JAMES H. FRENCH. The agricultural part of any community is the bone and sinew from which comes the strength and vigor necessary to carry on the affairs of manufacture, commerce and the State. When the farming people are composed of men and women of courage, enterprise, intelligence and integrity, prosperity will attend all departments of activity, and this is preminently the case in Christian County, Missouri, and among those who hold high rank as a tiller of the soil is Mr. French, who springs from one of the pioneer families of this section. He is the youngest but one of the children born to Joseph and Lucy (Scott) French, his birth occurring in Caldwell County, Kentucky, August 28, 1851.
He was but an infant when his parents came overland to what is now Christian County, and here was reared to manhood on the old home place and attended the school of his neighborhood, the same being known as the “Dillingham School House.” In 1872, or when twenty-one years of age, young French started out to fight his own way in life, which thus far has been passed in agricultural pursuits, as it is but natural that he should choose that as his occupation. The same year that he branched out for himself, he wedded Miss Anna Smallwood, a native of Illinois, born in 1854, and the daughter of Vincent and Mary (Stivers) Smallwood, who came here fro the Prairie State. Both parents are now deceased. Mr. French located on the farm where he now lives after marriage. This consists of forty acres, all of which is under a good state of cultivation. He also owns a good farm two and a half miles from Billings. He has made a complete success as a farmer, and a glance over his well-kept fields shows that he thoroughly understands his work. In politics he is with the People’s party, but in previous years supported the principles of the Republican party. Public spirited and progressive, he is one of the county’s best citizens. To his marriage were born ten children, namely; Mary, who died when twelve months old; Delia, wife of Galey Johnson, a young farmer of Lawrence County; Lucy; Nettie; Maud; Virgie Ida; Lizzie; Ora, and Etta.