Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    William H. Francis is accounted one of the leading representatives of commercial interests in Troy, and his business methods have not only won to him success but have gained him the confidence and regard of his fellow townsmen. He is a senior member of the firm of Francis, Clemm & Company, lumber dealers, and from the public he receives a liberal patronage, which is accorded him by reason of his straightforward business methods and his earnest desire to please his customers.

    A native of Ohio, his birth occurred in Butler county on the 31st of January, 1848, his parents being Jacob and Maria (Young) Francis, natives of Pennsylvania. The father came to Ohio in 1797, before the admission of the state into the Union, and settled in what is now Butler county, and the year 1825 witnessed the arrival of Mrs. Francis in the Buckeye state. By occupation he was a farmer, but during the war of 1812 he put aside all business considerations, joined the army, and aided in defending the republic against the oppression of England. His father, George Francis, was a soldier of the Revolution, and died in Butler county, Ohio, at the age of sixty-nine years. Jacob Francis was called to his final rest July 21, 1890, when almost ninety-seven years of age, while his wife passed away in Butler county, Ohio, in February, 1892. Jacob Francis was twice married. His first wife was Lydia Ford, by whom he had eight children, three of whom are still living. Our subject is a child of the second marriage.

    In a family of eight children William H. Francis was the sixth in order of birth. Five of the number are now living. He was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, his time being occupied by the work of the schoolroom and the fields, and naturally some attention was given to the sports which usually find favor with boys. Having acquired his preliminary education in the schools near his home he afterward entered the Lebanon, Ohio, Normal School, where he remained for two years. Subsequently he engaged in teaching, and for five years successfully followed that profession. On the 1st of March, 1876, he embarked in the lumber business at Arcanum, Ohio, where he continued for thirteen years, after which he came to Troy, in 1889. Here he has carried on business and now has the largest stock of any lumberman in Troy, receiving a liberal patronage, which he well merits. He also conducts a branch yard at Arcanum and one at Ingomar, and his extensive operations bring to him gratifying success.

    He is likewise is interested in the Troy Wagon Works, and is a man of resourceful ability, who carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. His keen discernment and unflagging energy have been important factors in his career and are accounted dominant elements in his success.

    In November, 1876, occurred the marriage of Mr. Francis and Miss Ella Gifford, a native of Preble county, Ohio, and a daughter of Anuel and Sarah Gifford, who were early settlers of Preble county. They have two children, Jesse and Opal. The parents hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and he contributed most liberally to the construction of the new house of worship erected by that denomination in Troy. In politics he is a stanch Republican, but has never sought or desired public office, preferring to give his time and energies to his commercial pursuits. His reputation in business circles is unassailable and has stood the test of many years connection with the lumber interests. His worth commends him to public confidence and regard, and his circle of friends in the community is very extensive.

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