A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
ALFRED D. FRENCH, retired banker of Glenwood, is a surviving veteran of the
Civil war and a citizen with many interesting connections an associations with
the State of Iowa.
Mr. French was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, January 13, 1842,
son of Alanson and Catherine (Rice) French. Both the French and Rice families
came from England and settled in Massachusetts about 1680. Mr. French's
paternal grandfather was Christopher French, Jr., who lived all his life in
Massachusetts, where he was a farmer and cooper. Mr. French had three
great-grandfathers who were soldiers in the Revolutionary war, including Christopher French, Sr., and his maternal grandfather, Luther Rice, was also a soldier in the war for Independence. Luther Rice was a Massachusetts farmer. He took part in the battle of Bunker Hill. Alanson French was a school teacher during thirty years of his life, and the rest of his active career was given to farming. He moved out to Illinois in 1858 and came to Iowa about twenty years
later and spent his last years at Emerson in this state. His wife died at Amboy, Illinois. Of their four children two are now living, Alfred D. and Edwin C. Edwin C. went to the Dakotas as a pioneer and is a resident of Piedmont in
South Dakota. Alfred D. French attended a one room country school house in Massachusetts during his boyhood. He was about fifteen years of age when the family moved to Illinois, and there he lived on a farm until the outbreak of the Civil war. He joined the Union army at the age of twenty in Company A of the Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry. He took part in the battle of Stone River and at
Chickamauga was wounded and disabled for further active duty. He received his honorable discharge in May, 1865. After the war he located at Hobart, Indiana, learned telegraphy and spent seven years in the service of the Pennsylvania Railway Company. For several years he was agent and operator, at Hamlet, Indiana. On leaving the Pennsylvania system he went to work for the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy, in 1872, at Emerson, Iowa, and was with the Burlington for five years. Mr. French in the fall of 1877 was elected treasurer of Mills County, and filled that office for ten years. He was also deputy county
treasurer for two years. Mr. French was one of the organizers of the State Bank at Hastings, Iowa, served as its cashier, and later went with the Mills County National Bank at Glenwood as assistant cashier and cashier, covering a period of fourteen years. He finally retired from business on January 1, 1910. He also assisted in organizing the Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank of Glenwood. Mr. French on leaving home and beginning the battle of life worked for some time at five dollars and a half a month. After he retired from banking he spent a great deal of time traveling abroad, being in Europe in 1910, in 1912 and again in 1914, and was in Switzerland when the World war broke out.
He married, in 1867, Miss Anna P. Rundel, who was born in Lake County,
Indiana. Andrew Rundel, her father, was a surveyor and did a great deal of work
in running early boundary lines in Michigan and other states. Mrs. French
passed a way in May, 1907. Of her five children three are living. Miss
Catherine is at home with her father. Herbett A. was educated at Glenwood, Iowa, and is an honor graduate of the law department of the University of Nebraska and is now practicing with a prominent law firm at Tulsa, Oklahoma. He married Besse Stedman, a native of Iowa. They have a son, Stedman French. The other son, Raymond A. French, was educated at Valparaiso University in Indiana, in the University of Iowa, and is now a professor in the University of Dubuque, Iowa. He married Minnie Omerod and has three children, Anna Mae, Raymond Dexter and Kathie.
Mr. French is a member of the Congregational Church, and for upwards of half
a century held the post of Sunday School superintendent. He is one of the
last surviving members of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in politics has
always been a staunch Republican. His son Raymond before going to Dubuque
University taught five or six years in Highland Park College at Des Moines.
*Check your facts, don't know how accurate.