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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



MRS. ELIZA M. FRENCH was born in Preble County, Ohio, in 1849, and is now a resident of Bloomington, Ill., making her home with her daughter, Mrs. T. J. Read, at No. 816 East North street.

Eli H. French was a native of Belmont County, Ohio, and the son of William and Mary (Bundy) French. His early years were spent upon a farm in Ohio, and he came to Illinois when a young man, where he purchased a farm in Randolph Township, this county.

He was married to Miss Eliza Mason of McLean County. In 1854 he removed with his family to Story County, Iowa, where he purchased a farm of 360 acres. Mrs. French subsequently returned to Bloomington, where she has since lived.

The subject of this biography was the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth (Frier) Mason, natives of Ohio. They came to Illinois in 1830, and settled in McLean County, where the mother died in Downs Township in 1851; the father is still living, having arrived at the advanced age of eighty-five years. The parental family consisted of eleven children, of whom Mrs. French was fifth in order of birth, and of these only six are living. Mrs. French some years ago connected herself with the United Brethren [ed., Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA], and still remains a member of that church.

Mary E., the daughter of Mrs. French, was married to Mr. T. J. Read in 1870, and they have four children Arthur C., Carrie M., Ida B. and Julia W. Mr. Read was born in Philadelphia in 1848, being the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Behring) Read, natives respectively of Maryland and Pennsylvania. They came to Bloomington in 1856, and Mr. R. has been a resident of the city since that time.

He is connected with the Pantagraph as collector and circulator, is a good business man and a worthy citizen. He built his tasteful and convenient residence in 1883. Mr. and Mrs. R. are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is Republican in politics and a thorough newspaper man, having been associated with some of the city journals for the last thirty years.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 397. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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