Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of Earliene Kaelin

ISAAC C. FRENCH - Isaac C. French, who was engaged in the grain business at Loami and became well known in Sangamon county, represented one of the oldest families of this part Of the state, the family home having been established in 1855. Mr. French was a native of Franklin county, Kentucky, however, born on the 7th of October, 1846. His parents, William and Martha (Wingate) French, were also natives of that county, and the father was connected with the court of appeals there for many years or until 1855, when he removed with his family to Sangamon county, Illinois and settled upon the farm in Curran township, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1873. He then returned to the county of his nativity, where he resided up to the time of his demise. His widow, surviving him, makes her home with a daughter in Kentucky. But two of their children are now living, the daughter who resides in Franklin county and one who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Isaac C. French was but nine years of age when his parents came to Sangamon county, and in his boyhood days he was a student in the Brooks school in Springfield, acquiring a good practical English education. He afterward assisted his father in his farming operations and ere the return of his parents to Kentucky he purchased the old family homestead farm in Curran township. As a companion and helpmate for life's journey he chose Miss Elizabeth L. Rickard and they were married on the 26th of September, 1872. The lady is a native of Sangamon county, Illinois, born March 7, 1853, and is a daughter of H. Washington Rickard, who was also a pioneer settler of this part of the state. His birth occurred in Fauquier county, Virginia, on the 1st of January, 1830, and he came to Sangamon county, Illinois, during the winter of the deep snow, 1830-31. Here he was married to Sarah A. Sims, who was born in Sangamon county and was a daughter of John Sims, one of the first settlers of this portion of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Rickard became the parents of six children: Minnie A., wife of John W. Gray, of Rice county, Kansas; Lewis F., who is living in Spokane, Washington; Washington M., a resident farmer of Rice county, Kansas; Robert I., of Bedford county, Iowa; George E., of Joplin, Missouri; and Mrs. French. The mother of these children died on the 21st of December, 1864, and Mr. Rickard afterward married Henrietta M. Earnest. There were two children by this union: Catherine J., the wife of Dr. Wood, of Springfield, and Thomas E., a banker of Homer, Illinois. Mr. Rickard continued to engage in farming in Sangamon county throughout the period of his residence here and was widely known as a leading and highly respected agriculturist. His death occurred August 8, 1891, and his widow now resides in Springfield. Unto Mr. and Mrs. French were born three children: Jay T., who resides at home and is now a register clerk in the postoffice of Springfield; Susan R. and Clara C., who are both at home.

After his marriage Mr. French engaged in general farming on the old homestead in Curran township until February, 1881, when he sold that property and removed to Rice county, Kansas, but remained there for only seven months. He then returned to Sangamon county and, settling in the village of Loami, was there engaged in the grain and lumber business for several years or until ill health forced him to retire from that field of labor. He had, however, been very successful, dealing extensively in these lines and the volume of his business brought to him a good annual income. When his health failed him he went to his parents' home in Frankfort, Franklin county, Kentucky, hoping tht he might be benefited by the change of climate, but his death occurred there on the 27th of April, 1882. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, believing firmly in the principles of the party. In early Life he became a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Palmer, Illinois, but never affiliated with the organization in Springfield. Mrs. French disposed of her husband's business in Loami and took up her abode in the captial city, where she has since made her home, owning a nice property at No. 317 North State street. She and her children hold membership in the Second Presbyterian church of this city.

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