Ralph and Elizabeth French

Elizabeth Irene Seward was a younger sister of my great-grandfather, William Henry "Billy" Seward. She was born in Bloomington, IN, 25 Feb 1879. She married Ralph Wilson French 22 Aug 1900 in Bloomington. The Indiana marriage records list her as Bessie. Ralph was born 4 Jul 1874. Elizabeth and Ralph's obituaries are from undated Bloomington newspaper clippings:

Native Citizen Passes Away

Elizabeth L. French Dies In Hospital

Mrs. Elizabeth I. French, age 64, native of Bloomington, and widow of the late Ralph W. French, died in the Bloomington Hospital Monday evening following a long illness. She had been a patient at the hospital for 18 weeks several months ago and just prior to her death had been a patient there for one week. She had been ill for 8 months, and death was attributed to complication of diseases.

Mrs. French, who was the daughter of the late W. B. Seward and Elizabeth D. Helton Seward, was born February 25, 1879, in the Seward homestead at Seventh and Washington Streets. She spent most of her life in Bloomington, but had lived in Binghamton, New York for twenty years until two years ago when she returned to Bloomington. Before her illness she resided at the Graham hotel.

She was a member of the First Methodist church.

Her husband, who died in 1935, was at the time of his death director of vocational training at Binghamton, New York.

Survivors include a sister, Mrs. Kate C. Hall and a brother, Paul Seward, both of this city, and the following nieces and nephews: Fred A. Seward, W. Austin Seward, Bert S. Belden, Charles E. Hall, Ben B. Hall, Curtis B. Hall and Josephine Hall.

Funeral services will be held at 4 p. m. Wednesday at the Arthur Day Mortuary Chapel and will be conducted by Rev. Merrill B. McFall. Interment will be in Rose Hill cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Fred A. Seward, Charles E. Hall, Ben B. Hall, Curtis B. Hall and Donald Wahl.

The body will remain at the Arthur Day Mortuary.


Funeral services for Prof. Ralph W. French will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock in charge of Dr. C. Howard Taylor. The body arrives this morning from Binghamton, N. Y., where death occurred Tuesday.

Interment will be made in Rosehill and pallbearers will be W. D. Crooks, J. French Crooks, Charles, Curtis and Ben Hall, Bert Beldon, and Fred and Austin Seward.

Prof. French, who was superintendent of schools at Binghamton, was 60 years of age. He is survived by the widow; three sisters, Mrs. Sallie Crooks of Indianapolis, Mrs. Judge Hurdis Clements of Mt. Vernon, and Mrs. S. L. Davies of Davis, Cal., and three brothers, Walter French of St. Louis, Dr. Louis French of Chicago, and Alex French of Sheridan, Wyo.

This page was last updated 3 May 2003.