French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Perry, Dallas Co., Iowa

The following box of photos was sent to me on Febuary 5, 1991 to my home in San Jose, CA, by Rose Menz, at 1915 Fifth St., Perry, Iowa, 50220, phone: 515-465-5266. Email: The photos were found in a treasure chest in an attic of a 3-story house near Roses house. There are about 25 identified photos, plus about 100 unidentified photos. The names were listed in pencil on a piece of paper in the box, beginning with Mr. and Mrs. George H. French and the rest of the French family. If you can identify these names, please email

147 Photos

French Family

In the 1930 census, Leonard A. French and his wife Edith were living in Spring Valley, Dallas Co., Iowa, with his sister Carrie M. French. Apparently their parents had died. This census says he was born in Wisconsin; however, the other ones say Illinois, which I believe is correct. His wife Edith was b. in Iowa. Spring Valley is in the City of Perry Ward 3.

In the 1920 census, George and Myra were living in Perry Ward 2, Dallas Co., Iowa, with their daughter Carrie (Caroline) M. French who was b. in Iowa. Frank B. French is in the 1920 census with Zoe H, his wife, in Perry Ward 1, Dallas, Iowa as the head of household. Frank was b. in IL ca. 1874, his father was b. in MA and his mother b. in NY as all records have indicated. Leonard A. French and wife Edith are also in Perry Ward 2 – he was b. ca. 1867 in Wisconsin.

In the 1910 census, Leonard A. French was living in Perry Ward 2, Dallas Co., IA. He was b. in 1867 in Illinois. He m. Edith M. who was b. in 1870. His parents, George H. and Myra B. were living in the same town with their daughter, Carrie M. French. Leonard m. between 1900-1910.

The 1900 census shows Myra B. French, wife of George H. French living in Spring Valley, Dallas, Iowa. She was b. Nov 1839 in NY. In their household was their son Leonard A. French and their daughter Carrie M. French. George was b. Sep 1835 and Myra was b. Nov 1839. In 1900, they were married 39 years; therefore, they were married in 1861. They had 6 children and only 4 children were living in 1900. They owned a home free of mortgage. George was working as a carpenter.

The 1890 census is not complete and does not show this family.

In the 1880 census, George was 43 years old, therefore born in 1837. He was a farmer living in Beaver, Dallas Co., IA in 1880. He and his parents were born in MA. His wife, Myra B., is 40, born in 1839, and she and both of her parents were born in NY. They had 5 children: Leonard, age 13, b. 1867; Edith, age 11, b. 1869; Frank, age 9, b. 1871; Gracie, age 6, born 1874; Carrie, age 3, b. 1877. They were probably married by 1865.

In the 1870 census below, George is 33 living in Rock Falls, Whiteside Co., IL, working as a carpenter. Asaph (25) and Mary French (23) were living next door.

Rock Falls, IL is very close to IA and WI.

In the 1860 census, George was 23 and lived in Burlington, Racine Co., WI in 1860 with his parents G. W. French and Maria M. French, both born in 1811 probably in MA where George was born. Also listed are Georges siblings: Asa K., Mary, Hesakiah, and Marietta. The family moved from Massachusetts to Wisconsin just before 1845 when and where Hesakiah was born.

In the 1850 census, George was 13 and living in Burlington, Racine Co., WI, living with his father George and mother Maria and siblings Ann, Asaph, Hezekiah, James, Mary, Sarah, and William.

He was living in the same city as these Frenches: Ann b. 1832 in MA; Emily b. 1840 in MA; Frances b. 1844 in MA; George b. 1835 in MA; George b. 1809 in MA was a wagon maker; George b. 1850 in MA; Henry b. 1818 in MA; Mariette b. 1848 in MA; Mary b. 1839 in MA; Sarah b. 1833 in MA; Wm b. 1842 in MA; Wm b. 1838 in MA.

In 1840 Federal Census in Seekonk, Bristol Co., MA, George W. French had 2 sons 5-10 (George and William), he was between 40-50 (not quite – 1811), 1 dau 5-10, 2 dau 10-15 (Ann and Sarah), 1 dau 15-20, 1 dau 20-30, and his wife 40-50. Nope, this line doesnt work. In this 1840 census, George needs to be no more than 30 years old. Of the other ones listed, he could be born in Charlestown, Middlesex, MA or in Milton, Norfolk, MA.

Family outline?

Henry French b. 1818
     Emily French 10 in 1850 in WS
     Frances French 6 in 1850 in WS
     Mariette French 2 in 1850 in WS
     George French just born in 1850 in MA
George W. French and Maria M. French. George born 1811 in MA
     Ann French age 18 in 1850 in WS, b. 1832 in MA
     Sarah French age 17 in 1850 in WS, b. 1833 in MA
     George H. French 15 in 1850 in WS and wife Myra B. DeGolyer, b. 1835 in MA
          Leonard A. French, b. 1867 in WS
          Edith French, b. 1868 in IL
          Frank French, b. 1871 in IL
          Gracie French, b. 1874 in IA
          Carrie French, b. 1877 in IA
     William French 12 in 1850 in WS, b. 1838 in MA
     Mary French 11 in 1850 in WS, in IL in 1870, b. in 1847 in NY
     James French 8 in 1850 in WS
     Asaph French 7 in 1850 in WS, in IL in 1870, b. in 1845 in NY
     Hezekiah French 5 in 1850 in WS

In the 1840 census of MA, George is 3 years old. Only the head of household is listed in this census. Assuming his fathers name was also George, a George French is listed in Milton, Norfolk Co., MA, with one son under 5 and no other children. This father George was between 20-30 in 1840; therefore, born between 1810-1820, and in our case above, he was b. in 1811, but the children mentioned above are incorrect.

      Mr. and Mrs. George H. French, her name was Myra, Aug 1890 by M. McGowan Photographers, Perry, Dallas Co., IA.

      Leonard A. French, 1902 in photo, b. 1867.

      Leonard French, Aug. 14, 1890, Tacoma, Washington by Scosford Photographers, 1017 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA, b. 1867.

      Cad Mae French, mostly likely is Carrie Mae

      Willie French

      Edith French, b. 1869, died June 17, 1888, age 20 (19 yrs, 8 mo, 12 days), lived in Des Moines, IA, perhaps on 823 East State St. in 1886. Photo compliments of Etta Lods. Photo taken June 1886, age 17. She is listed in the 1880 Federal Census as Edith French, dau. of George H. and Myra B. (perhaps Beachman), living in Beaver, Dallas Co., IA in 1880, born ca. 1869 in IL.

      Carrie French, b. 1877.

      Violet Hill Cemetery, Perry, Dallas County, Iowa, website:
French, Benjamin H, d. 12/5/1932, Sec: 4, Bl-4, L-26, Sp #5
French, Carrie Mae, d. 8/4/1953, Sec: Op, L-227, Sp #4
French, Edith, d. 10/24/1946, Sec: Op, L-31, Sp #4

French, H Zoe, d. 3/1/1959, Sec: 4, Bl-4, L-26, Sp #4
French, Leonard A, d. 6/9/1954, Sec: Op, L-31, Sp #5

French, Myra, d. 1/10/1928, Sec: Op, L-227, Sp #2

Family moved from MA to Wisconsin by 1850, to Rock Falls, Whiteside Co., IL by 1870, and to Perry, Dallas Co., IA, by 1875.


French Name






Benjamin H. (unk)


Perry, IA

H. Zoe


3/1/1959 Perry, IA

George H. (father)

9 Sep 1835, MA

Before 1930

Myra B. DeGolyer, m. 14 Mar 1861 in NY

Nov 1839 NY

1/10/1928 Perry, IA

Leonard A.  (1-son)

Jun 1866, Wisconsin

6/9/1954, Perry, IA

Edith M., m. after 1900, no children

1870, Iowa

10/24/1946 Perry, IA

Edith (2-dau)

1869 Illinois

17 Jun 1888 in Des Moines, IA

Never  married



Frank B. (3-son)

1873 Illinois


Zoe Hattie



Gracie E. (4-dau) – had son William H. born 27 Jun 1900



Mr. William H. Fahey on 22 Aug 1899

1873 Iowa


Carrie Mae (5-dau)

Feb 1877 Iowa

8/4/1953 Perry, IA

Never married



Frederick* (head)
father born in NY, mother in Sweden

Jun 1864 Illinois


Nellie M.

Oct 1872 Wisconsin or Iowa


*It is believed this French family is unrelated, but living in the same area, Spring Valley, Dallas Co., IA

Other Photo

      Robbie Beachman

      William Melvin Beachman, Berry & Fischer Photographers, Decatur, Alabama. From research done by Mara French in 2008, William Melvin Beachman was b. 1876 and d. 1960 and is buried in the Durant (Mizpah) Cemetery in Durant, Holmes Co., MS.

      Grace Dyer, Perry, IA – there is a Dyer family living in Spring Valley (William, Genevria, Cora, Mary, Eva, Zoe).

      Estella H. Hass, age 4, 9/11/1888

      Benjamin Harrison, the President, compliments of Fred Hain to Carrie French

      Alma Heightshoe

      Ella Hotchkiss, age 6, height 44, weight 35 lbs, on exhibition at Iowa State Fair, 1881, playing two organs blindfolded and keyboards covered. Born 1875. The Iowa State Fair was held in 1881 in Des Moines, IA.

      Charles Raymond Lane, age 4 months, July 10, 1900. According to research by Mara French in 2008, a Mr. and Mrs. Charles Raymond Lane of Bloomington, Iowa, had a boy, Charles Ross Lane, born 6 Feb 1924. This date, place, and name fit the photo. His obituary:

      Eugene Law

      Marion Moody

      Della Murri (?) and Lillie Patcho – tin type photo

      Lawyer Nicholes of Perry, Iowa

      Clara Nicholes – Tom Camp, married January 5, 1909

      Mae Pattee – Perry, Iowa – probably a friend, dau. of David J. Pattee and Sarah I. Pattee, b. Oct 1875 in Iowa. This family is from Vermont.

      Maggie Ramsey, Perry, Iowa. From research by Mara French in 2008, Robert RAMSEY m Gertrude CASE Oct 1, 1891 (a few years before his parents came to KS). 1910 census has Robert as the Proprietor of a Hotel, 1 daughter is Maggie RAMSEY age 17. The 1910 Kansas census lists him as Robert Ramsey age 39, married to Gertie age 36, home in Grant, Jewell, KS, birth ca. 1871 in Pennsylvania, living with their 17 yr old daughter, Maggie. Roberts father was born in England. Maggie was b. ca. 1893 in Kansas.

      Winifred Roberison

      Miss Nellie Tyer, age 18 in 1888, Perry, Iowa, b. Oct 1869. From research by Mara French in 2008, Howard Brady Carpenter was born in Kendall County, Illinois, July 24, 1848. He received his education in the public schools of Aurora and Old Prophets Town, Ill. In 1906 he was married to Nellie Tyer of Perry, Iowa. One child, John, was born of this union. Howard Brady Carpenter d. Jul 1917 and is buried in the Morris Hill Cemetery, Ada County, Idaho. John Tyer Carpenter was b. 1908 in Meridian, Ada, ID and d. 29 May 1988 in Boise, Ada, ID, m. Vinnie Easton.
There is another Nellie M. French, wife of Fredrick French. Nellie b. Oct 1872, Fredrick b. Jun 1864, both from the 1900 census in Spring Valley. Nellies parents are J. M. and Addie J. Tyer of Maine.

      Ella Willis, dau. of Harvey and Elliza J. Willis of Indiana. Ella was b. Mar 1868.

      Violet Hill Cemetery, Perry, Dallas County, Iowa
French, Benjamin H, d. 12/5/1932, Sec: 4, Bl-4, L-26, Sp #5

French, Carrie Mae, d. 8/4/1953, Sec: Op, L-227, Sp #4

French, Edith, d. 10/24/1946, Sec: Op, L-31, Sp #4

French, H Zoe, d. 3/1/1959, Sec: 4, Bl-4, L-26, Sp #4

French, Leonard A, d. 6/9/1954, Sec: Op, L-31, Sp #5

French, Myra, d. 1/10/1928, Sec: Op, L-227, Sp #2

Photograph Studios

The following photos are unidentified. They come from Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, and only one each from Massachusetts, South Dakota, Minnesota, Alabama, Washington, and New York.


      Parker Photographers, Perry, Iowa

      L. M. Stoops Photographer, Perry, Iowa – Grace Dyer

      Berkemann Photographers, Perry, IA

      Riley Photographers, Broadway & Glen Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

      Sun Beam Gallery, Corner Main & Fifth Sts., Dubuque, Iowa

      Proctor Photographers, 607 Walnut St., Des Moines, IA

      W. C. Edinger Photographers, Des Moines, IA

      Stoops and Thornbrue Photographers, Adel, Iowa

      Johnson Photographers, Webster City, IA

      McKenna and Miller Photographers, Angus, Iowa

      J. A. Douglas Photographers, Osage, Iowa

      Gilbert Temple  Photographers, Clinton, Iowa (of a soldier)


      Burlington, WI

      Maurice McGowan Photographers, $4 per dozen, Fond du Lac, WI

      Rogers Portraits, Fond du Lac, WI

      Chadbourne Photographers, Macy St., Fond du Lac, WI

      D. W. Wheeler Photographers, West Bend, WI

      Curtiss Photographer, Madison, WI


      Stevens Photographers, McVickers Theatre Bldg., Chicago, IL

      Brand Photography, 28 Graslington St., Chicago, IL

      Abernathy Studio, Champaign, IL, 53 N. Walnut St.

      Gibson Art Galleries, Chicago

      The Gamble Art Co., Champaign, IL, photo taken Christmas 1897


      A. C. Nichols Photographist, 62 Delaware St., Leavenworth, Kansas (of a soldier)

      Shellabarger, Horton, Kansas

      Fitch Photographers, Parsons, Kansas, 1827 Johnson Ave.


      Kelley & Co., Lincoln, Neb.

      Matzen & Co. Studio, Omaha, NE


      Christensen Photographers, Pieppe, S. Dakota

      F. F. Dunshee & A. E. Hill Photographers, 22 Winter St., Boston

      Hennepin Studio, Minneapolis, MN

      R. D. Kesler

      Philips Ryder Photographers, Syracuse, NY, 332 So. Salina St.

      Berry & Fischer Photographers, Decatur, Alabama

      Scosford Photographers, 1017 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA

Other Objects

      Memorial Service Cared, In Loving Remembrance of Edith French, died June 17, 1888, Aged 20.

      A small book on work and play, sent to Miss Carrie M. French, 1721 E. Warford Ave., Perry, Iowa, 1908

      A small booklet from Great American Insurance Company of New York given by the Capital and Merchants and Bankers Department, Des Moines, Iowa, 1 January 1923

      Booklet of old post cards of Omaha, Nebraska sent to Miss Carrie French, 1721 E. Warford, Perry, Iowa, in 1908. Postage is 1 cent.

      Book on Our Wonder World


      Leonard, Clearwater County, Minnesota. Leonard, the railway village of Dudley township, was named for Leonard French, first child of an early settler, George H. French, who became a merchant of this village. Streams flowing into Lake Itasca include Island creek, tributary to the west side of the North arm, opposite to Schoolcraft Island ; French creek, between Island creek and Hill point, named for George H. French, of the survey for the Mississippi River Commission, 1900; Boutwell creek, named for Rev. William Thurston Boutwell (b. 1803, d. 1890), who accompanied the Schoolcraft expedition in 1832; Sha-wun-uk-u-mig creek, commemorating the Ojibway guide of Rev. J. A. Gilfillan in his visit to the Itasca basin in 1881 ; and Floating Bog creek, emptying into the bay of this name about a half mile east of the island. (One of the photo studios above was in Minneapolis)

      HISTORY OF EARLY CHICAGO MODERN CHICAGO AND ITS SETTLEMENT EARLY CHICAGO, AND THE NORTHWEST BY ALBERT D. HAGER page 231. From this time up to 1859 the hotels of minor importance multiplied rapidly. Those of any prominence or worthy of mention, erected during this period, were: The Audubon House, Nos. 68 and 70 West Lake Street; the Boardman House, corner Clark and Harrison; the Briggs House, Randolph and Wells, built in 1854 by William Briggs and kept by John Floyd & George H. French, who were still its proprietors in 1857; the Cleveland House, also new, kept by A. Cleveland, at Nos. 46, 48, 50 and 52 West Lake; the Richmond House, corner South Water and Michigan Avenue; and the Young America, which stood on the southeast corner of Randolph and Dearborn, near Rice's theater. Of perhaps a score, the names of which have not been mentioned, it is only necessary to say that they were boarding houses, transitory, many of them, in their character, and not living long enough to become fixed or permanent houses of public entertainment. (One of the photo studios above was in Chicago)


Mrs. John French died at the Dallas county poor farm Tuesday morning and the remains were brought to Perry for burial Wednesday afternoon. They were accomplished by Mr. French, who was at his wife's bedside when she died. She had been a sufferer from a complication of troubles for some time, but the direct cause of her death, has not been learned here. About two months ago Mrs. French was sent to the Methodist hospital in Des Moines, by the officers of the local church, who made up a purse for that purpose. The woman's condition at that time was critical, but she received relief at the hospital and was able to return home after about three weeks. The husband being without employment and having very limited means, was unable to properly care for his wife here, so she was taken to the Dallas county poor farm. She grew worse day by day, and as the time was near for her to be a mother, the poor little woman seemed to prefer to be removed from this life rather than to pass through any more of earth's trials and to leave behind her child which would not have a mother's care. Mrs. French had seen more of life's troubles, and disappointments than most women. When a mere baby her mother was drowned, and only a few years afterwards her father was killed. Her grandparents, who reside in Linn county, then took her to raise. Her maiden name was Allie Waldon. At the age of about seventeen years she married a man who proved untrue to her, drank up every cent he could make and finally deserted here. About a year afterwards, or sometime in June, 1901, she was married to john French at Waterloo. Last fall Mr. and Mrs. French removed to Perry, but they have seemed to find it hard to make both ends meet here and have had sickness to contend with ever since they came to the town. The deceased made no profession of religion, though she had expressed a preference for the M.E. church. She had no relatives that she knew of, aside from her grandparents, and they did not come to the funeral. Mr. French's brother, Fred, with a number of the neighbors, arranged for the reception of the remains here yesterday. They were taken directly from the depot to the cemetery. A short but very impressive service was conducted by Rev. Collins. It was not a very large funeral, but one of the saddest that has been held in Perry in a long time. The husband is deeply grieved, and has the sympathy of our people. His little wife was a queen in his sight, though she died among strangers to humble circumstances. She was poor but she was good. Good heard and answered her prayers. Feb. 27, 1902 The Perry Daily Chief, Perry Iowa - Submitted by Shauna Williams