Biography of Charles Mortimer French

As city marshal and tax collector of Merced, Merced County, Charles Mortimer French is sustaining the reputation for ability and judgment, energy and thorough qualification for holding public office won entirely by his own efforts. In 1908 he was elected to the office of city marshal, and in addition to this he holds the position of tax collector for the city. His birth occurred in Augusta, Kennebec County, Me., on July 13, 1864, a son of Hayden Winfield and Felicia Hemans (Gould) French. Hayden Winfield French went to Montana in 1865, after having served in the Civil War. In 1868, when Charles Mortimer was a child of four years, the family joined him in California and the home was established in Merced County. The father was in the sheep business for many years; then for fourteen years he served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff A. J. Meany. After that he became constable, an office he held until his death, April 7, 1894. The mother, who was born in Augusta, Me., April 23, 1837, was married November 25, 1859. She was the first teacher in the first public school held in Merced. She died February 4, 1897.

Charles Mortimer French received a grammar school education, for in the days of his schooling there was no high school in Merced. He was reared to hard work, and his summers were spent in farm work and during the winter months he worked in a blacksmith shop. In 1888 he established a transfer and hauling business, which he still operates, the firm name being French and Wood, Mr. Wood having been a member of the firm since 1912.

The marriage of Mr. French united him with Miss Mary Corrine Yoakum, born in Oakland, Cal. Mr. French is a Democrat in politics. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World; and he belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, all of Merced. Mr. French is an honorary member of the fire department and a charter member of the old El Capitan Hose Company No. 1, of early days. He has lived continuously in Merced since 1872.

Source: Outcalt, John. A history of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; Los Angeles, Calif. : Historic Record Company, 1925.

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