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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Harry James French


 HARRY JAMES FRENCH, general farmer and county councilor, residing on Lot 5, Concession 3, in Camden township, County of Kent, owns and operates a fine farm of 100 acres to which he came in December, 1892.  His birth occurred in Chatham township, County of Kent, October 15th, 1862, and he is a son of Anslum and Nancy (McIntyre) French, of Chatham and Harwich townships, respectively.  They were married in that county and celebrated their golden anniversary not long before they died, the father in 1893, aged seventy-six years, the mother in October of the same year, aged seventy-three years.  They lie buried in Arnold’s cemetery in Chatham township.  Both were consistent members of the Methodist Church.  Mr. French was a farmer by occupation.  The children born to Mr. And Mrs. French were:  John, a harness maker of Kent Bridge; Susanna, of the County of Lambton, wife of Edwin Wicks; Thomas, of Chatham; Rachel, of Dresden, who married Thomas Ritchie; Sarah A., deceased, who married Duncan Ritchie; Eliza, of Chatham township, widow of W.J. Smith; Anne, who married John Dowswell, of Dutton, Ontario; Edwin, deceased; Sylvester, who is in the furnace business at Cleveland, Ohio; and Harry James.

On June 17th, 1889, in Dresden, Ontario, Mr. French was married to Mary E. Huff, and they have four children, Owen G., Lorne B., Harold G. and Evelyn E.  Mrs. French was born in Camden township, County of Kent, Ontario, May 8th, 1965, a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Gifford) Huff, of England, who were married in the County of Kent, where they were farming people.  The father died in July 1887, aged sixty-four years, and the mother died in 1877, aged forty-six years, and they are buried in Dresden cemetery.  Both were consistent members of the Methodist Church.

Until he was thirteen Harry J. French remained with his parents, and then engaged as clerk in a dry-goods establishment in Dresden, Ontario, remaining there for seven years.  From that city he went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and remained in a store for a year, returning to Dresden, where for seven years he was engaged in a grain business.   In December 1892, he located on his present farm, where he has since been making a success of farming.  Fraternally he is a member of the C.O.O.F. and the Woodsmen of the World, and is a Master Mason.  Both he and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Church and he has been superintendent of the Sunday-school for the past four years.  For four years he served as township councilor, was reeve three years and has been county commissioner since 1900.  He is a Conservative in politics, and is at present secretary of the East Kent Conservative Association.  As a public official as well as private citizen he has proven himself a man of ability and sterling worth, and he has many friends throughout his neighbourhood. 


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