Biography - George French
PROFESSOR GEORGE HAZEN FRENCH. A man is never doing better service to
humanity than when he is devoting himself to raising the standards of public
health, arousing attention to those things which menace it, and through
scientific knowledge pointing the way to combat disease. One of Illinois'
most eminent men, Professor George Hazen French, of Carbondale, has been
identified with many hard-working bodies, men whose efforts have helped
towards better things, and in the scientific world his name is widely and
favorably known. He is a descendant of the first family of this name to come
to America, locating in New England about 1620, and was born March 19, 1841,
in Onondaga county, New York, a son of Hazen Miles and Caroline (White)
French, farming people of the Empire state.
George Hazen French
attended the public schools of his native vicinity and the normal school at
Cortland, after leaving which he became a country school teacher and
followed that profession in New York. He then came West to Belvidere,
Illinois, where he taught in the public schools, spent one year in Grand
Rapids, Wisconsin, and then went to Roscoe, Illinois, where he became
principal of schools. About 1868 he become connected with the Illinois
Agricultural College, and from 1877 until 1878 served as assistant state
entomologist, since which time he has acted in the same capacity three
terms. In July, 1878, Professor French came to the Southern Illinois Normal
University, where until 1911 he was doctor of natural sciences and curator,
and in the year mentioned he became curator of the museum, landscape
gardening and physiology. After years of experiment, study and research, in
1900 Professor French gave to the world the result of his years of labor, a
treatment for epilepsy, and since that time he discovered a bacteria remedy
which kills the germ that causes Bright's disease, and from neither of these
has he ever taken any financial remuneration, feeling sufficiently rewarded
by the gratitude and appreciation of those to whom his discoveries have been
such a boon. His whole life has been spent in bettering conditions in
Southern Illinois, and his scholarly attainments and scientific eminence
have made him respected by all who know him, while his courteous and genial
manner have won him hosts of friends among his co-workers and pupils.
Professor French is a fellow of the American Association for the Advance
of Science, the St. Louis Academy of Science, the Entomological Society of
France, the Natural History Society of Lubee, Germany, the Entomological
Society of New York, the American Entomological Society and the Philadelphia
Academy of Science, and also holds honorary membership in the Southern
Illinois Medical Association. He is the author of several scientific books,
and has written numerous articles which have been widely copied and referred
to, appearing in the leading scientific journals. Fraternally he belongs to
Irvington Lodge of Masons, of which he is a charter member.
September 10, 1872, Professor French was married to Miss Harriet E. Bingham,
who was born in Bureau county, Illinois, daughter of Solon P. and Harriet
(Foster) Bingham. Professor and Mrs. French are members of the First Baptist
church, in which he acts as senior deacon.
Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 573-574.