Biography of Almon W. French
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Almon W. French, of Plainfield, Sullivan County, represents the third generation of the Frenches in this town. The family is of English origin, and members of it were pioneers of New England. Its founder in Plainfield, Nathaniel French, the grandfather of Almon W., came here when about twenty-two years of age, at the time when much of the district was an unbroken wild. Having done his part in rendering the place habitable, he died at the age of eighty-nine. His wife, Alice Back French, had eight children, of whom one died in infancy. The others were: Liman, George, Hezekiah, John, Lucinda, Betsey, and Susan. Liman, who lived in this town for the greater part of his life, following the occupation of farmer, never married. George, who was also a farmer here, married Sarah Hadley. Hezekiah married Lucinda Hyde, and had a family of children. He lived in Plainfield nearly all his lifetime. Lucinda successively married Amos Fox and William Hadley. Betsey became Mrs. Hayes Kenyon, and the mother of several children; and Susan married John Hadley.
John French, the father of Almon W., born here in 1805, died in December, 1890. He worked on his father’s farm until fifty-five years of age. Then he bought a farm, which he managed until about a dozen years before his death, the chief business being raising and selling cattle. He remained outside the arena of political strife, and never cared to secure public patronage. Straightforward and honest, he had the respect of all who knew him. He married Harriet Barry, who, born at Centre Harbor in 1809, died in 1879. Their eight children were: Almon W., John H., Russell, Charles, Melissa, George, Frank, and Sumner. John H. was twice married. His second marriage was contracted with a lady named French, who bore him one son. Russell, a prosperous farmer of Plainfield, married Adelaide Smith, and has several children. Charles married a Miss Westgate, and resides here. George married Orena B. Spaulding, and had several children. Frank married a Miss Chapman, and has a family of children. Melissa married Titus Pierce, and had several Sumner married Miss Freeman, and was engaged in farming here up to the time of his death.
Almon W. French was educated in the public schools of his native town. After leaving school, he had worked at farming for about fifteen years, when he became the proprietor of a farm by purchase. Since that time he has bought four or five others. He has always done more or less sheep-raising, but now gives his attention mainly to dairying. Industrious and enterprising, he has fully earned the success he has met with. Like his father, he has not sought political offices. In religious faith he is a Congregationalist, and he is a generous supporter of the Congregational society here. Mr. French married Melissa Spaulding, who was born in 1837. She died in 1870, leaving a daughter, Eva. Eva was twice married, and by her first marriage has one son, Clarence Almon Daniels. Clarence has always resided with his grandfather, Almon W. French.