The Children of Joanna Branscomb:
Lewis Cass French
The line of descent for Lewis Cass French:
(Note: Hereinafter the first three digits of the identification numbers are omitted. Please check the Author's Notes for an explanation of the numbering system I use for identifying individuals within any family.)
35. Lewis Cass French, b. 28 June 1847, d. of pneumonia in Marion Co., KS, 4 November 1906; bur. Grant Township Cem. [formerly Youngstown Cem.], Marion Co. Md.(1) Jackson Co., 23 October 1866 Candace Hill Reasoner (b. 7 April 1847 in Zanesville, OH, d. of cancer 6 July 1923 in Lecompton, Douglas Co., KS; bur. Eastview Cem., Big Springs.) Candace was the d/o Jacob S. Reasoner and Nancy Stiles Hill. They had eight children.
Lewis was shown as 3 years old in the 1850 census for his parents John and Anna (Joanna) French and as 12 years old in the 1860 census. He was working in a livery stable when he became acquainted with Candace, daughter of a prominent physician in Jackson County. Lewis and Candace were married when both were 19 years old even though her parents opposed the union. Over the next 20 years they had eight children. Lewis was reported to be a handsome man, tall and slender with black hair and blue eyes. He dressed well. He was also an astute business man. The family moved frequently. In Osborne, KS, he ran a flour mill and traveled over the state to sell his flour.
Soon after their eighth child was born, Lewis deserted his family and went to live with Mary Sullivan Robbins (b. ca. 1869 in Ireland, d. 1933 in Marion Co., KS). Candace obtained a divorce in Douglas Co., KS, on 15 February 1905. According to Lewis’s obituary he married Mary in Lawrence, KS, on 12 March 1885; however, the record of their marriage has not yet been found. Given that Lewis, Candace and their first seven children were listed in the city of Osborne for the 1885 Kansas State census, taken 1 March 1885, and given that Candace’s eighth child Stella was born in November 1886, this marriage date is questionable. It would be illegal because on that date Lewis was still married to Candace. Lewis and Mary lived in several places before settling in Marion Co., KS. There Lewis raised livestock including Poland China hogs and Percheron horses. He traveled throughout Kansas and Missouri with his Percheron studs in order to service mares. Lewis and Mary had six children.
When Lewis died, his obituary praised him as “a kind neighbor, a warm friend, a loving husband and an affectionate father. “A large concourse of friends” attended his funeral.
After Lewis died his son (by Candace) John petitioned the Marion Co. Probate Court for letters of administration for Lewis’s estate. Undoubtedly because the two sets of children might be in conflict over the estate, the court appointed Taylor Riddle instead. However, all of Lewis’s children by Candace renounced their rights to the estate. Riddle reported on 10 December 1906 that the property at Lewis’s residence, consisting of livestock, farm wagons and 45 acres of land under cultivation, was claimed by Mary French to be her property.
Following are the children for Lewis and Candace:
- 351. Laura Candace French, b. 18 August 1867 in Jackson Co., OH; d. in Topeka, KS, of breast cancer 18 March 1906. She md. in Richland, Shawnee Co., KS, 10 March 1895 William Schott (b. 1860, d. 1933 in Douglas Co.); both bur. Eastview Cem. near Big Springs. William was the s/o Justus H. and Catherine Schott. The children of Laura and William were Louis, Esther Catherine and Candace Laura.
- 352. Louis Gustavus French, b. 3 November 1868 in Warrensburg, MO, d. 22 November 1945 in Lecompton, KS; bur. Eastview Cem. Md. (1) In Topeka 5 August 1891 Alida Louise Bunce (b. in Shawnee Co. 15 September 1874, d. in Topeka 13 July 1962; bur. Rochester Cem., Topeka.. The 1900 Soundex (47-17-66-45) showed Louis and Alida in Lecompton Twp, Douglas Co., KS, with five daughters. Louis taught school in Lyon and Wyandotte Counties, in Kansas City, and elsewhere in Kansas. He and Alida were divorced before 1920, and the Soundex for that year (18-165-16-21) shows him as a boarder in the Kansas State School for the Blind. In 1935 Louis was listed as a teacher in the city directories for both Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO. The children of Louis and Alida were Nellie Inez, Roma Romolo, Lorna Lorena, Meryl May, Fern Augusta, Forest Jay, Clarence Merton and Alice L.
Louis md. (2) Lanora Horner. They had one child, Allegra Lou. The 1938 city directory showed Lanora as a teacher in the same school where Louis was listed in 1935. In 1950/ 1951 she was shown in the directory as the president of the Guy B. French Brokerage Co., Inc., of Mission, KS.
- 353. John Milton French, b. 5 January 1872 in Jackson Co., OH; d. 2 January 1976 in Lawrence, KS, three days before his 104th birthday. Md. (1) in Shawnee Co. 2 June 1895 Anna Baker of Richland. The marriage was brief and ended in divorce. John md. (2) in Topeka 31 May 1899 Cornelia Bunce of Big Springs (b. 22 August 1878 in Lecompton, KS, d. 11 July 1964 in Topeka); both bur. Bethel Cem., Shawnee Co., KS. John left home at age 14 after having differences with his father Lewis. He went first to California and then to Tijuana, Mexico, working at growing and peddling watermelons and cantaloupes. Later, as a young married man, John was an agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in Topeka. By 1903 he was a supervisor within the company. He left the insurance business in 1906 and moved to Lecompton, where for the next 60 years he was a farmer. He served for thirty years of the Greenwood Valley District School Board. He was also on the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Board for his district; a member of the Lecompton Grange, and, for fifty years, a member of the local Masonic lodge. (These memberships as shown by his obituary in the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper for 3 January 1976; the details of his life come from articles dated 5 and 6 January 1972 in the Topeka State Journal newspaper.) John had one child, Joel S., by Anna Baker. His children by Cornelia Bunce were Gladys Louise, John Milton Jr., and Stanley Eugene.
- 354. Anna Rebecca French, b. 1 January 1874 in Jackson Co., OH, d. 24 April 1948 in Topeka, KS; bur. Eastview Cem., Big Springs, KS. Md. (1) in Shawnee Co. 25 November 1893 George Washington Mellen. Two children, Beulah Maude and Joel James. George died in 1910, and Anna md. (2) in 1917 Fred Bahnmaier (b. 17 February 1859, d. 3 January 1940 in Big Springs; bur. Eastview Cem.). Anna and her second husband were divorced soon after their marriage; they had no children.
- 355. Jacob Anderson French (“Jake”), b. 25 December 1878 in Aspenwal, Nebraska; d. 5 June 1974 in Lawrence, KS. Jake was a farmer, and he worked at one time on a railroad. He md. (1) in Lecompton 25 December 1902 Alpha Retta Glenn (b. in Lecompton 18 April 1882, d. at the home of their daughter Madge in Tonganoxie, KS, 9 July 1962); both bur. Memorial Park Cem., Lawrence. Four children; Dolpho Alexander, Louis Cass, Homer Guare, and Madge LaVere. After Alpha’s death Jacob md. (2) in 1963 Pearl Esther Oshel (Mohler), a widow. Pearl was b. 17 May 1900 in DeSota, KS, d. 27 June 1993 in Eudora, KS; bur. Eudora Cem.
- 356. Albert Osmond French, b. 23 July 1880 in Sheridan, Nebraska, d. 15 April 1957 in Kansas City, KS. Md. (1) in Kansas City 20 June 1921 Lula Stanley (b. 5 March 1880 in Jackson Co., KS, d. 12 August 1942 in Kansas City); both bur. Memorial Park Cem., Kansas City. Lula was the d/o Henry Stanley and Lutitia Baxter. Albert and Lula adopted two children, Candace Ann and Jack D. After Lula’s sudden death Albert married (2) on 7 April 1945 in Kansas City her sister Maude E. Stanley (b. in Jackson Co., KS, 20 April 1878, d. 16 December 1972 in Colorado Springs, CO). Albert was a veteran of World War I. He worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 30 years. He was a member of a masonic lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.
- 357. Grace Nancy French, b. 25 July 1883 in Osborne, KS, d. 2 October 1962 of liver cancer at the home of her son Wilmer in Topeka. Md. in Topeka 1 September 1915 William Grant Kline, a widower (b. 13 March 1868 in Harrison Co., MO, d. 6 July 1956 in Topeka); both bur. Memorial Park Cem. William had three children by his first wife, Laura E. Allen, who died in 1911. William was a farmer, and Grace was a schoolteacher. They had two children, Willa Candace and Wilmer Grant.
- 358. Stella Viola French, b. 29 November 1886 at Richland, d. in Topeka 8 September 1972 after undergoing abdominal surgery. Md. in Lecompton 11 June 1913 Joseph Vaughn Logan, Sr. (b. 11 January 1888 in Shawnee Co., d. 14 August 1945 in Douglas Co., KS); both bur. Eastview Cem. During WWII Joe worked as a night watchman for the Santa Fe Railroad. His death was accidental; after his body was found beside the railroad tracks during daylight hours, his lantern still lit, the coroner ruled that he died as a result of being struck by a train. Stella and Joe had two children: Joseph Vaughn Jr. and Stella Viola.
The children of #35 Lewis by Mary Robbins: the 1900 and 1910 federal censuses (32-90-6-92 and 144-70- [family #111], respectively) show six children, all born between 1887 and 1900, and Lewis’s obituary mentions six children. All apparently had the surname French, but Clyde was evidently conceived, and probably born, before Lewis went to live with Mary. In view of the other details of Lewis’s life, in this account Clyde is treated as his child. Information is available for some of these children:
- 359. Clyde E. French (or Robbins), b. 14 January 1887 NB, d. July 1971 in Marion Co. As shown in the 1920 Soundex, his wife was named Mayme. No children are known.
- 35A (=10). Roy B. French, b. 10 May 1891 KS, d. April 1986 in Placerville, CA.
- 35B (=11). Mamie Eleanor French, b. 28 June 1892 at Springfield, MO, d. 17 June 1975 at Kansas City, MO. Md. 17 February 1918 Edward H. Larkins (b. 26 March 1892 near Marion, d. 13 September 1962 in Marion); both bur. Hillcrest Cem. in Florence, KS. Four children: John Henry, Irene Virginia, Margaret Louise and Mary Ellen.
- 35C (=12) John Lewis French, b. March 1895 KS, d. 21 April 1980 ID. Md. Mildred E. ___ (b. 6 July 1901, d. 5 November 1983); both bur. Park View Cem., Payette Co., ID. John was a weapons instructor during WW1. John and Mildred lived in Fruitland, ID. They were said to have two sons. The Richard J. French whose body is buried in the same cemetery block was probably one of the sons.
- 35D (=13). Albert L. French (“Bert”), b. 18 July 1897 in Marion Co., d. 30 January 1978 in Versailles, MO. Md. in Marion Co. 17 March 1918 Flora Dieter (b. 29 July 1898, d. 22 January 1982); both bur. Grant Township Cem. Three children survived childhood: Harold, Jeremiah C. and Wallace C.
- 35E (=14). Louie May French, b. 24 March 1900 in Marion Co., KS, d. 16 June 1967 in Aurora, CO.; bur. Fairmount Cem., Denver. Md. in Marion Co, 28 October 1919 Harvey E. Seeley (b. in Marion Co. 16 October 1902; d. 8 November 1989 CO. [DOD is in doubt.], bur. Mountain Vail Memory Gardens, Canyon City, CO.). Nine children: Harvey E. Jr., Donald Harvey, Leona Mae, Minnie Belle, Dorothy Louise, Helen Vergen, Walter Ellis, John Richard, and Shirley Ann.
(Information about Lewis Cass French and his descendants came from Willa Norwood.)
Frederick B. Tubbs
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