, always had the interests of Richmond at heart, and has done a great deal towards advancing the prosperity of the city. He was a useful citizen, and will be greatly missed.