Nathaniel J. "Nat" Franklin was born November 15, 1839, in Birmingham, England. At the age of eleven, his father, Edward Johnson Franklin, brought the family to America.
With a colony of emigrants, the Franklin family arrived at Fort Graham, Texas, where they were cheated out of the land they thought they had bought. During this period, Nat's father died from Malarial Fever. While Nat's mother, Sarah Martin Franklin, and younger brother, Charles J. Franklin, were sent back to England, Nat and his older brother, James J. Franklin, remained in Texas. During the voyage back to England, Charles J. Franklin died of yellow fever.
While living in Waco and Belton, Texas, Nat worked for Tyler and Childers driving freight wagons to the military forts over the Fort Phantom Hill Road. He later worked with his brother as a gunsmith. Nat became close friends with Nathaniel S. White after joining Company K, 1st Texas Cavalry, CSA. Nathaniel White made Nat promise to take care of White's wife and children if anything happened to him. White was killed in the Civil War and when Nat returned he kept his promise and later married Harriet Beeman White about 1866. He became the father of her children, Cora and Robert White. Nat had three children with Harriet; Edward Johnson married Mary Ann Nabors , James William "Will" married Clara Olney Pinkard and Richard Coke married Sara Temperence Harding.
After the death of Harriet in 1876, Nat moved to Comanche County, Texas, to live with his brother, James. Nat married Missouri "Mazury" A. Tunnell Watson, the widow of Thomas W. Watson. She had three children: Mattie Elizabeth Watson, William G. Watson, and Eracus William Watsons. Nat and Missouri had six children: Charles Sledge married (1) Cleopatra Isom and (2) Rosa Iola McLaughlin; Clara Mae married James Frazier Johnson; Connie Lee married George Pierce Stewart; Rebecca Ruth married David Walter "D.W." Beam; Sallie Sarah Jane married F. G. Dean; and Rachel Rebel married G. W. Way.
Nat was a Mason and a member of the Leon Lodge of Bell County, Texas.
Nathaniel Franklin died June 6, 1917.