CHARLES S. FRENCH, is one of the representative farmers and stock-raisers of Morgan County. His property is situated on section 2, township 15, range 12. He was born on the 25th of March, 1851, to Samuel (deceased) and Martha (Fox) French, at Chapin, in this county. His father was a native of New Hampshire, and was born on the 19th of November, 1813. His mother was a native of Morgan County, Ill. The paternal ancestors of our subject were German, while on the maternal side the family is of English descent.
Samuel French, the father of our subject, emigrated to Illinois in 1837, came to this county in 1839, and for a number of years lived upon a rented farm near Jacksonville; after which he purchased a farm near the present village of Chapin, and settled thereon. Here his widow and younger son still continue to reside. He was twice married, the first alliance being with Nancy Thompson, who bore him four children, only one of whom survived, Laura, who is now the wife of John A. Smith, also of this county. The maiden name of his second wife was Martha Fox, who presented him with two children - Charles S., our subject, and Arthur L., who is residing on the homestead near Chapin. At the time of his settlement on the above farm Mr. Samuel French had only about $300 or $400, but by industry, perseverance and practical economy he accumulated 1,200 acres of land, well-improved and stocked.
The decease of Samuel French occurred on the 25th of January, 1878. He was a man of firm principle, unimpeachable honor, and strict conscientiousness; all his business dealings were marked by such qualities as demanded and obtained the heartiest respect. He was a public spirited man even to the extent of sacrificing his private interests where they seemed to conflict with the public weal. He was one of the representative citizens of the county. For many years he was a thorough Republican, but latterly became a strong Prohibitionist. He was a consistent member and liberal supporter of the Congregational Church, and a friend of every enterprise of a benevolent of charitable nature.
Charles S. French, the subject of this biography, was reared to manhood in his native county. He is the possessor of a good English education, received in that most excellent and unique institution of the American people, the common school. From his boyhood he was engaged in farming, and made it his chosen occupation in life, supplementing it by stock-raising. He was married on the 31st of December, 1874, to the lady of his choice, Adelia Anderson, who was born upon the 15th of November, 1852, in this county, and is the daughter of Alexander and Mary (deceased) Anderson, natives respectively of Kentucky and Ohio. In the fall of 1830 they emigrated from Ohio, and since that time have been residents of this county. Mr. Anderson was classed among the oldest pioneer farmers in the county, and has always been a stanch friend of the Republican party. Mr. and Mrs. French are the parents of three children, whose names are as follows: Rena M., born Jan. 1, 1876; Clarence A., July 1, 1878, and Laura, born March 25, 1886.
In all political matters our subject shows himself a capable and worthy citizen. He is a true and stanch friend of the Republican party and always votes its ticket. In the spring of 1887 he was elected one of the village Trustees of Chapin, of which board he is now President. He enjoys the entire confidence of the community no less as an official than as a private citizen. He is the owner of 400 acres of land and his farm is one of the best cultivated in the county. His home also is in keeping therewith, being most admirable situated amid pleasant surroundings, and designed to meet the requirements of the domestic circle. Both Mr. and Mrs. French are active members of local society and are everywhere well received, being held in high regard by the community at large.
The first man to cast a vote for the Free-Soil ticket in Bethel precinct was Samuel French, the father of our subject. He was always a very strong advocate of the temperance cause and active in its interests. His wife is a native of Morgan County, Ill., and was born upon the 18th of January, 1932. Her parents, John and Martha Fox, were natives of England. They came to Morgan County in 1834, and were among the first settlers in the district. She was one of three children born to her parents, of whom she and her sister, Mrs. Mary Markillie, of Winchester, Ill., are the only survivors. Mr. Fox was a man of large influence, and for many years was a member of the Methodist Church, and a local preacher, prominent in political circles, but always along the line reform, good, right and true.