WILLIAM A. FRANCE.
The France Lumber Company of Lamoni deals extensively in lumber, building materials and coal and is the suceessor
to F. W. Newcomb, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. The present firm includes William A. France and his
son, Joseph E. France. The former was born at Kewanee, Henry county, Illinois, of the marriage of Thomas and Alice
(Carter) France, who were natives of Lancashire, England, and were married there. In 1859 they came to the United
States and for a year resided in Omaha, Nebraska. They then went to Illinois, where they remained until 1886, when
they removed to Decatur county, Iowa. The father was engaged in coal mining and in business pursuits in Illinois
but after his removal to Decatur county farmed until his demise, which occurred in 1901, when he was sixty seven
years of age. His wife is still residing in Lamoni at the age of eighty years. His religious faith was that of
the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. To their union were born five children, those aside from William A.
France being: Charles, of Lamoni, who is president of the local telephone company; Mrs. J. H. Stanley, of Andover;
and Mrs. Andy Turnbull and Mrs. A. M. Chase, both of Lamoni.
William A. France was reared in Illinois, remaining there until he was about twenty two years of age, when he accompanied
his parents to Decatur county. He gave his attention to farming on land southeast of Lamina and was also engaged
in the stock business, continuing active in those lines until he removed to Lamoni in 1901. In 1910 he purchased
the lumber business which he is still conducting. His son, Joseph E. France, is in partnership with him, the firm
name being the France Lumber Company. They handle lumber, building materials and coal and as there has never been
any doubt of their integrity they enjoy a large and lucrative trade. Mr. France of this review also owns a tract
of twenty acres in Lamoni, where his residence is situated, and he is recognized as one of the successful business
men of this city.
Mr. France was married in Illinois to Miss Mary A. Atkinson, a native of Henry county, that state, and a daughter
of Abram and Mary A. Atkinson, who were born in England. The father was a miner and both he and his wife have passed
to their reward. To Mr. and Mrs. France have been born four children: Joseph E., who is in partnership with his
father; Elizabeth, who is attending the State University of Iowa at Iowa City; Thomas W., who graduated from the
local high school with the class of 1915; and David W., in school.
Mr. France is a democrat in his political views but does not consider himself irrevocably bound by the decisions
of party leaders, manifesting independence in the exercise of his right of franchise. He has served as town and
school treasurer and has discharged his official duties with credit to himself. He is a member of the Reorganized
Church of Latter Day Saints and takes a great interest in everything pertaining to the work of that organization.
He is an excellent business man and a valued citizen as he is able, upright and public spirited.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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