Samuel Davison French Samuel Davison French, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, is one of the prosperous and influential farmers of Allen County. He has been an honored and esteemed resident of Perry township for upwards of 70 years, having spent almost his entire life upon the 160 acre farm which is still his home. He was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, July 10, 1823, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Davison) French, and grandson of Alexander French. The last named was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and was a soldier in the Revolution before he located in Trumbull County, Ohio. On October 5, 1784, he was married to Elizabeth Morrison; a family of five daughters and one son were reared, named: Margaret (Mrs. John Hannah); William; Ann (Mrs. Robert Russell); Jane (Mrs. John Sheefleton); Betsey (Mrs. John Davison); and Sally (Mrs. William Moore). The maternal grandparents of our subject were Benjamin and Ann (Buchanan) Davison. Benjamin Davison, who was from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, came to Ohio and located in Trumbull County May 7, 1800, before Ohio became a State, being then the best known portion of the Northwest Territory. Very few white men had ventured into the new country of the Indians. Benjamin Davison spent the last years of his life in Newton Falls. William Fench was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1787. In 1834 he located in Allen County, Ohio, where he purchased 160 acres of land. Of this land 80 acres lay in Bath township, where he made his home and the other 80 was situated just across the road in Perry township and upon it is located the buildings of his son, our subject. On August 11, 1819, he was married to Elizabeth Davison and a family of eight children were born to them, as follows: Ann, wife of John Rankin; Elizabeth, unmarried; Samuel Davison; David; John; Mary Jane; George; and Newton. Our subject and his brother George, who lives in Bath Township, are the only survivors. William French had always been a Democrat until the first nomination of William H. Harrison for the presidency, when he decided to give his support to the hero of Tippecanoe in preference to Martin Van Buren, but died in 1836 before the election at the age of 49 years. Samuel Davison French came to Allen County with his parents when he was 11 years of age. It was a memorable journey, contrasting strongly with the present- day travel by electric car over the same land which is crisscrossed by electric and telephone wires and dotted with every indication of prosperous civilization. The little company of emigrants who started with ox teams to traverse the long miles which lay between Trumbull and Allen Counties numbered 22 people, only three of whom our subject, his brother George and Hank Agate are living. It took 13 1/2 days to complete the journey. When they reached Marion County, on the Hardin County line, their provisions were exhausted and they were obliged to remain there three days, unsheltered by a roof while the women of the party were busily engaged in cooking enough to sustain them on the remainder of the trip. The trail was followed with great difficulty as the forest was so dense it was almost impossible to penetrate its labyrinths and it was necessary to proceed with caution. They camped one night at Hog Creek marsh, where the wolves were so numerous it was found necessary to watch the sheep the entire night to keep them from being killed. The Indian was still a menace to the white man and one of the relics which Mr. French prizes as a reminder of those days is a cane made from a log which formed a part of the historic old Council House of the Shawnee's in Shawnee township, the old structure having long since given way to the Allen County Children's Home. Mr. French was married April 23, 1847, to Margaret T. Roberts, daughter of William and Hannah (Morrison) Roberts, and an aunt of Thomas C. Roberts, whose biography will be found in this volume. They have four children, namely: Lois A., who died at the age of one year; William, who was killed while taking a team of mules to water; Elizabeth, who is unmarried and is housekeeper for her parents; and Leola, the wife of Jesse Growdon and the mother of six children Lois, S. D. (who is married and has three children), Walter, Effie, Ross and Eunice. When Mr. French first came to this farm, there was a small clearing and a cabin on the 80 acre tract in Bath township. Shortly after his marriage, he built a cabin on the 80 in Perry Township and continued to live in it until 1861 when his present residence was built. He has put all the improvements on this land and has done all the clearing except the first 20 acres. When he took possession, the land was covered with heavy forest and it required much hard work to convert it into his present well-cultivated acres. In addition to general farming, Mr. French is also engaged in stock raising, but has lately left the active management of the work to his son-in-law. He is a genial, generous, kindly gentleman who is venerated and loved by all. He has been identified with the Republican Party since its organization and before that was a Whig. He has never sought nor desired public office.