Francis was a major builder of early Chicago and other large towns throughout the country. He owned the contracting company that built the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Building of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and we are told one of the firms that built the Palace of the Fine Arts Building (also part of the Faire)which is now the Museum of Science and Industry. His oldest son John (my great grandfather)joined the family firm. John was the first person born in Chicago of a mother also born in Chicago. He designed and built ballparks around the country, including the original White Sox (Comiskey) park in 1911 and was a close friend of Charles Comiskey.