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W. N. French
Born October 23, 1857


W. N. French, a substantial and enterprising agriculturist of Madison township, where he owns an excellent farm of two hundred and ten acres, is likewise well known as a raiser of shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs. His birth occurred in Clay township, Jones county, Iowa, on the 23d of October, 1857, his parents being Joseph and Grace C. (Beaver) French. They were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively and came to this state as young people. Joseph French, who arrived in Iowa in 1846, spent about two years in Jackson county and then went to Indiana, where he remained for a similar period. Subsequently he returned to Jackson county, Iowa, where he entered a quarter section of government land and made his home for three years. At the end of that time he came to Jones county and purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Clay township at eight dollars per acre.
In the year 1883 he took up his abode in Madison township, where he bought the farm of two hundred and ten acres which is now in possession of his son, W. N. After residing thereon for four years he put aside the active work of the fields and removed to Wyoming, where he lived retired until the time of his demise in 1900. His political allegiance was given to the men and measures of the democracy, while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church. He took an active and helpful part in the work of the church and served in various official capacities. His upright and honorable life gained him the esteem of a large circle of friends and he was widely recognized as a most substantial and respected citizen of the community. His widow, who still survives him, has attained the age of seventy-three years and now makes her home with a daughter in Wyoming. She is a devoted member of the United Presbyterian church and is highly esteemed for her many good traits of heart and mind.
In his youthful days W. N. French attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education, and when not busy with his text-books he gave his father the benefit of his services in the work of the home farm, thus early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist.
He was married when a young man of twenty-one years and subsequently farmed a portion of the home place for three years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Delaware county, where he was engaged in the cultivation of a rented farm for three years. In the meantime he had chosen a location for his future home in Nebraska and had already begun making preparations for his removal to that state but was dissuaded from his purpose by his father, who, retiring from active life, wished him to purchase and conduct the home farm in Madison township, this county. His time and energies have since been given to the further cultivation and improvement of this property, and his labors as an agriculturist have been rewarded with a gratifying and commendable measure of success. He likewise raises shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs and feeds all the grain which his farm produces, feeding a carload of cattle annually.
In 1878 Mr. French was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary A. Orr of Dubuque county, Iowa, by whom he had eleven children, ten of whom still survive, namely: Nellie V., the wife of N. A. Huston, of Stanley county, South Dakota; Lillian B., the wife of Charles Buck, of Stevens county, Washington; Grace M., who is assistant bookkeeper in a mercantile establishment at Cedar Rapids; and James E., Cecil R., Elta A., Mildred, Lester D., Elizabeth I. and Dorothy L., all of whom are at home.
Where national questions and issues are involved Mr. French votes the democratic ticket but at local elections casts his ballot for the candidate whom he believes best qualified for office, regardless of party affiliation. His fraternal relations are with Wyoming Lodge, No. 147, I.0.0.F., and Wyoming Camp, No. 183, M.W.A. He has a wide and favorable acquaintance throughout the community in which he resides and has gained enviable recognition among the representative and progressive citizens of his native county.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 173.

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