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    Alfred Willard French. One of the prominent business concerns of Piqua is that operating under the name of the French Oil Machine Company, the president of which, Alfred Willard French. occupies a leading position in business circles of the city. Mr French was born in 1862, at Hartford, Conn., a son of Henry and Mary (Willard) French. After attending the public schools of Hartford, Mr. French took a course in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in civil engineering. He became instructor in that subject in that institution, and after resigning this position became associated with Edward A. Buss, of Boston, as mill engineer. Later, he engaged in work for the United States Government for three years, then becoming general superintendent of the National Linseed Oil Company, of Chicago. In Brooklyn, N. Y., he was identified with the National Lead Company for one year, following which he came to Piqua and founded the French Oil Machine Company for the manufacture of oil machinery invented by him. At first the company occupied modest quarters, but its growth has been steady and consistent and today this concern is one of the largest of its kind in the country, its product being shipped all over the world and meeting with a steady demand in India, Japan, Java, the Philippines, Egypt, South America, France, Holland and other countries. A complete history of this concern will be found in the industrial section of this work, Mr. French married Mrs. Grace Albers, of Los Angeles, Calif., and to this union there have been born two children: Alfred Willard, Jr., who is attending Exeter College, New Hampshire, and Catharine M., a student at Wellesley College. Mr. French is a director of the Piqua Handle & Manufacturing Company and widely and favorably known in business circles as a man of sound ability and high principles. He is likewise a director of the Piqua National Bank. His religious connection is with St. James Episcopal Church, in which he is at present serving as vestryman.

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