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William Merchant Richardson French
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Birth: Oct. 1, 1843
Rockingham County
New Hampshire, USA
Death: Jun. 3, 1914
Cook County
Illinois, USA

He graduated from Harvard in 1864 and served for about a year as a volunteer in the Union Army. He later took a course in civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved to Chicago in 1867.

French practiced civil engineering and landscape gardening in Chicago for about ten years. His interest in art, however, led him to begin lecturing and writing on the subject, and in 1878 he became secretary of the Chicago Academy of Design. Several years later, in 1885, he became the first director of the Art Institute of Chicago.

French was a founding member of the American Association of Museums and served as its president in 1907-08. He was also the art editor of the Chicago Tribune for a number of years. He was the brother of the famed sculptor, Daniel Chester French, whose work included the Minute Man statue, the statue of John Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

French was a member of The Chicago Literary Club from 1874, the year of its founding, until his death on June 3, 1914 -- a total of forty years. He served as president of the Club during the 1912-13 season and presented fifteen papers. 
Family links: 
  Henry Flagg French (1813 - 1885)
  Anne Richardson French (1811 - 1856)
  Harriette Van Mater French Hollis (1839 - 1911)*
  William Merchant Richardson French (1843 - 1914)
  Sarah Flagg French Bartlett (1846 - 1883)*
  Daniel Chester French (1850 - 1931)*
*Calculated relationship
Non-Cemetery Burial
Created by: Maxine Kravitz
Record added: Aug 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96046880
William Merchant Richardson French
Added by: Maxine Kravitz
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Rest in Peace
- Maxine Kravitz
 Added: Aug. 26, 2012

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