Solon French, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Solon French


WHY did we live in Porter County? According to family stories my great grandfather Solon French was the first white baby born in what is known as Porter County? Vidette-Messenger stories state a Bailly to be the first. I do not know which is true. At least, Solon French was one of the first. He was a great man; he built cabinets -- just more or less as a hobby plus for use in their home. He farmed. He was like a lawyer -- many people came to him for legal advise. Then he had a son Burton French who had a son Glenn French who married Ruth Riley, all of Union Township (Solon lived in Valparaiso). On June 4, 1920 Glenn and Ruth French had a daughter Phyllis who went all 12 years to Wheeler School. Ethel Ruth was her first teacher and Miss Ruth had also taught Glenn French. Phyllis graduated from Gary Business College and was secretary for architects, attorney's -- and then met Robert E. Stout from Medaryville and they married. He was in construction work on State Road 30 west of Valparaiso. We married and moved to Union Mills where Robert worked at Kingsbury Ordinance Plant for 1 1/2 years until he was drafted into World War II. We had a daughter shortly after he went to the war -- Roberta Dawn Stout. (Phyllis & Roberta are only children) Robert returned after 3 yrs. Of service and continued in construction business self-employed. Roberta got her grade school at Wheeler and high school at American School in Chicago. She graduated from Famous Artist School in Westport, Connecticut. She is a well-known local artist, a member of Gary Artist League, shows in many local art exhibits, had the feature painting in Gary Artist League show in 1975, shows at Amish Acres in Nappanne, Indiana; Frankfort, Ill. Gay Nineties Festival annually, and has studied under several well-known teachers of art. She has a number of ribbons in her oil paintings, watercolor, and sculpture work. She also does pen and ink, pencil drawings, etc. Stout's live on a very small acreage but live close to the land -- grind some of their own flour and do many of the early American ways. We do our own baking from scratch, composing some of our own recipes and have won recipe contests. We make our own yogurt for example. We do a lot of needlework -- crocheting knitting, rya weaving, sewing, embroidery work, etc. We love the Lord and are associated with Faith Baptist Church. Our daughter Roberta plays piano, organ, accordion, guitar, sings alto and I sing soprano and we love to sing duets in hymns. Roberta has written the music to several new hymns.

Robert has retired from construction work but still does the farming and gardening.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 109

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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