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Biography of Robert M. French

Robert M. French was born July 28, 1848, in Flint district, Cherokee Nation, second son of Robert M. French, and Margaret W. Fields. His father was a Virginian, and came to the Cherokee Nation in 1833 or 1834. He afterwards went west with Colonel Coffee, to trade with the Western Indians, and located on Red River, at what is now known as Coffee’s Bend. His wife (Robert’s mother) was a member of the celebrated Fields family. Robert attended district school until twelve years of age, and at the outbreak of the war was employed as dispatch bearer by General Cooper. At the conclusion of the war he became a cowboy, and continued in this capacity for many years. In 1872 he was appointed deputy marshal, under General Fagan, which office he holds to the present day. In 1879 he was elected High Sheriff of the Cherokee Nation, and continued in that position for four years. In 1891 Mr. French was appointed as constable by Judge Shackleford, which office he now holds. Mr. French married Miss Jane Annie Thompson, December 8, 1880, eldest daughter of Johnston Thompson, one of the oldest and wealthiest merchants in the Indian Territory. By this marriage they had five children, four of whom are now living, viz.: Johnston Thompson, born September 2, 1881; Thomas Fox, born July 9, 1883; Joseph A., born April 3, 1887; Richard T., born January 19, 1889. Mr. French’s residence is one of the finest brick houses in the Territory. It is two and a half stories with a basement, finely finished and corners of blue granite. It is located on the edge of town, where Mr. French has about 40 acres of land in cultivation. The subject of our sketch is five feet ten inches in height, and weighs 130 pounds. He is a man of good appearance, intelligent and enterprising. As an officer he is widely known, having the greater potion of his life held the position of deputy marshal. Mr. French is almost entirely self-educated, having left school when not quite twelve years old.

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