Obit: French, Elizabeth R. (1835 - 1911)


Contact: Ann Stevens



Surnames: Brown, French, Youmans, Kemp, DeLane, Oakley


----Source:  Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.)  Aug 3, 1911


French, Elizabeth R. (Feb 4, 1835 - July 29, 1911)


Elizabeth R. Brown, daughter of Jacob and Anna Brown, was born in Hillsdale County, Michigan, Feb 4, 1835.  She came at an early age with her mother, then a widow, and her sisters, and brother Talbot to Black River Falls where she taught school until her marriage, June 8, 1854, to Benjamin F. French, who brought her after their marriage, to the homestead on Black River where they lived in a comparative wilderness.  The Indians were almost daily visitors and the wolves nightly callers.  All the hardships and privations of the pioneers were theirs for many years.  If her husband was doing yeoman’s duty clearing the farm and practicing law in the village six miles away, she was developing strength of character in endurance of loneliness and work to which she was unused.  Her great comforter during those years was her young brother-in-law, Robert French.


Here were born three children, the eldest dying in infancy.  In the early 60’s the family moved to Neillsville where Mrs. French spent all her married life.  Dearly loving the pleasures the primitive society then afforded, she denied herself all but the most simple pleasures to devote herself to the care of her family.  Mrs. French possessed a very devout nature but she did not unite with any church until late in life when she joined the Methodist Church.  Her life was a continuous sermon of self sacrifice and loving care, first of her family, then of those with whom she came in contact.  To her, a man or woman in misfortune was "somebody’s child" as she expressed it.


After her husband’s death in 1888 she lived in Neillsville for several years, finally going to Los Angeles, Cal., where she resided until her death July 29, 1911.  She leave four daughters, Nettie F. Youmans, Elva M. Kemp, Viola F. DeLane and Dimple I. Oakley, and two sons, Edwin F. French and John Rollin French, all living in Los Angeles, except Mrs. Youmans and Mrs. DeLane who reside in Neillsville, Wis.



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